For mobile photographers who love the iPhone’s hardware but hate Apple’s restrictive iOS interface, jailbreaking has long been the solution. Jailbreaking removes the limitations on iOS devices and allows the download of applications, extensions and themes that are unavailable in the Apple App Store.
After Apple released its software update iOS 6.1 last week, iJailbreak was quick to issue its latest solution for unlocking the mobile software. Jailbreaking has a lot of perks. In the U.S., jailbreaking allows for device usage with otherwise unapproved carriers like T-Mobile (though full unlocking of devices has been banned by the U.S. Library of Congress). Jailbreaking also lets users personalize their user interface to be free of Apple’s default app arrangements and notification system.
Perhaps the best reason to unlock an iOS device is the plethora of unapproved apps that become available. The Cydia store in particular has an impressive selection of applications for jailbroken phones. Mobile photographers who are frustrated with the native iOS camera app might want to jailbreak just for Cydia’s CameraTweak.
CameraTweak costs $0.99 and brings in ProCamera-like controls to Apple's native camera app to allow for separate exposure and focus, time lapse and timer functions and a golden ratio composition overlay. The benefits of fully replacing your camera app instead of just downloading a camera replacement app like Camera+ are seen in the app’s integration. You get the quick access to the native camera app with the added manual features of third-party software.
But the downsides of jailbreaking are as numerous as the apps in Cydia’s store. Jailbroken phones can sometimes become glitchy and slow. Jailbreaking your iOS device also voids the warranty so you might want to invest in a super rugged case for your newly freed device.
What do you think? Is CameraTweak enough incentive to jailbreak your iPhone?