Latest posts by Mike Schnier

How to back up your jailbreak tweaks before updating in iOS 6

Many of our regular readers have been asking us about backup solutions for their devices after the release of iOS 6.1.2 and the jailbreak that followed shortly afterwards. I want to be clear here: automated backups can be very bad news. If you restore your tweaks without going through Cydia, and an update breaks a single tweak, you won’t have a fun time attempting to find the incompatible package that crashes your phone at startup. While minor updates (like 6.1 to 6.1.2) are less likely to cause conflicts, the risk is never zero.

With that warning in mind, there are a number of options for backing up your Cydia tweaks when upgrading to iOS 6.1.2…

How to enable HDR Camera mode on iPad, and iPod touch 4G

HDR is a photography mode that stitches together several pictures along a range of exposure settings. Using various algorithms, the effect creates pictures that can have fewer dark or washed out spots than a conventional digital still, which is great if you intend to capture textures and detail instead of glare or shadow.

Apple introduced HDR photography to iOS 4.1, but the feature wasn’t rolled out to every device. The devices that currently lack the option to enable HDR in the stock camera app include the iPod touch 4G, iPad mini, and the iPad 2 to the iPad 4. Lucky for us, this disabled feature is fairly easy to manually reintroduce on a jailbroken device…

‘Enable Copy text in Facebook’ makes using the official Facebook app less frustrating

Have you ever had to jump through hoops to log into a desktop website because an app won’t let you copy the text on your phone? This should never happen, but for some unfathomable reason, major services like Facebook do not allow for copying text in-app (the Facebook app currently allows users to copy text from messages and comments, but not from status updates or posts).

Luckily you can get rid of the annoyance, even if Facebook won’t fix the issue themselves. ‘Enable Copy text in Facebook’ is a tweak that allows jailbroken iOS devices to capture the text directly from Facebook posts themselves…

Always know what song is playing with NowPlaying on Status Bar

Do you hate it when you’re listening to music, and you can’t remember the name of the song you’re listening to? This might not seem like such a problem with your own music collection, but what if you have a streaming app running in the background?

Sure, you could jump to your music player or podcasting app and check to see what was just playing or check the Lock screen, but that can get to be a pretty big disruption. If you just want to take a peek, install NowPlaying on Status Bar instead…

Save battery life at night with AirplaneScheduler

Airplane mode is a setting in iOS that allows users to disable wireless radios while the mode is active. This includes all cellular reception, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are initially disabled but can be re-enabled with Airplane mode still active). It’s intended to put the device in a state where it is safe to use on a plane, but some users have taken to the feature as a power-saving mode.

AirplaneScheduler is a very comprehensive timer tweak that presets toggles for Airplane mode, allowing users to toggle Airplane mode on and off automatically on a recurring basis…

AirFloat turns any iOS device into an AirPlay receiver

Not sure what to do with your old iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? Instead of throwing it out or selling it for a fraction of its original value, what if you could get some more use out of the device by turning it into an AirPlay streaming box?

AirFloat is an open source tweak that’s been in development for a while, but hasn’t been released on Cydia until now. (It was actually removed from the iTunes store last year.) With AirFloat, you don’t need to buy an Apple TV or an AirPort Express to stream music through your house. All you need is Wi-Fi and a spare iOS device…

Increase video playback speed with FastForward

Ever wanted to speed up video playback on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? While it’s not a thought that occurred to me, Harrison Apps (the developer behind Universal Video Downloader) says that their new tweak is great for speeding up recorded University lectures.

The tweak is called FastForward, and it alters the speed of film clips that take advantage of iOS’ native video APIs. With FastForward enabled, you should be able to give your long winded professors a bit of a boost…

AppCap tweak limits and blocks distracting apps

I’m not sure how I feel about digital commitment devices. On the one hand, I’d like to believe that if I really didn’t want to open Facebook on my phone during work hours, I just wouldn’t open it. On the other hand, I know from personal experience that it isn’t always this easy.

AppCap is a tweak that allows you to set a limit on your usage on a distracting app, hopefully encouraging you to use it less…

Music Controls Pro 6.0+ discounted while developers bring features back to iOS 6.x

Since iOS 3.x, the most feature rich jailbreak apps for music was Music Controls Pro. If you wanted a custom control overlay for music, swipe controls, a remote server, and a host of other features, Music Controls Pro was the way to go. Unfortunately, the original version of Music Controls Pro is no longer compatible with iOS 6.

While the all new Music Controls Pro 6.0+ only has a fraction of the previous app’s capabilities, the price is currently discounted to $3.99 while the developers bring the new app up to speed. Currently Music Controls Pro includes swipe controls, Notification Center plugins for playback and volume, task switcher controls, and status bar integration for song titles. These are the core features that kept the original Music Controls Pro on my iPad in iOS 5.1.1…

Flex patch highlight: 5 essential enhancements to iOS

As we’ve mentioned in the past, Flex is basically a Game Genie for the iPhone. While Flex can’t create new content, it can nullify lines of code, override return values, and mess with variable return values. These can be used to prevent jailbreak detection, enable hidden features, hide interface elements in apps, and even, as you may expect, cheat in games.

Flex is a very versatile tool with a near limitless number of potential uses, so today we’re going to highlight 5 general purpose Flex patches for iOS…

Pull To Refresh Safari updated for iOS 6

If you are an avid user of Twitter or Facebook, you likely see ‘pull to refresh’ as an essential part of the smart phone experience. So it’s surprising to see how slow Apple has been to bring the gesture to its internal apps. In iOS 6, Apple finally cued in and included their own implementation of Pull To Refresh in Mail. Unfortunately this hasn’t carried over to every one of Apple’s internet-enabled apps; Safari still lacks the feature.

Of course, jailbreakers have had access to Pull To Refresh Safari since iOS 4. Instead of pressing a tiny icon, we could just pull the screen down and refresh the active app. Now the tweak has been updated to work with iOS 6…

‘Unfold To Unlock’ tweak tracks usage, asks for donations every 500 unlocks

We’re not against developers making money from their tweaks, or pursuing alternative routes of funding, but having a piece of nag-ware on your phone without any option to disable it is a major annoyance.

Unfold is a jailbreak tweak that we are huge fans of at iDownloadBlog, but unfortunately we learned that the tweak was programmed with an annoying behavior. After 500 uses, a message pops up asking for a donation, and the message repeats again after every 500th unlock. This wouldn’t be so bad if a donation disabled the message, but there’s no option for entering a subscription into the app…