I have to say I’m a very patient man.  I tend to wait for products to come on sale rather than make a rash purchase.  That’s also how I approach the iPhone.  Instead of jailbreaking my iPhone 3G or buying workaround apps for functionality that will eventually be free, I am usually good at waiting.  But, my patience with Apple reached a breaking point and I decided to jailbreak.

The changes I made to my 16 GB iPhone 3G may seem small, but I now feel like I have a brand new phone!

Clayton Wakida's Original Winterboard Theme - Blue Thunder

So, here are my reasons for jailbreaking:

Customization – I’ve been told that themes are Microsoft Windows-centric and Apple is not into themes.  Skins are not available for iTunes, unlike Winamp (remember that program?).  But, isn’t Apple supposed to be the “fun” computer company?  After 16 months of looking at the same basic home screen, I’m ready for a change.  Enter WinterBoard.  With a stock iPhone, you can only change the wallpaper on your lock screen.  With Winterboard, you can change your home screen background, add a percentage for your battery meter (for non-3GS users), as well as change the logos for your carrier, 3G and Wi-Fi icons.  The theme I chose is called Blue Thunder.  It also changed the stock icons of the apps that came with your iPhone and a number popular apps in the App Store.  I kind of understand Apple not wanting to give us the power of customization, lest our iPhones turn into obnoxious MySpace pages.  But, I’m tired of being a slave to Big Red.

Home Screen Managing – I’ve always thought folders on your iPhone home screen would be incredibly useful.  And, again, this thinking may have originated with my Windows upbringing.  But, wouldn’t you think it would advantageous to Apple to have the iPhone and iPod Touch be able to max out the number of apps possible by internal storage rather than home screen real estate?  I know you can install apps that will no longer show up on the home screen but that’s counterproductive.  With Categories, I trimmed down 10 pages of apps to 4 pages and everything is easy to get to.  Spotlight Search also works well with Categories.

Video Recording – I thought that since the iPhone 3GS gained video recording capabilities Apple would make video recording possible for the 3G.  Nope.  Instead, you have to choose between buying a new 3GS starting at $199 with a new 2-year contract or jailbreaking your iPhone.  Easy choice there.  So, I got Cycorder.  And I bet Apple was also behind the gimped version of Qik in the App Store which cannot do live streams.  Another reason to jailbreak.

I have at least another 7 months to wait for the next iPhone announcement.  I’m going to spend those months with my jailbroken iPhone 3G.  And I wouldn’t have done it if Apple was on its game.

  • I was for a long time against the iPhone for it’s lock in and inferior hardware spec.
    Things like missing Video Recording, Copy/Paste and no Multitasking were a deal breakers for me.
    I was not going to have a smart phone that could not have applications in the background, especially not when Apples own apps could do it.
    I understand that it takes a hit on battery life, but then have a switch deep in the settings giving me the option.
    Another deal breaker was the lock-in to app-store, especially with the stories of how stupid the review process is, again they say it is to give the user the best experience, but I as the user should be able to decide, not Apple.
    Again give me a switch, or a big disclaimer saying that Apple is not responsible, bla bla bla.

    Anyway, with the 3GS the hardware was there, Video recording, and Copy/Paste, but still no multitasking, and still a stupid lockin to the app store.

    Then Spotify announced an iPhone app, but it could not run in the background, how useless is a music app that can not run in the background?
    But then i read about backgrounder, an app for Jailbroken phones that enables applications to run in the background.

    Since my old Winmo phone had seen better days, I was going to buy a new phone, another Winmo phone was out of the question, to dated system even the new 6.5 is a joke.
    So the choice was iPhone, Android and Symbian, and WebOs.
    Symbian feels a bit like Winmo, it is dated.
    Android is nice, but It is far from up to speed.
    WebOs, well the phone is (was) not for sale here, and I don’t believe it will become anything, the competition from Android is too big.
    What really pulled me to the iPhone was the vast amount of apps for it, not only in the App Store, but the big user base makes the homebrew community great.

    So I got the 3GS, and the first thing I did was to Jailbreak to install backgrounder.
    Now I have a lot of other things, Winterboard is really nice, I use the Illumine theme, and I think it looks great.
    I tried categories, but did not like it, so I went for the 5 Column hack instead, essentially giving me 4 more apps per page, I also added the 5 icons dock hack.
    I also use LockInfo, a great hack to give you info on the Lockscreen.

    But the downside of the homebrews is stability, I have tested so many different things that my phone has become unstable, so I will probably soon restore it, and only install the hacks I really use now.

    But to finish off, without the ability to Jailbreak, I would not have bought the iPhone, and if Apple in some way prevents this in the future, my next phone will not be an iPhone.

  • Jesse

    Eldaria excellent input I implemented almost everyone of the apps. you discussed above. This is my second attempt at playing with my jailbroke phone – thanks to you I see some of the beauty in it I failed to see the first time on my own.

    Much thanks!

  • I think an iPhone sucks if you don’t jailbreak it. I can’t think of doing away with apps like Backgrounder, Insomnia, Voipover3G!

  • If you like backgrounder I can recomend another utility I found recently, kirikae, it is a task switcher. Works great with backgrounder.

  • Thanks Eldaria for this very insightful comment.

    Sebastien

  • RICHERD

    —->((((ATTENTION))))

    SEBASTIAN
    JUS WANTED TO ASK U A BIG QUESTION I BEEN HAVING ON MY MIND SINCE IM ABOUT TO GIV MY FONE TO SUM ONE!!!!!!!!!! ANYHOW THE QUESTION IS IF A BUY AN IPHONE 3GS EM I GONA B ABLE TO JAILBREAK IT??????????? SINCE APPLE PUT AN ANTI JAILBREAK SOFTWARE ON THE 3GS

    • Richerd,
      Yes you will be able to jailbreak the 3GS if you buy one now.
      S

  • Juan

    what would jesus think of you jailbreaking?

    @Richerd: Lose the caps. It’s f’in rude.

  • JAG

    The latest BlackRa1n RC3 can jailbreak and unlock ANY iPhone. Way easy. All done in about 60 seconds. Big props to George Hotz. Please consider donating. http://www.blackra1n.com.

  • JAG

    If you are already jailbroken and are upgrading to a newer firmware, use Aptbackup found in Cydia to backup your jailbroken apps.

    1) upgrade to the latest firmware. 2) use Blackra1n RC3 to jailbreak. 3) reinstall Cydia. 4) reinstall Aptbackup. 5) then click restore to reinstall all the jailbroken apps. Too easy….

  • JAG

    Of course you install and open Aptbackup and click on “backup” before you begin step 1 above.

  • I would toss the iPhone if I could not have the features Jailbreaking offers. Like mentioned above the phone is lacking in stock form. One would assume with the know how Apple has they could make a better base platform. IMHO… I think Apple holds out to sell what they have and slowly release updated firmware and new phones to keep all of us iPhone addicts coming back.

    Blackra1n is a good solution but the tethered jailbreak is a pain sometimes.

    509 Media

  • RICHERD10

    i jus wana ask if cydia has a crash cuz it wont open on my fone!!!! it opens a black screen then it closes is it all cydias or just mine asking so i wont restore it

  • Polemicist

    I got my iPhone and it was hacked within hours… I can’t stand being told that I can’t do such and such because of this restriction blah blah… Drives me nuts… When I see a closed door I look for a way around it or I kick it in. 🙂

    I gotta know what theme you are using in that image above? Looks COOL!!!

  • Ladyurbain

    I second, third and forth everything said here. I think it is ridiculous not to Jailbreak.

    Polemicist: The theme above is Blue Thunder.

  • justanothergamer

    @RICHERD10

    I believe this was an early bug with blackra1n, you will need to install BOTH Cydia AND Rock. Somehow this makes Cydia work. If you only need Cydia, you can uninstall Rock after that and Cydia will still continue to work.

    However, I thought this was fixed because I’m able to just install Cydia and it works right away. If not, try the above.

  • thats why i love iphone.

  • Kimsland

    Since this topic is obviously one sided, towards the ‘joy’ of jailbreaking; just thought I’d mention some FACTS:
    Sometimes either after JB your phone, or even downloading and running a 3rd party app, your phone may become non usable, requiring a hopeful reset fix!
    This can be proven by the thousands of JB user forum posts asking for help.

    And the reason why Apple’s App Store does not have all these exciting new apps is because they are not tested, AND these apps were denied entry to the AppStore for some reason (security isssues maybe?)

    Some (many) users want an iPhone to just be an Internet Phone, with the common safe and reliable apps
    ie Why have a theme? Black background is good, I can see my icons extremely clearly, and everything works.

    My iPhone is used as a phone; email; Internet and a selection of over 650 thousand apps from the AppStore.
    I’m not interested in a ‘theme’ or running two things at once, or re-organizing that which works perfectly well.

    Personally I see no reason to unsafely JailBreak my phone, and I’m pretty positive that MOST of the world don’t want to either.
    I use my computer to run my real Apps, not my phone with a tiny screen to run themes!

    I hope this comment helps others when deciding to change their iPhone firmware to something other than Apple (since that is Exactly what you are doing)

  • Kimsland

    Since this topic is obviously one sided, towards the ‘joy’ of jailbreaking; just thought I’d mention some FACTS:
    Sometimes either after JB your phone, or even downloading and running a 3rd party app, your phone may become non usable, requiring a hopeful reset fix!
    This can be proven by the thousands of JB user forum posts asking for help.

    And the reason why Apple’s App Store does not have all these exciting new apps is because they are not tested, AND these apps were denied entry to the AppStore for some reason (security isssues maybe?)

    Some (many) users want an iPhone to just be an Internet Phone, with the common safe and reliable apps
    ie Why have a theme? Black background is good, I can see my icons extremely clearly, and everything works.

    My iPhone is used as a phone; email; Internet and a selection of over 650 thousand apps from the AppStore.
    I’m not interested in a ‘theme’ or running two things at once, or re-organizing that which works perfectly well.

    Personally I see no reason to unsafely JailBreak my phone, and I’m pretty positive that MOST of the world don’t want to either.
    I use my computer to run my real Apps, not my phone with a tiny screen to run themes!

    I hope this comment helps others when deciding to change their iPhone firmware to something other than Apple (since that is Exactly what you are doing)