Want to jailbreak your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, but don’t know where to start? Download the latest manual from MakeUseOf, which will teach you to do just that. From author Lachlan Roy, this guide shows you how to use RedSn0w and recommends tweaks and apps to try out once you do.
Jailbreaking is the act of removing the limitations set by Apple on iOS devices. It allows you to bypass the iOS App Store and install applications which have not been vetted by Apple, as well as make changes to the operating system itself such as how it looks and functions. You can change things which are not changeable by default.
Basically, jailbreaking frees your iOS device and allows you to get the most out of it by using it how you want to use it.
For as long as iOS has been around, people have been wishing it could do more.
When the iPhone was first introduced back in 2007, people lamented the fact that it couldn’t send or receive MMS messages, cut and paste or multitask.
When the App Store was announced in 2008, people suddenly had lots of apps to manage; they thought they could manage it better rather than the “16 apps per page” model iOS uses.
iOS 4 brought multitasking to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but it had already been available for months before iOS 4’s announcement.
When iOS 5 was released, the Notification Center seemed like the perfect place to add extra features, but Apple kept it locked down. It wasn’t long before all sorts of extra widgets and plugins began showing up in the Notification Center, including easy access to toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth and the iPhone 4/4Ss flash.
How does this happen? What makes it possible to do all these things Apple says you can’t? It’s called jailbreaking. It’s easy, fast, free and safe, and it will blow your mind.
1.1 What is jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is the act of removing the limitations set by Apple on iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It allows you to bypass the iOS App Store and install applications which have not been vetted by Apple, as well as make changes to the operating system itself such as how it looks and functions. You can change things which are not changeable by default.
Basically, jailbreaking frees your iOS device and allows you to get the most out of it by using it how you want to use it.
Android phones can be “jailbroken” in much the same way, although in the Android ecosystem this is referred to as “rooting” the device. The term “jailbreaking” refers specifically to iOS devices.
This guide will not cover Android at all, instead focusing on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
1.2 Does jailbreaking cost anything?
Nope! Although there are a few websites around that charge to “unlock your phone” (such as FastUnlockiPhone.com), those who are largely responsible for making jailbreaking possible (such as the iPhone Dev Team and Chronic Dev Team) do it for freedom and the community, not for money.
While you may wish to donate some money to one of the Dev Teams for all of their hard work, you should never feel like you must pay money to jailbreak your device. There are plenty of ways to jailbreak your device for free.
1.3 There are multiple kinds of jailbreaking!
There are two kinds of jailbreaks – tethered and untethered. You definitely want to get an untethered jailbreak, but let’s take a look at each one in a bit more detail.
A tethered jailbreak requires your device to be connected to your computer every time it switches on for the jailbreak to work correctly. It uses your computer to load the required code to your device.
While a tethered jailbreak is usually available much earlier than an untethered jailbreak, it is almost always advised for the user to wait for an untethered jailbreak. This is because restarting the device when not connected to a computer (for example, if the battery runs flat or the phone crashes and restarts), your device is no longer fully functional (jailbroken apps don’t work, and some system applications like Safari may not work, either).
For that reason, I’d recommend against using a tethered jailbreak on your iPhone unless you have a backup device handy or you really need to tinker and don’t mind the consequences.
Untethered jailbreaks, on the other hand, do not require being connected to a computer to work (hence the name). All the required code is able to be stored on the device itself and starts whenever you turn on your phone.
Untethered jailbreaks take a while longer to show up, as the Dev Teams need to find a way to re-jailbreak the phone when it restarts, but the wait is worth it. If something goes wrong and you need to restart the phone, you don’t need to worry about something breaking.
1.4 Are there any risks involved?
Of course, jailbreaking is not without its risks (just as any kind of hacking or gaming of the system has risks). Whether the benefits are worth the risks is up to you and you alone to decide.
It wasn’t so long ago that Apple would refuse to work on your phone if it was jailbroken; Jailbreaking violated the End User License Agreement (EULA) and so voided your warranty.
However, things have changed since then and now Apple is legally bound to honour your warranty, regardless of whether your device is jailbroken or not. Besides, if you’re paranoid, there’s nothing stopping you from restoring your phone (that is, wiping it and reinstalling a clean copy of the OS) before taking it to the Apple store.
Although its name sounds shady, jailbreaking your device is completely legal, as is installing software through Cydia (the jailbroken app store, so to speak). However, installing pirated applications is not legal, so tread carefully!
Bricking your phone
While programs are available to jailbreak your device with only a few clicks, it’s still really important that you follow the instructions to the letter, and that you don’t unplug your device until you’re told it’s safe to do so. If you yank the cable halfway through the jailbreaking process you might end up corrupting system files to the point that the device won’t start up and isn’t recognised when you plug it into the computer. Congratulations! You’ve just bricked your phone and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
Don’t worry, though; if you’re careful the chances of this happening are extremely small with the latest tools!
The biggest problem that you will probably face with a jailbroken device is that you are making it do things which it was not originally designed to do, often by manipulating system files. The result is that the device can become a whole lot less stable – apps may crash, some things may stop working properly, or your device may spontaneously restart on occasion.
More often than not this is because many add-ons use more RAM (random access memory) than they should. When the device runs out of RAM it tries to get it back by closing any apps that are running in the background. If that doesn’t work, the current app crashes, and if that doesn’t work the entire device may restart. This usually isn’t a problem on newer devices, which have more RAM, but even they will succumb eventually.
This can be remedied by uninstalling any add ons that you’ve installed recently and seeing if it fixes the problem, or you may decide that it’s just easier to restore everything to factory defaults and start again.
You almost certainly will run into stability issues at some point if you jailbreak your device, so if you use it for work and/ or it is imperative that it works at all times, jailbreaking may not be for you.
Finally, when you’ve jailbroken your device there is a chance that the security of the device has been compromised. One of the main advantages of the iOS app store is that each app is tested to ensure that it doesn’t contain any code it shouldn’t. This way your device is protected from malware without the need to run anti-malware software.
When you jailbreak your device and start running other code which has been obtained elsewhere (particularly downloaded directly from a website), there is no such guarantee, and the code could contain just about anything. For this reason, many banks will stop their apps from working on your device when it is jailbroken to ensure that (however unlikely it is) your details aren’t taken through a keylogger or something similar.
Having said that, if you only install applications from Cydia (the jailbroken equivalent of the App Store), you should be fine.
1.5 Jailbreaking your iDevice
Can I jailbreak my device?
If your device is able to run iOS 5 you can jailbreak your device. The jailbreak for the new iPad (aka the iPad 3) has just been publicly released alongside the jailbreak for A4 and A5 devices (that is, devices which use the A4 and A5 processors) for 5.1.
The latest releases of most jailbreaking tools now support iOS 5.1.1 (the latest version of iOS). It is recommended that you update your device to 5.1.1 before jailbreaking, as updating after the jailbreak can cause all sorts of interesting problems that are better avoided whenever possible.
However, it is important that you update to iOS 5.1.1 using iTunes, not updating over the air via WiFi on the device itself. If you update over the air, the jailbreak will not work. If you’ve already done this, don’t worry! You can still jailbreak your device, but you’ll need to restore iOS via iTunes first. Get everything off your phone that you want to save (including pictures, voice memos and anything else that you can’t easily replace), then head to iTunes with your device plugged in and selected in the sidebar, then click “Restore”.
redsn0w (developed by the iPhone Dev Team is one of the most popular jailbreaking tools. Its user interface makes it seriously easy to use, and makes it extremely difficult to get the jailbreaking process wrong. The first step to jailbreaking is to go to the website and download the latest version of redsn0w for your platform. As of writing, the latest version of redsn0w is 0.9.12b1 for Mac and for Windows. The actual procedure is exactly the same, regardless of which platform you’re using.
There are two different ways to jailbreak your device using redsn0w. The first works for all devices, and exploits a loophole in the process of using iTunes to backup and restore iOS for your device. However, because it has to backup your entire device to work, it can take a fairly long time if your device holds a lot of data.
The second only works for A4 devices (the iPhone 4, 4th generation iPod Touch and the original iPad) and the iPhone 3GS, but is typically much faster than the first. Because it leaves everything untouched, there’s no chance of problems with iCloud or iTunes Match. The process is a little more involved, though.
1.6 Method 1 – Backup/Restore exploit:
• Extremely simple to jailbreak – just start redsn0w and plug your device in!
• Compatible with all devices, including A5 devices and the new iPad
• Can take much longer than the other method
• This method might cause problems with iCloud syncing and iTunes Match, though there’s a fairly good chance that this won’t be the case
Jailbreaking has never been easier than this. Just download redsn0w (the links are given above), extract the contents of the zip file and run the redsn0w application; if you’re running Windows Vista or 7, you’ll want to right-click on the application and choose to “Run as administrator”. Once redsn0w starts up, plug in your device. The name of the device (e.g. iPhone 4 or iPad) and the version of iOS that you’re running will show up at the bottom of the window. Then click “Jailbreak”.
That’s all you need to do. redsn0w goes away and does the rest: it loads the files it needs to jailbreak your device, backs up its contents, modifies the backup and then restores the modified backup to your device. The only limiting factor is how much data you have stored on the device to begin with. It might be worth taking
the time beforehand to do a bit of spring cleaning and get rid of anything you don’t really need – it’ll speed up the process considerably.
When redsn0w is finished, you’ll see “Restore in Progress” followed by “Restore complete” on your device’s screen. The device will reboot and show a progress bar on the screen. Once that’s done, you can unlock your device like normal. You’ll see a notice on your screen that your device will have to “respring” once more after Cydia appears. That’ll happen soon enough – just look on your last page of apps, and after a bit you should be able to see Cydia, an app with a brown icon. After a little wait the screen will go black for a bit and show the lock screen again – you’re all done!
1.7 Method 2 – Ramdisk installer:
• Usually much faster than the backup/restore exploit – no restore required
• No risk of problems with iCloud or iTunes Match
• Doesn’t support the iPhone 4S, the iPad 2 or the new iPad
• A little more complicated – requires rebooting your device into Recovery mode
• If you have an A4 device and have a lot of apps and media bought on iTunes, you might want to try the second method as it’s likely to be a lot faster and has no risk of messing with iCloud or iTunes Match. Otherwise, you’ll be better off using the first method.
• Regardless of the method you choose, you should always use iTunes to create a backup of your device before jailbreaking, just in case something goes wrong. That way, no matter what happens, you can restore the device using iTunes and get your device working exactly as it was before.
Download redsn0w and extract the contents of the zip file, but don’t run redsn0w yet; first, you’ll need to put the device into recovery mode by following these instructions:
1. Connect your device to iTunes
2. Press the power and home buttons at the same time and hold them for 10 seconds – the device will reset itself, but the screen will remain black.
3. After the 10 seconds, release the power button but keep holding the home button for another 3-5 seconds.
4. The screen will remain black – if the Apple logo appears you’ll need to try again.
5. You’ll receive a message in iTunes saying that it’s discovered a device in recovery mode.
Once your device is in recovery mode you can start up redsn0w, which should display the type of device you’ve plugged in (e.g. iPad or iPhone 4S) followed by “DFU Mode”. Now all you need to do is click on the “Jailbreak” button – redsn0w handles the rest.
After the files are loaded to the device, the device will reset and you should see a wall of white text. It may look a bit scary, but don’t worry! It’s showing a list of the commands and changes taking places on the iPhone while it is jailbroken. After a while the screen will go black and then show a large picture of a running pineapple – the mascot of redsn0w (and its sister software, PwnageTool). This has the final progress bar for the jailbreak – after it fills the phone will reset for the last time. Now you can unlock your phone and use it. You’ve just successfully jailbroken your phone!
There’s a small chance that redsn0w won’t successfully recognize the version of iOS installed on your device. In this case, it will ask you to select the IPSW file for that version of iOS. Since you (hopefully) used iTunes to download and install the update, you have a version already saved on your computer; on the Mac, this is found at “~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates” (just press Cmd + Shift + G in a Finder window, copy and paste), and on Windows you can copy and paste the following into the address bar:
“%appdata%\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates”.
When you select this file you should receive a notice that the firmware version has been successfully identified. You can then click on “Jailbreak” again and the jailbreak process should go without a hitch.
1.8 I’ve jailbroken my device – now what?
So, you’ve just jailbroken your device, but it doesn’t look a whole lot different yet. So far, the only indicator that your device is any different is the presence of the Cydia icon, which can’t be deleted.
The fun has only just begun! Let’s take a look at Cydia and some of the cool things we can install with it.
When you start Cydia for the first time, you’ll be asked to select which type of user you are. For most people, “User” will be sufficient, though there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from selecting one of the other options.
Cydia will then download a list of the available packages to your phone. The list itself isn’t particularly large in size, but it’s extremely important that you allow it to finish downloading uninterrupted; if you cancel this process you won’t be able to download any packages.
Just like in the the App Store, you can find packages to install either by browsing by category or searching.
The Cydia store makes use of repositories to keep track of which apps are available for the user to download. Cydia keeps track of the repositories that have been added to its library, and each repository in turn keeps track of the loca- tions of the files that belong to it. When you search for something in Cydia, it checks each of its repositories, which then return any matches and the place to download those files.
The repositories which are installed to Cydia by default – BigBoss, Cydia, Dev Team, ModMyi.com and ZodTTD – are the largest and generally most trusted repositories (or “repos”) available, so for most people these will be the only repos they will ever need. Having said that, some lesser known applications will often require you to add a new repo to install them.
You should be wary doing this, though; using external repos is similar to walking off the beaten track. You may find some interesting gems, but there are often nasty things out there too which you wouldn’t want to end up on your device. If you use common sense you should be fine – just treat your device like a Windows computer and you’ll stay out of harm’s way.
Adding a Repository
Adding a repository is relatively straightforward – when in Cydia, tap the “Manage” tab at the bottom of the screen, then on “Sources”. This is a list of the currently installed repositories. To add a new one, tap on “Edit” in the top right hand corner, followed by “Add” in the top left hand corner.
You will then be prompted to enter a Cydia/APT URL, which generally takes a form similar to http://apt.modmyi.com or http://repo.biteyourapple.net. When you tap “Add Source”, the screen will turn mostly black and a wall of text will occupy the screen – this is Cydia adding the repository, verifying it and getting the information about the files which belong to it.
With that, you’re done! You can always just repeat the process to add more sources.
Removing a Repository
The steps for removing a repository are very similar to those for adding one. Just go to the sources list, tap on “Edit”, followed by the red circle next to the repo you want to delete, and then finally on “Delete”.
2.2 Installing Packages
Adding software to your device using the Cydia store is very similar to using the normal App store, although it tends to be much less organized. Having said that, there are one or two things which, in some ways, make it nicer to use than the App Store.
There are two main ways to find software (referred to in Cydia as packages): by browsing for it, going through the categories under the “Categories” tab at the bottom of the screen, or by searching for it using the “Search” page. As you type in the search bar, Cydia will return any exact matches to what you’ve typed, and once you tap the blue “Search” button it will also search descriptions to find what you’re looking for.
Packages which are free to use have black text; paid packages are in blue text. Tapping on a package will show you its description, as well as its price if it isn’t free. If it’s not free, you will often have to pay before you can download it (although you may be able to download a free trial, too) – tapping on the “Purchase Software” button will prompt you to log in to a Google or Facebook account if you haven’t already, then ask you whether you’d like to pay via PayPal or Amazon Payments. After payment the interface will change and allow you to download the package by providing an Install button in the top right hand corner of the screen.
When you go to install a package, you will see a list of all the software to be installed (which may include prerequisite packages as well as the one you’re about to install) you may either install it straight away or add it in a queue. This allows you to install multiple packages at once, which can save you a fair bit of time.
2.3 Removing Packages
The process for removing packages is a mixture between adding packages and removing a repository. In Cydia, click on “Manage”, then on “Packages”. This will show you a list of all the packages which have been installed using Cydia. To remove a package, tap on it, then on “Modify” in the top right hand corner followed by “Remove”.
Just like when installing a package, you may either “Confirm”, which removes just that package (and the packages which list it as a prerequisite), or “Continue Queuing”, which allows you to go back and select more packages to remove. When you’re ready, tap on “Confirm” to remove everything in the queue.
2.4 Upgrading Packages
Just like on the normal App Store, developers often release updated versions of their apps to add new features or squash out bugs. Thankfully, you don’t need to do a whole lot to keep your packages up to date – just tap on the “Changes” tab at the bottom of the screen and then on “Upgrade” in the top right hand corner of the screen. This will add the updates to the queue. You can then confirm to upgrade or “Continue Queuing” to line up more packages to add or remove. To get to the queue again you can go to “Manage” and then tap on “Queue” in the top right hand corner.
So what kind of software can you install? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few highlights. All of the packages listed here are available from the default repos – just search for them and you’ll be able to install them without any problems.
3.1iFile (App/Utility, Shareware, free with limitations or $3.99 for the full version)
iFile is one of the essential system apps made available by jailbreaking your device. As the name might suggest, iFile is a file browser for the iPhone, giving you access to the file system which is usually hidden from users in the name of keeping things as simple as possible.
Like most file browsers, iFile allows you to move, copy, paste, rename and search for files. It also provides lots of ways of getting files on and off your device, via Dropbox, FTP, WebDAV and Bluetooth (to other iFile users), to name a few. You can even create a “Web Server” which allows you to access files in the current directory from other computers on the local network.
Finally, iFile has a variety of powerful file viewers which allows you to open most of the common sound, text, movie, image and document filetypes (although they are read-only and cannot be edited). You can also open archive files (such as zip, 7z or rar files), mount DMG files and install .deb files.
iFile is shareware, which means you can download it and use its core functionality (browsing, opening, moving, copying, pasting and renaming files) for free. However, its more complex features (searching for files and the file sharing capabilities) require you to purchase the full version for $3.99 before you can use them. Give it a go and decide for yourself whether you need those extra features.
3.2 IntelliScreenX (Tweak, $9.99, 3 day trial)
While iOS 5’s Notification Center definitely improves on the annoying blue popups of earlier versions of iOS, Apple has kept it tightly locked down. The only widgets which can be put in the Notification Center are the Weather and Stocks widgets. While rumor has it that iOS 6 will open it up to third parties, iOS 5’s Notification Center leaves lots to be desired.
While the Notification Center has started to make basic use of the lock screen, for the most part the lock screen remains stubbornly bare. The negative space on the screen could easily be repurposed to be useful.
Enter Intelliborn’s IntelliScreenX, which is first and foremost an overhaul for the lock screen but also marks a massive improvement to the Notification Center. In its basic form, it simply puts the contents of the Notification Center on the lock screen. However, unlike the standard Notification Center (which removes notifications from the lock screen after it has been unlocked), IntelliScreenX keeps them on the lock screen until they have been activated or dismissed.
This also includes any other jailbreak tweaks which use the Notification Center (such as AppCenter or WeeSearch.
However, IntelliScreenX has the ability to do so much more – its main attraction is the ability to put your email, Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds in your Notification Center and on your lock screen. Each section is given its own “page”; you swipe between pages just like you would swipe between the pages of apps on the home screen.
In addition to the standard contents of the Notification Centre, the main page also has a “drawer” which is accessed by pulling down on the screen while in the Notification Center. By default this includes IntelliScreenX’s toggles (which allow you to quickly change common settings such as WiFi, Bluetooth and screen brightness), but you can also put other widgets in this drawer so that they don’t clutter up your Notification Center.
The email, Facebook and Twitter sections are all fully featured, and you can do most of what you need to do from within IntelliScreenX itself. You can read plain-text email, mark mail as read or unread and delete it (although Gmail users will be sad to note that it doesn’t support archiving email). If you need to reply to an email or view attachments, you can also load the email in question in the main Mail app.
You can view your Facebook and Twitter news feeds, too. All the basic actions are there – you are able to “like” and comment on posts and update your status in Facebook, and retweet, reply or compose a new tweet, regardless of which application you’re using.
IntelliscreenX also has a basic RSS reader built in, which allows you to aggregate news from around the web. If you’re a heavy RSS user you’d still probably be better off with a dedicated RSS application like Byline, but for keeping an eye on what’s going on in the news it’s great to have.
Finally, IntelliScreenX comes with Messages+, Intelliborn’s tweak to the Messages app (which is $7.99 by itself on the Cydia store). It enables you to send a text message from the Notification Center (or the lock screen, if you choose to enable it). It also groups incoming messages from the same sender and allows you to reply to messages instantly (all without leaving your current app). If Messages+ isn’t your thing, you can tell IntelliScreenX to instead integrate other Messages tweaks such as BiteSMS or iRealSMS.
At $9.99, IntelliScreenX isn’t exactly cheap, but it provides so much functionality that you may find it well worth it. It has a free 3-day trial which gives you all the functionality of the full version, so give it a go and see what you think.
3.3 BiteSMS (Tweak, Free, ad supported)
Although messaging has definitely improved with the introduction of iOS 5, it’s still far from perfect. While receiving a message will no longer stop whatever you’re doing to display a big blue window, you must still leave your app to reply to a message.
BiteSMS integrates into the Messages app and provides it with far more than the standard functionality. Potentially the most useful is the ability to compose a new message or reply to a message from absolutely anywhere, but you can also forward messages (or easily copy them to the clipboard), make the sender’s ID private, password protect your messages or schedule a message to be sent at a certain time.
This guide will quickly run through some of the features in their default states, but they can be changed to your heart’s content in BiteSMS’s preferences.
BiteSMS makes it really easy to quickly send a message. By default, this is done by pressing a volume button and then tapping on the volume overlay.
You can then select who you want to send the message to (by default, the last person you messaged) or select from your list of favorites. Then, smash out your message and tap “Send”. Done and done! The colour of the “Send” button changes based on the kind
of message you’re sending – green for SMS, blue for iMessages or pink if you’re using the BiteSMS network to send messages (more on that in a bit).
By default, incoming messages pop up over whatever you’re doing, as did the message notifications of older versions of iOS. But whereas before these would force you to ignore the message or take you out of the app, BiteSMS allows you to reply to the message right there and then and get back to whatever you were doing.
You can also change BiteSMS’s preferences so that messages are first displayed as the standard iOS 5 banner notification. Tapping on the banner then causes the quick reply app box to pop up.
BiteSMS is free to use, although after 14 days it becomes ad supported. You can get rid of the ads in two ways; you can either purchase a license from BiteSMS for $10, or you can buy SMS credits which are sent using the BiteSMS network – these work out at 12 cents per message, so if you pay per SMS these could end up being cheaper. Buying credits removes ads for 12 months, and buying more at once nets you bonus credits.
3.4 MyWi (Utility, $19.99, 3 day trial)
Data tethering is awesome. It lets you connect your iPhone (or 3G iPad) to your computer (or another device) via USB, WiFi or Bluetooth and share its cellular Internet connection. The iPhone and iPad both have this functionality built into the OS itself, but it must be enabled by the carrier for you to be allowed to use it. While some companies do let you use it for free, many others simply won’t allow it or will charge you extra for the privilege.
This is where Intelliborn’s MyWi comes in. MyWi allows you to send data from your iPhone or iPad to other devices even when tethering hasn’t been officially allowed by your carrier. The carrier doesn’t know that the data is being used by an external device, either.
Tethering to a computer
Sharing your device’s connection with a computer is really easy. You can do it in one of three ways; you can use USB, which is the fastest and charges your device but is obviously the least convenient; WiFi, which allows you to connect multiple devices and is faster than Bluetooth (but drains your device’s battery much faster); or Bluetooth, which drains much less power than WiFi but has a smaller range and is significantly slower.
Regardless of which method you use, MyWi is really easy to set up, start and stop. The instructions are clear – for USB, all you need to do is plug the device into your computer (although the computer does need to have iTunes installed). For WiFi tethering, you can specify a network name and the password used to secure the network (in the advanced settings you can even specify which channel to broadcast on and the strength of the network to transmit). To start Bluetooth tethering, you just need to pair the phone to your computer and then connect from the computer.
When you’re tethered, MyWi always shows you the current upload and download speed as well as how much data you’ve transferred in each direction, so you can keep tabs and make sure you haven’t used too much.
MyWi On Demand
As well as making it possible to share your Internet connection with a computer (or any other device over WiFi), MyWi has a mode specifically made for sharing your Internet connection between iOS devices, called MyWi On Demand.
As you might guess from the name, MyWi acts as a Bluetooth-based hotspot, just like normal. However, it is configured in such a way that the host device (your iPhone) only acts as a hotspot when a client (that is, your iPad or iPod Touch) needs the connection. Since the Bluetooth receiver is not broadcasting all the time, this greatly reduces the amount of power drawn on the iPhone when it’s not in use.
At $19.99, MyWi is fairly expensive. Thankfully, Intelliborn has given users a 3 day free trial to try it out without any limitations, so you can try it out and see if it’s worth the money. If you need tethering but don’t want to pay your carrier an extra monthly fee for the privilege, it just might be worth it.
3.5 My3G (Tweak, $3.99, 3 day trial)
When the App Store was first introduced in iPhone OS 2, carriers insisted that the App Store must not allow people to download apps greater than 10MB in size in the interest of limiting the amount of data people pulled down at any one time. In iOS 4 this was increased to 20MB, and in iOS 5 to 50MB, but this can still be a problem if you need to download a large application (such as Numbers or Pages) when you’re away from your computer.
A similar problem occurred when FaceTime was announced along with the iPhone 4. As great as the video chat service is, it is limited by the fact that you must use a WiFi connection. Even though it has been proven that FaceTime works just fine over a 3G connection, it simply isn’t allowed.
My3G fixes this problem by fooling these kinds of limitations by making them think that the iPhone is connected to a WiFi network, even when it’s not. Suddenly you are able to download files greater than 50MB, or have a FaceTime call when you’re out and about.
My3G allows you to enable it on an app-by-app basis. When it is enabled an icon is displayed on the screen and the status bar changes to show how much data has been used. It really couldn’t be much simpler than that.
Intelliborn charges $3.99 for a My3G license, but gives you 3 days to try it out beforehand with a free trial.
3.6 SBSettings (Widget, Free)
If you’re anything like me, you’re often turning WiFi and Bluetooth on and off, changing the brightness to save the battery or wanting to kill off some background applications so that the device will run smoother. Normally, to do these things takes a significant amount of time: To turn on Bluetooth, you normally need to go Settings > General > Bluetooth > Switch Bluetooth On. While this may not seem like much effort, it becomes tedious if you have to do it on a regular basis.
SBSettings makes things a lot easier by providing a drop down window with a plethora of toggles to quickly turn system settings on and off, change brightness and volume and free up memory. Each toggle can be rearranged or hidden, and SBSettings can be skinned to change its appearance.
What’s more, SBSettings is extensible. There is an entire category in the Cydia store dedicated to SBSettings add-ons. You can add toggles for MyWi and My3G, for example (although naturally these will only work if you have the corresponding application installed).
In iOS 5, SBSettings can also be integrated into the Notification Center, making it faster and easier to get to those toggles. You can even use a different set of toggles to the main window. All of the settings can be found in the SBSettings app found on your springboard.
The settings app can be used to do a lot of different things, too. SBSettings includes the ability to hide unwanted apps. You can also make changes to what is displayed in the status bar, such as numerical Wi-Fi and GSM reception or a fake carrier name.
3.7NCSettings (Widget, Free)
If you like the idea of being able to toggle system preferences from the Notification Center but find SBSettings to be far too clunky and complex, you might want to give NCSettings a go instead. While nowhere near as extensive as SBSettings, it still provides the most popular settings (brightness, volume, wifi, Bluetooth, cellular data, 3G and airplane mode, as a few examples) while taking up less memory and being a lot prettier out of the box. The only downside is that there aren’t any add-ons for it.
3.8 Winterboard/Dreamboard (Tweak, Free with free/commercial themes available)
One of the big things that many people seem to complain about when hating an iOS is its lack of customization – not being able to change the layout of the icons, for example, or the inability to change the way the icons look. While this may be true of a standard iOS, the same definitely cannot be said of a jailbroken iDevice.
It started off with Winterboard, which simply allowed the user to change system fonts and create icon packs to change the way how your apps looked. Now there’s Dreamboard, which allows you to completely change everything about how your phone looks, from making it look like Android or Windows Phone 7 (or even Mac OS X) to a completely different layout that you may find more usable than the default.
The Cydia store is a great place to find new themes to try – there’s a category called “Themes – Dreamboard”. You might like to try out OS7, the free Windows Phone 7 theme. There are plenty of others to choose from, but bear in mind that many of these are not free (usually costing between $0.99 and $2.99).
Once you’ve installed a theme, you can start the Dreamboard app, which shows you a grid of all the themes you have installed on your device. Then it’s just a matter of choosing which one you wish to use, and Dreamboard will make it happen.
It should also point out that using another theme can use a LOT of system memory, so could leave your phone acting slow and clunky. It’s good for a bit of fun, though, and there are some great themes out there which change it up significantly without using too many system resources (such as Gyro HD 2).
If you’re not looking to significantly change your layout (and instead wanting to make some subtle differences), you might be more interested in Winterboard. This takes themes from most of the other Theme categories, especially “Themes – Springboard”. Again, while there are some very good themes available for free (such as Glasklart HD), many of the premium themes cost money.
It should be mentioned that getting Winterboard themes working can be a bit more involved than Dreamboard. Once you have Winterboard and your theme of choice installed, you can find the Winterboard settings in the Settings app. Here, you can choose which elements of your theme you want enabled (you can mix and match between themes, too!).
Once you’ve selected all the theme components that you want, go back to the main Winterboard settings page and choose to “Respring” your device (which simply restarts the user interface so that the changes are made).
3.9 Zephyr (Tweak, $2.99)
When Apple introduced multitouch gestures for multitasking on the iPad, many were hoping that it would also show up on the iPhone, too. Unfortunately that never happened, but it didn’t take very long for the jailbreaking community to come up with a solution that works even better.
Zephyr allows you to quickly switch between apps by swiping from the left and right edges of the screen, bypassing the need for the app switcher that you usually call by double tapping on the home button. The animation is smooth, and because it makes no changes to the way that iOS multitasking works it has no impact on performance whatsoever.
You can still call the app switcher drawer by double tapping on the home button, or instead you can simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen when on the home screen. This same gesture can be used when in an app to quickly return to the home screen without using the home button. This app is perfect for those with a broken home button as it allows you to use the phone without ever having to touch it.
Unfortunately there’s no trial for this one, so you’ll just have to spend money if you want to give it a go. It has glowing reviews, though, and seems well worth it.
3.10 Infinifolders (Tweak, $1.99)
As you can somewhat guess from the name, Infinifolders allows you to store more than 12 apps within a folder. There really isn’t a whole lot more to it than that: you can store as many apps as you like within a folder, making it great if you have lots of apps belonging to a single category. You see the other apps by scrolling up or down inside the folder, and you can set whether scrolling is smooth (allowing you to stop scrolling at any point) or paginated (which just jumps to the next 12 apps, similar to how the home screen pages work).
There’s no free trial on this one either; if you want to try it out, you’ll need to shell out the $1.99 that the developer is asking for. It’s extremely polished, though, so if the idea of storing lots of apps in the one folder is appealing to you, it’s definitely worth a shot!
3.11 Other Apps
This list of apps is by no means exhaustive: there are plenty more to be discovered. Here’s just a few of the things that you can find on the main MakeUseOf Site:
•Transparency Grants You Another Level Of Control Over Your Icons
• Use DataMonitor To Keep From Going Over Your Data Plan Or Getting Throttled
• Legal Siri Port Spire Launches For All Jailbroken iOS 5 Devices
• Assistant Extensions Brings Siri To Another Level & Makes It Truly Awesome
• Open Apps & Perform Actions on iPhone By Dialing Them
• The Free & Easy Way To Customize Your Jailbroken iOS Lockscreen
• How To Install The iSwipe Keyboard On Your iPhone
Jailbreaking your device is free, quick and easy. It allows you to run software that you couldn’t before, enabling you to do all sorts of nifty things, like quickly toggle your WiFi or Bluetooth on or off, reply to an SMS while playing Angry Birds or make your iPhone act like a Windows Phone 7 phone.
You can share your Internet connection with your computer (and without your carrier knowing about it). You can have a FaceTime call when you’re nowhere near a WiFi connection. You can like someone’s status on Facebook and then tweet about it without leaving the Notification Center. You can even make your icons collapse in a heap at the bottom of the screen, or make them do a barrel roll as you swap between pages.
Jailbreaking is freedom. What have you got to lose?
Guide Published: July 2012
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