Why Jailbreak? Tweaks and Apps that make jailbreaking your iPhone / iPad worth it.
The jailbreak community has grown extensively over the past couple of weeks thanks to the release of Absinthe which provided an untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. It has been a long wait, especially for those of us that have had a jailbreak before on their previous iPhone’s and have been without one ever since.
So for those people who are new to the jailbreaking scene I’ll be covering the what’s new in jailbreaking each week including new apps, tweaks and jailbreaking news.
As this is the first in the series I’m going to cover some of the reasons why I jailbreak, some of these will be tweaks that have been around for a long time while others are new since Absinthe was released.
On Janaury 20th the Chronic Dev Team released GreenPois0n Absinthe and those iPhone 4S and iPad 2 owners could jailbreak their devices and the process, for most people, was relatively painless.
The jailbreak was as simple as connecting your device to your Windows PC or Mac and running the GreenPois0n Absinthe tool. From than on the tool did all the work and unlike previous jailbreaks there isn’t even a need to put your device into DFU mode, a kind of special sleep mode that allows the device OS to be updated.
After just 15 minutes the Jailbreak was complete and I was ready to add the tweaks and apps that turn my iPhone into the device I know and love.
First up was SBSettings and Activator, two tools that allow you to access iPhone settings and actions via gestures on the home screen or by using the physical buttons on the device. If you frequently have to turn on/off wifi or Bluetooth these two tools are awesome and now SBSettings can now be added to your iOS5 Notification Center for even easier access.
Next up is iFile which gives you access to browse the iPhone file directory and IncarcerApp which for those of you with young children is great as it prevents the home button from being used when your children are in certain applications, this means that they can play their favorite games with the risk of them making phone calls, sending text messages or anything else on your iPhone.
The final of the apps that are jailbreak staples for me is BiteSMS which replaces the standard message apps and adds feature upon feature to the default text messaging application. The two that ensures that BiteSMS is one of the first apps installed is the ability to quickly start an SMS via the volume buttons and the ability to reply to an incoming text or iMessage without having to go to the messaging app.
In addition to these established tweaks there have been a number of new tweaks on the block that have added great new functionality to the already great iPhone.
Call Bar – The default action of an incoming call on an iPhone is to take over the whole screen until you’ve decided how you want to handle the call. With Call Bar installed the incoming call now appears at the top of the screen just like notifications do.
From there you can answer or reject the call either via buttons or by swiping it. This give you full access to use the phone as you please while the call sits at the top of the screen. This is one of those tweaks which makes you wonder how it wasn’t included in the iPhone by default.
Zephyr – This is another tweak that makes you wonder why it’s not part of the standard OS as it’s such a simple, yet great tweak. Zephyr adds multitasking gestures to the iPhone 4S which enables you to do 3 things.
- Swipe left and right to switch between apps.
- Swipe up to close open applications
- Smoothly swipe up to access the multitask icons
Not only are these features great if your iPhone is fully functional but if you happen to be one of the unlucky ones who has a broken home buttons then they become life savers!
SiriToggles – 3 out of 3 for tweaks that have no reason not to be in the iOS by default as SiriToggles adds the ability to open apps and activate/deactivate iOS settings via Siri. “Set brightness to 50%”, “Turn off Bluetooth”, “Open Safari” will all now work and makes Siri a little less Beta than it previously was!