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Jailbreak Your Old iPhone
Some refer to Apple’s ecosystem as a jail. Other call it a walled garden. Whatever you call it, Apple is known to carefully curate and control their ecosystem. If they don’t approve of an app, you can’t get it unless you jailbreak your iPhone. Jailbreaking basically enables root access to the file system. With this enabled, third-party app stores such as Cydia can offer apps and modifications well beyond the capabilities of standard iOS.
Jailbreaking isn’t a purely advantageous outcome. Apple is actually protecting their customers from malware. They also limit apps and modifications to iOS that could hinder performance and compromise security. But if you are jailbreaking an old iPhone there is less potential harm.
Keep in mind, jailbreaking allows third-party apps and modifications to iOS. Since your jailbroken device will probably be on the same WiFi network and use the same Apple ID for services, it could be a vector for malware. If you install the wrong app, your jailbroken iPhone could sync Contacts, Reminders and Calendar data with your legitimate iOS device, allowing a malicious user to access this data. I personally have never had a desire to jailbreak. I don’t consume pirated content (which is a popular reason for jailbreaking). I don’t really care about customization. If you do jailbreak an old iPhone and want to keep it secure, try using a different Apple ID. If possible, consider running the jailbroken device on a separate WiFi network.
Test iOS Upgrades or Betas on Your Old iPhone
When you upgrade to a new version of iOS, there is a short window to revert back to the previous version. After this time elapses, you are stuck with the new version of iOS. For the most part, I don’t regret upgrading to new versions of iOS. I am aware that some people have had serious issues, such as Bluetooth and WiFi problems. Some people need certain apps for work. If a new version of iOS causes these apps to crash, that could make it difficult to do your job.
You can use that old iPhone to test new versions of iOS. As long as it is not too old, you test the next version of iOS before upgrading your new iPhone. If you do this, make sure to test all of your critical apps after they have been updated.
If you are more adventurous, you can use an old iPhone to test beta versions of iOS. A beta version is a release candidate that is offered to beta testers. Testers use the pre-release version of iOS and report any bugs to Apple. For many developers, this is essential. They need to test their apps and make sure they work with the soon-to-be-released version of iOS. If not, they need to modify their apps and ensure that the new version is available the day iOS is released to the public. Even if you are not a developer, maybe you are adventurous or want to help Apple find defects. If you run the beta version of iOS on your old iPhone, your new iPhone will still have a stable version of iOS. (continue…)