The consequences of losing a US legal challenge to stop the running of unofficial apps and tweaks on iPhones means the practice of ‘jailbreaking’ is about to explode, the Sunday Times reports.

“It’s the iPhone that Apple would rather you didn’t own. With it, you can do things that you can’t on an unmodified iPhone – such as make video calls on a mobile phone network, instead of just over wi-fi. You can add new features to the browser, such as tools to quickly search and scroll through web pages. You can add clever facilities developed by Apple’s arch-rivals, such as Google’s internet telephone service.”

To do this will require modifying your phone and needless to say Apple is not there to help you do this. You will have to jailbreak – modifying your iPhone operating system to allow it to run non-Apple software. The company warns this could corrupt your phone but millions of Apple users are more than happy to take the chance to enhance choice.

The newspaper article in the In Gear section sets out the potential risks are rewards for its readers. Obviously, the biggest carrot is a huge range of potentially useful apps that are excellent but just not Apple-approved. The biggest stick is, of course, the potential to download malware.

Like all good would-be jailbreakers, make sure you have a Plan B that allows you to go back to your cell and lock the door without anyone knowing you even tried to breach the walls.

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