The Jailbroken World of an iPhone User

by Chris Sanchez

The iOS 7 launch is all the rage today and rightfully so. Millions of people will update their iPhones and this is clearly the future direction for Apples mobile OS. But there's another world that a minority of us are a part of and the newest iOS won't be truly exciting until it's jailbroken by our genius hacker community. I am sad to lose my jailbroken capabilities in order to upgrade to the new iPhone 5s but I'll surely be counting the days until I'm back in my comfort zone with a clean, untethered jailbreak. Apple made some good strides and I think the newest generation software is definitely an upgrade in the right direction but jailbreaking offers so many more advantages.

Key things to note before detailing my favorite and most used "hacks" if you will. Jailbreaking (once it's made available to the public by guys much brighter and more capable than myself) is easy to complete. These days you can simply plug in your iPhone, back it up, then hit a single button. The rest is taken care of from there. Once the phone reboots several times and is ready to go you have this new app store installed called Cydia. Cydia is the gateway to a whole new world (and a MUCH better iPhone experience if you ask me).

Now onto my favorite upgrades. The longest existing and very useful paid app is "MiWi". This allows tethering without paying the useless/pocket gouging monthly charge by your carrier. It's a one time payment of $20 instead of the $20+ per month you get tacked onto your phone bill just to utilize your existing data with other devices. Secondly I utilize "Androidlock XT" for an alternative to using a passcode. It's faster than typing a pin but will get replaced for me with Apples new fingerprint reader, which is getting great reviews on its responsiveness. Next is something Apple needs to incorporate if they really do care about true iPhone security. It's called "iGotYa" and it prevents your power button from turning off your phone when it is in a locked state. This is a huge issue for stolen phones as smart criminals who "happen to come by an iPhone" simply turn it off without ever needing your passcode and can easily sell it from there by just proving it turns on. By not allowing them to shut off the phone it's much more easily tracked and recoverable. I seriously want to know Apples apparent lack of initiative on this. Even better however, iGotYa also allows you to take a picture on the front facing camera when someone tries to turn it off. It then subsequently emails you the picture as well as the phones current location, further improving your chances of finding your phone. This will be one of the features that I'll greatly miss until iOS 7 is jailbroken. One caveat I will note is that your phone can still be hard reset (power button + home button) but this would have to be continuously cycled and doesn't seem like a reasonable solution for someone trying to conceal a stolen phone. Another useful one is called "Activator." This allows you to change any function on your phone to perform any action. It's super useful as I have "triple click home button closes all running apps." I also used it to double click lock button to turn on flashlight. There are literally thousands of combinations and custom actions that you can create and use with this. "Infinifolders" allows unlimited numbers of apps in a single folder instead of being limited to just 12. "Opener" automatically opens Google Maps instead of the dreadful and sometimes dangerous Apple Maps. In the same vain as the last one, "BrowserChooser" allows you to set your default browser to Google Chrome which I greatly prefer over safari, but we'll see how the updated safari on iOS 7 performs. "NCSettings" put a lot of the quick access settings into your notification bar. This is a welcome update that apple is now including as a new feature called "Control Center" but it's honestly 3 years behind the game. 

These are the main hacks that I use and will be miss, while I upgrade to the iPhone 5s and wait.