What is the current state of the iOS Jailbreak community, and does anyone care anymore?


What is the current state of the iOS Jailbreak community, and does anyone care anymore?

This is one of those questions that I find myself asking with more and more regularity than ever before.  I have always been an early adopter of sorts.  I enjoy beta versions of software, even if just for the thrill of trying something new. I fully accept that whatever I am “testing” might be a little buggy or unpredictable at times–that’s all part of the process.  Along with my love for the early adopter mentality, is my propensity to tinker.  However, this desire has tapered off in recent years with the maturity of iOS as a platform.

The first software version of the iPhone has come along way since it was introduced way back in 2007.  With the release of the iPad in 2009, iPhone OS officially became iOS, and the iPad was pre-loaded with version 3.2 at launch.  It wasn’t until iOS 4.2.1 was released in November of 2010, that all iOS devices were finally running the same software version.  The Jailbreak community was originally born from the lack of any App Store to run native apps on the iPhone (iOS 2.0 introduced the App Store).  Hackers, programers and users alike wanted to be able to add functionality to their iPhones that Web apps just couldn’t come close to providing.

Over the years, Apple has poached ideas and talent from the Jailbreak community in an attempt to keep iOS current and relevant in the quickly changing and evolving world of mobile computing.  This approach has had a mostly positive affect on iOS as a platform.  More importantly, though, it has also in many ways legitimized the continued need for a Jailbreak community.   Separate arms of the same team, Jailbreak programmers are free to continue their work to bring new, fresh ideas to the sand-boxed platform that is iOS.  Furthermore, Apple can watch from afar, while patching security holes (exploits) the Jailbreak community discovers and implement ideas and tweaks that these same hackers create.

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2 More Great Jailbreak Tweaks for iPad: BeeKeyboard & Zephyr

iPad jailbreak apps

I’ve posted here before about my experience with jailbreaking my iPad mini – how stable it has been, but also how unexciting it was.

I haven’t given up on the jailbreak yet though and I’m constantly looking for more useful tweaks to improve the experience. This morning I read a great post from Jeff Benjamin at iDownloadblog, where he recommends 15 jailbreak tweaks for the iPad. I haven’t tried all of them and not all of them are interesting to me – but I did install two of these today that I really like. They are:

BeeKeyboard: This tweak’s purpose is to enhance your Bluetooth keyboard when working with the iPad – and oh boy does it do a great job. It lets you use keyboard combinations very much like you can on a Mac – to switch between apps, to switch between app icons on home screens, to move back and forth between home screens, to pull down and hide Notification Center, and plenty more.

I’ve always found working with Bluetooth keyboards a little awkward because of the need to switch between using the keyboard and tapping the screen for a lot of the actions mentioned above. BeeKeyboard gets rid of that problem and makes using a BT keyboard far more effective.

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NCSettings – Very Nice Jailbreak Tweak for the iPad

NCSettings Jailbreak app

A few people have recommended NCSettings to me, following my recent post about being impressed but also a bit bored with the latest jailbreak for iPad.

One of my favorite all-time jailbreak apps is SBSettings, which makes it far easier to toggle some key services (Bluetooth, 3G etc) off and on and improve battery life, during many years of iPhone and iPad jailbreaking.

Well, NCSettings offers similar capabilities in a much more elegant way – as it places itself in Notification Center. Here’s its elevator pitch in the Cydia store:

NCSettings is a sleek Notification Center toggle widget, designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind. It allows quick access to the most frequently used settings.

I just installed it this morning and I’m already a big fan.

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9 Days of iPad mini Jailbroken: Stable as Heck, But Also Boring

iPad mini Jailbreak

Last week I posted about jailbreaking my iPad mini for the first time, with the new Evasi0n jailbreak. The jailbreak itself went smoothly and quickly and my iPad mini has been jailbroken for 9 days now.

This jailbreak has proved to be as stable and solid as just about any I can recall over recent years. I’ve had no major issues over these 9 days, and I’m even finding it hard to think of any minor ones. Perhaps an app or two that has some sporadic issues which might be due to the jailbreak or might be completely unrelated. No crashes, no need for any reboots, nothing like that at all.

So here’s the only real ‘problem’ I have with the jailbreak so far: I’m bored.

I’m sure this is very much one of those ‘It’s not you (jailbreak), it’s me’ situations. As I’ve said – the jailbreak process is easy, my device is stable and working great. And there are plenty of jailbreak apps and tweaks available in the Cydia store. I’m just finding that very, very few of them are interesting to me.

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Cool Things: Interesting New Jailbreak App Switching Concept

There are quite a few jailbreak app switching apps and tweaks by now – and a few of them are arguably as efficient (or even more so) than the options we currently have in ‘stock’ iOS. Today I spotted a very interesting and promising looking new concept in this area, via a post at the jailbreak.now site. In this concept, the equivalent of the Multitasking Bar is a slim column that splits the current app’s page down the middle. Tap on any of the icons for running apps in it to switch, just as we do in the Multitasking Bar. Swipes left and right in the switching bar brings up services toggles and some of the standard controls from the MT bar.

As someone who has been wishing for years that Apple would bring us an easy, elegant method of service toggling in iOS I give this concept major points right away for the solution it offers in that area. I also think it has a bit of elegance to it if it could be implemented successfully in a way that doesn’t cause issues with the currently open app and so forth.

Right now this is just a concept and it’s just shown on an iPhone. It’s the creation of jailbreak developer s3ntry93, who is the creator of the popular Auxo jailbreak app switching app.

What do you all think of this concept? Would you find this an interesting option for app switching (and more) on your iPad or iPhone?

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My iPad mini: Jailbroken for the First Time

Well, it’s been not far off a year since I last had any of my iPads jailbroken. Until today that is. I succumbed once again to temptation this morning and decided to jailkbreak my iPad mini – largely due to hearing my friend Thomas talk about how much he was enjoying the latest jailbreak on […]

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