Last week, I showed you how to jailbreak your iPhone in ten relatively easy steps. Since I essentially got you started and left you hanging, I’ve gone ahead and compiled the follow-up. Below you will find a list of 18 of my favorite apps found on Cydia. Remember, while some of these apps are offered for free, not all of them are. Of course jailbreaking does provide the ability to install pirated software fairly easy but I will not be instructing you on how to do so. I like to support independent DEVs as much as I can, especially when they’re providing a service/tool I really need and or want. I wouldn’t recommend anything that I haven’t tried and enjoyed myself, but make sure you have the expendable funds before you get too excited.
1. IntelliScreenX – $9.99 (free trial)
I’ve got to start off with my absolute favorite Cydia app. I first came across IntelliScreenX back while I was using iOS 5.x. It is actually responsible for my sticking with an iPhone due to it providing an incredibly simple way to access email, twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds in one place with a single swipe of a finger. IntelliscreenX gives the option to compose text messages from within it, displays local weather, date and time as well as offer simple switches for Bluetooth, WiFi, brightness and more. I’ve actually got it setup so that it opens from my lock screen, so now, I only ever have to access the tile screen when I want to run a game, change a setting or install something.
2. SBSettings – Free
Although both IntelliScreenX and SBSettings share many of the same functions, I prefer to keep both installed on my iPhone and here is why you should too. For one, it’s free. Two, it gives quick access to often used options that are buried within the Settings app by default. It’s modular, meaning that other developers have created plug-ins allowing their software to utilize SBSetting’s menu. My favorite feature is the task manager, accesses by the process button that clears up memory in a jiffy. If you like ease of access but don’t spend a lot of time using Social Media, skip IntelliScreenX and use SBSettings, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Firewall IP – $4.99
Your iPhone connects to the internet whenever it needs to log in to a service, load ads, check your email, etc, we all know that, but did you know that many apps connect to more than one server several times throughout a session? I had an idea, but I never realized how often it did until I installed FirewallIP. This nifty tool displays a pop-up whenever your phone is requested to connect to a server. The pop-up tells you the address of the server and through which port your phone is trying to connect to. You’re given the choice to allow or deny the connection once, always, throughout the session or even allow or deny all attempted connections the app tries to make. If you have security paranoia issues, this is an app to make you feel like you’ve got a bit more control.
4. ProtectMyPrivacy – Free
This app goes hand in hand with FirewallIP. While Firewall IP tells you who your phone is trying to send info to, PMP informs you what the app is actually attempting to transfer to said server. There are tons of apps that attempt to access not only your phone’s unique identification number, but your contacts and location too. Sure, apps like Google Maps, Facebook and their like make sense to at least want that info, but what business does an app like SpeedTest have attempting to access my contact list? Get this ASAP to keep your most valuable data safe.
5. NoNewsIsGoodNews – Free
I opened Newsstand twice, the first time was to figure out exactly what it was. The second time, I mistakenly opened it thinking it was iBooks. The annoying thing about this app is that Apple doesn’t want you deleting it, and placing a useless icon into a folder just doesn’t cut it for me. NoNewsIsGoodNews is a simple Cydia app that removes the Newsstand icon off of your springboard. No longer shall I be bothered by the tacky shelf icon staring at me, begging to be used, and neither should you.
6. Shrink – $0.99
If you’re installing NoNewsISGoodNews, you probably value your screen real estate as much as I do. The default size of the iPhone’s springboard icons are just a bit too large for me. While larger icons make for easier selecting with a thumb, it also means fewer icons on a page. I have a LOT of apps installed on my iPhone, and I don’t want to scroll page after page to see/access them. Shrink downscales your SpringBoard icons so more can fit into a page. I have mine set to display 5 columns. I also use it to resize my notifications, those red dots are too intrusive to my Smartphone experience. 50% makes me happy.
7. FolderEnhancer – Free
In an attempt to make iOS accessible for even the least tech-savvy, folders in iOS are seriously lacking in ability. The iPhone 5 lets you place 16 apps within a folder, which is an improvement over 12 which every other iPhone is limited to. Thus, if you want to organize your apps into structured folders, you’re going to have several repeat folders like games, games2, games3, etc. My brain can’t handle that without feeling frustrated every time I unlock my iPhone. The solution to this is FolderEnhancer. Not only does FolderEnhancer allow you to place pages of apps within a folder, it gives you the ability to place folders within folders. What a novel idea! So now, my games folder has sub folders such as Racing, Shooter, Arcade, Card, the list goes on. The advantages of this tweak go on and on and since this is already a long article, I’ll simply suggest that you check it out.
8. Winterboard – Free
While Apple has indeed provided iOS with one of the easiest to navigate GUIs in the market, it isn’t all that pretty. Winterboard is an app that gives the ability to theme your springboard. Want to make your iPhone look like it’s running Android? Download a Winterboard theme from Cydia and after a respring, you’ve got a fun new GUI to play with. Winterboard also grants the ability to make minor GUI changes such as modifying the transparency of your dock, lockscreen and icons. There are even themes that will change your signal bars into a batman symbol.
9. Dreamboard – Free
Another theming app available via Cydia, Dreamboard is like a second cousin to Winterboard that allows theme DEVs a bit more to play with. Prior to installing IntelliScreenX, I used t Dreamboard to make it appear that my iPhone was running Windows. When I got tired of that, I started dabbling with a bunch of experimental stuff that gave me access to widgets that displayed my twitter and RSS feeds on the springboard. As with Winterboard, there are literally hundreds of themes and add-ons to try out, but I’ve got to warn you that Dreamboard is quite resource heavy, so use with discretion.
10. BetterChrome – Free
I don’t know about you, but I use Chrome on my PC on a daily basis and am happy to finally have access to all my bookmarks while I’m on the go. Unfortunately, the iOS version just isn’t as robust as I’d like it to be “out of the box”. BetterChrome is a nifty tweak that adds additional menu options to the iOS Chrome browser. Once installed you now have the option to share the content you’re reading via Twitter, Facebook and Google+. My favorite is the new option to add a page shortcut to your homescreen, enabling you to jump directly to the content you wish to read with a single touch.
11. OpenInChrome – Free
If you’re already using chrome for iOS, you’ve had to deal with the annoyance that every clicked link from within an app or an email opens in Safari by default. Without OpenInChrome, you are forced to wait for the address bar to become selectable, copy the address to your clipboard, close Safari, open Chrome, wait until you can select and paste the address into it. With steps like that, your iPhone is no longer simple, instead, install OpenInChrome and whenever iOS tries to open a link, it defaults to Chrome. Yay! Default browser options!
12. SMS Timestamps – Free
I honestly don’t understand what conversation transpired at Apple HQ when they made the decision to only periodically timestamp text messages. As far as I can tell, it chooses to stamp messages at random intervals and it’s annoying. Sometimes text and media messages get stuck in the cloud for a while and when they come through, create all sorts of confusion when attempting to discern what part of the conversation it was relating to. SMS Timestamps alleviates the hassle of explaining that a particular message related to a prior comment by letting users chose the exact interval in which timestamps are made in addition to allowing you to choose to have every message time stamped.
13. AnyAttach – $2.99
Considering that the iPhone was and still is marketed as a mobile internet device, it’s perplexing as to why Apple excluded the option to send email attachments. True, you now have the ability to instantly upload your photos to Facebook and other networks, but why is something as simple as email left out? Well, the jailbreak community had these same questions and some fantastic DEVs went ahead and created AnyAttach. AnyAttach adds a paperclip to the subject bar in the compose mail window. Touching the paperclip will open the file/photo/video picker and allow you to browse through your system to attach whatever may need to be sent. A simple solution for a problem that shouldn’t even exist.
14. iFile – $4.00
Apple has designed the iPhone so that it “just works” and has taken steps to prevent you from making that statement not true. Case in point, there is no default way to browse the iPhone’s file system. Even when attempting to browse the iPhone via Windows Explorer or Mac Finder, you’re restricted to the camera’s DCIM folder. I am not ok with that at all. For one, I don’t like that the device makes a phony shutter noise whenever I use the camera. All it does is make the already laggy camera app more sluggish when attempting to take a picture, (if it doesn’t crash while doing so). With iFile, I receive complete access to all files and folders in my iPhone and can now choose to rename the sound file so the program can no longer access it. You paid for the device, do you not think you should be able to see what makes it tick?
15. WiFi Analyzer – $0.99
If you’ve ever had to set up a wireless router during a conference or public event, you’re going to love this one. WiFi Analyzer detects all local WIFI networks around you and displays their details in an easy to read and understand manner. This tool helps to identify issues such as overlapping signals, channel conflicts, signal strength and encryption methods. This even works at home by giving you a graphical display of the channels your neighbor’s routers are using. If you’re ever in a situation where there are so many WIFI networks around you that you can’t easily chose which is the best to access, open up WiFi Analyzer and all your questions shall be answered.
16. 3G Unrestrictor 5 – $3.99
3G Unrestrictor is a requirement for anyone with an unlimited data plan. Once again, the iPhone’s ability to function as an internet device has been thwarted. While many ATT users are now able to pretend we’re in the age of the Jetson’s by using Facetime when on the go, many are still restricted from using it unless connected to WIFI. What’s the point of that? “We’ve got this awesome new phone capability, but you can only use it when you’re at home or at work”. Pitiful. In addition, the AppStore doesn’t want to allow you to download anything over 20MB via your data connection. Want to try out InfinityBalde2 or the new Vice City port, too bad, you’re going to have to wait till you’re in WiFi range. 3G Unrestrictor works by tricking applications into thinking that your iPhone is on WiFi when it isn’t. While this can be a concern for people using tiered data plans, anyone grandfathered into unlimited can now get full use out of the extra cash they’re throwing at their provider.
17. Infinidock – $1.99
With FolderEnhancer and Shrink Installed, this one isn’t exactly necessary, but it is fun none the less. Infinidock gives you the option of adding as many icons to the dock as you wish. You can set the number of icons that sit on each page (I use 5 to keep my screen uniform) and continue loading it till your heart’s content. Typically I use it for browsers, and my most often used apps such as WeatherBug, Gmail and iBooks, but you can do with it what you like. Some people use it solely for web page shortcuts created by BetterChrome. I’m sure you can figure out a multitude of uses once you try it out, so go ahead and install it.
18. CyDelete – Free
While Cydia makes downloading and installing software fun and easy, removing apps can be a laborious chore. When you’re new to the Jailbreaking scene, you tend to install a lot of apps in the attempt to find out what best suits your needs. However, once you find that an app doesn’t work well, or you’ve found a better option, removing it from Cydia takes time. You must open Cydia, wait for it to reload information, browse to the package, yadda yadda yadda… Cydelete gets rid of those steps completely and makes the removal of Cydia apps as simple deleting an app from the AppStore. Just hold down on the3 icon you want to remove, wait for it to start wiggling, and tap the X. Easy as pie, and we all love pie, don’t we?
There you are folks, 18 Cydia Apps to get you started. There are hundreds more apps out there in the repositories for you to try out and several more I use that didn’t make the list this time around. I’ll be trying out some new stuff based on recommendations and will let you know what I think. Check back soon or you may just miss it.
Jordan Goodson, the geek in the darkness, guiding his readers through the vast catacombs of tech and science. He journeys the interwebs searching for any and all relevant data to be absorbed and shared.