My Top 10 Jailbreak Tweaks

By , Jan 28, 2012

I consider myself a strong advocate of the jailbreak cause. Ever since ziPhone – the first jailbreak ever released – came out, all my iDevices have been jailbroken and even unlocked when possible.

I love jailbreaking for two reasons. First, I jailbreak because I can. If there is a way to do things not the way they were intended to be, then count me in. Second, and more importantly, I jailbreak because it gives me access to a plethora of features that Apple hasn’t implemented yet, or will never implement for some reasons.

For the past three months, I’ve used a stock iPhone 4S. Obviously that was not my choice. There just wasn’t a jailbreak until Absinthe came out last week. But things are back to normal now.

Every time I jailbreak a new device for the first time, I try to reconsider what I really use, and what I really need. I also try to take into account a few things, like stability. If certain apps gave me headaches in the past, I’ll just make sure not to install them again (goodbye WinterBoard). It’s the perfect occasion to start on a clean slate.

This being said, I’d like to share with you all the jailbreak tweaks that are currently installed on my iPhone 4S…

Activator

This tweak was developed by Ryan Petrich, one of my favorite jailbreak tweak developers. In short, Activator allows you to create shortcuts to various features of your device using custom gestures. I currently have 3 gestures set up:

  • swipe left to right on the status bar brings up BiteSMS’s “quick compose”
  • swipe right to left on the status bar to bring up the native Twitter native “compose tweet”
  • tap and hold the status bar to launch SBSettings
  • double tap the status bar to go Home (probably my favorite gesture)

Activator is available for free from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about Activator

BiteSMS

BiteSMS has been my go-to messaging application for a couple years now. It is without a doubt the best replacement for the stock Messages app. I recently gave a try to Message+ but it really didn’t compete with BiteSMS. Among my favorite Bite features, you have the quick compose/reply window, and the ability to see the picture of the sender of incoming messages.

BiteSMS is available for free from the BigBoss repo, although you can pay $9.99 to remove the unobtrusive ads displayed inside the messaging app.

>> More info about BiteSMS

InfiniDock

InfiniDock is the very first tweak I installed after jailbreaking my iPhone 4S. Developed by Chpwn, another one of my favorite jailbreak developers, InfiniDock allows you to add as many applications as you want in your dock.

Additionally, InfiniDock lets you choose how many icons you want to display in your dock. Mine is currently set to five icons.

InfiniDock is available for $0.99 from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about InfiniDock

InfiniFolders

Also developed by Chpwn, InfiniFolders lifts the limitation on the amount of apps you can add to a folder. By default, Apple only allows you to add 12 icons per folder. With InfiniFolders, you can have an unlimited amount of apps to your folders. Simply scroll up and down to go through the apps in your folder.

InfiniFolder is available for $0.99 from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about InfiniFolders

LockInfo

LockInfo allows you to customize your lock screen to get the information you need there. You have complete control over what shows where. It’s a full featured app that I highly recommend. It took me a while to get it fully set up to my liking, but I can now say it is perfect for me.

I am not big on notifications. I don’t really use LockInfo to add a bunch of stuff to my lock screen. I just use it to make notifications on the lock screen and Notification Center look better.

I’ve given a good run to IntelliScreenX, but after several days of intensive usage, I had to delete the package and use LockInfo instead. Don’t get me wrong, IntelliScreenX is a great application, but it just didn’t do it for me.

The only notifications showing on my lock screen are messages, calendar events, reminders, calls, and Yammer notification. It’s bare minimum. Just the way I like it.

LockInfo is available for $7.99 with a 14-day trial period from the ModMyi repo.

>> More info about LockInfo

MyWi

Need I introduce MyWi to anyone here?

MyWi is an app that brings tethering capabilities to your iPhone. Forget paying those extra fees to your carrier for tethering your iPhone. MyWi will do that for free, allowing you to create a wi-fi hotspot to share your iPhone data connection with other devices around you, or simply to share your internet connection with your laptop via the USB cable.

Carriers like AT&T have recently been hunting down people who use tethering apps such as MyWi, so use it at your own risks.

MyWi is available for $19.99 from the ModMyi repo. Not cheap, but well worth it.

>> More info about MyWi

SBSettings

This tweak is one of the monuments of jailbreaking; an institution for all jailbreakers alike.

SBSettings brings several settings toggles to your fingertips, such as Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, etc… A bunch of other add-ons are also available from Cydia. On top of the settings toggles, SBSettings lets you easily respring, refresh, or even power off your device. Additionally, it can display useful information such as your IP address, storage and available memory.

It usually works with an Activator gesture. As mentioned above, I chose to “tap and hold” the status bar to bring up SBSettings.

SBSettings is available for free from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about SBSettings

Xpandr

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will already know that I absolutely love Xpandr. Simply put, Xpandr is a shortcut expander for the iPhone. Think TextExpander for iOS (the desktop version, not the watered down App Store app).

iOS 5 has brought a new feature that kind of mimics what Xpandr does, but it clearly isn’t as powerful which is why I always come back to this tweak.

Xpandr is available from the BigBoss repo for $1.99.

>> More info about Xpandr

Zephyr

Zephyr is yet another great tweak from Chpwn that brings iPad-like multitasking gestures to your iPhone. With the flick of a finger, Zephyr lets you easily navigate through your backgrounded apps, just like you do on your iPad when your multitasking gestures are activated.

The tweak also lets you launch the app switcher by simply swiping up from the bottom of your screen. This, coupled with my Activator gestures, and I barely use my Home button ever again.

Navigating through apps is a breeze thanks to this amazing tweak. If you’ve used Zephyr, you know it can sometimes get in your way (ie. when you’re flicking through photos in your camera roll), but I definitely put it in the “must have” category.

Zephyr is available from the BigBoss repo for $2.99.

>> More info about Zephy

ZoomIsBack!

If like me you think the new zoom feature in iOS 5 is unusable, then ZoomIsBack! is for you.

In iOS 5, you have to pinch to zoom, which is very unpractical depending on the situation you’re in. For example, when I’m holding my daughter in one arm, and holding my iPhone in the other hand, I physically can’t pinch to zoom, unless I want to drop my daughter, which of course is not an option.

ZoomIsBack! brings back the old way of bringing up the zoom in your Camera app. Simply double tap the screen and slide to zoom. It’s simple, and it just works. I really don’t know why Apple fixed something that wasn’t broken in the first place. I guess they wanted to be consistent in what pinching the screen does.

ZoomIsBack! is available for free from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about ZoomIsBack!

Honorable Mentions

AssistantExtensions

AssistantExtensions puts Siri on steroids. We recently covered this new tweak that adds several commands to Siri. For example, you can search YouTube, turn SBSettings toggles on/off, send tweets using Siri, and more.

The great benefit of AssistantExtensions is that it allows plugins to be developed for it, which means it’s going to be greatly improved on. We’ve already seen a great plugin that allows you to use Siri to translate phrases in 30 languages. If you haven’t downloaded AssistantExtensions yet, you should definitely give it a try.

AssistantExtensions is available for free from the BigBoss repo.

>> More info about AssistantExtensions

CleanStatus

Like the name suggests, CleanStatus is a simple tweak that allows you to clean up the status bar of your iPhone. You can hide icons, change background colors, image colors, font size, font colors and strings.

I only use CleanStatus to hide the carrier name, the battery icon and the battery percentage.

CleanStatus is available for free from the ModMyi repo.

>> More info about CleanStatus

Overflow

Overflow is a fairly new jailbreak tweak that brings a coverflow-like layout to the apps that are in your dock. It works hand in hand with InfiniDock and definitely works best when you display 5 or 7 icons in the dock.

Overflow is available from the BigBoss repo for $1.99.

>> More info about Overflow

If all these tweaks aren’t enough for you, I suggest you have a look at our list of 100 jailbreak tweaks you should know about. You surely will find something to your liking there.

In the meantime, please share your top 10 jailbreak tweaks by leaving a comment below.

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  • Anonymous

    I agree with Seb on the Lockinfo v. IntelliscreenX debate. Intelliscreen throws a lot of junk into the NC, a place I want to get in and out of as quickly as possible. I have apps for all that stuff. All I need from my NC is toggles, the ability to glance at messages/mail, and the option to mark them read or delete em if no follow up is required. LockInfo does all of that. LockInfo’s real value though is in how it handles LS notifications. It is significantly more customizable and cleaner in dealing with incoming notifications. Once you dive into it’s options (which admittedly are a little cluttered), you find it is more customizable than you may have thought. Being a bit of a minimalist, it suits me better.

  • http://twitter.com/ExWoW MiKey

    Why does everybody always talk about MyWi? Since you have the stock mobile Hotspot function on your iPhone you can simply use TetherMe to unlock this function without paying extra fees. Or am I missing something?

  • Anonymous

    tetherme is better than mywi IMO – cheaper too. not sure why you prefer mywi.
    also, if you pinch-to-zoom in the camera, the slider appears, and you can then grab it with a finger if you want, and slide to zoom then. an extra step, but still, it can be done with one hand.

  • rob ramsdaro

    Hey seb. Maybe I’m missin something here. But how come mywi is listed web ios5 has personal hotspot. Is there a difference or did the America 5.0 not contain this feature update? Thanks

  • rob ramsdaro

    Hey seb. Maybe I’m missin something here. But how come mywi is listed web ios5 has personal hotspot. Is there a difference or did the America 5.0 not contain this feature update? Thanks

  • Taylor White

    Great list! Just one question.

    Pretty sure it’s from having biteSMS and LockInfo. When my phone is unlocked (on the home screen or in an app) when I get a text, my phone does a really annoying double-text tone. Does this happen to you or know if I can fix it?

  • rob ramsdaro

    I seethe difference now with us and Canada. I think all of our providers do not charge extra for the personal hotspot use.

  • Jimmy Wade

    There is an Android App that I really miss called Silent Time which allowed Me to have exeptions in silent mode. I could choose people who’s calls I did not want to miss and it would ring for them only. Then I had one I think it was called txt away that would allow me to leave an auto txt saying I was asleep and would reply when able. etc. etc. I would love to have those on My 4s. Come on Guys I’ve seen amazing things from You.

  • Ryan Hirschberg

    BBSettings should definitely be mentioned here. It combines three tweaks(sbsettings, removebg, and app switcher) in one smooth notification center widget. You can also monitor tons of iphone stats. All this for free!

  • Ryan Hirschberg

    BBSettings needs to be mentioned here. It combines sbsettings, removebg, and multitasking all in one smooth notification center widget. it also has a ton of iphone stat info. Best part it is free!

  • Jimmy Wade

    These are My Cydia Apps. Would Someone read and tell me if I have Apps that don’t play well together. Activator,Barrel,CallBar,CyDelete,ikeyEx,Ikeywi,Infinidock,Intelliscreen,Killbackground,MissedReminder,NCQuickDismiss,Springomize,SBSettings,Vexillum,Winterboard,Zephur

  • http://twitter.com/CultureCodec Jeremy Morse

    Stellar post, Sebastien. I have always appreciated your minimalist and functional proclivities.

  • Anonymous

    I really love f.lux. It’s a bit annoying in that it required Location Services to be on, but it’s so much easier on the eyes once you’ve used it for a day or two, especially when you have the terrible habit of reading on your phone before you go to sleep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HarshSachanandani Harsh Sac

    Hey do you like cracked tweaks?

  • Anonymous

    If you hate to type in your apple ID password every time you wanna download an app, PasswordPilot is for you!!

    Another great tweak I use is LastApp: you can jump back to the previous app with a swipe to the left on the status bar (it’s the best I think, but you can set it to the slide in gesture from screen left in activator; it looks better, but as mentioned above “it can sometimes get in your way (ie. when you’re flicking through photos in your camera roll)”).