When third-party customization of your smartphone's OS isconcerned, it's usually Android, iOS' archrival, that gets the spotlight, with Apple's OS usually failing to get even an honorable mention. Of course, the reality is slightly different as 'jailbreaking' has been around just as long, offering iOS users somewhat similar tools and utilities.
Unfortunately, as many of you will know, Apple is known for its 'walled garden' style environment that surrounds its mobile OS and the plethora of value-added services around it. This has usually meant that, unlike Android, iOS was designed to block any attempts that could lead to the user taking a fuller extent of control over the system. Depending on where you stand, that can be both good or bad, but the fact remains that there's a pretty significant jailbreaking community that simply doesn't take 'No' for an answer.
How does jailbreaking work?
This incompatibility of stances, with either sides refusing to bulge, has lead to a sort of a conflict between the two parties, as you can probably imagine. Unfortunately for those of you looking to make full use of the hardware they paid for, it's Apple that has the upper hand, and by a long margin, too. That's because the only way for hackers to gain root access is to go through the very laborious and quite frankly – pretty overwhelming – task of scanning through millions of lines of codes, searching for a string that just might lead to an exploit. And if that wasn't challenging enough, ideally, hackers are also trying to find vulnerabilities in the hardware, as well.
Moreover, Apple has become quite aggressive, with quick patches, aimed to squash exploited vulnerabilities as soon as they pop up. Not only that, but each successive iOS version comes better and better guarded from exploits, not to mention that the hardware also goes through changes, which inevitably breaks some already established exploits.
Enough lecturing, can I jailbreak my freaking iPhone already?
So you had iOS 7 for a few days now, and you're already itching to do some (sweeping, of course) changes? Unfortunately, as of this writing, there simply isn't a properly functioning jailbreak for iOS 7, no matter which particular device you use. We say properly functioning, because there is an iOS 7 jailbreak available for iPhone 4 owners, though that one is as experimental (and broken) as those get, meaning that its use is strictly limited to developers and the like.
Progress, of course, is made, with several prominent Apple hackers working hard. Alas a fully functional jailbreak is no where in sight just yet, nor are there any guarantees there will be one – after all, the latest version of iOS 6 never was properly cracked, not to mention that the Apple-designed SoCs are also proving to be quite a hurdle.