The wait is finally over for iPhone 5 owners; an untethered jailbreak for iOS 6 is available for Apple’s latest handset. For many, jailbreaking is the only way to make an Apple phone satisfy all of their needs. While Android is built on an open, easily modifiable and customisable platform, iOS is heavily tailored to Apple’s vision with very little room for change by users. Since the early days of iOS, jailbreaking has given the power back to users; a way for both minor and major tweaks and changes to be made to an already fantastic mobile operating system.
It’s worth noting that the latest jailbreak is available for all devices running iOS 6 through to 6.1 but the following list of must have apps and tweaks will be tailored to those with the iPhone 5 getting their first taste of jailbreak action on the device.
Auxo is a large tweak to the iOS multitasking system originally conceptualised on the Verge forums. The idea behind it is to make better use of the screen real estate when using the multitasking switcher, especially with the added pixels of the iPhone 5 in play.
First and foremost, the standard app icons are replaced with live previews of open apps. Smaller icons and labels are also included for easier recognisability. To remove an app from the switcher it’s as simple as swiping them away, a concept that will feel familiar to anyone who has spent any time with WebOS or newer versions of Android.
The stock Apple multitasking switcher also serves a couple of other purposes but to far from their full potential. Toggles for quick settings similar in functionality to the extremely popular SBSetting and NCSettings are added. Three pages of toggles are available above a handy brightness slider to control things from wifi and bluetooth connectivity to the rotation lock.
Finally, Auxo updates the music controls to fit better with the style of the switcher and includes album, artist and song information in addition to the option to show a large preview of the album art. A volume slider is also available with a simple swipe upwards.
Zephyr is a tweak that fills a functionality gap that really shouldn’t be there. Few users of iOS would argue that double-clicking the home button isn’t a clunky way of accessing the multitasking switcher. As the operating system that brought touch gestures to the forefront of how we interact with mobile phones it seems quite a large oversight that there isn’t one to open the multitasking switcher. Zephyr seamlessly adds this functionality; a swipe up from off the bottom of the screen opens the multitasking switcher and optionally you can swipe in from the left and right to switch apps.
A source of constant frustration for many iOS users is having to stop whatever you’re doing to change apps and reply to an SMS or iMessage. BiteSMS removes this frustrations with quick reply. Simply, it allows you to reply to an incoming message immediately in a pop-up over the app you were already using which means you can seamlessly continue what you were doing immediately after hitting send. If you so wish, the option is also available to reply directly from the lock screen saving the time and effort of unlocking your phone.
BiteSMS is actually a full app replacement for the stock messages app. It brings a whole host of other functionality on top of that mentioned above. When combined with another jailbreak tweak, activator, you can quickly compose a message from inside any app. Overlooked functionality such as the ability to time stamp every single message in a thread is also included on top of things like contact pictures in your messages list and a wider range of emoticons than in the default messages app.
Infinifolders is just one of the infiniapps available and the one that I personally find the most useful. If you’ve ever had folders called ‘Games 1′, ‘Games 2′ etc. you need infinifolders in your life. The simple tweak allows you add more than the Apple imposed limited number of apps to a folder with scrolling or pagination depending on your preference.
There are other tweaks available that offer similar functionality but none really with the elegance and simplicity of infinifolders.
Newsstand. Does anybody actually use it? Of course I’m sure that some people do, perhaps on the iPad, but I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who uses it on their iPhone. It looks awful just sitting there with nothing in it, especially as you can’t hide it away in a folder. The NoNewsisGoodNews tweak thankfully banishes the newsstand app from your homescreen.
Safari is a fantastic mobile browser but it’s not for everyone. Since the app store opened it’s metaphorical doors in 2008 many developers have attempted to fill the browser gap with alternatives. With the launch of Google Chrome for iOS many users have now found an alternative to Safari worthy of becoming their default browser. The problem is, Apple doesn’t want them to do this. Browser Chooser is a great tweak that lets you choose your default browser and forces all OS actions that open the browser to use your chosen alternative.
Apple caused quite a stir when they dropped Google Maps in favour of their own mapping solution; especially when those maps turned out to be really bad. Google not long ago launched their own maps app and millions of iOS users rushed to welcome it back to their device. The only problem, as with changing the browser, is that directions links always insist on opening in the Apple maps app. The MapsOpener tweak solves this problem for the most part although Siri still refuses to acknowledge the superior option from Google.
Cydia is full to the brim with tweaks and apps for changing all of the little details of your iOS device but eventually they can become hard to keep on top of. Springtomize rolls all of these little tweaks in to one easy to manage menu item and has reportedly been completely rewritten for iOS 6.
If you can imagine a UI element or feature of iOS then the chances are that Springtomize can change or customise it. If you want to increase the number of rows or columns of apps on the homescreen or change the number of icons in the dock you can. Folders can be assigned a cover image and animations can be applied to locking the phone. The possibilities are endless.
Have you ever looked at your phone at night only to be blinded by the blueish light? In the same way that iOS is programmed to adjust the brightness of the display based on ambient light, F.lux adjusts the colour hue to make the display easier on the eyes at night. This is a must have for anyone who uses their iPhone in bed at night, especially if you do any heavy reading.
That concludes the list of must have jailbreak tweaks and apps as far as I’m concerned. There are hundreds more fantastic things available through Cydia so if there are any obvious ones you think I might have left out please leave a comment!
UPDATE: Due to the popularity of this post I have done another with even more great jailbreak apps and tweaks.
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