Hack Your iOS Device Without Jailbreaking [How-To]

You don't have to jailbreak to give your iPhone a little extra personality.

You don’t have to jailbreak to give your iPhone a little extra personality.

Jailbreaking your iPhone gives you the ability to tweak and customize nearly every facet of iOS, but new jailbreaks are few and far between these days. For example, there still hasn’t been a full jailbreak for iOS 6 from last summer, although one is on the distant horizon.

People jailbreak their iPhones for all sorts of reasons, whether it be free tethering, themes, or quick access to settings. The most common reason to jailbreak is actually more of a philosophy. There are millions of iPhone owners out there who want to be able to have greater control over their iOS experience. What if you want to hide stock apps you don’t use, or even just get rid of your carrier logo?

Fortunately, you can actually do those last two things on a non-jailbroken iPhone with relative ease, and here’s how:

Changing Your Carrier Logo

Most jailbreakers use a Cydia tweak like Springtomize to edit the look of their carrier logo in the top left of the iPhone’s status bar. When my iPhone is jailbroken, I hide “AT&T” altogether because I think it looks cluttered.

For a long time, you couldn’t do anything about changing your carrier logo without jailbreaking, but a recent tool for the Mac lets any iPhone user altering their carrier logo. The free app is called CarrierEditor, and it allows you to load a logo of your choice.

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 9.49.25 PM

Step 1: Connect your iPhone via USB to your Mac, open CarrierEditor, and follow the app’s instructions. You’ll get to a point where you need to drag in your replacement logos. If you don’t want to create your own, you’re in luck! The CarrierEditor download comes with 10 packaged logos, including a blank one to hide everything but your reception bars from the status bar.

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 10.01.58 PM

Step 2: You can find these logos in the .dmg folder when you first download CarrierEditor. Simply drag the ones you want into the app, and click compile.

If you’re afraid of not being able to switch back to your default carrier name, don’t worry. CarrierEditor is smart. It will create a backup of your default logo and save it to your desktop along with your custom one.

Step 3: Now that you have your custom logo saved to your desktop, it’s time to install it to your non-jailbroken iOS device (this also works with a cellular-enabled iPad) via iTunes. CarrierEditor will explain how to install the custom packing, and your altered carrier logo should appear pretty instantly on your connected iPhone.

hidden carrier logo

Much cleaner.

The cool thing is that the hidden logo still shows your connection speed (3G, 4G, LTE) and not the name of your carrier. I like to know what kind of data speed I’m getting, but I don’t like being constantly reminded that I’ve stayed with AT&T all these years.

Make sure to store your original carrier logo package somewhere safe on your Mac in case you ever want to revet back to the original setup.

Hiding Unwanted Apps

“Instead of sticking all the stock apps you don’t use into some folder, why not hide them entirely?”

Apple ships quite a few stock iOS apps in every iPhone it sells, but if you’re like me, you rarely use them. Sure, there are the must-haves like Safari, Mail and Camera, but what about the rarely used apps like Stocks, Voice Memos, and Compass?

There are all kinds of reasons you may want to hide a certain iOS app. Maybe you’ve ditched Apple Maps for Google Maps, and you want it off your home screen. Instead of sticking all the stock apps you don’t use into some folder, why not hide them entirely?

IMG_1811

This handy website will do the dirty work for you.

Now there are actually a few ways to do this on a non-jailbroken iPhone. There’s a glitch that lets you hide apps in the Newsstand folder, but that’s no good if you actually like Newsstand. It also doesn’t really hide apps; they’re just put in another folder.

PassHack will use Passbook in iOS 6 to hide stock apps, but the same developers behind the hack have a simpler method available.

Step 1: Visit Cydiahacks.com on your iPhone in Safari. It needs to be Safari, not a third-party browser from the App Store. (Don’t be alarmed. You won’t be installing any malware by using this site.)

Step 2: Tap the “Hide Apps without Jailbreak” hack. You’ll be presented with a list of all the stock iOS apps.

Step 3: Find the app on your device that you want to hide, and tap it. You’ll be asked to install a certificate that will be used to remove it from your home screen.

Step 4: The “installation” will appear to fail, but that’s all part of the hack. Tap “Done,” and tap and hold the desired icon to enter jiggle mode. All of a sudden, a small “x” will appear over the app you wish to hide. Boom. It’s gone instantly.

IMG_1812

Don’t let this message fool you.

IMG_1813

Say goodbye, Compass. You won’t be missed.

Apps you hide aren’t completely deleted from your iPhone. You can get them back by rebooting. A good tip is to save the Cydiahacks page to your home screen for quick access.

The only downside to this hack is that you won’t be able to search for stock apps while they’re hidden, so be sure that you’re not going to actually use an app before hiding it. The good news back is that getting everything back is a quick reboot away.

Related
  • m_hardwick

    using the cydia hacks method of hiding apps causes the spring board to crash often, it will then restart bringing them all back.

  • ksdulin

    Does the Carrier hack not work with EE in the UK? EE didn’t show up on the list and when I tried it with Orange UK my carrier from the EE merger nothing happened.

  • Robin B.P.

    this might seem a dumb question but, does this work with iPod touches? I don’t know many kids who give a hoot about stocks or newsstand apps :)

  • daov2a

    Most people do not hack their iPhones to give it personality. They do so to side load apps, change the default settings for browser or any other default and to use the jailbreak app store, which, if I am not mistaken, has some pron on it? Yeah, I do not think they care too much about the carrier logo.

  • eleve11_

    what about theming it? There’s iConStyler Beta! :) http://HackSto.re/iConStyler

  • Uzytkownik4321

    Oh, you must be a really good hacker! Hacking rlz.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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