Welcome to the new iDevice customizing section. Through this section I will endeavour to lead a path through what can be a pretty daunting journey. When it comes to customizing your iDevice there are a few things to remember.
1. You need to Jailbreak in order to customize your device. (SSH access needed)
2. Stick to known and trusted sites in order to do this. The iPhone dev team, planetbeing, musclenerd and comex are all very well known names in this field.
3. I’m Jailbroken, now what?
One of the main attractions, and probably the reason that brought you here to this very site is themes. The theming community for Apple products has always been high, but now with the advent of the iPhone/iPad its reached a new level. Bringing together a collective mix of all nations and ages there is a multitude of styles to suit everyone.
This however is not the point that I want to get into for this opening post. For more important than theming are the many wonderful applications available on Cydia. (the new “store” which is placed on your device after Jailbreaking)
Id like to take this chance to run through 5 that deserve your attention.
This is a wonderful background application that will allow you to SSH into your iDevice via WIFI. It will allow the transfer of files between your computer and iDevice such as themes using programs like WinSCP (windows) or Cyberduck (mac).
(note there will be no icon for this application)
Second only to OpenSSH I would highly recommend getting this. SBSsettings is accessible via the status bar. Just a simple swipe of the finger left or right across the status bar will reveal the drop down HUD. Opening via the status bar has the advantage of being accessible in virtually any app. This will give you basic information on your device, such as storage space and IP address (useful for accessing via SSH).
On top of this it will also supply you with a series of toggles for among others 3G, WIFI, Bluetooth and SSH. These can prove extremely useful for quick turning off and on, especially SSH which I recommend you turn off when not using.
Yes indeed, a firewall for your iDevice. This functions in a similar fashion to Zone alarm on the PC for those that have tried it. Basically this will give you a say in what connects to your phone. When you log onto a new site you will be greeted with a display that fills the screen. This will give you a list of available options. You can choice to accept connections on a one time basis or always allow that connection. This can prove frustrating when you first start using it as the display will pop up for everything until you get the connections set up the way you like. However in this day and age when talk of virus’s and malware on smartphones is gaining new ground, this is a must have.
This as the name suggests is an extension of the iPod app. It will give you access to your music controls from a multitude of places, and a varity of ways all of which are fully customizable. These range from swiping on the status bar to pinching the screen. The other notable advantage of having this installed on the iPhone 4 is that (at the time of writing) Snowcover currently doesn’t work. This however will give you access to your music controls via the lockscreen.
Musicbarextanded also has the ability to be themed, and indeed there are a number of very nice looking themes currently available. These differ in look and to an extent function, in that some will display your cover art and track information while others wont. This in my opinion is definitely one to keep your eye on.
One very handy function indeed. There are a multitude of apps available via Cydia to achieve this function and it would be wrong of me to recommend one. But what these do is lift the restriction of WIFI only functions and allows them to operate over 3G. This can be anything from removing the download limit in iTunes so you can catch that all important podcast you’ve been waiting on. To using any application that may otherwise require a WIFI signal.
Other applications of note:
Much like iBlacklist this allows you to create blacklists of numbers to stop unwanted phone calls and SMS messages. (Cydia $11.99)
This gets the edge of SwirlyMMS2, because it has a slightly more user friendly interface. This is a replacement for the default SMS app and comes packed with many more features. You can send SMS via your normal network or buy credits from www.bitesms.com. These credits can be useful for saving on otherwise expensive message such as internationally.(Cydia: free 15 day trail, full licence £5.95, or credits from £3.50 – Full details on their website)
Allows you to sync to iTunes over WI-FI (same network). No more USB needed for syncing comes at a price though.
This will lift the 12 app restriction in iOS4 folders allowing for a near unlimited number of apps. (note when using this, the more apps you place in the folder the longer the opening time will be for that folder.)
I hope that this has been informative for some and maybe turned others on to new things. Once again this is only a small selection of what Cydia offers. There are many more wonderful applications for you to discover and enjoy.