Jailbreaking an Apple Watch is a frequent subject of discussion among Apple fanatics. Some hackers have demonstrated partial jailbreaks that show how it’s possible to run a web browser on the Watch, but little concrete information is known about how the hacks would affect your Watch. Would your paired iPhone also need to be jailbroken? How would your jailbroken Watch communicate with your iPhone? If your remove or hid some apps, would there be ramifications to other complimentary apps?
What We Know So Far
So far there has been little progress on a full jailbreak. The first official jailbreak of Watch was by developer Comex. Last summer Comex uploaded a video showing his Watch running a full web browser. In the video you can see the Google home page on the Apple Watch screen. The user is able to zoom in and out the same way you would on an iPhone.
Shortly thereafter, hackers Steve Troughton-Smith, Adam Bell and Jay Freeman (saurik) hacked the Apple Watch to run UIKit & SceneKit apps on the Watch. Freeman developed Cydia.
Reasons to Jailbreak Watch
Why would users want to jailbreak watch? The main reason people want to hack their Apple Watch is because there are fewer third-party apps allowing for customization. Since Apple is traditionally unfriendly to customization, a full jailbreak tool is taking time to accomplish. One thing that would benefit users is the ability to delete the stock apps that Apple puts on the interface. Many users do not use “Stocks” and would just as soon hide the app from the screen, for example.
Watch only has two buttons, plus the movable digital crown. Some users have speculated that it could be fun to alter the functionality of the buttons. For example, pressing the side button brings up “Friends,” but could be altered so it launches a different app.
Time Travel is a fun and useful app for some people, but other Watch users don’t benefit from the app. Time Travel lets you go back and see events which happened in the past, and fast-forward to see what’s on tap in the upcoming days. A good Watch tweak would enable you to disable these features, especially since they take up storage space on your device.
Apple’s third-party watch faces still lag way behind Android devices, which allow users to fully customize their wearable faces. For Watch users, they are limited to the Apple-authorized third-party customizations as well as Apple’s new “Complications” feature. An amazing tweak would finally let Watch users pick and choose whatever watch face they desire.
Finally, silencing the alert functions of Watch and iPhone would be a boon for everyone. As the Watch is currently constructed, it receives a variety of alerts: email, text messages, phone calls, reminders. Since it is paired with your iPhone, that means you get double alerts. This leads to an annoying situation where you may be seeing text message alerts on your Watch face and also hearing them on your nearby iPhone. Although you can easily silence your phone, adding the ability to shut off iPhone alerts simply by clicking on your Watch would be a very welcomed jailbreak tweak.