Developer makes app to change iOS 16 font without jailbreak

We recently wrote about the first jailbreak tool available for iOS 16, which allows users to read and modify internal system files, opening up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to customizations. However, a developer managed to use an exploit found in iOS 16 to change the default font of the system without jailbreak.

Change iOS font without jailbreak

Zhuowei Zhang shared his project further Twitter, which he calls a “proof-of-concept app”. According to Zhang, the app he developed uses the CVE-2022-46689 exploit to overwrite the default iOS font, allowing users to customize the system’s appearance with a font other than the default (which is San Francisco).

The CVE-2022-46689 exploit affects devices running iOS 16.1.2 or earlier versions of the operating system, and it basically allows apps to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. The exploit was fixed with iOS 16.2, which also fixed a bunch of other security breaches found in the previous version of iOS.

Since iOS has its own font format, the developer conducted the experiment with only a few fonts, including DejaVu Sans Condensed, Serif, Mono and Choco Cooky. And if you’re wondering, Choco Cooky is the weird font that used to come pre-installed by default on Samsung smartphones. Now you can finally have it on your iPhone.

Zhang explains that the process should be safe for everyone, since all changes are reversed after restarting the device. However, the developer advises users to try the app to back up their devices before replacing the default system font. He also describes that the change only affects some of the text on iOS, as other parts of the system use different fonts.

How to install the app and change the default iOS font

Although the app created by Zhang does not require a jailbreak, it may not be that easy to install it on an iPhone or iPad. This is because you have to either compile the Xcode project yourself or manually sign the IPA file with a developer certificate to install it on your device.

Still, it’s interesting to see what the developer has achieved without having to jailbreak the device. More details about the project, including the source code, are available on GitHub.

Want an option to change the default iOS font? Let us know in the comments section below.

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