The Difference Between Jailbreaking and Rooting: iOS vs. Android

iphone jailbreak

iphone jailbreakThe Difference Between Jailbreaking and Rooting: iOS vs. Android


Smartphone users that sign up with a mobile carrier soon realize that their contracts come with certain limitations. Manufacturers also place specific rules on smartphone warranties to prevent tampering, hacking, and altering the software. Smartphone users face restrictions on the applications and themes they can use on their devices. Some users have developed a method of breaking free from those limitations and granted access to the operating system of the smartphone. Many people assume that “jailbreaking” on an iPhone is the same as “rooting” on an Android, but there are distinct differences between these two concepts.

iPhone users are placed on much firmer hardware restrictions than Android users. Unless an iPhone is jailbroken, Apple customers must download applications via the Apple App Store. For an application to appear on the Apple App Store, it must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by Apple in order to ensure its compliance with the iOS Developer Program License Agreement. There are a large number of applications and iPhone games developed by designers that are not approved and thus aren’t accessible by iPhone users. In addition to restrictions on apps, Apple also does not allow for users to thoroughly customize the set up and appearance of the iPhone. This is where jailbreaking factors into play. A jailbroken iPhone releases Apple’s restrictions on the device. Users with jailbroken phones are able to gain access to the inner workings of their phone and can and arrange view files, download and install third party applications, and even customize the themes of the phone to their liking. Jailbreaking overcomes several types of iOS security features simultaneously. Also take note if you decide to jailbreak your iPhone, you should be aware of a few items first. If you bring a jailbroken phone into an Apple Store, there is a very strong chance you will be turned away. Apple has announced that jailbreaking a phone can violate the warranty.

Although jailbreaking and rooting may be similar in nature, Android users do not face nearly as many limitations as iPhone users. Right after purchase, an Android device already allows users to install 3rd party, allows you to install themes, and allows you to install apps directly from the internal memory of the phone. Basically, everything that a jailbroken iPhone allows is already included as a basic series of functions for the Android. “Rooting” is several steps ahead of “jailbreaking”. Rooting grants privileged control of the device, allows users to completely replace the operating system, and overcomes the limitations that mobile carriers place on the phone. You can completely remove the OS and replace it with user made operating systems that contain improvements and enhancements. Rooted Androids even allow you to adjust operating settings such as processor and internet speeds.

One of the major differences between rooting and jailbreaking is the stance taken by the manufacturers. Google is known to encourage the rooting of Androids phones. They give the users the freedom to do so if they choose, but warn them of possible damages that may occur. Apple is adamant in their stance against jailbreaking. They have even taken the issue to court via copyright law and infringement arguments.


Author Bio: John Coyle is an avid freelance writer focusing on topics of technology, innovation, and digital media. His hobbies and interests include photography, cinema, video games, and traveling.


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