The Cydia store is endless, relentless, and mind-knumbing. What could you possibly install next?
Some of you are first-time iPhone jailbreakers. Some of you bought the iPhone 4S when it was released and haven't had a jailbreak since you got rid of your older iDevice. If you have become rusty over the time you've waited for a jailbreak or you are new the to scene, then this synopsis should help you discover some interesting new and classic jailbreak applications or tweaks that you could install on your iPhone 4S to improve upon its already endless functionality. Anyone with a jailbreak on any other iDevice can use this synopsis for recommendations as well, but I am writing it to help people with the newer iPhone 4S learn what they have missed and possibly catch up with us. Here is a list of some of my personal favorite free jailbreak applications and tweaks:
1. Mobile Substrate
First and foremost, how could you possibly like jailbreaking without Mobile Substrate? It's a free application that is automatically installed with just about any tweak that you install from Cydia. It was created by Jay Freeman (saurik)
to keep your iPhone from getting damaged if something that you install from Cydia goes terribly wrong. It disables everything from Cydia and puts your iPhone in a state called 'safe mode' which allows only iOS's core processes to run. If you have ever installed a buggy tweak and crashed into safe mode, then you know that Mobile Substrate has saved you from having to restore your iPhone. What would I do without you, Mobile Substrate?
Activator is a free application that was created by iOS developer Ryan Petrich
to help make accessing iOS functions and invokable tweaks easier. It includes touch gesture actions, motion actions, and screen-location-based actions which can be used to invoke a process. Activator is probably best well-known for its integration into SBSettings where swiping the status bar would toggle it to open. It can be used for a variety of things including screenshots, composing Twitter tweets, and invoking biteSMS/Messages+ compositions. I find Activator to be very useful for my daily routine.
SBSettings is a well-known application put together by BigBoss
that puts common iOS toggles right in an easy-to-reach location. You can use it two ways - through the classic 'swipe the status bar' method which brings up a separate window, or with iOS 5, you can have it integrated into Notification Center as shown above. It has a lot of useful tools included such as hiding applications and disabling Mobile Substrate tweaks which can be used for many intuitive reasons. SBSettings is themeable and comes with a couple themes to start you off. If you want to toggle things on and off without going into Settings to do so, then I recommend SBSettings to you.
4. Action Menu
Action menu is a classic jailbreak application by iOS developer Ryan Petrich
that adds more settings to your iOS copy and paste menu. One of the most noted is the favorites option which lets you save certain copies or cuts to your clipboard for future use. There is an Action Menu Plus Pack extension (also by Ryan Petrich) which does cost money that adds more features to action menu. Action Menu is always useful on an iPhone if you're constantly copying and pasting things in between applications. I recommend this for iPhone power-users.
WinterBoard is a classic jailbreak application by Jay Freeman (saurik)
that lets you apply themes to your iPhone. It has been around for ages and because of that, there have been countless themes added to Cydia to support the iPhone. At this point in time there are well over 20,000 themes in circulation that work with WinterBoard. It can be used to add a touch of personal preference to iOS instead of that feeling that every iPhone should look the same that Apple pushes on us. Some themes are free and some are paid. If you want to have different looking icons than everyone else, then WinterBoard is something to take a look at. Installing it will require a reboot.
DreamBoard is a newer theming platform application by iOS developer Andrew Liu
that will apply more advanced themes to your SpringBoard than WinterBoard will. Winterboard will theme aspects of your iPhone with different images, but DreamBoard will apply animated differences such as widgets and interactive GUI (graphical user interfaces) that are completely different than iOS. Some themes are free and some are paid, but DreamBoard comes with a complementary copy of Endroid which is a mock up of Android. DreamBoard won't require a respring to apply themes like WinterBoard does. Check it out if you want a totally different kind of GUI on your iPhone.
Grooveshark is a music application similar to Spotify that never quite made it into the App Store. Since then, it has been released on Cydia. It's a monthly service, but the application is free and includes a trial that you can test. It's absolutely great. You can stream any song that you want from anywhere simply by searching for it and tapping play. Need I say more?
Webscrollian is a free jailbreak tweak by iOS hacker and developer chpwn
that lets you scroll through Safari Web content much faster than you ever could before. If you read through a lot of sites that are extremely long such as the front page of Modmyi news, then you will find a tweak like Webscrollian to be very helpful. It increases the inertial scrolling speed so that one swipe will keep on scrolling for a long time. Normally when you swipe to scroll it only goes a short way. If you have a lazy finger, check out Webscrollian to make Web browsing easier. I love to use it for many Web sites that I view in Mobile Safari.
PasswordPilot is a free jailbreak tweak by iOS developer Filippo Bigarella
that stores your Apple ID password to make your life easier. All you do is go into your Settings application after you install it and it allows you to input your password. Once you do that, any time you are prompted to enter your Apple ID password such as when you purchase an application, sign into iCloud, or any other instance - that prompt will be pre-filled with your password. Filippo took steps to make sure that your password is encrypted, so there is little chance that anyone can steal your password. However, if you don't have a pass code enabled, it can be easy for someone to make unwanted purchases on your iPhone. I use it every day and highly recommend it.
10. Pull To Dismiss
Pull To Dismiss is a handy and rather new free jailbreak tweak by iOS developer Ryan Petrich
that lets you pull the keyboard out of your way when you are reading content such as on Twitter or in your Notes application. If you go through and write a novel in whatever you are writing and you are ever annoyed by the fact that the keyboard takes up half of your reading space, then you will like this tweak because you can pull the keyboard from view and use the entire screen to read your content. I use it very often when reading text message histories or Twitter DM histories. I like having that extra room to read.
Do you have any favorite jailbreak tweaks that you'd like to tell us about? Leave a comment below telling us what it does and why you like it. The list above only included free jailbreak tweaks and applications, not paid ones.