Amazon and Apple are waging a secret war against people who want to jailbreak their e-readers, smartphones and tablets. The two companies are making it near impossible for hackers to augment the software or to add in new features.
Amazon has pulled out all the stops in a recent firmware update for the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Basic Touch and the Paperwhite 2. The new 5.60 firmware that was released last year prevents anyone from changing their screensaver or to add in custom functionality.
Apple has cumulatively made it harder for people to jailbreak anything with iOS 8. Although there has been some breakthroughs recently, but the sad truth is none of the methods were designed for public consumption. This all might change with the advent of iOS 9 and Mac OS 10.11, jailbreaking might be a thing of the past.
Apple is currently designing a new security system called Rootless, which is being described internally as a “huge,” kernel-level feature for both OS X and iOS. To prevent malware, increase the safety of extensions, and preserve the security of sensitive data, Rootless will prevent even administrative-level users from being able to access certain protected files on Apple devices.
Rootless will be a heavy blow to the jailbreak community on iOS, though it can supposedly be disabled on OS X. Even with this Rootless feature coming to OS X, sources say that the standard Finder-based file system is not going away this year.
Third party app markets like Cydia might be hit the hardest with the lack of viable jailbreak solution for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. This market relies on tools such as Pangu or evasi0n for users to be able to access pirated apps and other content that Apple denied for inclusion in their own app store.
Amazon and Apple are certainly leading the charge with making it has hard as possible for people to jailbreak their devices. Will this become a larger trend, where the process of rooting will be abolished altogether?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.