An Unfortunate Truth About Jailbroken iPhones/iPod Touches
So Xblaze has been in the App store since the 12th of January, almost 2 weeks.
I have been following the stats and feedback very closely, and so far the response to Xblaze for the iPhone has been great! Xblaze has over 20 reviews worldwide, most of which are 5 star ratings! I can’t thank the people who left these reviews enough, it’s these users that make Xblaze what it is, and without them, Xblaze would float away quietly…
However, there is always a downside. Unfortunately the downside here is that some people are running Xblaze on a Jailbroken iPhone, and leaving bad reviews when it crashes.
For those who may not know, Jailbreaking is the process of “hacking” the iPhone’s OS to allow open access to the entirety of the phone. It allows 3rd party developers to write applications that don’t need to be approved by Apple.
Since Apple aren’t approving these Applications, they could be doing anything from gathering your personal information, running in the background using up your battery and data connections, installing malicious software such as worms — literally anything is possible.
Jailbreaking also allows users to install pirated applications, and get apps for free when they would normally have to pay. It is important to note, however, that not all Jailbreakers are pirates. About 38% of the Jailbreaking community have used pirated Apps, which is approximately 1.5Million out of 4 Million.
But piracy is not a problem for free apps, and we all know that Xblaze is free. So what is the problem?
Jailbroken devices have had their software “tampered” with. The iPhone OS running on a jailbroken iPhone is not the same as that installed on regular iPhones. For this reason, it is impossible to know exactly what has been tampered with, or how it will affect how the phone works.
A study has been done, using data gathered via the Pinch Media Analytics framework that shows how jailbreaking an iPhone can negatively affect application performance.
Specifically, “all jailbroken phones (whether the application is pirated or not) suffer from increased application crash rates,”. (http://www.pinchmedia.com/blog/piracy-in-the-app-store-from-360idev/)
The very frustrating thing is that as a developer, I have no control over who runs Xblaze or what iPhone they run it on. And as a direct result, Xblaze will get run on Jailbroken iPhones, and the statistics show that it is likely to crash more often than if it was run on a normal, official iPhone OS.
It is impossible for me to code Xblaze to not crash on a jailbroken iPhone because it is written using the official iPhone SDK (software development kit), using the official APIs (application programming interfaces). In nearly ALL cases, jailbreaking an iPhone installs older APIs, or changes their behaviour to be more flexible and open, and in some cases, installs extra software at the system level that could affect how certain processes work.
Because of this fact, the application may expect an API to behave one way, but in fact comes up against an API that behaves completely differently to how it is programmed, and as a result, will crash. It is important to understand that this will not happen to every single application or on every single Jailbroken phone. It’s almost a “crash lottery”. You take your chances when you jailbreak and accept the risks.
It is also very important to understand that there is nothing I can do to fix it, because jailbreaking is not an officially supported development option.
At the end of all this, Xblaze suffers in the app store, receiving one star reviews for crashes that aren’t Xblaze’s fault.
You’re free to run Xblaze on any kind of iPhone you like – but please don’t leave a bad review if your device is jailbroken and the app crashes… If you want the most stable experience, don’t jailbreak your iPhone. If you don’t find that acceptable and you make the decision to jailbreak, please don’t make Xblaze suffer because of it.