How to Jailbreak Your iPad (Plus 8 Things to Do With It)

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Sync Over Wi-Fi

Tired of connecting over USB to sync with iTunes? Cut the cord, and sync through Wi-Fi. The process is slower than that of USB, but it works well. Within Cydia, search for and install Wi-Fi Sync ($10)

Install the companion utility on your computer. Then, with iTunes open, run Wi-Fi Sync on the iPad. iTunes will recognize the connected iPad, and you can initiate a sync from the app.

Add a Bluetooth Mouse

Apps occasionally feel like they need a mouse. You can connect most Bluetooth mice--but not the Mighty Mouse--through BTstack Mouse. Search for and install the free app through Cydia.

BTstack Mouse puts a pointer on your iPad.
Once BTstack Mouse is installed, run the app and set your mouse to discoverable mode. Pick it out, and the app will superimpose a mouse pointer on the screen. Click just as if you were on a traditional computer.

BTstack Mouse disables Apple's built-in Bluetooth protocol. If you want to connect a keyboard as well, install BTstack Keyboard ($5) too.

Manage Your Files as You Do on a PC

With iFile, you can browse and edit any file on your iPad.

Without a file browser, it's hard to get documents on and off the iPad. So install one. The free iFile lets you rummage through the iPad's disk structure; search for and install it through Cydia.

Once launched, iFile can also set itself up as a file server, so you can access files back on a computer. Tap the antenna icon at the bottom of the screen, and connect to the listed address on a Web browser.

Add GPS Through Bluetooth

This Wi-Fi-only iPad can find its location through a Bluetooth GPS device.
BTstack GPS connects to a range of Bluetooth GPS devices; if you have a Wi-Fi iPad, you can enable GPS for most apps. Search for and install the free app through Cydia.

I connected a DeLorme Earthmate Blue Logger GPS unit. To set up your GPS device, open the BTstack GPS app, set the device to discoverable, and select it in the iPad. Once you have a clear satellite signal, the iPad will recognize your location.

Play Classic Games

You can play your old SCUMM favorites on an iPad, and even rotate the screen for a full-size picture.
On the App Store, Apple doesn't allow applications that run executable code. That shuts out one of my favorite entertainment apps, ScummVM (free). The classic LucasArts adventure games from the 1990s--and many others--ran on the SCUMM engine, and this application can play those games. You just need to track down copies of the original games; for many people, that's simply a matter of looking in the closet.

To get the latest ScummVM release, install a new source within Cydia. Tap More Package Sources in the main Cydia screen, and pick Tap Install. Now, search for ScummVM, and install the free app.

Transfer your games to the iPad. I used the iFile server feature, moving the files through a Web browser. Open up ScummVM, locate the directory with the games, and begin playing.

Customize the Interface

See how more apps are available above and below? Infiniboard enables vertical scrolling.

After sampling many of the terrible interface tweaks available, you might appreciate Apple's design even more. Still, some tweaks add great features.

My favorite iPad-compatible interface tweak, Infiniboard ($2), lets you place as many app icons on a page as you want. When you get to the bottom of the screen, you just scroll down to see the rest. It's a simple way to organize apps without running out of room.

Music Controls ($5) adds an interface for background audio apps. It supports dozens of other apps, including Pandora, Slacker, and the default iPod app. Music Controls gives you many control options, too, such as putting buttons and song info in the Status Bar and even using swipe gestures to control background apps.

Run iPhone Apps Full Screen (With Better Results)

Though you can blow up iPhone-only apps to fit much of the iPad's screen, the result is chunky and the process is a weak workaround. Instead of waiting for native, higher-resolution editions, try the free FullForce (available via Cydia), which sharply renders apps with great results and a few caveats.

Pandemonium running in FullForce.
Pandemonium running in normal 2x mode--compare with the FullForce version.
Apps that aren't constrained to two-dimensional art look the best. Text-driven apps and many 3D games can look great. In my tests, Pandemonium, Remote, Stair Dismount, and others looked like native apps. Try your favorites to see what works.

You're Free!

These apps and tweaks are just the surface; be sure to browse through the hundreds of apps and utilities in Cydia to find more.

As you use your hacked iPad, avoid iPad updates from Apple, since they can revert your device to the non-jailbroken state. But once Spirit or another tool is compatible, you can run the Apple update and then jailbreak your iPad again.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Apple iPad Tablet Computer

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