It's been nearly three months since iOS 7's debut, yet there's no jailbreak available to let it run apps from outside Apple's App Store. It's also not clear when iOS 7 will get a formal jailbreak, as previous versions have. Perhaps frustrated by that delay, a group of folks have tried to crowdsource an incentives payment for the first open source (not simply the first) iOS 7 jailbreak that meets a set of prescribed conditions.
That effort hasn't done so well; in its first day, total contributions remain under $2,000. In addition, the notion of a financial incentive troubles Jay Freeman, the man (known as Saurik) behind the Cydia app store that is the best-known source of jailbreak apps for iOS.
"I've seen bounty programs in the world of Android devices, and they create a much more mercenary-like 'maybe if you pay me enough I'll get around to it' on the side of the jailbreak developers, and 'I put up good money for this, you took my bounty, now maintain your tool' on the side of users. This leads to really bitter and demotivating arguments," Freeman tells me.
Freeman contrasts that with the force behind iOS jailbreaking: "Jailbreaking has been about people scratching itches and open devices." In other words, it's about the intrinsic virtues of technical exploration and open systems. He notes that those who provide jailbreak tools get compensated by users, usually via after-the-fact donations that are more thank yous than incentives. Furthermore, those who get such accolades may not have even created a jailbreak but instead made it easy to use or otherwise more valuable -- which encourages the use of jailbreaking.