Can You Jailbreak the Apple Watch?

You can, but it doesn't do much for the average user

Yes, it's possible to jailbreak an Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Jailbreak Examples

In 2018, a hacker released an Apple Watch jailbreak, but it doesn't offer much usability for average users. It is more for developers interested in taking a look under the hood. The jailbreak is compatible with watchOS 4.1 and Apple Watch Series 3. It consists of a few read and write privileges and features.

In 2017, hacker Max Bazaliy demonstrated a watchOS 3 jailbreak at a convention but did not release the files to the public. With Apple Watches having moved past that operating system version, it's outdated technology.

In all cases, the jailbreaks include no App Store functionality, so the potential for tweaking is pretty limited and far removed from the experience users enjoy with a jailbroken iPhone. 

With many hackers working on a solution, it seems plausible that Apple Watches will eventually be as hackable as an iPhone. The only real issue here is that it's challenging to downgrade your Apple Watch firmware compared to doing so with your iPhone or iPad, which makes switching between jailbroken software and the official build difficult and off-putting. 

Why Would I Want to Jailbreak an Apple Watch?

Jailbreaking opens up an Apple device's otherwise closed ecosystem, which offers quite a few advantages. The reliability of using the App Store means you know all the apps are safe, but it can also restrict a certain amount of creativity.

  • Jailbroken iPhones have access to a different app store: Cydia is an unofficial App Store with more apps than the official one. 
  • A jailbroken device offers more customization options: These can include being able to tweak the appearance of their iPhone more so than through conventional means. It'd be helpful to be able to do something similar on your Apple Watch, potentially giving you more power and control through your watch faces.
  • User interface adjustments such as new widgets: One such widget could allow you to set specific alerts tied into contacts or set up watch faces with practical purposes and good looks.

Why Would I Not Want to Jailbreak My Apple Watch?

Jailbreaking any device is risky. It can void your warranty and potentially 'brick' your Apple Watch so that it does not work anymore. 

There are also risks with trusting custom-made software. A piece of jailbreaking software could potentially contain malware or other dangers for your Apple Watch. Or, the apps you download through it could be broken and not work correctly. Anything other than the official software runs the risk of being unstable. 

What Is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking is hacking or modifying a device to run unauthorized software or apps. Typically, jailbreaking is referred to when discussing 'hacking' an iPhone or iPad. A jailbreak means you can do things on your iPhone that you couldn't previously do, like tweak settings, customize your phone more extensively, or install apps unavailable on the App Store.  

Jailbreaking is relatively simple for the iPhone, but the process is much more complex and less successful for Apple Watch hacks. 

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