Hackers have been successful in creating a HomePod jailbreak, however, it is unclear what it can be used for as the smart speaker is very limited in what it can do.
checkra1n HomePod jailbreak is now available
The HomePod jailbreak, announced by L1ngL1ng on Twitter, only works with the original HomePod but not with the HomePod mini yet. The tool used is checkra1n, which is popular for working with iOS 14, and the latest iOS devices with bootrom exploits. A jailbreak lets users gain complete root access over a device, which is exactly what the screenshot posted by L1ngL1ng shows. However, it is not obvious as to what this jailbreak would be useful for.
Hello Homepod, meet checkra1n.
— L1ngL1ng (@_L1ngL1ng_) November 19, 2020
HomePod primarily acts as an audio receiver, where the source is usually an iOS device or any service tied to the smart speaker via the iOS device. Many commentators on Reddit have shared their wishlist of features that could be possible via the HomePod jailbreak:
- Customer colors on the screen
- Switch to Google Assistant instead of Siri
- Change the “Hey Siri” keyword to something else
- Use it as just a Bluetooth speaker
- Third-party music streaming services (Apple has introduced support via a software update)
Considering the fact that HomePod is an expensive speaker, it does not make sense to buy it in the first place, if the above features are required. There are actually good Google Assistant compatible smart speakers available in the market that can do these things and more.
If you are interested in this checkra1n HomePod jailbreak, we have good news for you. checkra1n 0.12.1 beta is available with partial support for the original HomePod. Here is what the release notes for the update say:
Partial support for the original HomePod (CLI only, tested to work with audioOS 13 and 14)
We must caution you: just because you can jailbreak your HomePod, does not mean you should. Unless there are actually useful use cases available for a HomePod jailbreak, and it is clear that users can easily restore or downgrade firmware in case of any issue, it is better to be careful.