Bad news jailbreakers, “very little hope” of WinterBoard being compatible with iOS 7


With iOS 7, Apple’s design team has almost completely ripped apart iOS as we knew it and stuck it all back together in a much more colorful and intuitive fashion. Still, there are some who won’t be and aren’t fans of iOS 7’s new design language. Many of those will jailbreakers, looking forward to the day that an awesome team of hackers delivers a tool to enable them to do whatever they like with their phones.

One of the most popular – and often essential – tools for jailbreakers is WinterBoard. For those unfamiliar with the jailbreak scene, it’s the app that allows you to install custom themes to change the look of everything from the lock screen to app icons and status bar information. In fact, without it, I would have seen almost no point in jailbreaking whatsoever.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like it’s going to play nice with iOS 7 even if someone does figure out how to jailbreak it. Saurik posted on Reddit recently:

At this time, given that WinterBoard recieved no third-party help during all of iOS 6, I have very little hope in being able to support iOS 7. I need other people to tell me what to do to the engine: I am not a theme artist, I am just one of the few developers sympathetic to the needs of theme artists.

However, I operate in a vacuum: theme artists don’t talk to me, and when they do they almost never talk about WinterBoard’s theme engine: instead, they complain about how their theme isn’t getting enough exposure in Cydia, or about some UI element. The closest was king_of_hill in April, but almost everything he wanted were complex feature requests (and the key ones were already taken care of by “use Cydget instead of WinterBoard to do what you are doing: WinterBoard isn’t designed for that”).

What I need are concrete bug reports (with screenshots and exact filenames) and core theming help (such as information on artwork files, or “car files”, at the level of the loader). If iOS 7 is even themable at all, and assuming WinterBoard can’t already theme parts of it, it is likely that WinterBoard will never manage to support those components as I doubt seriously that after four years theme artists will start taking the engine seriously.

Virtually all popular themes are run through WinterBoard, so it goes without saying that this will be a massive blow to the jailbreak scene.

Via: iDB

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  • When I was jailbreaking and making themes (icons, UI), the Winterboard was so much pain in the arse to use. It was buggy, it was eating too many resources, it took a lot of work arounds to make things work (i.e. there was no resources for artists to figure what’s the size of certain UI elements and it was hard to figure how to make things appear on different place – like how to make lockscreen slider appear lower.) Everything I was doing was in an attempt-error fashion. There was little or no support from engineers, they didn’t help us to figure out how the UIKit works, we had to do it on our own. I emailed Saurik couple of times, reporting bugs and glitches, but didn’t get any answer, or once, I suppose, I have got reply that he is acknowledged of the issue and working on it and suggested workaround (the update never came). So after a year-two of jail breaking and pirating software and working closely with hackers as some apps had additional protections (I was young and didn’t have a credit card and/or money to be able to buy AppStore account), I have finally got a bit of exposure and my first iOS app design project. I stopped jail breaking because it was too much of struggle (you could not update to the latest iOS without your jb being lost or if the buggy jb was working, most of the jb tweaks were buggy and crashing the springboard), I have decided to stop jail breaking to have an experience like most of the iOS users, to understand them and be able to build apps that feel native. Also being able to update at any time without any struggle and without having to tar -cf everything, then transfer it to my Mac through sftp, restoring, jailbreaking, installing sftp, transferring tars and tar -xf everything and moving it through iFile (which I had for free as I was one of the guys who were translating it to foreign languages) is a nice perk. I also have more time to focus on my work and yeah, I spend hundreds of dollars a month on Apps, Music, Movies + Netflix and Rdio; but it is worth it. I am glad to support artists and developers, especially the indie ones. Also another perk to have in exchange for no jailbreak is more security (there was a sh-tload of viruses/malware that effed up your device – i.e. the russian Messages app crack that erased your device and with no backup you were f*cked, had to DFU restore for the device to boot up, or the another virus that was spread as most of the smtp users were dumb f*cks and didn’t change their root and user passwords. I am glad to have a native experience on iOS. I love using my Mac, it lets me focus on work without having to dig in regedit, optimize the system, format the had every so often, etc. – like I had to on windows for over 10 years. That’s why I got Mac to have a smooth great experience and be able to focus on work, sometimes entertainment. A jail broken iOS I would compare to a windows pc or a buggy Linux distro (more of – the use of aptitude, pkg and repo management make it look like Debian or Ubuntu). I rather exchange digging into the system and to be able to theme icons that bug the hell out of my OCD and perfectionism for a native and smooth user experience.

  • Binrylorhipstarr

    It seems more like he was bitching about a lack of help more than saying it couldn’t potentially work with iOS 7