In a recent update of iA Writer, the application changed the default file format from MD to TXT. Since I use iA Writer to write in markdown, as I assume most of you do, this change came as a bit of a nuissance to me. Furthermore, there is no options in settings to configure. The only option is to start writing your file in .txt format, and later rename it to .md.
The SuperCoach AFL season 2013 is back! Once again, the application costs $2.99 AND has ads. I could write a whole post about my thoughts on this concept, but I won’t as some of you might still be under 18. Last year I made a tweak to remove ads on the jailbroken iPhone. This year the SuperCoach app is made slightly differently but there is a way, of
All of us are waiting impatiently. I know I am. A few days ago I posted a link to Cammy Harbison’s articles about updates regarding a jailbreaking tool for iPhone 5 and/or iOS 6, but in the end, as usual, there is no definite ETA. All we can do is guess, and this is what I invite you to do below. Have a great day!
I haven’t written any posts here for a while. The reason is that I am studying for my FRACP exams in February 2013 and don’t have much time for anything else. It so happens that there is no jailbreak available for my iPhone 5 and therefore I don’t have much to write about anyways. This, together with the NHL lockout, couldn’t occur at a better time – the Continue reading
I haven’t been posting much lately. This is because I have decided to give iOS 6 betas a go (might as well after paying my Apple dev fees) and therefore forfeited my jailbreak. Yes, I did do the unthinkable. To be quite honest, and this has been quite a surprise to myself, I did not mind not having an unjailbroken iPhone. iOS6 is THAT good! I wonder what the Continue reading
I must admit, I was very jealous when I saw the first ad of an iPhone 4S. Ah Siri! Wow! At the time, I had another 1 1/2 years left on my contract which meant I would have to wait a (very, very, very) long time before I would talk with the mysterious and sexy Miss Siri. A few days after I saw the ad, I met a friend who had the new iPhone 4S. I found Siri to be Continue reading
In arts, a theme is the unifying subject or idea of the type of visual work. In computing, it is a custom graphical appearance for certain software. [Wikipedia]
Themes are what make the jailbroken iPhone unique. Every image that you see or sound that you hear is nothing more than a file designed by an Apple graphic artist/programmer. Jailbreaking allows you to replace almost any file by a custom one. For example, the icon for the camera app on my iPhone will look different than the one on yours. In order to make this switch you need the Cydia app Winterboard.
Once you have Winterboard you can install any WB theme package available on Cydia. There are literally thousands of them. Some of them consist of just one file swap (e.g. Firefox icon instead of the Safari one to open Safari – you don’t actually swap browsers, there is no Firefox app for the iPhone, even in Cydia). There are themes that change the way your status bar icons look (signal bars, Wifi, battery, notification icons). Others modify your slider on the lockscreen. Then there are themes that change what your actual app looks like (e.g. buttons, background, and display of the calculator app). And finally there are different kinds of widgets which usually display the time, date, and/or weather on the lockscreen or springboard. Of course, many themes combine several of these modifications, and the best ones, which usually sell for $2-3 on Cydia, are so-called ‘complete’ themes. Using these themes makes the iPhone look and sometimes even feel like its not an iPhone at all (in the good sense, and the bad, depends on who made the theme). These complete themes, of course, are my favorite, and I will describe a few of them below as well as update you through posts if any notable ones come out.
But first let me explain how Winterboard works. It is actually fairly simple. Open the app, press SELECT THEMES, and you will have a list of themes that come included with the package. When you download Winterboard theme packages from Cydia (some of them are huge so you might want to do it over Wifi) this is where you will see them listed. Select one or more of them, go back by pressing WINTERBOARD in the top-left corner, and then press RESPRING in the same top-left corner. The iPhone will respring, and reload with the theme applied. Occasionally straight after the respring the lockscreen will look fuzzy and you won’t be able to slide to open. wait a few seconds and everything will be fine. Also, of note, in the select theme page, you can move themes up or down. If you select more than one theme, the theme that is higher trumps the one(s) below if more than one of them swaps the same file (e.g. if 2 different themes modify the Safari icon, it is the theme placed higher on the list that will be the one responsible for its theming). If you have iFile (see Tweaks page) you can make your own modifications if you are game. Some themes actually require you to modify specific ‘configuration’ files (for example to setup your location so a widget can display the correct temperature of your home town).
MY TOP 3 FAVORITE WINTERBOARD THEMES
1) Jaku by William Szilveszter ($2.99 on ZodTTD & MacCiti) - Jaku is Japanese for “tranquility” or “quite solitude”, but the effect this recently released theme has had on the theming community has been nothing but. It is not a complete theme, but the 180+ icons that are themed are spectacular. William is constantly working on it and has plans to eventually release a complete theme, but for now Jaku’s weekly or so upgrades in Cydia must satisfy our hunger. Please note that the screenshots below are modified using, among others, parts of different themes, widgets, and images.
To be quite honest I have not even been tempted to look for other themes for my iPhone since I discovered Jaku (which might make this page the least frequently updated one on this website). You can download Jaku bootlogo, zeppelin carrier logos, and wallpapers from my repo.
2) Legacy / Legacy Pro by Austin Bradley (aka k.nitsua) ($0.99 / $1.98 on ModMyi) – a very easy-to-like theme made by a very easy-to-like themer. Legacy comes in 2 formats: base and pro. There is also a Legacy S theme being worked on which looks very promising. Although only recently released, Austin, nursing student by day, themer by night (or maybe the other way around), has made this a compete theme already. Many user mods & widgets available.
3) Prestige by FIF7Y ($2.99 on ZodTTD & MacCiti) – a very classy & smooth complete theme that I have used on iOS4 and now has been updated to iOS5. Many user mods & widgets available (most notably Zooropalg’s lockscreen weather widget mentioned in this video). FIF7Y, a Montrealer living in France, is well known to the theming world and has created other equally beautiful masterpieces such as MP2, Noki, VIP, and Ho][ow.
OTHER NOTABLE WINTERBOARD THEMES
ReviDX by KrsChris, Absolution by Maarten16, akarui by SmashD, and if you are still using iOS4, then DeZire by Troy Lenger is the must-have Winterboard theme. Unfortunately Troy has not upgraded his theme to iOS5. There are a number of themes that have not been upgraded, so please do pay attention in the Cydia package description whether the theme will or not be compatible with your iPhone.
Dreamboard differs from Winterboard in that it focuses less on what a springboard looks like, and more on how a springboard functions. The main file in the package is not that of an image or sound, but rather a program, which dictates what your springboard looks like, from the background, to buttons, popups, and scrolls. The Dreamboard app comes with one theme included, called Endroid (making your iPhone look like an HTC phone). In order to demonstrate what I mean, and without further ado, here is a youtube video of OS X Lion Ultimatum:
As you can see, it seems like the potential is unlimited. There is no need to muck around with different theme combinations or resprings like in Winterboard. You download the Dreamboard theme from Cydia, open the Dreamboard app, select your theme, and you are done. Usually once you are within the theme you can edit what icons you want placed where, change wallpapers, or choose whether you want a certain widget displayed or not. However, the Dreamboard theme package, besides being able to modifying app icon image files, cannot modify other elements such as the status bar or the look within an app itself. Having said that, though, there is nothing that stops you from using a Winterboard and a Dreamboard theme that complement each other together. This is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of jailbroken iPhone theming.
The problem with Dreamboard is that the developer of the app no longer is working on it and therefore there are and will be no updates to it. Fortunately, it works on iOS5, but will it work later? Because of this, there are few themers that design Dreamboard themes anymore. And only now, while writing this, I realised how few themes are available on Cydia. I have heaps more backed up on my hard drive - it seems like Cydia is pulling them out.
Whether you use Winterboard or Dreamboard, you will notice that most theme are available HD (high-definition) or SD (standard-definition). If you have a retina device (4 or 4S) get the HD version, otherwise get the SD version. Once you get comfortable with playing around with your themes, you might want to download other modifications to existing themes online (i.e. not from Cydia). You might have noticed a few modifications on the pictures I posted for Jaku, Legacy, and Prestige. This is done by Google searching “user mods for [name of theme]”; download the mod (short for modification) directly to your jailbroken iPhone, and install it using iFile (once again, indispensable if you will be serious about theming).
Lastly, there are themes in Cydia that are neither Winterboard or Dreamboard themes. These usually are themes for various jailbroken apps or tweaks such as color keyboard, MusicBarExtended, or SnowCover4 to name a few. Once downloaded, you apply the theme within settings of the given app directly.
Tweaking refers to fine-tuning or adjusting a complex system, usually an electronic device. Tweaks are any small modifications intended to improve a system. [Wikipedia]
The tweaks on my jailbroken iPhone are the main reason why I will not go back to using an unjailbroken device. I have a lot of them, and probably have tested all of them out at one time or another. I wish I could describe them all to you, but I will not do it for two reasons: first, there are too many of them and I just don’t have the time, and second, more importantly, I think it would be best to provide you with the joy to discover them by yourself. Here is a tiny list of my favourites (these are the tweaks I download every time I jailbreak my iPhone):
MY TOP 40 TWEAKS & APPS
Activator (FREE on BigBoss) - this tweak allows you to assign gestures or buttons as shortcuts. For example, double-pressing the home button opens up the phone app instead of activating the multitasking switcher (the bar with open background applications at the button of the screen). Or pressing both volume buttons simultaneously shows the volume control bar. Or ‘pinching’ the screen opens a compose tweet window. There are many tweaks available on Cydia which work with Activator, many of which are listed below.
Aero ($1.99 on ModMyi) – enabled using an Activator gesture, this tweak allows you to switch through your background applications using one of 12 different stylish animations.
animate (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak replaces the start-up Apple (boot)logo by a custom logo or animation. There are hundreds of custom bootlogos available on Cydia. NOTE: in order for it to work on devices with iOS > 4.2.1 you also need to install animate fix for iOS 4.x.x/5.0.x (FREE on ModMyi).
Barrel ($2.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak adds 18 different graphical effects for icons on your springboard when scrolling sideways from page to page.
biteSMS ($6.95 on BigBoss) – this Cydia app replaces your native SMS app. Why is it better? The main feature is quick reply which means that upon receiving an SMS it shows up as a popup window and I have the option of replying to it within than popup window. Once again, this works even if I have another app open. Other features are quick compose (with Activator), scheduled messages, auto-forward, password protection, contact pics, templates, signatures, etc.
BytaFont (FREE on ModMyi) – this tweak allows you to change font on your iPhone. There are hundreds of font packages available on Cydia. My favourite: Klill Font (FREE on ModMyi).
CallBar ($3.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak makes incoming calls show up as a small bar at the top of my screen. Once again, this works even if I have another app open, allowing me to continue what I am doing if I choose to make the caller wait before I answer (or ignore him/her altogether). It works with incoming FaceTime or Skype calls too.
Cascade ($0.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak adds a coverflow effect to icons displayed on your dock. It works very well with another tweak Infinidock (see below), allowing you to scroll back and forth through the icons.
Color Keyboard ($1.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to theme your keyboard. There are many CK themes available on Cydia.
Data Usage Monitor ($1.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak displays the amount of data you have used right up there in the status bar. You can also make it send you a warning when you are close to your monthly limit.
Deck ($1.99 on on ModMyi) – enabled using an Activator gesture, this tweak opens a menu containing power functions (lock, respring, reboot), compose options (SMS, mail, tweet), toggles (wifi, bluetooth, airplane mode, location), favourites (your favourite 6 apps), and shortcuts (Siri, camera, iPod) in a multitasking switcher-like fashion on the side of your screen.
DreamBoard (FREE on ModMyi) – my love. This Cydia app is an alternative to Winterboard (see below) for theming your iPhone. In my opinion it’s potential is far superior to that of WB, but unfortunately the number of themes available for it on Cydia is very limited, mainly because the developer has abandoned the project and left it in a slightly unrefined form. Nevertheless, it is definitely worthy of a special mention. See more about DB on the Themes page.
f.lux (FREE on Cydia/Telesphoreo) – this tweak softens the strong blue lighting emitted by your iPhone at nighttime. Apparently research has shown that “blue light during the day is great for your circadian rhythm, [but] at night is not”.
Five Icon Switcher (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak makes your multitasking switcher display 5 instead of 4 icons.
FolderEnhancer ($1.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to have more than 12 apps within a folder. In fact, you can have multiple pages of icons within a folder. What about folders within folders? Yes. What about folders on the dock? Yes, that too!
Gridlock ($0.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to arrange your icons wherever you want on the 4×4 screen. It works very well with another tweak Iconoclasm (see below), which lifts the 4×4 restriction.
iClassic ($2.00 on BigBoss) – this Cydia app simulates the original Apple iPod (looks like an iPod, clicks like an iPod, and plays like an iPod). Unfortunately, Pelaez, the developer behind iClassic, has stopped working on it quite some time ago, and it is not for sale on BigBoss anymore. I have therefore included it on my repo (see iClassic v1.5).
Icon Renamer (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to rename app icons on your springboard.
Iconoclasm ($2.99 on ModMyi) – this tweak allows you to place icons in a custom arrangement, breaking free from the 4×4 rule, or even from columns and rows. There are many different iconoclasm arrangement packages available on Cydia
iFile ($4.00 on BigBoss) – this Cydia app is for the iPhone what the Finder is for Mac and My Computer is for Windows. With iFile you have access to all your iOS folders and files from where you can open image files, music files, video files, text files (also edit them), zip and unzip them, as well as send them as email attachments. A new feature allows you to link your iPhone to your Dropbox account, moving folders and files to and from very easy.
Infinidock ($0.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to place more than 4 app icons or folders in your dock. Also, you have the option to scroll through several ‘pages’ of icons in the dock.
IntelliscreenX ($9.99 on ModMyi) – this tweak is pricey but packed with very cool features. Most notably, it integrate your Notification Center in your lock screen. Next, it allows you to scroll sideways within your NC to view your emails, Facebook timeline, Twitter timeline, and RSS feeds, with a possibility to directly reply, post/comment/like, tweet/retweet, and open attachments/links/images. It gives you access to hidden space as well as adds toggles (airplane, wifi, bluetooth, data, rotation lock, respring) inside the NC. And more…
iSHSHit (FREE on BigBoss) – this Cydia app allows you to save and email yourself your firmware SHSH blobs (used for downgrading; see my post). Just do it, you’ll thank me later.
KillBackground (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to kill all apps running in your background, freeing up RAM in dire situations. Shows up as a little button in the multitasking switcher, or activated using an Activator gesture.
MultiIconMover (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to move multiple icons simultaneously.
MusicBarExtended ($1.59 on BigBoss) – enabled using an Activator gesture, this tweak opens a customisable “widget” displaying the album art of the song playing, as well as rewind, play/pause, and forward buttons for easy iPod control. There are many MBEx themes available on Cydia.
My3G ($3.99 on ModMyi) - this tweak allows you to overcome your iPhone’s restriction of not being able to use certain apps like FaceTime or Skype, do an iCloud backup, stream HD movies on YouTube, or download apps >50Mb in size from the AppStore while on 3G. It basically tricks the apps into thinking they are on Wifi even though they are not. I would also like to quickly mention MyWi 5 ($19.99 on ModMyi) made by the same developers, which enables tethering via your iPhone if you are with a carrier which disables Personal Hotspot).
PasswordPilot (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak auto-fills your Apple ID Password whenever you buy/update anything from the AppStore, iTunes, iTunes U, or iBooks.
PhotoAlbums+ for iPhone ($4.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to create folders in the Photo app, and move (not just copy) images from one folder to another. It can also password-protect pictures.
Poof (free on BigBoss) – this Cydia app allows you to hide apps. For example, I hide my Phone app since I don’t need it (having assigned double-press home button to it via Activator).
SnowCover4 (FREE on ZodTTD & MacCiti) – this tweak displays the album art of the song playing on the lock screen, and gives you easy iPod control using gestures. There are many SC4 themes available on Cydia.
Spire (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak is MEGA! it installs every file you require for Siri to work on your non-4S iPhone. You do need access to a proxy host though (which is not included. There are dozens (perhaps even more) Spire Proxy Hosts you can find on the web, usually with an monthly or annual fee for access, but unfortunately most have very frequent downtime, or don’t work, period. I recommend SiriZone – by far the best one (costs $20 per year, but money well spent if you consider the alternative: upgrading to an iPhone 4S). ATTENTION: Spire caused a few issues when I installed it for the first time: it caused many of my AppStore apps to crash on opening. It seems to be a common problem reported by many users. The solution is to install it on a freshly restored iPhone that has not been restored from backup via iTunes.
Stride ($2.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to unlock your iPhone with a gesture (e.g. drawing a triangle on your lockscreen).
SwipeSelection (FREE on BigBoss) – this tweak allows you to edit/select text on your iPhone using gestures to move the cursor left or right. No more pinpointing via magnifying glass required!
USB Drive (FREE by Dmytro Pohromskyy / repo: http://apt.dmytro.me) - this Cydia app allows you to use your iPhone as a USB thumb drive by creating a partition (any size) accessible by a computer via the USB/charging cable. Once the partition is created, your iPhone will work in 2 different modes when connected to the computer: USB drive or iTunes syncable (reboot required if you switch between the two modes). This app is actually very old and has glitches (slow, SD graphics, permanent loss of space if the iPhone auto-locks during creation of partition > fix: disable auto-lock).
WeatherIcon (FREE on ModMyi) – this tweak displays the current temperature on the weather app icon (replaces the misleading 23C or 73F).
Winterboard (free on Cydia/Telesphoreo) – see the Themes page.
Yourtube 3 (FREE on CocoaNuts beta packages / repo: http://apt.cocoanuts.co) - allows you to download videos from youtube onto my iPod/Video library. There are several Cydia apps that allow you to do the same, for example ProTube ($1.49 on BigBoss) or MxTube (FREE on BigBoss), but these are separate apps, as opposed to Yourtube which is a tweak integrated into the Youtube app that comes with the iPhone.
Zephyr ($2.99 on BigBoss) – this tweak elegantly displays the multitasking switcher by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Another feature is switching between background apps by swiping with 2 or 3 fingers across the screen left or right.
Zeppelin (FREE on ModMyi) – this tweak replaces the carrier text (e.g. AT&T, Optus, Orange) by custom icons. There are hundreds of custom Zeppelin carrier logos available on Cydia.
When you open Cydia for the first time, you will be asked to chose what kind of account you want. Choose USER. This will take you to the main Cydia screen which looks like this:
As you see at the bottom of the screen you have 5 options:
This is the main screen. The only notable feature on this page is MANAGE ACCOUNT through which you can authenticate yourself in order to make purchases. You can sign in using your Facebook or Google account.
This is similar to categories in the AppStore. You can browse through different Sections to look for interesting packages. My favourite are tweaks, utilities, and themes, but look for yourself. Be careful, it can be addictive.
This is where you will find the most recently released/upgraded packages. If you have a package that has been upgraded, it will show up at the top of the list.
This is where you will find lists of all the PACKAGES you have, as well as a list of SOURCES your packages come from. Sources are also called repositories and are the actual ‘stores’ from which you download packages. Therefore Cydia is not the equivalent of the AppStore but more like the AppShoppingCentre. Cydia comes preloaded with several repositories but you can add more by pressing EDIT in the top-right corner, then ADD in the top-left corner, and entering the URL of a repository (try out my repository which contains the tweaks, themes, and apps I made and posted about in this blog; enter the following URL: http://repo.kr1sis.net).
I bet you all think you know what that page is for, and yes you are right. Just enter the name of a package (or description) and have fun!
When you select a package, whether it is done from the Sections, Changes, Manage, or Search pages, it will show you the package info. This will consist of an icon (ignore it as the actual icon is very often different), name, version, author, then ads, ads, and more ads, and a description of what the package is/does (often with iOS requirements/restrictions). Most packages also include a button you can press to see screenshot(s). If it is a free package just press INSTALL in the top-right corner, and on the following page press CONFIRM.
If it is a paid package you need to press PURCHASE and choose your method of payment – you can choose between Paypal & Amazon. I strongly suggest paying through Amazon as the payment is processed within seconds (at most minutes) and you can download the package almost right away, whereas if you pay via Paypal processing can sometimes take up to several days!!!
Once the download begins, you will see a black screen with white and grey writing and a download bar at the bottom. Just wait until the download is complete (time depends on how big the package is of course) and, depending on what sort of package you have downloaded, you will either need to respring (this is like a mini-reboot, don’t worry if you are running on tethered, you will not need to boot tethered), reboot (very rarely), or you will return back to Cydia.
If you decide to delete a package, select it and press MODIFY, then REMOVE. Too easy.
If you install a package that is not compatible with your iOS or with another package that you have installed, your iPhone might respring/reboot into SafeMode. From SafeMode you have access to Cydia (so you can remove the package at fault). To exit SafeMode press RESTART – you can fetch the restart menu by tapping on the status bar (the bar on top of the screen which shows your signal, 3G/wifi, clock, and battery). Never panic, some things are not perfect, but the SafeMode will save you.
Ok, so you have decided (perhaps) to jailbreak your iPhone. Great! Trust me, you will not regret this. I am yet to meet a jailbreaker who went back to using an unjailbroken iPhone. Unheard of!
The first thing you need to do is find out what iOS firmware (Version) your iPhone [this is valid for iPads and iPodTouches as well, but for the sake of keeping it succinct, I will be mentioning iPhones only on this page] is running. You can find out the version of your iPhone by opening the Settings app, then selecting General, followed by About. Once you know the version, you can use a website JailbreakStats to determine which tool from the ones described below would be the most appropriate to jailbreak your iPhone. Unfortunately, not every iPhone can be jailbroken any given time. Let me explain why. Apple and hackers (I will use this term to describe the few individuals who are responsible for making jailbreaking tools; they are to be admired as they put hundreds if not thousands of hours to program for essentially no monetary compensation) play a game of cat and mouse. Hackers find a hole in the software by which they can gain access to its root and make the jailbreak possible. Once the new jailbreaking tool is out, Apple has knowledge of this hole and patches it up fairly quickly in their following upgrade. And now the hackers need to find a new hole. The more this cycle continues, the more difficult it is (and the longer it takes) to find a new hole. For example, it took the hackers over 4 months to work on and release the latest jailbreaking tool for iOS 6.0 through 6.1.2. Apple will be very soon releasing a new upgrade (6.1.3) which is already known to patch the hole and make your iPhone unjailbreakable. Who knows when the next hackers’ victory will be celebrated. The take home message is: if you jailbreak or want to jailbreak, do not upgrade until a jailbreaking tool for the new version is released. Just like in the movie Fight Club:
The first rule of Jailbreaking is do not upgrade until a jailbreaking tool for the new version is available. The second rule of Jailbreaking is do not upgrade until a jailbreaking tool for the new version is available.
Click Jailbreak. On the next screen select Install Cydia and click Next. You will now be facing this window:
Before you do anything else, make sure your iPhone is plugged in to your computer via USB and only then turn it off. Once you are ready, click click next and you will see another window that will ask you to press the sleep button on your iPhone for 3 seconds, then without letting go of the sleep button you will press the home button for another 10 seconds, and finally you will let go of the sleep button and only keep pressing the home button. The window will show you a count-down at each step. NOTE: the sleep button is the one in the top-right corner that you use to lock/turn off your iPhone; the home button is the one with a square printed on it under your screen. Make sure you press the appropriate button(s) at the exact times the window prompts you to or else you will not enter DFU mode (which is essential for the jailbreak to proceed).
If successful, after about 7-8 seconds of holding the home button (step 3) you will see different things happening first on your computer screen and then on your iPhone screen. Enjoy, that is the jailbreak in motion. Keep holding the home button until your window displays a message “The rest of this process takes place on your device”. When you turn on the iPhone now, you will see the Cydia icon. Congratulations!