As some of you may be aware, there is currently no full jailbreak available for iOS 15.2 up to iOS 16.1.2 on the A12+ devices (iPhone XS and up).
If you have one of these newer devices, you’re out of luck in terms of jailbreaking with a traditional jailbreak tool.
However, just a month or so ago, security researcher Ian Beer released a new kernel exploit called MacDirtyCow which is powerful enough to allow some tweaking on iOS.
Can MacDirtyCow exploit be used for a full jailbreak?
Unfortunately, the way MacDirtyCow works makes it impossible to use for a full iOS jailbreak like Unc0ver or Taurine, but it’s enough to allow some modifications to some of the iOS files.
This is enough to be able to create at least some cool tweaks that don’t require a jailbreak at all and work on all devices, new or old.
What is Cowabunga?
Cowabunga is a tweaking application developed on top of MacDirtyCow and the TCCD exploit. It allows iOS 14.0 – 16.1.2 tweaking on all devices.
The tweaks Cowabunga can apply without a jailbreak are quite numerous given the weak exploit it’s based on.
Cowabunga comes as an IPA application that you can sideload with AltStore, Sideloadly, or your favorite tool, and once installed, you can use it like a jailbreak to deploy tweaks and themes directly from it.
TIP: With Cowabunga, you can also install real iOS themes / custom icons without a jailbreak and without using shortcuts!
Will Cowabunga be detected by jailbreak detection inside my apps?
Most applications nowadays, especially banking apps, social media, and games, have some sort of jailbreak detection mechanism in place.
This mechanism usually blocks jailbroken devices from using the application. Most of these apps cite security reasons (which is not at all accurate).
Cowabunga is not detected by any of the jailbreak detection mechanisms making it one of the stealthiest ways to install tweaks and themes on your device while still being able to use any app you want.
What tweaks can you apply with Cowabunga?
The beauty of Cowabunga is how it makes so much from so little. Using the relatively weak MacDirtyCow exploit, Cowabunga can tweak the following on iOS 14.0 up to iOS 16.1.2, on all devices:
- Hide dock
- Hide home bar
- Hide folder backgrounds
- Disable folder background blur
- Disable the app switcher blur
- Hide CC Module Backgrounds
- Hide Notification Banner Background
Application Icon Themes
- Importing folders of app icons
- Custom themes downloadable from Cowabunga just like in Cydia.
- No WebClips!
- Custom sound effects for phone charging, camera shutter, recording, etc.
- You can upload your own sounds (nearly every audio format allowed!)
Status Bar Tweaks
- Change carrier name
- Change time text
- Change breadcrumb text
- Hide many icons in the status bar such as the battery, WiFi, location, Bluetooth, etc.
Passcode screen tweaks
- You can customize each passcode key.
- You can import passcode key files (.passthm) from TrollTools.
- Importing locks from TrollLock
- Custom number of frames + custom animation speeds.
Additional tweaks from Cowabunga
- Install custom fonts!
- Add a Lock Screen Footnote!
- Notification Badges Changer (iOS 14-15 ONLY)
- Springboard Colors
- Disable shortcut banners
- Turn shortcuts into app clips
- Supervise Device for DelayOTA Upgrades.
- Change system version (shows in settings, iOS 15+)
- Enable iPhone X Gestures
- Enable Dynamic Island (iOS 16+)
- Numeric Wi-Fi signal strength
ALL of these tweaks and themes can be applied on any iOS device, new or old, without being jailbroken as long as you run iOS 16.1.2 or lower, and no jailbreak detection app will ever be triggered.
Is Cowabunga safe for my iPhone?
Cowabunga is considered safe as the changes to the system are only in memory. A reboot always clears those away, so any mistake you make can be reverted by a simple device reboot.
On rare occasions, there might be glitches and issues. Recently Cowabunga developers fixed even a potential bootloop, so always make sure to use the latest version available on this website or on GitHub.
Overall, we consider Cowabunga to be safe, if a bit buggy at times, but it’s nowhere near as risky as a full jailbreak.
DOWNLOAD Cowabunga Jailbreak Alternative for iOS 15.0 up to iOS 16.1.2 on All Devices
Cowabunga receives updates quite often. The project is fully open-sourced on Cowabunga’s GitHub repo, so we recommend always using the latest IPA.
You can download the latest Cowabunga IPA file with the latest changes and updates right here:
File format: iOS Application IPA
Special requirements: iOS 16.1.2 or lower.
Cowabunga Video Tutorial
Other guides from iDevice Central
- iOS SEP and Baseband Compatibility Chart
- iOS 15.0 – 16.1.2 Jailbreak News: All MacDirtyCow Tweaks & Customizations Available
- PaleRa1n Developer Jailbreak was Released for iOS 15.0 – 15.3.1 (Tethered)
- How To Run Linux on iPhone / iPad & How They Achieved This
- Unpatchable Apple M1 Chip Vulnerability discovered by MIT
- How to create a bootable Windows 10 USB Flash Drive on Mac
- iOS Jailbreak Downloads – Download Jailbreak Tools for All iOS Versions