Despite constant criticism from most Apple enthusiasts and its questioned legality, the act of jailbreaking the iPhone has stood the test of time.
In the final months leading up to the next major iOS release, there’s barely enough activity on the jailbreak front to fill a couple of conference rooms. But with the public release of iOS 7 just around the corner, it’s like the calm before the storm as hackers gear up for what may be the toughest system to crack yet.
Developers, hackers, and hardcore fans gathered in late August at JailbreakCon in New York City, an annual summit for the meeting of the minds within the jailbreak community. And while the conference’s founder, Craig Fox, wasn’t “overly pleased” with attendance for the third edition, he still considers the event a success. Why? It fulfilled its mission.
For the past few years, JailbreakCon has played a crucial role in providing face time to code jockeys from different continents who would otherwise only know each other by Twitter handles. Friendships are formed and ideas are shared. This year was no different. And as the release of iOS 7 draws near, jailbreaking’s closely-knit group of hackers and developers is getting back in the game.
Can it be jailbroken? That’s the first question a large number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users ask when Apple releases a new iOS update — particularly when it’s a release as big as iOS 7. Apple attempts to block all the vulnerabilities that make jailbreaking possible with iOS updates, so there’s always a concern that the next will kill jailbreaking once and for all.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like that will be the case with iOS 7, which has already been jailbroken.
Grabby, a new tweak from esteemed jailbreak developer Ryan Petrich, allows you to quickly launch your most frequently used apps from your iPhone’s lock screen by extending the functionality of the built-in camera slider. Find out more about how it works and where to download it below.
The iPhone 5’s been on sale for almost five months now, but there are still plenty of apps that have yet been updated to take advantage of its larger 4-inch display. They don’t get blown up automatically, either, so they sit in the middle of the screen and look silly.
As is often the case, a tweak is now available for jailbroken iPhones that solves that. Developed by Ryan Petrich, the creator of many popular jailbreak tweaks, FullForce automatically takes apps designed for the iPhone 4/4S and makes them longer for the iPhone 5.
Open the Apple Maps app in iOS 6, tap the bottom right page curl, and enable Satellite view. All of a sudden whatever you’re looking at will be filled in with realistic details like grass, pavement, and buildings. The Google Maps for iPhone app is capable of displaying satellite imagery as well, but Google has also baked a hidden topography mode into the app.
Thanks to jailbreak tweak developer Ryan Petrich, there’s a new package in Cydia that unlocks the Google Maps for iPhone Topography mode.
While Apple’s new Maps app has received a lot of criticism since its debut last month, it does offer a number of nifty features that weren’t available in iOS 5, including 3D Flyover and voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation. However, these are features that are only available on the latest devices, including the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the new iPad, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
At least that’s the case if you handset isn’t jailbroken. If it is, you can now get these features on A4-powered devices like the iPhone 4, and the fourth-generation iPod touch thanks to a new tweak called ‘Unlock iOS 6 Maps’.
Apple added a nifty new feature to iOS 6 that adds a splash of color to the status bar. Rather than being just black or silver, the status bar now changes to match the color scheme of the app you’re running. In Skype, for example, it goes bright blue, while in the eBay app it goes grey.
I’m a big fan of this feature, but I know a lot of users don’t. With that said, if you’d like to kill it, you’ll be delighted to hear there’s a new tweak for jailbroken devices that does just that.
Google Maps is gone in iOS 6, but some users are desperate to get it back.
iOS jailbreak developer Ryan Petrich has successfully gotten the old iOS Maps app, which was powered by Google and boasted features like Street View and walking directions, running under iOS 6. The port is said to be unstable at the moment, but it’s working, and with a little more work, it could be available in all its glory to users with jailbroken iOS devices.
Using banners for your notifications — rather than full-blown alerts we had to suffer prior to iOS 5 — is a great way to ensure incoming alerts stay out of your way while you’re busy sending tweets, chopping fruit, or writing emails. However, it would be nice if those banners could be even slimmer — maybe the same size of the status bar.
LiveClock, a tweak from Ryan Petrich that animates the Clock app’s icon to show the time, was once one of the first tweaks I would install after jailbreaking my iPhone. But after installing iOS 5, I had to live without it — because it just wasn’t compatible. Now, nine months after iOS 5 made its debut, it is!