Link

Yes, readers, you read that correctly. I’m going to praise an operating system that I have historically bashed.

And yes, this is a new post. I have returned from wherever I’ve been to write something new for Brood Coffee Talk*. Actually, I’ve been wanting to do just that for quite a while now, but haven’t been able to find the time.

It’s been about a month since I took a day off from work to drive my–for all intents and purposes–wife to the airport, flying back East for her father’s funeral. Soon afterwards I found myself at a nearby Fry’s Electronics, and after taking a few minutes to peruse their newspaper ad (posted on a wall by the entrance), I headed over to the tablet area.

The actual details of how I arrived at the Android tablet I ended up with are best left for another post. Let’s just say that the store was advertising a tablet for $47, were out of that one, and after much deliberation I settled on another that I’m certain was the better choice.

I bought a Hisense Sero 7 (refurbished) for $69. It’s a 7″ Android tablet with 4.2 Jelly Bean…it has a nice bright and sharp 1280×800 display, a mini HDMI port, it accepts a 32GB (maximum) mini-SD card, etc. You can read more about it here.

Anyway, as someone who has used Apple products fairly exclusively (I’ve also owned a BlackBerry 8300 Curve, an HP iPaq x3715, a Handspring Visor, and a Windows Mobile phone), there was a bit of a learning curve. I have friends that have Android devices, and I’ve played around a little with them…but, just in case no one has ever told you, having such a device for your very own is quite a bit different than that. For one thing, you probably won’t have them at your side every minute of every day to answer questions for you. And, believe me, I had a LOT of questions, mostly of the “how-do-you-do-THIS?” variety. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to figure out. It wasn’t long before I had added some of my favorite apps from my iPhone: Dropbox, avast! and Evernote. The tablet has a lot of useful apps already included…I also added ES File Explorer, textPlus and HP ePrint through the Google Play store.

How do I like it? I absolutely love it! While I won’t be trading in my iPhone for an Android one any time soon, I was and remain VERY impressed with the Android experience. (One reason is that there’s too much integration between iOS and OS X for such a switch, which is only going to get better with iOS 8 and OS X 10 [Yosemite]).

I paired it with a low-cost ideaUSA leather-styled clamshell case that includes a built-in mini-USB keyboard…I am using both to compose this WordPress post.

One of the reasons I thought this might be a good idea was an Andy Inhatko column I read about a year and a half ago. He’s an Apple guy, been one for many years. That’s why I was very surprised to hear–in his three-part article–that he preferred an Android phone to his iPhone. I wrote about that here, in this Brood Coffee Talk post.

Inhatko is no dummy. He knows what’s good and what’s…better. And, apparently, isn’t afraid to come right out and say it.

So, I did it. I gave the other side–“the Dark Side”–a try…and, I was very impressed. You Android owners–you’re really on to something, here.

How many of you would join me? Show some, uh, stones and go to the other side…? Hmmm? Try an Apple/iOS product?

You never know, you might actually LIKE it. I know that I did.

*******

*(I suppose at least some of the reason I stopped was in large part due to a certain burnout factor. Those of you that post regularly have my admiration–it’s harder than it looks.)

Advertisements

Longtime columnist/iPhone user Andy Inhatko switches to Android

It’s like Coca-cola users suddenly drinking Pepsi! Chevrolet owners switching to Ford! Budweiser drinkers guzzling Miller beer! Michigan fans now cheering for Ohio State!

Well, something like that.

One of the things that I’ve noted about iOS (Apple) users versus Android (Samsung, HTC to name a few) users is that while neither side likes the other, I suspect that each side secretly fears that the other one–just might be better. Thus, the war of words.

And, there’s some ignorance and hatred mixed in as well, outright contempt. It’s like the Communist/gay/liberal hate mongers of years ago (the last two, from far too recently)–“What do you mean? I’M not (a)_______! Wait a minute…why, I’ll bet it’s YOU! YOU are (a)__________!” Just insert the same word in both blanks to see what I mean.

So, word came down Tuesday that Chicago Sun-Times tech columnist and longtime Apple supporter Andy Inhatko switched from the iPhone brand he’s had for years…to Android!

THE HORROR!

So, how did we find out about this dire deed? Did someone spy him at an AT&T store buying a Samsung Galaxy S III? Was he seen using his computer to download apps from the Android Store? Was he seen actually USING an Android phone?

Nope. Simpler than that. He told us.

In a three-installment TechHive story appearing online today, Inhatko says there’s nothing wrong with his iPhone…and no, he doesn’t think Apple is failing to innovate and that Android has passed them by (hint: he says he still loves his iPad)–far from it, he says.

He says after using the Galaxy S III for several months, he just likes it…better.

And he’s always been an APPLE guy!

I can just hear the screams and moans of Apple fanboys and supporters everywhere. It’s like the three words I mentioned before. “We listened to the same music…wore the same clothes, ate the same food, had the same ideas…GEEZ, MAYBE I’M ALSO (A )______!” (Except–now insert the words “Android user” in there.)

STOP IT! IT’S A CHOICE! All of those words are CHOICES–that any of us can make…if we think that any of them are about us. You can’t catch it, it’s not like Cooties!

Anyway, Inhatko chose. And he chose Android. And, I gotta say…I read the article, and I agree with a lot of it. I’ve said for some time that if I found something I liked better, I also wouldn’t hesitate to switch. I’ve looked at Windows Phones for some time…but they’re not quite there yet. I said before that I’ve had access to an Android phone and was able to try it out…and while I wasn’t overly impressed, that was a few years ago, maybe today I’d feel differently. I will say that Android’s Swipe-style keyboard feature easily trumps the iPhone one. That alone would not be enough to make me switch, but it is something to think about. Like him, maybe given the choice I’d consider it.

An excerpt from Part One is below; Parts Two and Three are linked from the article–I’ve got links for them below as well.

Parts One and Two cover the good points of his Android phone, and why he prefers it. Part Three talks about the problems that many say exist with Android, and Inhatko explains why he doesn’t agree. He also describes the very real problems with the platform, and tells how to handle them. He’s also careful to point out not to read too much into this switch, he still uses and enjoys Apple products. Simply:

I’ve switched from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy S III because it’s the best there is at the kind of things I need my phone to do. And as soon as something comes along that’s better, I’ll switch again.

Here’s an excerpt from Part One of his article on why he switched:

About a month and a half ago, I walked into an AT&T Store, handed over my iPhone 4S, and asked to be switched from my unlimited iPhone data plan to a new LTE data plan.

I bought the first-generation iPhone and I bought it early, during a brief and wonderful window before AT&T realized that offering an unlimited data plan on what would prove to be the greatest mobile Internet device ever created was aterrible idea. Those of us who still had Unlimited iPhone data could keep it, so long as we didn’t make any changes to our service.

The LTE Data Plan, in contrast, includes a monthly cap of 5 GB.

Any mathematician will confirm that 5 GB is indeed lower than infinite GB. I’d hung on to that unlimited data plan like it was a rent-controlled apartment in midtown Manhattan. I kept it even when unlimited data meant that I couldn’t sign up for tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot features.

I’m telling you all of this to make an impression. I wouldn’t have given up unlimited data unless I could swap it for something I wanted even more than the ability to stream Netflix 24/7… something that hadn’t existed during my previous five years as an iPhone owner.

A great Android phone.

Things have changed

Here’s what changed: Android got great. The OS got great, and the hardware got great. One of the sweet benefits of being a tech columnist is that I get to try out every significant new phone for a month or so. Time after time last year, I’d pack up and send back another flagship Android phone, switch back to my iPhone exclusively, and spend the following few weeks missing a great feature of the Android phone’s hardware or OS that I’d come to rely on during my testing.

And so, by the end of the year, the idea of continuing to use an iPhone exclusively, or even as my primary phone, was no longer appealing. That’s why I willingly parted with my unlimited data plan. On my new LTE plan, I can swap my iPhone’s SIM with other phones and get the high speeds all of the other digital features of the AT&T network.

My positive reviews of new iPhones and new editions of iOS have always been sincere. Wait, “sincere?” Sometimes, they’ve been downright florid. I’ve been so enthusiastic that I’ve often been accused of saying those things because I’m an Apple fanboy.

I’ve always had a standard response. “In 2007, I switched to the iPhone because it was way better than the Windows Mobile device I was using at the time,” I would say. “If someday in the future somebody makes a phone and an OS that’s a better fit for me and my peculiar needs than the iPhone, I’ll make the exact same choice.”

Yep: that day has come. I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S III since the summer. Throughout 2012, I kept its SIM slot empty and I used it as a WiFi device, but that wasn’t good enough. When I switched my data plan in January, I imagined that I’d be shuttling my SIM between my iPhone 4S and the S3 several times a month.

Nope. There’s a SIM extraction tool in my wallet (tip: it’s the only way you can findthe damned thing when you need it) but the card stays in the S3.

Why would I put it back in the iPhone? My Galaxy S3 is working great, and with only one exception, I only notice improvements, not drawbacks. I made a slow, cautious, and careful examination of what I want and need from my phone, and at the end of this mobile warrior’s pilgrimage, I couldn’t escape the conclusion that the best phone for me is no longer an iPhone.

In this three-part epic, I’m going to walk you my decision. It’s the story of why Android 4.1 and the S3 got me to switch. No way is it an argument about why anybody else should drop their iPhones and switch to a flagship Android phone.

This isn’t the story about how Apple has lost its way and no longer innovates. It hasn’t and it still does. This is merely the story of one dude who got a new phone. Nonetheless, my tale presents a picture of the strengths of modern Android.

Follow the rest of the article here.

Here’s the link for Part Two.

Here’s the link for Part Three.

Control AA-powered devices using a smartphone with ingenious new invention

It’s said that the best answers are often the simplest ones. So, how much genius is involved in a small thin plastic case with tiny electronics embedded into it that fits around an AA battery, which is then inserted into a typical battery powered device, like a child’s toy or a baby monitor…and then allows that device to be turned on and off through a Bluetooth connection to an iOS or Android smartphone?

According to TechHive.com, it’s amazingly simple:

The Bluetooth people have been on the hunt for new and cool uses of the popular radio technology, and they have certainly found one in Tethercell. Tethercell is an app-enabled battery adapter that lets you control and monitor AA battery-operated devices using your smartphone or tablet.

The small company who made Tethercell, Los Angeles-based Tetherboard, launched its product as a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo.com. And last week, the product was announced as the winner of the “Prototype of the Year” award from Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Tethercell also won the overall prize of “Breakthrough of the Year” in Bluetooth innovation.

Part of Tethercell’s appeal is its simplicity. It’s just a small piece of plastic housing that fits around an AA battery. You need only put the Technocell around one of the batteries in the device you want to control; interrupting or restoring the power from one battery will control the operation of the device. Examples include baby monitors, bike lights, and battery-operated toys.

A mobile app (iOS or Android) running on your phone or tablet turns the battery-powered device on and off, or schedules times for the device to be on or off. Tethercell can also monitor battery’s power level and display it in the app.

[See the Tethercell demonstration video.}

Tetherboard will continue raising money on Indiegogo for another 48 days, but has already surpassed its $59,000 funding goal.

TETHERBOARD

A mockup of the Tethercell battery adapter with circuit board

In the meantime, the company continues to build new bells and whistles into its product.

Most recently the it added a “locate” feature to Tethercell that lets you find your battery-powered device by measuring the Bluetooth signals between your phone and the Tethercell inside the lost device.

Tetherboard’s Indiegogo funders will be the first to get their hands on a Tethercell. Then, the company hopes to package it and sell it widely. No word yet on retail pricing or distribution channels.

The biggest problem I see with this is the limited range of Bluetooth, typically 100 meters (about 328 feet). So, you couldn’t turn on the portable radio from across town so there would be music playing when you got home, for example.

Still, every idea can be a stepping stone to the next one. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Two possible iPhone 6 concepts by 3D rendering artist Hajek

Photographs of what could be a new iPhone design have recently appeared on several Internet sites.

Before much more is said about them, some things should be made clear: first, these are not from Apple or one of its suppliers and should in no way be considered official. Second, these are “3D renderings” based on the expected evolution of the iPhone by designer Martin Hajek. Third–at this point no one is suggesting that any of these photos is or could be a new or future iPhone. The illustrations should be considered something interesting to look at, renderings of what a future iPhone could possibly resemble.

iphone6-blanc-studio-01-580x435

Credit: Martin Hajek

The photos here are from slashgear.com, as is the following excerpt:

The photos of the iPhone 6 you’re about to see do not tread lightly with those of you who aren’t all about keeping their phone safely packed away from the concrete ground you tread on. It should also be made clear that the images you’re seeing are mixtures of reality and concept rendering, using a real finger to make you see the rest of the device as real – dust and reflections as well. Once you understand that, hear this: the iPhone 6 you see in less than a year may very well look exceedingly similar to these artist’s renditions.

Martin Hajek's concepts of an iPhone 6, or beyond

The iPhone 5 is in the center. Credit: Martin Hajek

Designer Martin Hajek was the illustrator of these images while NWE‘s Steve Hemmerstoffer helped with the concept design work. What you’ll find here is a collection of influences, starting with the iPod touch and the iPad mini. With both of these devices we’re seeing a bit of a return to round, and though the concept images here don’t show it, we wouldn’t be surprised if a design like this saw more than just black and white.

The biggest deal with this device is the fact that it’s got more of an “edge to edge” display than we’ve ever seen in the real world. Here with some form of what we understand to be next-to-impossible display casing technology, the iPhone 6 sits in a chassis with no border but the metal that holds the front display’s glass down above and below.

You’ll also notice the lack of a home button – a piece of hardware that’s been a staple in every iPhone and iPad to date. Here these forward-thinking minds have decided that, like the touchpad on your MacBook, you’ll be able to push down the bottom bit of the front of your iPhone 6 to get that same home button functionality. Intrepid iOS 6 users will know that a quick visit to Settings – General – Accessibility – AssistiveTouch will bring you the ability to skip the home button altogether on any iOS device you like. Perhaps it’s a pre-cursor to the absence of the button in the hardware as well?

The designers of this device have actually gone ahead and made another break in the way Apple releases mobile devices – or has over the past several years, anyway. They’ve created the iPhone 6, then for an added boost in space, they’ve created the iPhone Plus as well. Though the display sizes don’t much matter here in this completely unofficial concept stage, you may enjoy knowing that they’ve decidedly placed a 4-inch display (just like the iPhone 5) on the iPhone 6, and the iPhone Plus totes a 4.8-inch display.

iphone6-noir-04-580x435

Possible iPhone 6, front and back. Credit: Martin Hajek.

There’s a slideshow at dvice.com with more of Hajek and Hemmerstoffer’s images.

Microsoft’s Ballmer: There’s no need for either an iOS or Android version of Office apps

Some of you out there (and you know who you are) want to believe that there is an official version of Microsoft Office coming to iOS and Android in the near future.

Some of you even believe that it will be days, not weeks, before you can finally use the Office apps happily on your iPad, iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet.

Some recent comments from Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, might rain on your parade a little bit. He thinks it’s okay that you don’t have actual Office apps on your device…they’re available online at either Office on Demand for PC users, or on SkyDrive for those who have Macs.

From PCWorld.com:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has suggested that it isn’t necessary to offer app versions of the Office applications as people can access Office through the browser.

He is referring to Office on Demand (which allows a PC without Word, Excel, or PowerPoint installed to run those programs via Internet streaming). Mac users have to rely on the basic versions of the Microsoft web apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), which have available on SkyDrive since 2011.

These basic apps allow you to create and edit in Word, Excel and PowerPoint using the web-based versions of those apps, but the web apps aren’t as full-featured as the desktop versions.

Ballmer told Bloomberg Business Week: “We’re very happy with the product that we’re putting in market. It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we’ll see what we see in the future.”

A rumour from last year suggested that iOS versions of Office would ship in February or March this year. Yesterday another report claimed the iOS Office apps are “Coming Soon“.

It is thought that the real reason why Microsoft isn’t pushing to release Microsoft Office for iOS apps is Apple’s insistence that it take a 30 percent cut on sales and complications arising from Microsoft’s subscription model. There has been some speculation that the launch of the had been delayed due to disputes about the subscription process and Apple’s requirement that it takes 30 percent from the sale of the apps.

IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell thinks Microsoft would be unwise not to release iOS versions of Office: “The day they [Microsoft] introduce Office for iOS and Android, they’ll start printing money.”

However, he added: “If Microsoft doesn’t pull the trigger on Office for iOS and Android soon, it will miss the boat.”

It’s a tough call for Microsoft. If it releases the iOS and Android versions it loses its competitive edge that forces users to buy its own products to have access. On the other hand, those versions would bring in tons of cash, but it would likely have to give Apple its required 30% cut in sales volume.

It’s definitely a situation the software giant will be watching carefully.

Now appearing on your smartphone: a way to monitor and manage remote PCs

There is an old expression: “Work smarter, not harder.” Thanks to existing technology and a very productive smartphone app, you can do just that with your remote PCs–monitor and manage their functions, saving you the time spent visiting each one in turn to perform those tasks.

MMsoft Design Ltd. has created the PC Monitor app, which allows you the freedom to do what would before have been the stuff of science fiction movies.  The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8, and for the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. PCWorld.com has an excellent review of the process from start to finish (note that the instructions are for Windows users). An excerpt:

It’s 2013, and computing has entered a new age of mobility. If you’re still wasting time trudging over to your PCs to perform routine maintenance, check for software updates, and power down every night, you haven’t gotten with the program.

Businesses of all sizes need tools for remotely monitoring and maintaining multiple PCs simultaneously—and today we show PC enthusiasts and amateur efficiency experts (read: lazy people) how to use these tools for their own purposes.

If you have a smartphone in your pocket, a data plan, and a few computers that need monitoring, you can set up a convenient PC remote management system that lets you check on your PCs from anywhere, saving you time, money, and (potentially) your business.

Get started

A mind-boggling array of remote PC management software is available, but this guide focuses on installing and using an excellent tool called PC Monitor from MMSoft Design Ltd. PC Monitor is designed to help you administer a few systems from any smartphone or tablet that has a live Internet connection. PC Monitor is available for mobile devices running Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, or Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating systems. Companion applications for the PC are available for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

PC Monitor is free to use on up to three PCs. MMSoft will sell licenses to end users who want to monitor more than three systems from a single account; the company also markets its PC Monitor Enterprise Server, which can be hosted on an internal network. The free mobile app and its PC counterparts are full-featured and immensely useful, but only on systems that maintain an active connection to the Web; both the PC and the mobile components of PC Monitor require access to MMSoft’s servers in order to interface with each other.

Installing and configuring PC Monitor takes only a few steps—and if you don’t customize the notifications, rules, and monitors, you can complete the installation in minutes. For our description of the process, we use an Android-based tablet and Windows 7-based PCs, but the steps are virtually identical across all platforms.

Install PC Monitor on your systems

When you launch PC Monitor Manager for the first time, it will prompt you to create a new account.

To install PC Monitor on your desktop, point your browser to the PC Monitor website, open the download section, and download the correct version of the tool for your operating system. When the download is complete, double-click the file to launch the installer, and then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. The default setup options should be sufficient for everyone. The application is very small (less than 9MB) and consumes minimal resources. You’ll need to install the appropriate application on each of the systems you want to monitor.

After the installation is complete, run the PC Monitor Manager application. The first time you launch the PC Monitor Manger, it will prompt you to create an account. That account is crucial for connecting your PCs to your mobile devices (or for monitoring your systems through PC Monitor’s Web interface, accessible from MMSoft’s website). After you submit your contact information, MMSoft will send a validation code to your email address. Enter the validation code to authenticate the account, click OK to close the window, and then click OK in the PC Monitor Manager application window to log in and start the PC Monitor service.

On the initial account screen, you can enter a computer name and a group name for the system. By default the full Windows computer name is used, along with the group name ‘Default’.

More information on setting up, running and connecting the PC Monitor software can be found by clicking on the link provided above.

Macworld article: ‘Why I continue to jailbreak’ iOS devices

A few days ago we talked about how it’s now illegal to jailbreak your iPhone. A recent article in MacWorld by Senior Editor Chris Breen serves up a confession, of sorts: he’s been jailbreaking phones for years–he’s a veteran of it. And, he’s already applied a new jailbreaking procedure to both his iPhone 5 and his iPad.

(In the previous post I said the term was used to remove the electronic binding that ties a phone to a single cellular service provider. In actuality, Apple’s iOS devices are more properly the target of jailbreaking.)

Wikipedia defines it this way:

iOS jailbreaking is the process of removing the limitations on Apple devices running the iOS operating system through the use of software and hardware exploits – such devices include the iPhoneiPod touchiPad, and second generation Apple TV. Jailbreaking permits root access to the iOS operating system, allowing the download of additional applications, extensions, and themes that are unavailable through the official Apple App Store. Jailbreaking is a form of privilege escalation, and the term has been used to describe privilege escalation on devices by other manufacturers as well. The name refers to breaking the device out of its “jail”, which is a technical term used in Unix-style systems, for example in the term “FreeBSD jail“. A jailbroken iPhoneiPod touch, or iPad running iOS can still use the App Store, iTunes, and other normal functions, such as making telephone calls.

Unlike rooting an Android device, jailbreaking is necessary if the user intends to run software not authorized by Apple. The legality of jailbreaking depends on countries and conditions.

Now, before you think poorly of Mr. Breen, he provides a valid argument for his illicit activity:

Much as I think of myself as an honorable person, I admit that I occasionally break the rules when I believe that doing so harms no one and enhances my life. Take jailbreaking—the process of getting complete access to an intentionally hampered device—for example.

Earlier this week, evasi0n, an untethered jailbreak for iOS 6 and 6.1, was released. (This is the first iOS 6 jailbreak that “sticks” after you restart your device. Previous jailbreaks required that you cable your device to your computer to rebreak it each time you restarted the device—thus the “tethered” versus “untethered” designation.) And, once again, I weighed the benefits and risks of jailbreaking my current devices.

A necessary evil

I’m a veteran jailbreaker—stretching back to the days when the term had yet to be coined and you hacked into the original iPhone via the Mac’s Terminal application. My friend Ben Long and I broke into the phone for one simple reason: to capture screenshots of the iPhone’s interface for a book I was writing. Years later, Ben and I used available tools to jailbreak an iPad so that we could project its entire interface for a Macworld Expo session we were conducting. In each case, a jailbreak was necessary because Apple didn’t provide the features required to accomplish these perfectly reasonable tasks.

That said, it would be inaccurate to claim that I stopped at these purely necessary uses. In those earlier days, people developing apps for jailbroken iOS devices had some terrific ideas—enabling you to do things such as tether other devices to the phone for free, block unwanted SMS messages, remotely browse the contents of your device, and perform tasks over a 3G network that were normally restricted to Wi-Fi. Jailbreak apps also provided features such as an endless supply of themes, a single drop-down menu for configuring common settings, and notifications. And although jailbreaking is not the same thing as unlocking, a jailbreak was necessary if you wished to unlock your iPhone (a process that the Librarian of Congress recently determined to be illegal). When I found a feature helpful, I adopted it.

Breen says the main reason for his original jailbreaks were to provide the iPhone and iPad with some features he needed in the course of his work as a Macworld contributing writer and editor. He adds this:

Yet when I saw that evasi0n was in the wild, I didn’t hesitate to jailbreak my iPhone and iPad. Why?

I’m now too old for the leather jacket and hipster language that would define me as a rebel. And I don’t hold any truck with those who think they’re sticking it to The Man by skirting a device’s protections. I jailbreak to gain features that make my iPhone and iPad more useful. Specifically, I jailbreak to add a couple of forbidden apps.

The first is Ryan Petrich’s $4 DisplayOut (available through the Cydia store). This is the app I once used to project a device’s interface when Apple didn’t provide that functionality. Although I no longer need it for that purpose, it offers one feature that I can’t live without when I’m giving an iOS-based presentation: the ability to display finger taps.

My iOS devices are not jailbroken, nor do I foresee them becoming that way any time soon. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I am the holier-than-thou morally upstanding do-gooder sort. I’ve just never seen a need to do it, never even gave it much thought…unlike Breen, who has real reasons to need to do that. And, if the legality was all that was holding me back, I’d point out that it only became illegal last month. I’d had plenty of time before to do it.

Breen closes with these thoughts:

In August 2010 I considered the pros and cons of jailbreaking your iPhone, and my feelings on the subject have changed little in two and a half years. As I’ve described, doing it has clear benefits for me. But clearly this is edge-case use, and jailbreaking isn’t for everyone. When you jailbreak your iOS device, you void your Apple warranty, you have to be more careful about the apps you install, and you risk a less stable device.

My most fervent hope is that iOS (and media license agreements) will evolve to the point where I find jailbreaking entirely unnecessary. Until that time comes, however, I’m a jailbreaker.