Should Apple open up iOS to allow tweaks and themes?
Currently, there is no jailbreak for the iPhone 5. There is no jailbreak for iOS 6 on the latest devices, with the 3GS only jailbroken through a tethered method. This lack of customisation has prompted a lot of users to begin questioning if Apple should open up iOS and allow 3rd parties to officially release tweaks and themes without the use of a jailbreak, much like you can with Android.
A well known hacker in the community, pod2g, had a bit of a moan on Twitter today, calling for Apple to do this very thing – open up iOS – because most of his mates are migrating from iOS to Android, and that’s no fun.
Hopes: the fact that there’s no jailbreak for the iPhone 5 may push Apple to open a little more their OS for tweaks and mods.
— pod2g (@pod2g) January 3, 2013
Interestingly, he points out that from a technical perspective, there is nothing stopping Apple from opening iOS up, and in fact should only be a case of enlarging its SDK/API’s to allow the submission of 3rd party tweaks and themes to be reviewed in the App Store, just like any other App currently is.
The story continues. What’s more interesting is that his Twitter cries have already triggered a Twitter petition (twitition) entitled “WeWantAnOpeniOS”, which creator FlawlessFox says will get emailed to Apple once it receives enough signatures. The hashtag #WeWantAnOpeniOS was already trending following the massive discussion this triggered on the social network.
Breaking this down; it would actually make a whole load of sense for Apple to expand their O/S and App Store to allow tweaks and themes. Currently, Cydia – the frontend to the repositories that hold the jailbreak tweaks – is unregulated by Apple, which means anything can end up in the there. There is no approval, testing, or quality control process, leaving the user experience at risk of being affected. Now if Apple where to open up their SDK as pod2g suggests, then any tweak or theme that is submitted just becomes part of that same approval process that we are so familiar with for the Apps, ensuring only code that will not affect the user experience ends up on our devices. Not to mention, Apple get their 30% cut from the App Store, which they don’t from Cydia, so there’s a financial incentive for Apple too.
If you would like to support this, feel free to sign the Twitter Petition here. At the time of posting, it already has 2,928 signatures.
Let us know what you think about opening iOS to allow tweaks by leaving a comment below.