Top 8 jailbreak concepts Apple should implement in iOS 5

TiPb list the best, most must-have Jailbreak features we'd love Apple to add to iOS 5

Moscone WWDC 2010

Next Spring Steve Jobs will walk out on the stage and preview the latest and greatest enhancements to iOS 5, and there's a lot we want to see that's already available via Jailbreak. As most of you know, I am a full supporter of jailbreak. Every iOS device I've ever owned has been jailbroken and tweaked to perfection. iOS may be a very viable platform- but like any, it's still severely lacking in certain areas.

Part of the reason I'm such a huge supporter of jailbreak is due to the fact that some great innovations and ideas tend to come from the jailbreak arena. They later trickle on down into later iterations of iOS. (Installer and Cydia were around before the official App Store). So in some ways, a jailbreaker is essentially a beta tester for Apple, without paying a $99 fee for a developer's license. Not to mention you'll get new tweaks and features a lot sooner than Apple releases a major beta version of iOS.

When the snow finally melts and Spring greets us, I'm hoping Steve walks on stage and includes some of these successful jailbreak tweaks and features in the next iteration of iOS. Jump on through to see what I'm wishing for (and of course, let us know your hopes for iOS 5 in the comments as well).

1. New Notifications System

This is first on my list for a reason. A lot of you are probably tired of hearing me whine about it by now. But the truth is, it's one feature iOS has a terrible management system for. The fact that notifications just pop up over other notifications and when you dismiss them, the badge disappears, leaving no trace of that notification is pretty inexcusable.

A lot of us are networking fiends. I want a better way to manage my notifications. Jailbreak applications such as LockInfo have done wonderful things to supplement Apple's lack of a decent way to manage notifications. I'm a huge supporter of LockInfo and its developer, David Ashman. Things like viewing notifications and events on your lockscreen is a breath of fresh air.

Infoshade is also a feature of LockInfo that I've fallen in love with. These are features Apple needs to take a hard look at, learn from them, and refine them in a way only Apple can do. In the mean time, here's a video of LockInfo in action. You can also view our guide to LockInfo and setting it up as well.

2. Folder Enhancements

The jailbreak community has had the ability to create folders since long before iOS 4.0. Apple's implementation of folders is hands down much better. The down side of Apple's version of folders is that they crippled the feature from being as useful as it could be. I don't know about you, but I have way more than 12 games. I'd like to be able to put them all in one generic games folder, in sub-folders, labeled by type of game.

Jailbreak applications such as Infinifolders and Folder Enhancer allow me to do this. I can also skin my folders however I want with different wallpapers (not a necessity but a nice little tweak). These two apps also remove the 12 apps per folder cap. Put as many in a folder as you like. You can have pages of apps and nested folders inside of nested folders if you choose. It allows me to be more organized and have only 1-2 pages on my springboard.

3. Texting Enhancements

While Apple's text app is extremely easy to use, it lacks certain functionality that most users really want (and need). If I want to reply to a text message, I have to exit whatever I'm doing, jump into the texting app, send my reply, and then go back to whatever I was doing. If you choose to close the message, the badge disappears. If you're anything like me, you'll probably forget you had a text to reply to within about 5 minutes.

BiteSMS is a wonderful app that has been available to the jailbreak community for quite some time. It's constantly being updated with new features and enhancements. It has replaced the default message app on my iPhone until Apple can learn how to implement text management in a more efficient way. I can create gestures in order to bring up a quick compose screen. It simply pops up, I fire out my text, and it disappears, never interrupting what I was doing beforehand.

Quick reply is also a much needed feature Apple needs to implement. Bite simply brings up a keyboard, you type in your reply, click send, and away your text goes in the background. Leaving you to continue doing what you were doing before, uninterrupted. Bite also has ways you can manage what dismissing a text does. If you'd like the badge to stay so you remember you have an unread message still lurking around, you can choose to use that feature. Setup on applications like Bite can be a bit daunting so this is one I'd really enjoy seeing Apple refine into an easy to use, beautiful enhancement.

4. Landscape Rotation

I know the iPhone is smaller than the iPad, but why can't we landscape rotate? If I'm in a landscape application such as a game and want to bring the multitasking tray up, it's sideways! I'd be happy with simply landscape multitasking here.

Jailbreak applications like SBRotator allow you to do this and further tweak how you want rotation to behave on your springboard. This isn't a ground breaking feature, but definitely something I'd like to see Apple throw into iOS 5.0.

5. Theme Store

I know this is a long shot, and probably something we won't see, but wouldn't it be nice? We have an App Store, a music store, and a book store available to us. Why not a theme store? Most of the reason I say we won't see this is because a lot of the file changes that have to happen in order to theme are file changes Apple doesn't want you making. Alright, how about a compromise? Can I at least change the size of my icons? Shrink is a jailbroken application that allows me to simply change my icon scale. That's it. I've got my page icons sized down so I can see more of my background. I've got my dock icons spaced out and a 5th icon dropped in. Stock icons are HUGE. I want a way to make them smaller by default.

6. Quick Toggles

SBSettings has been a god-send since it came out. Being able to turn off Wifi, 3G, or Bluetooth in just 2 gestures is extremely convenient. There's also several add-ons for airplane mode and anything else you could think of. Digging through the settings panel is annoying.

I live in an area where 3G isn't readily available. I can go 20 minutes in any direction and have full coverage though. So turning it off in my home area saves battery. Then when I'm out and about, I turn it back on when I need data. Digging through the settings panel becomes annoying, where SBSettings allows me to access these commonly used toggles quickly and easily.

A common settings toggle would be a nice addition to iOS 5.0. Here's a quick video of SBSettings in action. We've also got a guide to SBSettings up as well.

7. New Quick Gestures

We all know double-tapping your home button brings up your multitasking tray. If you hold your home button, voice control settings pop up. Tapping your home button once brings up Spotlight search. That's all great and fun, but Apple has no more buttons to work with. Tactile gestures are so 2005. Apple has a beautiful touchscreen device and the ability to add gesture shortcuts is endless.

Certain jailbreak apps make use of a gesture method called Activator. You can find your activator settings in your settings panel. You can choose any possible gesture you can think of and customize it to perform a certain task. On my iPhone 4, if I hold down on the status bar, my LockInfo information will drop down from anywhere. Whether I'm in an app or just on the springboard, I can see all my e-mails, notifications, and calendar events without ever it interrupting what I'm doing. If I slide my finger up from the bottom of the screen, quick compose for BiteSMS pops up. I can fire away a text and then continue doing what I was doing. Jailbreak developers have been taking advantage of Activator for years, why can't Apple release an API that will let stock apps do the same?

Some people may argue this will take away from Apple's stance on ease of use. Well, make it a setting. If users choose not to implement it, they don't have to. More advanced users will choose to and they'll be grateful.

8. Changing Fonts

I know this isn't a life changing feature, but it's a fun one! Apple has beautiful fonts available under Mac OS X, why not iOS? Most other devices allow you to change your system fonts, it's time iOS allows us to do the same. I could see font downloads in the App Store becoming a huge success. If Apple doesn't want to allow developers to create fonts and sell them in the App Store, at least give us a few new fonts to choose from in Settings.

Your picks?

I'm hoping to at least see a few of these Jailbreak features officially implemented in iOS 5. What are your guys' hopes for iOS 5? Let us know!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Top 8 jailbreak concepts Apple should implement in iOS 5


the ability to hide apps. I never load the AP news app but I like having the ability to get the alerts from them. i'd like to never see the icon
lockdown. make a new system API for this let me password protect opening specific apps by my choice. then instead of developers needing to roll their own authentication system they simply require use of the lockdown api and their data is encrypted
I'd like some variant on keepawake to where I can set a specific app when running to trigger my phone to not go to sleep
from an IT standpoint I'd like to have a system information page in settings.

I would love to have option of changing the springboard theme along with changing the keyboard and UI color on my iphone. The blue UI is boring!

The ability to pick and chose which apps to run in background ('backgrounder' style) is priceless, to default everything is a resource and battery nightmare.

They should add the ability to be able to set the text msg to vibrate while still having the phone ringer on.
just my 2 cents worth

I have biteSMS and SBSettings and those are things that apple is just damn right STUPID for not implementing. I also would like to see a UI overhaul of the multitasking tray , make look more like multifow or WebOS (hell I'd even settle for blackberry ! ) themes would be nice but they gave us wallpapers for now and I'll take that.

Oh two things I forgot , edit the spell check to be able to customize words ( no always correcting them DOES NOT WORK ! ) and secondly customizing our SMS tones !

One thing you are wrong on is the badge disappearing when you dismiss the text pop up. In your settings if you disable the show preview option, when the text message pops up and you dismiss it, the badge still is there! :p

agree with you for at least 6 points.
i really hope iphone 5's gonna be great and ios5 two times better!!

i use all of the above.
wouldnt mind an notification light. Thats the only thing i miss from the good ole blackberry days.

Apple should never take any of those apps as is Becaus none of them have the iOS ui that makes the iPhone feel consistent. What I would like to see in iOS 5 is wedgets on the homescreen not lockscrenn. Notifications first of all match the iOS theme , second of all a new looks and fell and one that has layers of advanced ness to it. Pages in the folders. Time mession back ups with iTunes so I could see how the restore looks like or restore only cretan things like the way folders were set up. Live apps give me information on the apps icons example like the weather on the weather app. UI inhacments, and nano like back gesture. That's is about it for me.

To me everything is good except #4. Please dont do this. Or at least give us a control to shut it off. Landscape for a phone is just annoying as it flips back and forth. I know there is a soft shut off switch right now but its global. I want it to work in apps and not on the homescreen.
I would be happy with speed enhancements and the ability to flag email.
They took some of the strengths of Android and implemented it on OS4. Now take some stuff from Palm, and BB. Like profiles and better control of the phone.

What about the possibility to erase one call frome the recent calls? Why Have I to delete all recents and not choose which one????
And what about something like iBlackList or Mcleaner?? I want to be able to filter my calls and my sms!

Not sure if this feature is even available in a jailbreak hack but...
One feature that I feel is glaringly lacking in the iPod app is on-the-fly queuing. Often I am listen to a song and I want to listen a another song next. Currently I am able to find the next song while the first is playing, but then I have to wait utill the first song is done before hitting play. And using this technique you can only "queue" one song at a time. Every other music player I use does this, how hard can it be!?!?
And I know I can edit playlists on the iPhone, but this does not help. You have to build the entire playlist, then play it. The point is that while listening to one song, I am reminded of another song I like and I would like to listen to it next. PITA!!!
/end rant :-)

Most of my iPhone navigation and launching is done with my right thumb. It would be nice if the apps rearranged themselves down & across rather than across & down. Then I could easily arrange apps on the right of the screen, under my thumb.

Notifications is my absolute number 1 request from years. The iPhone has a terrible notification system and something like LockInfo is a must to have!

Not sure if it's available in a jailbreak app or not (haven't jailbroken since iOS 4 came out) but I'd love a way to timeout apps from the multitasking toolbar. After a while it just gets messy to clean stuff out of it. For me, if I haven't used an app in say the last 6 hours, there's no reason it should stay active or even suspended in the queue.

Hahahahahahaha, you will only get what Lord Jobs says you get.
In all seriousness, I doubt you will see any of these. I predict you may see improvements to the gaming experience, which few want, but for some reason everyone thinks this is the hot item. Some minor UI improvements. I don't think you will see any improvements to notifications only because so many people have bitched, Jobs may not do it to show he is king and doesn't bend to the will of anyone.

Blackberry user here.... This sounds like a list of Android-esque features. Aside from the Holy grail that is retina display, why are you waiting for Jobs & Co. to update iOS to include these features when they're readily available on Android devices? Yes, the iPhone 4 is a gorgeous device (that’s made of glass????), but if your main concern is functionality – why are you on Team major-update-once-a-year? How long did it take Apple to implement copy and paste, again?

If the iPhone and iPad are going to be truly useful for business, they need to have the ability to view multi-page tiff documents.

So you're telling me I have to part with one feature to benedfit from another? That isn't a solution. I like message previews. I know you can do it the way you said, but you're wrong in thinking that's a viable solution. That's a crappy workaround.

Android is still chasing iOS for features and usability. Android is a fragmented mess that is less capable. People don't choose android, they settle for it.
If we made a list of what android needs, it'd be pages long.

I never said apple should take these ideas "as is". I said I would like to see apple take these ideas and refine them to implement into iOS 5

@Bryan sbrotator has options to disable homescreen rotation and only activate in apps. I just choose to have it landscape on the home screen. There are tons of settings.

I Definatley want the better notification system especially the pull down bar when the phone is unlocked, and the notifications on the locksreen.

New notification system, reply enchanchements (ie: BiteSMS replies but not just for SMS), quick controls and over the air syncing are my favorite features I wish for iOS 5. Sadly, I'm pretty sure if Apple get any of these features in, they would be crippled just like they did to folders.
The only other feature not yet supported, even in JB, that I would also love is some sort of cloud sync between devices.

Drives me NUTS when blackberry and Android users come here to Troll b/c they are jealous. JUST FACE IT!!! Back on topic, I agree with most of the list except #4, SBRotator (maybe b/c at first when it was dev. it screwed my iphone up and just uninstalled it). LockInfo, BiteSMS, SBSettings, Gridlock, Iconoclasm, Infinifolders, Backgrounder, Multifl0w, Pull to refresh for mail & Safari.....

I'd like to see a new notification system that doesn't pause whatever i'm doing. Also i would like to see siri integration.

@Rober, exactly what i was thinking, they could make the apps a little bigger or keep them the same and make them live like the date app is. It changes the day and the number every day. Weatehr app should update and other developers should be able to set the live apps to do what they want when they get notifications.

Yes, because people who disagree with the hive mind must be trolls. /sarcasm
He was a little blunt about it, but his reasoning was just fine - the iPhone gets what jobs wants, when we wants it. Or do we only sing the praises of iOS "single focused vision" when it is convenient, and shout down anybody who dares acknowledge the obvious flip side?

@gquaglia Lord how pathetic people like you are. "Lord Jobs?" Do all android fanboys think like you?Do you really feel he holds features back to punish the customers he sells products to? Actually never mind. talking to an Android FB is like speaking to a religious zealot. Facts don't matter.

It amazes me that after 5 months some people still don't understand how the multitasking works and think everything in the tray is still running and taking resource.
Some people really are too stupid to own an iPhone...

i only care for a new notifications system !!
and i dont believe the others will come

All I want/need is these 5 things & I'll be a happy little boy:
1) Customizable SMS textones
2) Ability to close SMS/MMS messages without ignoring the message at all
3) Live weather widget like calendar (This should of came with OS 1.0)
4) More apps in folders than 12 (At least double the #)
5) Please enhance/change the ability to make the iPhone personal (live wallpapers, theme changes, font changes, and better shortcuts)
That is all. :)

I think we'll see a new notification management system along with some of the other stuff you mention. But, we'll have to upgrade to the iPhone 5 in order to use iOS 5 to its full capacity...

Apple explained it perfectly well, it's not rocket science. As I said, some people are too stupid to have an iPhone...
Personally I think it can be improved, I'm not keen on the recent used apps list not being distinguised from apps that are actually running in the background, but anyone who believes every icon in that tray is actually running is an idiot.

One thing Apple should add in iOS 5 is an Instant Text Messaging service. Something similar to BBM for blackberry. One big reason why people love blackberry is BBM (Including me). If you take a similar feature and add it to the iPhone It will give a lot of people (blackberry users) reason to jump over to the iPhone. I think they should call it iChat :)

  • I currently just bought an iPhone 4 but still have my blackberry. As much as i Love the iPhone 4, I am debating whether to keep it. Although I did jailbreak it and add most of the features discussed above, BBM single handedly makes me want to stay with BlackBerry. While Kik Messenger is good, Not too many people know about it or are convinced enough to switch from BlackBerry to iPhone.
    I think if Apple added this, it would be the deciding factor in switching devices (i'm sure I'm not alone on this).

Also the ability to close an app when your done with it. Instead of having to hold down on the app in the multi-task bar and close every app running. I think it would be better for the battery if you could close the app right away instead of pressing the home button and forgetting about it while having 20 apps running in the background

i dont know if its me but i have folder enhancer along with folders in folders and everytime i download an app from itunes it takes all my apps out of the folders can anyone help me

there is a conflict between those two apps. Delete Folder In Folders. Folder Enhancer does what Folder In Folders does plus much more.

I'm not really a big fan of having info on the lock screen. Maybe I wouldn't mind if you double clicked the home button to bring up iPod controls as well as info.
I do agree with notifications though. I think in addition to the fast app switcher, double clicking the home button should bring up notifications right above the fast app switcher in that currently unused space. Would be nice to have some widgets and quick toggles in that space as well.
Custom SMS tones for sure and in app quick reply would be really nice.
A live weather icon is something I really want. It's not 73 degrees and sunny 24/7. It doesn't even have to be live. Just have the icon update its appearance every 5 or 10 minutes.
A separate volume for your alarms. I like listening to my music at night at a low volume but if I need my alarm in the morning I either need to turn my music all the way up or not listen to it at all because if I turn it down then I can't hear my alarm in the morning.
I like the idea of quick gestures. I'm sure apple could pull this off rather well if they tried.
I'd also like it to remind me if I have a text. Make a sound, vibrate, give me a push notification, SOMETHING!! I am also one of those people who forgets that I have a text awaiting a reply.
Ability to have more customization. Blue does get boring after a while. I wouldn't mind a solid black theme. I'm not asking for complete themes with matching app icons i just want to get away from the blue UI. Also maybe different wallpapers for every screen. Or maybe the ability to randomize your wallpaper so that a different one shows up every day or everytime I unlock it.
Airplay from any app.
Also custom alert tones such as the one for e-mail and facebook.

The function that I use all the time is the "remove background". This is sooo convenient to eliminate the juice hogging apps in one fell swoop.

with every reply you are only making yourself the bigger idiot. maybe you are the one that needs to do some research and see why that app exists in the first place. Instead of insulting people, why dont you try to explain yourself. you sound like a moron which i am sure you cannot help.

REAL multi tasking! Not the joke they put in IOS4.
A little LED like blackberry that signals a new message.
Video out for EVERYTHING!

When working on long documents On the iPad, i have often found myself wishing for the option of being able to use a mouse.

Customization, customization, customization.
One of the things I keep hearing Android fanatics talk about is how they can customize everything.
We need to be able to set our own default browser, email, and messaging app.
We need to be able to set our own SMS and email sounds.
We need to be able to quickly set our brightness level, 3G data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
We need to be able to customize the lock screen, or have an application be able to do so.
And we need the device to be more active rather than passive. If I have an RSS reader, I want it to launch 10 minutes before I get up in the morning, grab it, and exit. That way, when I'm in the subway, I'm not looking at a useless app that has no data because I have no signal.
The iPhone is natively such a passive device that it requires interaction every step of the way, and in some respects, those stupid Windows Phone 7 commercials do have a point.
I want to turn on Wi-Fi when I'm home and turn it off when I'm on the go. Location and time-based rules could handle that.
The cloud is only useful when I'm connected to it, and apps are starting to be too dependent on having it readily available. With limited and metered data plans and spotty Wi-Fi/3G coverage, there has to be some sort of accommodation for those who don't have it on tap.

Essentially, you want to be able to have your phone do anything you want it to. I don't see why apple is so set against this.

Dear lord... If Apple does all of that, I'll leave the platform! It looks horrible lol. I think your not really an iPhone fan buddy, go buy an Android - and leave TiPb

I wish I could enter appointments in fewer taps--like my old Palm. I still think I should be able to touch a timeslot and it jump to the "add event" dialog. And swipe to change days. And week view. Ah, week view...
@Mephisto My TomTom continued in the background afte reaching a destination until the most recent update. It's not the only app that does so. Regardless, I'd like the ability to clear the cache--I've had buggy apps that seem to straighten out when their saved state is wiped and they have to restart.

@Mephisto Lol to all your posts. I guess most people are "conditioned" to the Microsoft way of multitasking. Granted that some of the location services and VoIP apps still run to some degree in the background, most apps are indeed in a frozen state.

The two most wanted features for me would be are to have an SMS quick reply option much like quick reply from cydia along with a BBM-like messaging system for iPhones.

Sound profiles are one of the biggest features lacking that is so come on so many other phones and devices. Example...I like getting a sound for incoming mail messages, but not when I go to sleep. So I have to leave this on and just deal with it, or fiddle with settings all the time. Come on.

So- don't bother flaming me, as I am asking a serious question. I have never touched a blackberry- I don't understand what some are talking about re: BB messaging. What is it? How is it better/worse/different than standard SMS/MMS?

The main reason I JB my iP4 is for iBlacklist. Call and SMS blocking is a gotta have because is a joke.
Kristen: BBM is a BB proprietary system like SMS. Only works for BB to BB messaging, but is secure and service assured (when the BB servers are running, that is). Great for an enterprise with tons of BBs, less so for everyone else. I don't miss it.

Of all the things I miss being able to customize (as I can in every other GUI I have EVER used), the inability to change the on-screen keyboard is the one I most wish The Holy One would see fit to let us change.
After using Swype for six months, using a static on-screen keyboard is just painful.

I use BiteSMS, Lockinfo, iBlacklist, and switcherplus daily. These are must have in your everyday life.

Not sure if this has already been mentioned (because I don't have time to scan through 78 comments), but I'd like to see the Weather icon on the home screen update to reflect the current temperature, kinda like how the Calendar icon shows the day/date. Not a big deal, but something I'd like to see...

Yeah I was just about to post that one as well. There is a jailbreak app called weathericon while allows dynamic weather info to be placed on a number of weather apps for the iPhone. I would be just as happy if active icons were part of iOS.

I would love for these features to be made a reality. I have no faith in Apple for them to make this happen though. They've done nothing but let me down since 3.0. They're falling behind and it's nothing short of frustrating. I can't wait to jump ship once the Desire HD or Motorola Olympus comes to AT&T.

Actually, I am a huge iOS fan. I've played with Android and owned almost every mobile platform available (owned a captivate for comparison purposes).
If you are fine with the way the iPhone is, fine. Innovation drives better phones and software. The iPhone is by no means perfect. Just because I like to customize my phone doesn't mean I need to "buy an android". You just showed how much you know about both platforms in that one comment. Next to nothing.

Great list. Another app I really like not on the list is Notified. Although the project may be dying it showed a lot of promise. In it's current state combined with it's statusbar notification plugin I am pretty close to what I'd want in a notification system (Android). Notified for notifications in the form of a ticker in the statusbar + Lockinfo Shade = no more popup hell and a fairly elegant non-intrusive notification system.
Another 2 extensions for those Google Voice users out there: Phone & SMS GV Extension. Integrates your GV # into the stock phone and sms app. You can then use BiteSMS with GV. Extra $20 a month in my pocket (although no MMS support - supplemented by TextNow).

Don't need 4, 5, or 8: (Landscape, Themes, or Fonts)
But do want the ability to side-swipe between open tabs in safari and to double-finger swipe left to pull open a new tab. The menu buttons suck!
If the texting enhancements you mention could be added someday by Google Voice, I'd be very happy. Don't use the default text app because I don't pay for texts.
Would love me some gesture swipes to replace clicking the home button, which on my constantly used 6 month old iPhone, is already starting to get a bit glitchy. Like swipe up for multi-task bar, and swipe down for quick toggle settings. Double-finger swipe down for settings menu. That sorta thing.

There's an OS that already has all this and more...ANDROID! Now, its Apple cpopying Google, isn't it ironic...

you're going to hate this, but if you had android you could get pretty much all of the above very easily without rooting or jailbreaking...but I know that's not the point of a side note I love my Ipad, and am wondering weather jailbreaking that would benefit me, some of the things above make it very tempting.

Why implement something which is already available? I want apple to add new ideas! Something we dont have, like apple added air print and airplay. We didnt have that but now we do :)

PhotoAlbums+ Lets you create albums in your camera roll, move pictures around and lock albums with passwords.
Flash Player. HTML5 is Lame.
News flash most sites use Flash Apple!

I think photoalbum+ is one feature I really need. iOS doesn't allow you to sort the pictures you take into folders. Vacation. Work. Family etc.

hey, i was just wondering if someone could explain to me, how exactly to jailbreak my iPhone 4 16gb in full detail. maybe email me at
tell me what to download and stuff. i'm totally new and don't understand too much techy stuff. if you could, thatd be great, thanks (:

Actually i would like to have all if someone can demonstrate the specific information about how to jailbreak on my Mac.