I had a while back decided I wasn’t too arsed about jailbreaking my iPhone, but well, as I oft do with technology I got a little bored and decided to do it anyway, having discovered that you could do it with a tool called QuickPWN. Instructions on doing it are understandably sketchy, as developers tend to specialise, funnily enough, in developing rather than user-friendly instructions – plus their target audience tend to be people who can easy out-geek me.
So, amidst fears that in upgrading to 2.02 I had missed the jailbreaking boat, I duly opened up Google which presented me with this really useful guide. These are the instructions I followed, and it worked. The only thing they were not clear on was the length of time it can take for restarts – so it does lead to a few spincter-twitching moments; however, I was spurred on by the (as yet untested for me) claims that even if it went horribly wrong, a simple restore via iTunes would sort it out.
Why would you want to jailbreak your phone? With the inception of AppStore, third party applications are now available anyway (sometimes for a price), however, Apple are less keen on other applications making it onto their beloved platform. Video recording, for instance – is something my iPhone can now do, thanks to an application called Cycorder.
The other thing that jailbreaking enables is customisation; now, there is a school of thought that points out – not unreasonably – that the iPhone environment was a rather attractive thing to behold, and thus shouldn’t be tampered with. And I agree with that, to a point. But I resent being enforced not to, so I do actually quite like the ability to tamper with things; which as you can see from the screenshot are considerably tampered with.
In the past I used to spend many happy an hour designing themes for Geeklog, given the relative simplicity of iPhone themes I could be quite tempted to try to get into designing stuff again. As it is so far I’ve restricted myself to hacking apart the work of others into something approximating what I would like – I’ve also been investigating how to achieve transparencies in PNG files, which I think could lead to intriguing results; I like the idea of making the buttons fairly blended in.
Other things I’ve amused myself with is installing an application called ‘Categories’ which allows you to create folders in which to put groups of applications; which has tidied up my ‘Springboard’ (the technical term for the iPhone menu system), I’ve installed pretty impressive NES and Gameboy Advance emulators, as well as a more advanced Camera program, and a Video recorder. It’s true to get the most out of these things you need to be comfortable using either SSH or WinSCP (for Microsoft-based people such as myself) to get full use out of them.
In an extension of theme type stuff, I’ve also just added a small weather ‘widget’ to the home screen, as well as changing things like the battery colour and changing the slider to a zip, using the ‘Winterboard’ application, and the language to say ‘unzip’ rather than ‘slide- using the ‘Customize’ application (which has also enabled me to change my SMS alert tone to a light saber.. ah, t’was inevitable!). So yes, a myriad of customisations and changes, many of which I will probably lose when the novelty wears off!