Last week, Team Pangu finally announced the arrival of a stable tool for jailbreaking iOS 9.3.3, with backward jailbreaking compatibility till iOS 9.2. By making the tool available to end users, Pangu also reclaimed its position (as an ‘iOS jailbreak leader’) from TaiG – which led the way when iOS 8.3 and 8.4 were launched. In today’s discussion, we focus on the main features, interesting points and some necessary steps for using the new Pangu tool for iOS 9.2-9.3.3 jailbreak:
- Device compatibility – The latest version of the free jailbreak tool brought out by Pangu can be used ONLY on 64-bit Apple devices. Apart from iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (the maximum interest is for the flagship smartphones), people can use it to jailbreak iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and the new iPad Pro-s (both the 9.7” and 12.9” models). iPhone 5S is also supported, although there are odd chances of the jailbreak not working properly on the ‘older’ handset. The 6th-generation iPod Touch can be jailbroken with the new Pangu tool too.
- The disadvantages of using the tool right now – Tweaking around with an expensive iDevice without being aware of the probable consequences would be all too naive. As is often reiterated by Apple experts and specialized iPhone app developers, doing a jailbreak renders all existing warranties on a device null and void (unless, of course, Cydia impactor is used to completely restore/unjailbreak the concerned handset). There are certain other iffy things about the Pangu jailbreak tool too. For starters, the tool is available only in Chinese as of now – and many feel that it would be prudent to wait for a stable English version to release, before performing the jailbreak. A bigger downside of the new iOS 9.2 – 9.3.3 jailbreak tool, however, is that it is ‘semi-tethered’ (and not ‘untethered’, as jailbreak tools usually are). This means that users have to re-jailbreak their devices every time they reboot their handset – even if the device had switched off on its own (battery exhaustion, anyone?). Generally, jailbreaking is a ‘once and done’ task – but this one is a (not-too-convenient) exception.
- OTA update or download via iTunes – Oh well, it’s a no-brainer that you have to update your iDevice to iOS 9.3.3 (the latest firmware version of Apple that the Pangu tool supports). However, professionals from the field of mobile app development have reported that the tool does not always play nice with updates that have been done over-the-air (OTA). It is advisable to download the latest iOS version through iTunes, and then proceed with the jailbreak.
Note: A 25 PP installer is required to perform the iOS 9.2 – iOS 9.3 jailbreak procedure. Hence, you will need a Windows PC to go ahead with the tool.
- Why do the jailbreak? – As already highlighted, there are several points of concern with the recently released Pangu jailbreak tool. So why bother using it at all? The potential advantages are plenty: after a successful jailbreak and installation of the Pangu 9.2 app (visible on the Home screen), users can browse, pick and choose from a much, much wider range of third-party iOS applications, and even play around with the available shortcuts and animation features. There are quite a lot of tools in the Cydia store that are worth checking out as well. For avid gamers, there’s another big motivation for doing the jailbreak. Doing so would allow them to fake their actual locations while playing ‘Pokemon Go’. Catching Pikachu might become just a tad easier!
- The need for prior backup – This one is very important. Mobile software developers and those who make apps repeatedly warn users that jailbreaking might lead to loss of stored data. It, hence, is almost mandatory to take a complete data backup before applying the new jailbreak tool – either in iTunes or on iCloud. Also, make sure that Touch ID, Passcode and Find My iPhone are deactivated. You can toggle them back on after the jailbreak is done.
- Create a new Apple ID for the jailbreak – Jailbreaking an Apple device brings along security concerns. To avoid these, it is a good idea to create a throwaway Apple ID for the purpose, and not use your regular credentials. Of course, you might be asked to enter a captcha instead of providing Apple ID credentials (after the device to be jailbroken is connected to a PC with an USB cable, the PP icon is visible, and the user has selected the ‘Run as administrator’ option). The Apple developer profile details are, at times, required to sideload the PP jailbreak tool.
- Disconnect the paired Apple Watch – If you have one connected to your iPhone that is to be jailbroken, that is. At the very start, turn off the Bluetooth feature on your handset, so that paired device(s) are not affected by the jailbreak in any way. Remember, the Pangu tool is meant for the iOS platform only – it is not supposed to work on watchOS, an entirely different platform.
- Starting the jailbreak process – Okay then, all precautions have been taken, and you can now move on to the actual jailbreaking. After you see the PP jailbreak app on your phone screen, navigate to Settings → General → Device Management. In the Pangu developer profile, you should see the Apple ID you had entered earlier. Tap the ‘Trust’ tab below it to initiate the jailbreak.
- Delays and warning messages – iPhone-owners have reported certain problems and warning messages that pop up while the jailbreak is going on. This has been corroborated by iOS app developers as well. For instance, the ring within the green box that rotates during the jailbreak might become unresponsive. In case you face this problem and nothing happens after 5-6 minutes, close the jailbreak app, and restart it a little later. A ‘Storage Almost Full’ message might also be flashed after jailbreak is complete and the Cydia app is being installed. There is no need to worry about this message, thankfully.
- Be careful with the tweaks – The new model of the Pangu jailbreak tool has plenty of tweaks – but that does not mean you should install them all. Compatibility can be an issue on the various iOS versions, and certain tweaks can even brick your iDevice altogether. Backup your device at the very start, and choose the tweaks you download on your handset very carefully.
Note: When you reboot a previously jailbroken iOS 9.2 – 9.3.3 phone, the Cydia application will become inactive. This is not a glitch, but a feature of the ‘semi-tethered’ Pangu jailbreak tool. Every time the device reboots, it becomes ‘unjailbroken’.
11. Manually lock your phone after accepting push notifications – After being installed, the Pangu PP app will ask for permission to send push notifications to your device. According to iPhone developers and testers, you need to accept it, and then lock the device manually (i.e., simply quick press the Power button). When you unlock the screen next, a message from the PP app will be visible, indicating that the jailbreak has been successfully performed.
Note: Cydia should be present on your device at this stage.
12. Launching Cydia for the first time – After your device reboots automatically, you can launch the Cydia app from the Home screen. When you do this for the first time, the application will spend some time for ‘preparing filesystem’. Avoid handling your device (unless prompted to do so) while the jailbreak is going on.
While Pangu has been the first to release a working iOS 9.2 – 9.3.3 free jailbreak tool, other teams (like K33n and TaiG) are also working on similar applications. Luca Todesco, an iPhone developer and the brain behind iOS 8.4.1 jailbreak, might launch a new tool as well. The Kernel Patch Protections (KPP) layer of iOS 9 should not pose any problems – since iOS 9 has already been jailbroken successfully by Pangu by last September itself.
Disclaimer: This article does not encourage iOS jailbreak in any way. The purpose of this write-up is solely informative, and readers should use their discretion to decide whether to jailbreak their devices or not right now.