An In-Depth Look at My Jailbroken / Hacked iPhone – Page 1: Frequently Used Apps

Although I often hear reports about how many people have Jailbroken their iPhones (meaning they “hacked” their iPhone so they can install 3rd party applications), I’ve yet to meet ANYONE else with a hacked one.

Anytime I use my phone in front of someone, they are immediately impressed and wowed by the amount and variety of applications, it’s custom look, and the enhanced functionality added to my iPhone (well… and the Otterbox, but I’ve covered that already).

Instead of breaking it down time-after-time, explaining what every application does, I’m using this forum to explore all details of my phone – page by page; app by app (except the pre-installed ones).

My iPhone came installed with firmware 1.1.3. I’ve jailbroken it a couple times, but the last time I used ZiPhone (I’ve also used iNdependence, iJailbreak, and jailbreakme.com). ZiPhone is especially nice because (if it works correctly) it installs a program called “installer.app” — the gateway to most iPhone applications.

I currently have 5 pages on my phone:

Page 1 : Frequently used apps
Page 2 : Less frequently used apps
Page 3 : Springdial phone numbers
Page 4 : System Tools / Tweaks
Page 5 : Games

Today I’ll be showing you Page 1 : Frequently Used Applications

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You may notice that some pre-installed applications have different icons, my dock looks different than the default, my wifi bars are green, and the bluetooth indicator is yellow — these tweaks are achieved by using Customize and Summerboard; which I’ll explore when we get to Page 4 : System Tools / Tweaks.

FYI… all applications on this page were installed using the “Installer” application.


Lets start at the top with one of the few programs I’ve paid for, Search, which lets you type and search for a contact’s name or ical event. This is very crucial when you have a large address book. If you have 200 contact starting with the letter “B,” it’s a pain to manually scroll to the name you’re looking for. I rarely use the iCal search, but it’s nice to have a “list view” for calendar events. For $5, Search by PolarBearFarm is definitely worth it!

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Websearch is the best starting point for any Internet search. Created by one of the top iPhone developers, “Big Boss,” Websearch opens a menu with dozens of different search engines (you can also manually add them). Clicking the search engine’s name displays a pop-up dialog box where you type your query. Click “Search” and immediately get the search engine’s results.

Websearch saves you the time of opening Safari, navigating to the desired search engine’s web site, zooming in on the search box, clicking into search box, and typing your query.

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Apollo is one of the best online chatting (i.e. iChat) applications, even though it’s no longer the main focus of it’s developers (who are working on an official SDK release) and hasn’t been updated in some time. Apollo allows for multiple account log-ins simultaneously, supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, and .Mac, has a nice looking interface, and is stable.

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If you’re not satisfied with the iPhone’s camera, Snapture offers a supped up version of Camera which includes features like pressing the volume buttons or anywhere on the display to take a picture, multiple image sizes, 3-second self-timer, multi-shot “burst” mode, and 3X ZOOM!

As you can see below, the newest version of Snapture includes pop-up on-screen buttons to toggle different features (lower right side of picture on left)

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VNotes, by Erica Sadun (another top iPhone developer), is short for Voice Notes and allows you to record and listen to voice memos. It’s a little buggy and the interface isn’t too pretty, but it usually works (don’t use with a bluetooth headset) and it’s the only Voice Memo application I know of. Includes input level meter, peak/average input levels, and the ability to e-mail saved voice memos.

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Installer (Donationware – I highly recommend at least a $5 donation as this application is CRUCIAL), as mentioned above, is the gateway to just about all iPhone applications.

iPhone developers put their apps on Installer, which in turn, provides a nice interface for browsing, downloading, installing, updating, and uninstalling iPhone applications. Installer will also indicate from it’s icon on the home page when an update for an installed application is available.

Installer (aka AppTap) is THE way to install new applications for your iPhone.

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For the ultimate Twitter experience, I have Twinkle installed. Twinkle’s beautiful interface allows you to see people’s tweets within a specified distance from your current location! This is something twitter doesn’t even offer. It also adds your location, and the ability to take/attach pictures, to your twitter posts.

I don’t use twitter much, but if you’re interested, you can follow me at twitter.com/briancometa.

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Twitxr is like Twinkle, but came out first and works on twitxr.com (instead of twitter.com). Twitxr is a photo-based twitter-like site; while twitter allows pictures to be added to your post, they don’t show up in your tweets – you need to click a link to see it.

Twitxr is what I use to “photoblog” my computer repair work — check it out at twitxr.com/briancometa.

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PocketTouch is great for controlling your iPod when driving — although it was developed to control your ipod touch when it’s in your pocket. After you have started playing music using your iPod, you open PocketTouch and use it’s interface for controlling playback.

The interface is basically a black screen (I wish it included album art, but again, that’s not the purpose of this app). Tap the screen (anywhere) to pause/play the current track. Swipe your finger to the left or right to skip to the next or previous song. Swipe your finger up or down to adjust the volume accordingly.

When driving, I hate using the small buttons on the iPod screen (or pop-up ipod menu when you double click the home button). Swiping means I don’t have to even look at my phone when driving to change the track or volume, much less precisely press the appropriate button.

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Page 2 : Less frequently used applications (BUT STILL GOOD!) — coming soon…

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