For the longest time, I never considered the possibility of jailbreaking my iPhones. I have owned the original iPhone 1G 4GB’s, the 3G 8GB’s and currently the 4 with 16GB’s.
At first, I was concerned about the entire process. I had concerns that if something went wrong, I wouldn’t be able to get my phone back to it’s factory defaults. Later I was concerned about the process of jailbreaking. Mind you, I’m a programmer so hacking a phone shouldn’t have bothered me as much as some of the processes of jailbreaking that were out there.
Nothing out in the jailbreaking software community really interested me enough to draw me in. Until now. I have a WiFi iPad and when I go out into the world with my iPad, I have to find a free WiFi hotspot in order to use it. This is not easy when my destination is a family member.
I recently read about an app called MyWi. This application will allow you to tether a computer or phone via USB, Bluetooth, and most importantly WiFi. I haven’t purchased the app just yet because I’m still seeing if I’m going to stick with my iPhone 4 being
I currently have Cydia, Rock, Infinidock, Infinifolders, LockInfo, Notified Pro, PkgBackup, SBOrganizer, SBSettings, ToneFXs, WinterBoard, and Auto Silent installed. (Sorry about the sites that those links go to, some were designed for iPhone and some apps just don’t have web pages.)
The above screen shots from left to right:
- LockInfo (two screen shots merged together to show all the info I have configured in my LockInfo settings)
- Infinidock (notice the 5 icons on the dock? I actually have 6 icons, one is off the screen on the left. It’s the Cydia icon)
- Infinifolders (notice that there are more than 12 icons in the Photography folder)
Apple needs to take a serious look at some of the apps that the Jailbreak community have come up with. LockInfo is pretty much a “must have” for anyone using a smart phone. Mind you, Android has the ability to display configurable widgets on there lock screen as well as their version of SpringBoard. So they have had the ability to display useful info from day one. I’m not sure why Apple is so resistant to giving users the ability to display more info on the iPhone’s lock screen other than the time and date.
Another very important feature available to Jailbreakers is the ability to log Notifications. Notified Pro and LockInfo both allow you to see all the notifications that have been displayed. iOS 4 has improved in this area, but there are still times that notifications come in and get overwritten by other notifications and are lost forever.
One thing that really surprised me with the iPhone was the lack of ability to configure the phone’s sounds and wallpaper. iOS 4 finally allowed users to put a wallpaper behind the home screens. However we still can’t configure notification sounds. I want to be able to set my incoming SMS sound to something other than the 6 sounds they give us. Apple doesn’t even give us the ability to change the sounds for new mail, calendar reminders, new voicemail, etc… Does Apple think it’s users are so stupid that they can’t figure out how to change sounds on their phone?
Something that is on just about every cell phone other than the iPhone is Sound Profiles. The ability to have a Meeting, Outside, Nighttime, and Normal profile is very important. Every night, I have to turn off Calendar Alerts, New Mail, New Text Messages, and turn all Notifications Off, then in the morning, I have to restore those settings. Auto Silent allows you to configure Sound Profiles for specific times of a week to what ever profile you want. This app currently doesn’t work with the iPhone 4 and iOS 4. Hopefully the developers will get this app working with the new phone and OS real soon.
The last thing that really confuses me about the iPhone iOS is the lack of icon space in SpringBoard. iOS 4 finally gives us folders which gives us the ability to put more than 148 icons or 180 with 3.x. I just can’t understand why Apple put the page limit at 11. Really? 11?! There is plenty of room for 15 pages (dots between main icons and dock icons). In fact, there is enough room for 17 dots and the Spotlight icon down there. Infinidock and Inifinifolders gives Jailbreakers the ability to really configure our home screens the way we want.
I can see why Apple doesn’t want the home screen icons to scroll, other than horizontally. Keeping the SpringBoard as simple as possible makes sense. However, give us the ability to configure the SpringBoard to do what we want it to.
I can see that Apple will never change the OS to do all the things I have changed on my phone, but to be competitive with Android, giving us widgets or the ability to display more info on the lock screen is going to be a must. I would also like to see Apple give us the ability to modify the sound scape of our phones would also be really useful. Finally, sound profiles are a must.
Overall, I am really liking the new apps I have installed thanks to the Jailbreaking community. I have had a few issues with the operation of my phone since Jailbreaking. I’ve only had one crash of the OS because of an app that I had to uninstall. Every once and a while icons reappear that I have configured to be invisible, but a “Respring” restores everything back to normal. Respring-ing is kind of like restarting the Finder in OS X. It’s not a full reboot, but it restarts SpringBoard.
So I’m going to say that my Jailbreaking experience has been a very positive one. Jailbreaking is definitely not for everyone, but if you want the ability to do some of the things I have done, it’s definitely worth considering.