iOS 7.1, iTunes Festival and future of Jailbreaking

If the numerous news sources are correct then Apple will be dropping the iOS 7.1 firmware update any day now. Whilst it was originally thought that this update would be some way off it appears that an early release might be essential for Apple’s iTunes festival. This years iTunes festival which is taking place in Texas is to be live streamed to devices all around the world, and this requires the updates only found in iOS 7.1. Usually by now we have had the iTunes Festival app made available on the app store but so far there is no sign of it so that adds even more weight to the likelihood that Apple are waiting for the iOS 7.1 release.

Apple’s iTunes festival starts on Monday 11th March so an imminent release of the next update to iOS 7 is very likely to be released within the next few days. Whilst we know many of the features that are coming with the final release of iOS 7.1 thanks to developer preview beta’s there is still some features that we could find in iOS 7.1 that we didn’t see in previous beta’s such as the recently announced CarPlay which could quite possibly be included as one of Apple’s biggest features of this update.

If you’re one of the many people that have an active Jailbreak on your iOS 7 device you may be wondering what the latest update to IOS 7 means for you? With previous updates to iOS 7 Apple have been very lapse about patching the Jailbreak and Evad3rs the group behind the iOS 7 Jailbreak merely had to update the Jailbreak to make it compatible with the newly updated firmware. However this has changed with iOS 7.1 which fully patches the vulnerabilities used by the Evad3rs team that allowed them to create a public Jailbreak.

If you are currently running iOS 7.0.6 and have an active Jailbreak that you want to keep you should stay well away from iOS 7.1 as you will lose the Jailbreak. If you are not concerned about losing the Jailbreak then you may update to iOS 7.1 when it’s released. The most important thing to consider is, as soon as Apple have stopped signing iOS 7.0.6 which will not be long after the release of iOS 7.1 you will lose the ability to downgrade to the previous version of iOS whether or not you have saved SHSH blobs. There is no going back, so please think very carefully when deciding whether to upgrade or not.

So what does this mean for the future of Jailbreaking? Upon the release of iOS 7.1 more and more users will update and lose their current jailbreak and even users who may not want to lose the Jailbreak will begin to do so if they ever need to restore their devices as they will have no choice but to upgrade to the latest version of iOS 7 when performing a full restore. It has become increasingly more difficult to obtain a Jailbreak with each new release of iOS firmware and long gone are the days when the Jailbreak team could issue a Jailbreak just hours after a new firmware was released. It’s likely that we will not see another Jailbreak begin to be worked on until the release of iOS 8 and iPhone 6 as it’s just not worth the Evad3rs time to try and fix the patch in 7.1. Only once the new iOS 8 firmware is publically available alongside new hardware such as iPhone 6 and even possibly new iPads will the Evad3rs begin to work on a Jailbreak with any left over exploits that they might have previously held onto or begin to look for new exploits and start poking away at the kernel.

Personally I will be updating to iOS 7.1 and losing my current Jailbreak as I think it’s better to bite the bullet and accept the inevitable. It was nice to have a Jailbreak and have more functionality from my iPhone but I would rather lose my jailbreak now and become accustomed to it rather than wait until I have to restore my device next and are forced to lose it.