Some exciting news for jailbreakers today! The Pangu team announced via Twitter that next week they intend releasing a jailbreak for Apple TV 4 running tvOS 9.0 or 9.0.1. It was about three years ago that we last saw a jailbreak for Apple TV.
This jailbreak is mainly aimed at security researchers and jailbreak developers because it will only provide SSH access with no GUI-based features. But this is still great news, because it opens the door for improvements and new modifications to the new Apple TV 4. For example, apart from enjoying the new features, jailbreak developers might now be able to provide a way for users to theme the interface of the Apple TV 4.
This new Pangu jailbreak only supports Apple TV’s running tvOS 9.0 or 9.0.1 so you’re out of luck if your Apple TV has already been updated to tvOS 9.1 or 9.1.1. As with iOS, unfortunately you can’t downgrade to an older version of tvOS.
If you don’t know which firmware version your Apple TV 4 is running then it’s a simple matter of going to ‘General Settings’ and checking it out.
Either way, this is very exciting news and it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of tweaks jailbreak developers will develop for the 4th generation Apple TV.
Apple TV 4 Jailbreak
We’ve thought for a while now that it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a jailbreak for Apple TV 3 any time soon; but on the other hand we’are still hoping it might be a possibility to jailbreak the new Apple TV 4.
It’s true that jailbreaks were possible for the first two generations of Apple TV, but we haven’t yet seen a jailbreak for the Apple TV 3. This leads to the question: ‘Will we ever see a jailbreak for the Apple TV 3‘? Twitter’s nitoTV, otherwise known as Kevin Bradley, wonders if anyone talented enough would even care about jailbreaking the Apple TV 3. This comment’s probably not unexpected, particularly knowing that the new Apple TV fourth-generation model will soon be releasing.
I hope we can convince @firecore why a jailbreak will still be essential for ATV4 to be useful ???? otherwise ATV2 is end of days for ATV jb.
— kb (@nitoTV) October 2, 2015
The most interesting aspect of the Apple TV 4 is that it’s running on a brand-new operating system. The earlier models of Apple TV ran a modified iOS version, but the new Apple TV is running what’s known as tvOS: this could still just be iOS but there’s no doubt that Apple has made considerable changes to the software side of this new model, particularly when you consider that it’s got an all-new user interface, making it highly likely that there are many changes in the code.
This new Apple TV is a complete overhaul from the previous model: it comes with motion sensors, a new remote that comes inclusive of a built-in trackpad, and a Siri button so you can do voice searches on the new box. Siri is one of the great features of the Apple TV; making it easier and quicker to search for a TV show or movie. With Siri you can even be quite specific and search for movies with a certain star – like Tom Cruise.
The user-face has also been changed; coming with a UI resembling iOS 9, but with a simpler, flatter appearance. In addition, the Apple TV has an all-new App Store for users to download third-party games and apps.
And now that we’re talking about games, there’s another new element to the Apple TV: you can turn your set-top-box into a kind-of casual gaming console. You can either buy a third-party gamepad for more control or just use the remote that’s included.
All these great new features have users getting pretty excited about the possibility of a jailbreak for Apple TV 4, particularly with the App Store where it’s possible that we’ll soon see a Cydia store release for the Apple TV. This will allow users to potentially install jailbreak tweaks on the Apple TV, not forgetting Apple TV apps that normally Apple would not allow on their streaming box.
And, there’s the possibility that we’ll see the installation of WinterBoard themes, which would allow jailbreak users to customize the interface of their Apple TV.
Future Apple TV Jailbreak
Naturally, all the above will depend on what jailbreak developers discover and are able to exploit with tvOS. In the past, there really wasn’t much you could do with Apple TV jailbreaks, not when compared to the iPad and iPhone. You were certainly able to install different video players allowing you to play different types of video file format, previously disallowed by Apple, but that was perhaps the main feature users could take advantage of.
That might not be the case with the Apple TV 4, because it’s quite possible that a jailbreak for the new Apple TV might bring capabilities to the set-top box that are at least equal to that of the iPad and iPhone.
However, at this point there’s been no talk of a jailbreak for Apple TV 4, even though many developers currently have the new set-top box in their possession. The reason might be that it’s quite possible most jailbreak developers don’t have the new Apple TV, and probably won’t be able to get their hands on one until it’s been officially released.
Currently there’s been no official release date for the Apple TV, except that Apple said their new box will probably release sometime this fall, but there are many, many people who are hoping there will be an announcement very soon.