We have been eagerly waiting for the iOS 7 jailbreak, ever since Apple released the latest iOS software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in September.
They now have an added incentive to release the jailbreak for iOS 7, not that they needed one. A new website has been launched called isios7jailbrokenyet to crowdfund the Device Freedom prize for the hacker or hackers who release a jailbreak for iOS 7 first.
The folks behind the website explain why they are doing it:
We strongly believe that users should have the freedom to control their devices. We wanted an open source jailbreak for iOS 7, giving users the capability to install what they want on their own devices and the ability to audit the code they’re using to do so. Jailbreaking is also critical to ensuring that the disabled are able to use their mobile devices as easily as possible. So we started a prize for the first people who can do it.
They have also given the criteria for winning the prize:
– Work for iPhones (including 4S, 5, 5c, 5s) running iOS 7.
– Support the latest current version of iOS (7.04).
– Be untethered and accessible to the average user.
– Be publicly released and available free of charge.
– Be released under one of the OSI-approved licenses.
Some high profile people like Kyle Wiens of iFixit, Cory Doctornow, co-editor of Boing Boing and a DMCA activist are part of the panel that will review the submissions to ensure they meet the criteria for the prize.
Currently, just over $2000 has been collected for the prize. While it may not be a big incentive for Evad3rs’ team as they probably receive a lot more in donations when they release a jailbreak, it could be an incentive for other hackers to work on the jailbreak.
You can make a donation to the prize pool by visiting isios7jailbrokenyet.com to make it even more attractive for a hacker to release a jailbreak for iOS 7.
Jay Freeman aka saurik, founder of Cydia has an interesting take on the launch of the website to take donations upfront for the jailbreak. He had this to say on reddit:
The primary problem I have with this website is that it attempts to change the dynamics from one of “people who do things that are fun to make devices more open” to one of “people who do things to win cash prizes”. Meanwhile, it changes the dynamics in the minds of the people contributing: normally, people contribute after the fact to the teams that built something that they found of value; under the model of this website, people contribute ahead of time, and then hope that the thing that is released works for their specific device (or even “runs on their computer”, etc.), and if it doesn’t they are kind of out of luck.
You can check out the entire reddit thread here. While I agree with saurik’s views, I am not entirely opposed to it. They are various reasons people are motivated to release a jailbreak, some do it for the fun of it (intrinsic motivation), and some do it for the money or donations (extrinsic motivation). If the prize money can help in encouraging more hackers to work on the jailbreak then there is higher probability of success. My only concern is the motivation of the person behind the project, which as saurik points out may be to test a crowd funding platform.