That was quick: Chinese developers have released software that allows users to jailbreak their iPhones, iPads and iPods running the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 8.
The software comes from the Pangu developer team, the same group responsible for jailbreaking iOS 7, considered a notable technical feat because Apple's operating systems have been getting harder to unlock.
The jailbreak process removes software restrictions of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, allowing users to run custom apps, tweaks and tools that aren’t allowed on the App Store. At the moment, Pangu 8 for iOS 8.0 and 8.1 jailbreak is available only as a tool for Windows. It's also missing key features, such as Cydia, an alternative app repository used to install various third-party tools and tweaks.
But the Pangu team provides basic access to the iPhone file system through SSH, a network protocol, which allows developers and users to access the iPhone’s file system remotely.
Following the release of the Pangu 8 iOS 8 jailbreak, Cydia developer, Jay Freeman (@Saurik) commented on Reddit that he plans to get Cydia working on iOS 8. Though Freeman didn’t provide a specific timeline for a Cydia update, the Pangu jailbreak team plans to add support for the app repository upon its release.
The Pangu iOS 8.0 and 8.1 jailbreak is compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Mini 2, Mini 3, iPad, iPad Air and Air 2.
Since many of the standard tools for users aren’t available at the moment for iOS 8, there isn’t too much of an incentive to jailbreak for most people. The jailbreak is of most benefit to developers and those looking to tinker with the iOS file system. On the other hand, it’s unknown when Apple will push an iOS 8.1.x update that will close the security exploits and holes used by the Pangu jailbreak.
Whether you choose to jailbreak iOS 8 using Pangu or keep the operating system stock, making a backup of your device through iCloud or iTunes is highly suggested.
Should you go through with the jailbreak, the Pangu team recommends that users disable the passcode lock and Find My iPhone. Users who have updated iOS 8 over the air should restore their device if the jailbreak tool fails.
To download Pangu, users can visit the official website. The tool is available only for Windows and is in Chinese. However, a Mac and English version is expected to be released in the near future.
The Pangu team released the Pangu 8 jailbreak 33 days after the iPhone 6 launch and 35 days after the launch of iOS 8. While the speed of the release was nearly three times as fast as the first jailbreak for the iPhone 5S, the record for the fastest jailbreak after a hardware release belongs to Nicholas Allegra, also known as Comex, a developer who released his Spirit jailbreak for the iPad only three days after its release in 2010.
The record for fastest jailbreak following a major software update belongs to the iPhone Dev Team and its Redsn0w jailbreak, which was released the same day iOS 6.0 was launched in 2012.