A China-based team is the first to jailbreak Apple iOS 9 – 28 days after the iPhone and iPad software’s official release, the Pangu team announced that it had cracked the platform’s security and made it possible for users to enjoy unfettered control over their devices.
The jailbreak, which is available for free from Pangu’s website, is only available to Windows users so far, although Mac support is thought to be forthcoming. Usage is relatively straightforward – download the 70MB software package, run it, connect the device to be jailbroken and follow the instructions. (The full instructions, which contain a couple of important wrinkles, are available from Reddit’s r/jailbreak section here.)
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The Pangu team is a fixture of the jailbreaking scene – they were also the first to crack iOS 7.1 and iOS 8. The month-long time frame for the public release is somewhat unexpected, given the worries that the new “rootless” security model present in iOS 9 provoked in the iOS hacker community.
Jailbreakers, in general, perform the process in order to get the option to use non-Apple-approved apps on their iPhones and iPads. Apple’s content ecosystem is highly regimented, and iOS keeps users locked into it at the operating system level. But it can be a headache for IT departments, as mobile device management (MDM) experts generally consider it a serious security threat.
Jailbreaking is considered a somewhat more arduous process than the equivalent for Android devices – called “rooting” – thanks to the fact that jailbreaking voids device warranties. That said, it’s worth pointing out that there are generally ways to reset everything to factory settings if service from Apple is needed.