As I type these words, I'm frantically downloading iOS v6.1.2 to my "iPad 3," which is currently running iOS 6.1.0 (6.1.2 fixes an Exchange bug). I've already updated my two iPhone 4s, which were previously on iOS 5.1.1, to iOS 6.1.2. And next on the upgrade list is my fourth-generation iPod touch, also currently running iOS 5.1.1. So what's the rush ... what's with all this "frantically" business?
I'm admittedly doing a belated upgrade of my iOS 5.x-based widgets, considering that iOS 6.0 was released last September. I'm already running into a few situations where I can't update to newer versions of some of the programs already installed on my devices, or for that matter install some new software titles, in both cases because the new code requires iOS 6.x. Whether the software truly taps into some iOS 6-only resources or the developer just left the Xcode compiler switches at their defaults, therefore conveniently enabling Apple to compel consumers to tackle periodic O/S upgrades, is unknown ... regardless, the end effect is the same, overriding my "if it's not broken, don't fix it" tendency to leave well enough alone.
But why am I rushing to do the upgrades now, versus further procrastinating? It's because all of my iOS devices are jailbroken, thereby enabling them to support additional (non-Apple- and non-carrier-sanctioned) capabilities such as gratis cellular-modem tethering to my laptop, full file system access via SSH, etc. It's because the latest-generation jailbreak tool, Evasi0n, supports iOS 6 versions through 6.1.2. And it's because iOS 6.1.3, currently in beta, reportedly breaks Evasi0n.
The only real reason to jailbreak an iPhone is to enable tethering.
That the carriers can charge an extra $20 a month for that, which basically uses the bandwidth for which you already pay, borders on theft.
I have often wanted to just keep the current set of software/OS/hardware running without any add ons.. I know: "living in the past" but I am tired of constant updates that seem to add nothing but slow down my machine and add bloatware! When will some sanity strike? Until Apple and MS figure out how not to annoy their users I will always lean towards Linux..
I have several iDevices and like them, but if someone wants the freedom to add apps (possibly malware) and disable carrier limits (possibly illegal), a Nexus is the better choice. I salute the mobile pioneers who want to tinker, and with enough effort and attention to detail that can be done safely.
Me? I just want my phone to perform its advertised functions safely and legally. I get all the technical complexity I want at work every day.
You just have to decide what's important for you and choose the right device.
I wonder how soon the world of MS Windows will be polluted with locked down hardware. I haven't heard of any specific plans in the works but it seems the capability is arriving.
My understanding of the Secure Boot feature of UEFI BIOS would allow the hardware to be locked down. Microsoft attempting to channel software purchases through their App store is another ingredient if that scenario.
I certainly can't imagine it happening with a high-end workstation computer (CAD, Media, etc.), but it's not a stretch to see tablet and home PC hardware & software vendors moving or being moved in that direction.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.