The Best Jailbreak Apps
The ability to ailbreak an iOS 5 device is well on its way to becoming a reality (already you can do a tethered jailbreak, which means that you must be connected to your computer every time you reboot). But why would you want to jailbreak your iPhone in the first place, considering that it could damage your phone?
The reason is to to take advantage of the enhanced features available for jailbroken devices. Here are 15 apps and tweaks that might convince you that jailbreaking isn't all that bad.
Reminder: Jailbreaking an iPhone can void its warranty.
Even if you've never considered jailbreaking your iPhone, you've probably heard of WinterBoard--the jailbreak version of iOS's user interface manager, which is called Springboard.
WinterBoard lets you modify the way your iPhone looks--with icons, fonts, and text background pictures. After jailbreaking your phone, search the Cydia app store for themes to get started with.
SBSettings (free) is a popular jailbreak app that lets you swipe across the status bar to access preference settings and toggles such as Wi-Fi, 3G, and screen brightness. You can customize SBSettings via themes to match your iPhone's look, and it works with iOS 5's notification center.
Alternatively, check out HomeScreen Settings, which lets you add preference settings to your homescreen as app icons.
SnapTap ($0.99) is simple but super-useful. It turns your iPhone's volume buttons into physical camera buttons, so you can snap a photo without having to use the onscreen button.
This is especially helpful when you ask other people to take photos for you, and they've never seen an iPhone before (hey, it happens).
Note: SnapTap has been tested to work only with iOS 3.0 to iOS 4.3.3.
Infinifolders ($0.99) tweaks iOS's folder capability so that you can add all the apps you want to a single folder (the native iOS folders lets you add only 12 apps to any one folder).
This is definitely an awesome tweak if you're extremely finicky about your iPhone screen organization, as I am.
BiteSMS (free) is a souped-up version of iOS's native texting app. BiteSMS gives you tons of extra texting features, including signatures, smileys, passcode locks, and even scheduled SMSs.
It can also replace the native texting app completely (though that feature will cost you). Be sure to read the warnings for this app for the various versions of iOS before you commit.
How frustrating is it to try to transform your iPhone into a makeshift flashlight for a few seconds? You can turn on the video camera (and the flash), or you can try to increase the brightness level of your screen, or you can download one of those flashlight apps that still requires you to find and execute it.
Or, you can install SpringFlash (free), which lets you use the iPhone 4's LED flash as a flashlight immediately by double-tapping the power button.
Gridlock ($0.99) lets you arrange the icons on your iPhone's screen in any way you want. In contrast, iOS forces you to have the icons arranged one after the other (and they slide around to accommodate this layout).
With Gridlock, you can put icons anywhere on the screen with spaces in between. This is a great tweak for people who want a more customized look or who want more freedom to rearrange icons in general.
Color Keyboard ($1.99) doesn't just let you change the color of your keyboard--it also lets you change the font, the background color, the background image, and the shape of the keys.
Combine it with another keyboard-tweaking app such as 5-Row QWERTY Keyboard, which adds a number row to your keyboard, and you're good to go.
Pull to Refresh Safari
One convenient feature of apps such as Facebook and Twitter is the ability to pull down and refresh your page. So why not do that in Safari, too? Pull to Refresh Safari (free) is a tweak that adds this function to your iPhone's Safari browser.
Just yank down from the top of the page (you'll need to tap the status bar to get to the top of the page if you're not already there) to refresh what you're looking at. To use this tweak, you must also have MobileSubstrate (free) installed.
MultiIconMover (free) is a tweak that makes arranging apps a whole lot easier.
With MultiIconMover, you can dispatch swaths of icons to different screens at once. Just tap each icon to "check" it, and then switch to the page you want to move them to. Tap the home button, and all of your icons will be moved at once.
iFile (shareware, $4) should have been natively available on iOS. A file manager. iFile lets you quickly scroll through and view all of the files on your iOS device.
The files covered include images, movies, sound, text, HTML, PDF, and compressed-format content. You can even view images and PDFs in large, zoomable formats and jump directly to specific pages in PDFs.
Are you sick of experiencing Damn You AutoCorrect moments? But at the same time, are you unwilling to turn off your autocorrect because you do commit your share of typos?
Say hello to ManualCorrect (free)--a compromise that lets you type quickly without worrying because ManualCorrect corrects your spelling only if you tap on the word.
Display Recorder ($4.99) lets you record videos of your screen. It's like taking a screenshot, but in video form.
If you can't figure out why this might be useful, think about how awesome it would be to film your epic Doodle Jump run and then play it back to your unbelieving friends. Or you could use it to make how-to videos for your grandma. One limitation: Display Recorder does not record audio.
Activator (free) lets you repurpose the hardware buttons on your device--such as the home button, sleep, and volume buttons--to open applications or perform specific duties.
You can also customize gestures such as sliding your finger across the screen, on-screen "buttons" such as the status bar, and motions such as shaking the phone to perform tasks.
MyWi and My3G
My3G ($3.99) lets you do things in 3G that you can normally do only in Wi-Fi, such as video chat using FaceTime or download apps larger than 20MB.
MyWi ($19.99) lets you transform your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Of course, you can do this in iOS, too--but it'll cost you in carrier charges. That said, AT&T can now figure out whether you're using a free Wi-Fi hotspot app to get around its charges, so you may get charged anyway.
Bonus App: FakeCarrier
FakeCarrier (free) lets you change the name of the carrier in the status bar. Sure, it's not terribly useful, but it does give you something a little different to look at (and after all, you spend an awful lot of time viewing the status bar).