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Local News

iPhone 4 Jailbreak Debuts via Make It Work Video

Santa Barbara's own Jay Freeman, aka Saurik, talks tech and Cydia work-around program

For the hordes of iPhone users who love their smartphones but tire of the restrictions that Apple imposes on the device, “jailbreaking” has become a popular escape.

Jailbreaking — a term that refers to the opening of the phone’s software platform beyond the strict limits that Apple had intended — is a fairly simple process, accessible to any iPhone owner with a spare minute or two. Besides the option of unlocking the phone from AT&T’s network and allowing it to work with other wireless companies, the jailbreaking procedure lets users delve deep into the phone’s capabilities that Apple has deemed off-limits to its customers.

How do I jailbreak my iPhone, you ask? It’s easy: the procedure has been made effortless with the help of a free piece of software called Cydia, developed by Santa Barbara’s own Jay Freeman. Thanks to Freeman, jailbreaking has become somewhat of a phenomenon in the iPhone world, and he estimates that around 10 percent of iPhone users have jailbroken their phones.

Jailbreaking has allowed users to customize the phone’s themes and icons, install applications and games not available on Apple’s own App Store, and access features that Apple has not yet developed itself (including video recording before this was a standard option). Freeman has been the most prominent member of the iPhone jailbreaking scene since its inception, spearheading efforts to keep the platform open for hundreds of thousands of Cydia users every time Apple releases a patch that disables his work.

Apple has long argued against the legality of jailbreaking, citing copyright issues, but the Library of Congress on Monday reaffirmed its stance that the procedure does not violate copyright law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Even under this new ruling, however, Apple is free to continue closing the holes in the phone’s software that Freeman and his team manipulate to allow jailbreakers their iPhone freedom.

For the underground development team at Cydia, work will continue as long as Apple decides it wants to play cat and mouse. Unfortunately for Apple, Freeman and the Cydia team possess the same brand of youthful resourcefulness that defined Apple’s own beginnings as a company.

Make It Work, Santa Barbara’s premier computer support specialists, had the chance to interview Freeman about his unique development process, the future of jailbreaking, and challenges of working against Apple’s own developers.

Watch the interview below, exclusively on Noozhawk:

(Make It Work video)

Noozhawk contributor Will Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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