Still not sure whether it’s worth jailbreaking your iPhone? Here are ten reasons why it’s a good idea.
iPhone haters - and most iPhone owners, for that matter - can rattle off the handset’s limitations like a broken record: no MMS, no video recording, no copy and paste, crippled Bluetooth, bare-bones digital camera, yadda yadda yadda.
But if you’re happy to jailbreak your iPhone (using Pwnage Tool
on a Mac or WinPwn
on a PC), you can beat most of these shortcomings through third-party software, most of which are free, and all of which are available through the Cydia program that’s automatically installed on jail-broken iPhones.
1. Send and receive MMS
Originally available for iPhones using 1.x firmware, Swirly MMS has been ported to iPhone 2.0 with a two-week trial and license fee of US$8. MMS messages are charged at the standard carrier rate, and you’ll need to input the relevant settings for your carrier manually.
2. Record video
Cycorder is a powerful video recording application that uses the same high-quality MJEG compression used by most compact cameras. It records video at 6-15 frames per second, depending on the lighting conditions, at 384 x 288 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. It’s free, but you have to view a small strip of ads at the top of the screen.
3. Improve the digital camera
The iPhone’s native camera software has no settings or extra features whatsoever – a serious shortcoming that’s fixed by Snapture, which is available in the Basic ad-supported version or Premium for US$8. Features include colour modes, burst modes, digital zoom and a timer.
4. Cheaper and better text messaging
BiteSMS lets bypass your carrier and send text messages for only 10 cents each worldwide. Even if you’ve got unlimited text messaging on your plan, you can elect to use BiteSMS through your carrier and benefit from the program’s character counter and ability to forward text messages.
5. Customise the interface
Winterboard offers a wealth of personalisation options, including the ability to change the default black background to any image, replace the stock program icons, and change the look and feel of certain applications. It’s free, and there are dozens of themes available.
6. Change the network APN
Even if you’ve had your iPhone unlocked by the carrier, you can’t actually get to the setting that lets you change the APN to use with different networks. APN Editing is a simple utility that un-hides this setting; in Settings > General > Network, a new Cellular Data Network option should appear.
7. Copy and paste
We’re still waiting on system-wide copy and paste, but in the meantime, the freeware CopierciN is the next best thing, letting you copy text from SMS, Contacts, Notes and Email and paste them into a new text message, note or email.
8. Use as a tethered modem
PdaNet lets you use your iPhone as a tethered modem for your laptop by turning it into a wireless router. No proxies or complex setup procedures are involved – simply set up a wireless ad-hoc network on your PC and connect it to the iPhone. A comprehensive how-to guide is available here.
9. Proper formatting for phone numbers
We’re not sure why the display of phone numbers on the iPhone hasn’t been properly localised for Australia, but installing the Aussie Number Localization applet ensures that all the spaces between each block of numbers are inserted at the right intervals.
10. Organise applications into folders
If you’re tired of swiping through pages and pages of applications to find the one you’re looking for, you’ll love the Categories program. This ad-supported freeware app lets you create separate folders for organising different types of software, like Games, Entertainment and Productivity.