Saurik Talks MobileSubstrate, 64-Bit Jailbreak Tweaks And More

One of the good things to happen over the holidays is that of the iOS 7 jailbreak. For many users of iDevices, it was a celebratory moment. However, users with latest devices didn’t rejoice much. The reason being the jailbreak tweaks don’t work well with the iDevices powered by an Apple A7 Chip.

Progress has been made to ally these concerns with Jay Freeman, founder of Cydia, working on MobileSubstrate. MobileSubstrate, as the tech community would know, is a framework for code modification. It is heavily used in jailbreak tweaks.

This modification has become necessary on the account that previous tweaks are mostly compatible with 32 bit technology. The newer version of MobileSubstrate would be able to deal with 64 bit architecture, and developers would be able to adapt their tweaks as per the newer version.

Basically, the Substrate can be compared to platform whose task is to inject code. In this case, the code is injected into another process. This injected code can modify the host program. A tweak would then be considered as an ‘extension’ to this procedure.

As compared to a substrate extension, a jailbreak tweaks works as package that would change an iOS plist file. This is one main reason why Cydia tweaks have been able to work on 64 bit devices while others haven’t been.

Freeman spoke to me about the technical details of this change:
All of Apple’s programs are [now] 64-bit and will require 64-bit extensions. Luckily, an extension can trivially be both 32-bit and 64-bit in the same way apps can, but this will require the developer to recompile them.
He also elaborated about what role MobileSubstrate plays in this process:
Substrate is a platform for injecting code into another process, and a library that injected code can use to modify its host program. Any “tweak” that is in fact a “substrate extension” (or anything attempting to be remotely as powerful as a substrate extension) will have to be recompiled.
No estimated timeline has been given for the release of this tweak and Freeman has shied from giving one. However, something can be expected soon in this regard.


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