Final Jailbreaking Review

After quite a bit of time running my iPhone 4 jailbroken, I decided that the problems I was having outweighed the benefits of the jailbroken apps I had installed.

The biggest problem I kept having was the Home button would stop working as a means of returning to SpringBoard after running an app. Each time this would happen, I would have to respring my iPhone to recover the Home button functionality.

So I connected my iPhone to iTunes and told it that I wanted to restore. It downloaded iOS 4.1, extracted it and began the process of installing the OS on the phone. The progress bar got about 3/5’s of the way when it froze. I waited about 30 minutes and decided I would try rebooting the phone. The restore got to the same spot and froze again.

I started researching the problem to see if there was a solution. I did find an article about putting the phone into DFU mode (Device Firmware Update). I made several attempts getting the phone in this mode and a little after midnight, I finally got the phone to install the firmware.

That was quite a scary situation. I was worried that I would have to take the phone to the Apple store and make up a good story as to why I couldn’t get the phone to restore.

It’s currently installing all the apps I had installed (minus the jailbroken apps of course) after doing the restore from backup.

Jailbreaking would be a less stressful option if there was a way to upgrade to current firmware without having to restore the phone first then re-jailbreak the latest firmware. I’ll keep my eyes open to the jailbreak community to see if something like this ever happens, but until then, I think I’ll stick to not jailbreaking my main phone.

If I ever get an iPod touch, I’ll consider that, and I might still consider jailbreaking the iPad. However, that won’t happen unless the iPad is better supported in the jailbreaking world. currently, there are not many packages that will work with iPads

Jailbreaking review

So it’s been just about a month now since I “jailbroke” my iPhone 4. There are days where I think “How in the world did I ever live without it?” Then there are days where I curse jailbreaking and threaten to restore my iPhone back to factory default and leave jailbreaking behind forever.

Starting with the cursing; recently, I have been having issues with my Home button not working correctly. I’m having to “respring” the phone several times a day. It’s really weird. The button works somewhat. If I double press it, I get the multitasking/fast app switching list just fine. However, if I’m in an application, when I press the Home button, I can’t get back to the home screens.

For the longest time, I wasn’t having any problems with the Home button, so I have to assume that a recent update has caused this problem. There is a package called “Activator” that controls all the buttons as well as many gestures to do things like if you swipe the Status Bar you will activate SBSettings. I’m assuming that Activator has broken something that is causing the Home button to not work correctly. Looking at Activator’s Changelog, it states “Fix Single Press Home Button at lock screen”. It sounds like they fixed a bug somewhere, but the might have accidentally have broken the functionality of the Home button when it’s not assigned to something in that package.

Either way, it’s a problem that is really getting frustrating.

Another thing that has been happening frequently is that in application sound stops working. Now to be fair, I have been downloading packages that are supposed to adjust the sound profile so that I don’t have to keep going into settings every night to turn off certain sound settings and in the morning to re-enable the sounds later. I’m going to have to remove the packages to see if that fixes the sound issues. None of the sound profile tools really work with iOS 4.x, so I really have no need to have them installed for now.

Now for the “How in the world did I ever live without it?” part. I own a WiFi based iPad and it turns out that it’s pretty useless when I go out into the world unless there is free WiFi available. Well, there is a package called MyWi 4.0 which allows me to create a WiFi hotspot in my iPhone. It sells for $19.95 and has a 14 day free trial. It’s a WEP secured hotspot that you can configure the amount of output power to help conserve iPhone battery. MyWi will definitely eat battery power, so it’s pretty important to keep the power as low as possible. Also, secure the hotspot signal! You don’t want anyone in the immediate area to access your 3G hotspot.

I’m currently using the free 2 week demo, but I have to say that I’m very impressed with the way MyWi works.



I haven’t actually tried it out in the wild, but I enabled MyWi on my phone and selected the MyWi SSID on my iPad and low and behold, I was up and browsing with my phone as the hotspot. Then later that day, my ISP died and I lost my broadband access to the internet. Right in the middle of a City Story session. City Story requires a connection to their servers to play. So, I fired up MyWi on my iPhone and connected to it on my iPad where I play City Story from and I was then able to complete my game session. That was awesome!

Now, did I have to complete my session at that exact moment? No, not really. However, since I have MyWi, I thought I would give it a try to see if it would work and it did a great job! I was able to check email and even browse the web while my ISP was out.

Now, I have to say that using MyWi instead of paying for tethering through AT&T is probably illegal and definitely against AT&T’s terms of service, so if they catch you doing this they can drop you from their service and probably charge you for early service termination. So, if you use MyWi on your jailbroken iPhone, make sure you use it sparingly so that AT&T doesn’t suspect that you are using tethering.

Jailbreaking the iPhone 4

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)
  • SBSettings

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.

Apple App Store Has Lost $450 Million To Piracy


If the headline is a true statement, then Apple needs to get off it’s backside and work out a way to protect applications from being pirated.

Via: 24/7 Wall St.
Apple and the companies that sell software for the iPhone and iPod touch at the App Store have lost over $450 million to piracy since the store opened in July 2008 according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. There have been over 3 billion applications downloaded since the App program began. Bernstein analyst, Toni Sacconaghi, estimated that between 13% and 21% of those downloads are from paid applications. According to this analysis, the average price of an application purchased at the App Store is $3. Sacconaghi estimated that Appleā€™s revenue from the App Store is between $60 million and $110 million per quarter. That amount has certainly increased since this research report was published because of the rapid growth of the number of applications.

If what that article is saying is true, then it’s clearly up to Apple to solve the problem. If for no other reason than to save the $135,000,000 that Apple is losing per 18 months.

There are folks out there that question the $450 million number and I must say that I have to wonder a bit too. The only way people can pirate iPhone/iPod touch apps is to jailbreak their iDevice. There are those that are doing this. In fact, some say that 10% of the iDevices out there are jailbroken. That comes to about 7.5 million jailbroken devices. Now, are we saying that, on average, each jailbreaker pirates $60 of software every 18 months? That sounds like a doable number. However, I really doubt that every jailbreaker is also a pirate. Now, what percentage of jailbreakers are pirates needs to be figured out.

The article states that 40% pirate, so now we are talking about 3 million jailbroken pirates would need to be stealing $150 worth of apps per 18 months. This still sounds like a doable figure. I mean we are talking less than 1 $0.99 app per month per jailbroken iPhone/iPod touch pirate. Assuming all the numbers are close to accurate.

If this is all true, then Apple is loosing way too much money to be sitting back and letting it happen. They must be working on something. If Microsoft can put together a system to prevent Xbox 360 pirating, then Apple can sure do something.