Since the iPhone was born, there’s been a rift in the user community between those who keep the iPhone the way Apple intended, only updating when Apple releases something new. On the flip side, there’s the “jailbreak” community, who has been opening up the iPhone to new applications and uses, though admittedly to the detriment of some user’s phones, for the same amount of time. Whether Apple admits to it or not, the iPhone “hackers” have been responsible for all the recent innovation to the iPhone.
That isn’t really limited to the iPhone. Apple is famous for working off the ideas established by open source programmers. For instance, Virtue Desktops, an open source free app that allowed users to have multiple desktop spaces available, was essentially copied and made better by Apple in the application Spaces for Leopard.
With the iPhone, there were tons of games and applications created by “hackers” who wanted users to have the full range of the iPhone platform without all the nuisances of Apple’s limitations. That looked like games, multiple home screens, rearrangeable icons, ringtones, and more.
Far be it from Apple or Steve Jobs to not jump on an opportunity to release the ideas of others in a more streamlined, secure format to the general public. In the wake of those hacks, look how closely Apple’s updates have paralleled the works of the hacking community. That isn’t to say Apple is wrong for doing so. It just goes to prove that open source platforms and “hacking” or creativity as some like to call it are a necessity, and the companies that follow that community’s lead will benefit.
All the users who never jailbroke their iPhones are holding their noses high because Apple came around with the innovations in a secure form, but without those revolutionaries, there is a very good chance the majority of users wouldn’t have the features in their iPhones they now do. So keep on jailbraking and pushing the limits, oh programmers and vigilantes.