I was going to do an iPad jailbreak first impressions sort of post over the next day or so, but I’ll hold off on or possibly scrap that idea for now. Reason being, I’m finding the jailbreak environment for the iPad – as should be expected I guess – at a very early alpha stage right now. An environment ripe for those who have time and desire to help in testing, but not so great for those who don’t.
A few things that have put me off spending much time with the iPad jailbreak for now:
— Cydia works OK enough but carries a statement right at on its main page warning that things are not quite right yet. It explains that as far as they can tell, iPhone OS 3.2 (which the ipad runs) is being run by a separate team than those working on the main for-iPhone branch of the OS – and this is causing ‘weirdness’ for devs porting over apps that rely on MobileSubstrate.
— Cydia itself doesn’t do rotation yet or have all its pages and elements sized right for the iPad yet.
— Within Cydia, there is no marked section for iPad apps yet, or a way to filter for them, or any indicators on app description pages to show iPad compatibility. So it’s even more of a crapshoot than normal in terms of finding apps to try.
— The best resource I’ve come across so far is a community-maintained spreadsheet located here:
— The list makes for depressing reading if you’re a fan of app-switching / multitasking jailbreak apps. That is by far, far and away my number one reason for jailbreaking the iPhone (and now iPad). BackGrounder – the app that enables apps to run in the background – appears to work just fine for me, and is listed as a full ‘Pass’ on the spreadsheet. But … the only well-known front end for it – needed to make fast switching between running apps possible – that is said to work is MultiFlow.
— I say ‘said to’ because MultiFlow will install for me, but does not work at all. The Multiflow Prefs app won’t launch – always crashes back to home, and Multiflow doesn’t show up in Activator options or in user apps – so I can find no way to invoke it.
— My favorite apps switching apps, ProSwitcher and Kirikae, are listed as complete Fails for now on the compatibility sheet. So is Circuitous.
— InfiniDock also sounds like a no-go for now.
— OpenSSH – one of the real ‘core’ jailbreak apps apparently destroys Location Services, according to the compatibility list.
— SBSettings is also listed as having various known issues.
I know many users are over-the-moon with the ability to use a jailbreak app to force some iPhone apps to run in full-screen mode, but I honestly couldn’t care less about that. I have weeded out nearly all iPhone-only apps from my iPad, and the remaining few are perfectly usable as they are now.
There are quite a few notable jailbreak apps that are said to work just fine on the iPad. Sadly, none of the ones that offer compelling reasons to jailbreak, for me, are in that category as yet.
So, for me the JB arena for the iPad just feels too much like an alpha testing ground. I admire all the folks who are taking the time and making the effort to test this new environment. I just don’t feel I have time for that right now.