Jailbreaking is without a doubt one of the best features about owning an iPhone. Not only are there some totally cool apps that you couldn’t get your hands on otherwise, but you can fully customize your iPhone’s look to fit your style.

biteSMS is one such application that gives users much more functionality than Apple’s stock offering. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could completely replace the stock SMS application with biteSMS, all the way down to the look and name of the app icon? Indeed it would be, that’s why we’ve created an in-depth tutorial for you inside…

Tools You Will Need

While there are certainly other ways of accomplishing this task, this tutorial will use iFile, which is a highly recommended file management tool for jailbroken iPhones. You can find iFile on Cydia.

The reason I am using iFile is that it by far the simplest most straightforward way of doing what we want to do, and it’s all GUI based, no command line jargon to learn.

It will also be helpful if you have SBSettings, which we will use near the end of the tutorial.

Replace App Icon

Step 1: After you’ve downloaded iFile from Cydia, open it and navigate to the following directory: /var/Stash/Applications.(random.string)/MobileSMS.app

Step 2: Once there, tap the ‘edit’ button in the upper left-hand corner and then scroll down until you come to the ‘I’ section (it’s all in alphabetical order).

Step 3: To the left of each file name you will see a circle, tap the circle to select the following files:

Icon-Small.png
Icon-Small@2x.png
icon.png
icon@2x.png

Step 4: Tap the ‘share’ button in the bottom right-corner and select ‘Copy/Link’ from the menu, then tap ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 5: Navigate to the following directory: /var/Stash/Applications.(random.string)/biteSMS.app

Step 6: Tap the ‘share’ button in the bottom right-corner and select ‘Paste’ from the menu, then tap ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 7: You will see a warning message telling you that the files already exist, yes we know this, tap ‘Overwrite all’ to proceed for each instance, then tap ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 8: Respring or Reboot your iPhone, and when you come back, your Pink biteSMS app icon should be replaced by the green stock Messages app icon.

Change the App’s Name

Now you’ll have two green SMS icons that look similar, although one will say ‘Messages’ and the other will say ‘biteSMS’. If you want to go all out, and replace the ‘biteSMS’ text with ‘Messages’, do the following:

Step 1: Go back into iFile and navigate to the following directory: /var/Stash/Applications.(random.string)/biteSMS.app.

Step 2: Scroll down until you find the ‘info.plist’ file. Tap the name of the file, and you will get a prompt to invoke a text editor; select Property List Viewer, and then tap ‘edit’ in the upper left-hand corner.

Step 3: Now you should see a lot of text that looks like html tags. About eight lines down you will see a ‘CFBundleDisplayName’ entry. Right below that you will see a ‘biteSMS’ entry. Replace ‘biteSMS’ with ‘Messages’ and then tap ‘Save’ and then ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 4: Respring or Reboot your iPhone again, and when you come back, the text for ‘biteSMS’ should be replaced with ‘Messages.’ Now you have a fully stock looking SMS app icon that is actually pointing to biteSMS!

Hide the Old Messages App

The only problem with this is that you will now have two identical looking app icons; one pointing to the stock SMS app, and one pointing to biteSMS. The best way that I’ve found to remedy this is by hiding the icon that points to stock Messages using SBSettings’ ‘Poof’ feature.

Step 1: In SBSettings, navigate to the ‘More’ option under ‘System Options’ and then select ‘Hide Icons.’

Step 2: Turn the second ‘Messages’ icon to ‘Off’ and exit SBSettings by pressing the Home button, your iPhone should automatically respring.

Now you should have a full fledge working copy of biteSMS, but no one will be able to tell simply by looking at your Home screen!

What do you think? Was this tutorial helpful? Let us know by commenting below.

  • Roy

    why to to it in the hard way insted, you can use winterboard

    • Anonymous

      Because WinterBoard uses too much ram and you’ll see noticeable drops in your iDevices speed.

  • David

    Or you could just download biteSMS to RETINA SMS from BigBoss and just use winterboard

  • True, but Winterboard at times brings its own set of problems to the table (app name font shadow issues to name one)… So I avoid using where I can, and opt for alternative methods. Also, can you rename an app with Winterboard? I’m pretty sure you can, but it’s been a while.

  • Bongo

    I use biteSMS NoPink Retina winterboard theme from BigBoss. It looks beautiful, and it’s dead simple. (The overall theme is Classica 3 i4)

    http://twitpic.com/3c7p83

  • Burge

    The app name can be changed with the app RENAME

    • Burge

      If you are going to use rename app,
      Install the SOSIPHONE repo from the more package sources on cydia home page.. That’s the only that works

  • Burge

    Sorry for this ..but what you put is that people should pay for a app ( ifile ) just to change a icon ? When there is a free way of doing this ( Winterboard ) and a app called rename … Is this site sponsored from the payed cydia tweaks ? It’s starting to look that way …you should of put that there is a free way to do this …very bad blogging from a site that I think is the best iPhone blog site on the net ….

    • iFile has a plethora of more uses besides just this tweak. It’s one of the first things I install on a jailbroken device. Can you name a better file manager that allows you to easily and directly interface with the file system? I’d definitely be willing to check it out if so, but I can’t think of anything that comes close to iFile off the top of my head.

      Besides it’s a great exercise to get those who are unfamiliar with how the iPhone works on the back end, to see it for themselves, and dig in.

      • Burge

        Your right about ifile, there is not anything better.. But what you put is that people should pay for a app to change a icon ! There is no mention of the other uses of ifile . I know that is not the point of this post ..but still you put pay for a app to change a icon …not good

      • soccerkrzy

        i-FunBox is worth checking out, it’s a desktop client and not directly through the iPhone, but it’s free.

        Also, I would’ve recommended backing up the BiteSMS files just in case…

    • appletiser

      agreed, i’ve used iFile for a while because it fits my purpose but a blog site should be impartial when it comes to recommending apps and offer alternative(s) especially if the article isn’t being sponsored by the advertised app.

      • appletiser

        i was agreeing with burge’s comment, btw

      • I wholeheartedly agree. A blog should be impartial. But you also have to remember the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I could probably come up with 5 or 6 different ways to accomplish almost anything, but that wouldn’t be very practical.

        This is the way I happen to go about doing said task, and that should be fine. That’s why I asked our readers at the end to comment on what ways they recommend doing it.

        It’s not about partiality, or impartiality, it’s just the way I’ve been doing it. When folks come to read, they will see from the comments that there is indeed an alternative. That’s what makes this community so great, and our readers like Burge and the rest some of the best on any blog, hands down.

        I appreciate all of your feedback.

      • Burge

        Kind words ….thank Jeff… Indeed there is other ways to do this like iPhone browser …but I would recommend RENAME to change the app name , it’s so much easer…just open the RENAME app find the app you would like to change the name of, tap it , type new new name and respring.

      • Z

        @Burge This Rename app sounds like a keeper =) Burge, you can also get ifile for free. The paid version adds 2 features that I never use: file search, app names, song titles and an option to handle various extensions with 3d party apps. So I got a pretty full version without spending.

        P.S. With a little bit of luck and effort you can always get a LEGIT copy of an app free *hint*

        @Jeff for as far as I’m concerned it is always recommended to BACKUP original files that are being modified. Also I don’t think it’s a good idea to blog about modification of app’s core files. That’s what winterboard is there for. It’s free and it’s protecting a not so tech savvy user from making mistakes.
        If you want me to send you a tutorial on how to do it, send the bundle identifier name from that same ‘info’ file to my email

      • Z

        P.S.: just realized I couldn’t count. I think that must have been 3 features, or 4 lol

  • Wikan

    Nice tweak, easy to use.

  • topsy

    Nobody is asking you to buy it. There are many ways to skin a cat. There are many ways to get iFile without shedding blood dude. Stop this show me know me game of yours. If you can’t appreciate someone, bugger off simple.

    • Burge

      &Topsy
      You seem to be missing the point .. And because you can not see it ..i cannot be bothered to explain it to you…

      • Z

        @Burge LOL good one! You lazy fuck lmao I’m gonna steal that one for my wife “just because you are not getting it, I’m not bothered to explain” rotflmao

      • Burge

        Glad you like it …
        did you get that photo folder tweak thingy app tweak thing.. Did it work with iTunes ? And if so is it worth it ?

      • Z

        I didn’t get it yet, since no try before buy. But just like i thought, it syncs still as camera roll. However, I’m still interested, even if it’s just for iPhone photos organization. But negative responses confirm that the tweak is not ironed out yet. Give it a few updates, I’d say.

      • Z

        And the app was PhotoAlbums+

    • Burge

      I know there is more ways to get ifile ..you need to go back afew posts I put a list up of 15 repo sites..and what the fuck you on about ( stop this game etc etc )

  • Good tutorial, I did not know about the name change thing, the icon I could figure it out the other day using WinSCP. Thanks Jeff.

    Quick offtopic: any ideas on how to change my avatar ?

    • Burge

      Go to gravatar.com

      • Done, registered, uploaded one . Now ? xd

      • Burge

        You need to put the same email on here that you used on gravatar ..that’s it

  • gunther80

    Thanks for guide

  • MiTom

    Anyone knows how to turn that into an Original DockFlow theme icon one? also anyone have the Original DockFlow HD for iPhone 4. Thanks in advance. I try replacing the file png but it looks funky and small. haha

  • Martin

    Done. Thanks. That was indeed fun and my first foray into the backend.

  • Erik

    I enjoyed this tutorial. Thanks A Lot! Ill probably end up just changing my icon using i-funbox and leave the name as biteSMS.

  • ryan

    Wow that looks like a tedious way to do it. I made my own purple stock messages icon with a little bite out of it (very nice and hi-res) and then went through transmit and just replaced it from my computer. I then used renamer II, the app you told us about earlier to change the name.

    • I understand where you’re coming from, but this literally takes me 2 minutes to do, minus the respringing.

  • Hbcbob3

    I only have two icons for the mobilesms. I don’t have the 2x logos. Could I still do this?

    • Burge

      Yes

  • Francisco

    That was so easy. Thanks Jeff. @ Burge thanks for the “Rename” idea. Maybe I can use both methods to accomplish the task

  • lyn

    lets support some1 who is tryning to give us info….
    either way u do it on ur own risk isnt it.

  • Josh

    When I do this, I click overwrite all and then I get an error that the file exists and couldn’t be copied. Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong? Thanks

    • Pnut

      I’m getting the same error. Any ideas Jeff?

  • I have an iPhone 3GS running on iOS 4.2.1/4.2 and can’t downgrade but when is the 3GS 4.1.
    please i need jailbreak for 4.2.1. can you help me find jailbreak for 4.2.1. i will not have redsn0w. help me please.

  • simonsays

    Thanks! Worked like a charm

  • Cryptopsy1979

    I had the problems that are mentioned above: only two icon-files and an error when copying and overwriting the icons in the biteSMS-folder.

    Solved by doing this:
    1. Used iPhone Explorer to browse my phone. It’s free. Copying is done by dragging files to the desktop and then dragging them to the appropriate folder. Probably not how it is intended to, but the context menu doesn’t offer me other options. And it works.

    2. Backed up the four biteSMS-iconfiles.

    3. Copied and overwrited the files in the biteSMS folder. (Using iPhone explorer)

    4. There is no ‘overwrite-prompt’, but after a respring the ugly pink icon was changed!

    Thanks, Jeff! Glad I don’t need to install Winterboard 🙂

  • iphoner

    what’s wrong with pink lol??? just get a nice hd winterboard theme i think pink looks nice. just hide the messages app you don’t need it.

  • jan

    Thx mate !!! I’m not using winterboard becasuse of performance so this will work out for me 🙂

  • Allmassim

    Hard to do.. But finally done and it was really interesting dude
    Thnks a lot…

  • Derp

    Love this method. Get to see the ins and outs of the iPhone file system. Thank you. Took me 3 minutes.

  • Jonny

    Worked perfectly! It only took a few minutes and I prefer this method since I don’t have to install Winterboard. I have an iPhone 3G so installing it would probably make my phone lag more. Thanks for the guide 🙂

  • Mayank

    my stash folder is empty,,,, jeff help

  • Hi, please can upload pictures, because I have an iPod Touch and do not show pictures.
    Great trick

  • jhayson

    hello, thank you for the useful trick. . 2 thumbs up. ..

  • Anonymous

    If you guys wanna make renaming apps easy, download “IconRenamer” in Cydia. 😉

  • Duong Pham

    Hello, I love this tutorial. Tried installing Winterboard and the speed dropped noticeably. With your trick everything works like it should. Screw winterboard 😀 Thanks again

  • Duong Pham

    Hello, I love this tutorial. Tried installing Winterboard and the speed dropped noticeably. With your trick everything works like it should. Screw winterboard 😀 Thanks again

  • Old post, not sure if this still works.. I’ve managed to change all the icons except the one on my home page? and i have followed all the steps perfectly multiple times (even tried changing permissions around)….any ideas?