Over the weekend, Pangu released their iOS jailbreak for the Mac, which is the capstone on a weeks-long journey of incremental releases that brought the wonders of non-Apple-approved software to iDevice users bit by bit according to their level of tinkering devotion. Last week, after an aborted attempt, I managed to jailbreak my iPhone 5S, and though I’m still dealing with some of my favorite tweaks not having been updated to work with the new OS, I’m pretty happy with the update, and I can recommend it for most users. Read more, for the rest.The Pangu jailbreak for iOS 8 was initially released in October, on Windows, in Chinese, and like many jailbreaks, it was a little finicky, so even those brave enough to attempt it were confronted with error messages they couldn’t understand. Initially, it didn’t install Cydia, so it was basically useless for the casual jailbreaker. By the end of October, Cydia was available as a separate install. It was at this time that I made my first attempt.
If there’s a jailbreak killer app, for me, it’s f.lux. I suffer from a circadian rhythm disorder called Delayed Sleep Phase, commonly known as “being a night owl, and though I can force myself to sleep on a “normal” schedule, I have to be diligent about not falling back into my natural 2:30am to 11:30am schedule, and looking at a lot of blue light in the evening is a sure-fire way to mess up your circadian rhythm. F.lux changes the backlight of your device (it’s available on iOS and Mac) from its natural blue hue to an orange-ish color, so when you lie in bed, staring at your phone (we all do it), you’re not ruining your sleep cycle. Now Apple, in its maddeningly paternalistic fashion, has decided that it’s inappropriate for an app to affect the color profile of all other apps and the OS itself, so it won’t let f.lux into the app store. You know what? F*ck what Apple wants. Enter jailbreaking. And because I consider this one app so crucial, I won’t upgrade my OS or buy a new phone without a jailbreak available. Get the message, Cupertino.
So I read through the various tutorials online and tried jailbreaking on Windows with the Chinese version of Pangu, but after getting stopped with an error, I gave up. Pangu 1.1 was released on October 31, and it included Cydia, an English UI, and bug fixes. I was ready to give it another try. I had to go into my settings and turn off Find my iPhone and enable airplane mode, but after that, the install went smoothly.
Opening Cydia, as I had feared, f.lux was not updated, and users were reporting problems on iOS. But I manually added the f.lux repository into my sources and was able to install a beta that worked ok. Over the next few days, the f.lux team released several updates, and it seems to be working reliably now. I had to go through a similar process for TetherMe. Nitrous seemed to work okay. iCleaner wasn’t updated at first, but they released an update a few days ago. I still haven’t updated LinkOpener or MapsOpener, because I’m not sure if they’ll need iOS updates and they’re handy but not crucial (In particular, I prefer Google Maps to Apple Maps). The last of my standard repertoire of jailbreak apps is BiteSMS, a supercharged replacement for the stock messaging app, has not been updated yet, and there’s no indication on their official website or other channels that one is forthcoming, but a guy on Reddit says that in fact they’re working on one. So I’ll take that as gospel truth, as is the case with everything you read on Reddit.
So if you’re a jailbreaker, there’s a pretty good chance that your chosen apps have been or soon will be updated to iOS 8, and with the latest version of Pangu, there’s no reason to hesitate any further. Late last week, the king and prophet of iOS jailbreaking, Saurik, said, “If you are waiting to jailbreak your iOS 8.0-8.1 device until things are “stable enough”: we now seem to be ready!”