Saurik Talks At TEDx – Even Software Should Have Screws [Video]

Jay Freeman (aka Saurik) the creator of Cydia and WinterBoard, speaks on iOS jailbreak at TEDxAmericanRiviera. He compares jailbreaking to modding a car. Watch the video below and let us know what you think about what he had to say…

The idea is that the App Store is designed to install “applications”: units of software that typically involve an icon on some kind of launcher that opens a window into some new functionality the device previously did not have.

However, is that really all that users want to be able to do with their devices? If we just look at the stories posted to Hacker News about Android software we already see that would be a flawed premise: there is a long train of “cool” surrounding products like Swype and 8pen. These programs replace the system input manager, aka the keyboard, for all applications.

These programs are not just apps: they are extensions to other applications on the device. We also see this in the form of custom launchers, dialers, and widgets: Android has numerous ways that developers can extend the core functionality of the handset in ways that escape the trap that is the icon.

Now, before you start thinking “woah, Android is awesome”, you still can’t add functionality to the address book, the notification area, or the task switcher… or any of the other insanely large number of things that the device is capable of doing. Every time you add a little bit more ability there is still going to be a ton of things that are not exposed.

You may now ask: what else is there? Go look at your average jailbroken iPhone: the stuff people are developing and installing is /amazing/. There are almost no limits to what you can change on the device; it isn’t open source, but it is damned close. No system feature or application is immune to the influence of small and large changes. (For some cool examples and screenshots, watch the aforementioned talk.) And, if you really insist that open isn’t open until it is open source you can gut the bootloader and install Android on the thing thanks to the iDroid project.

This is why I absolutely hate it when I read people focusing on rejected applications or “opening up” the app store. In a future where Apple did /exactly what you are asking them to do/ almost nothing will have changed: people will still need to jailbreak their phones and developers will still be writing and distributing all of this cool software using Cydia.

[via Hacker News]

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