iPhone OS: Ideas on how Apple could win against the Jail Breaking Community

With Apple releasing iPhone OS 3.1.3, and closing the hole for jail breakers it got me onto the idea that Apple could actually win (well mostly win) against the jail breaking community. I have some ideas on how Apple could achieve converting some of the jail breakers over to the non-jailbreak side.

There are three groups, as I see it, of people whom I believe jail break. The first is the hardcore jail breakers. These are the types of people who want to run cracked version of software that is legally available on the iTunes App Store. There is no hope of Apple “converting” this group. This group also includes the ‘hard-core’ jail breakers. Those who use methods that most would never even contrive. These people like the famous “GeoHot” hardware hacks, and they are a group unto themselves. The second group is the tinkerers. These are the types of people who like to see what jail breaking has to offer, but they are willing to go back to the “sandbox” if something shiny catches their eye. These types of people are already converts. They just tend to slip away sometimes when they need to see what’s going on in the other playground. The final group is the customizers. These people are those who jail break just to customize the phone they way they want it. They like to change the backgrounds, colors, themes, and other glitzy items. They do not want to leave the sandbox, but they are forced to due to the restrictions in place. This last group is the ones that Apple should be going after.

These restrictions are arbitrary. Why can’t somebody set a background picture, much like the new iPad, as they please? Why can’t they change the background color of the ‘dock’ on their iPhone OS based device? On that note, why not a different background for each screen? That way, a user can easily differentiate between the screens. All of these ideas seem quite simple to implement given the complexity that already is the iPhone OS.

I know Apple loves to control all of the aspects and provide a “consistent” user experience, but these devices are ours to use and do with what we wish. Having the ability to customize certain aspects that mean very little to the overall “stability” of the platform is fully within reason. I really believe that Apple should bring these features to us in iPhone OS 4.0. Putting some trust in the user’s hands would come a long way in gaining users back.

Photo Credit: Ella’s Dad

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