Top 5 Must-Have Jailbreak Apps: Post iPhone 3.0 Edition


Today TiPb brings you round four of the Top 5 Must-Have Jailbreak Apps series, this one focused on what still makes Jailbreak compelling in a post-iPhone 3.0 world.

Now, all of the Jailbreak experts out there will (or should!) know about all these apps already. The purpose of this article is to give our readers who may not be familiar with the jailbreak community just a little taste of what is out there. So, if you’re still debating whether or not to jailbreak your iPhone, after reading this we are guessing that you will make up your mind one way or another...

All of the following applications can be downloaded via Cydia on your Jailbroken iPhone.

Read on after the jump!

GV Mobile

Is it really a shock that the first application in this article happens to be the latest and greatest app to be removed from the App Store by Apple? Right after the app's removal, developer Sean Kovacs tossed it directly into the hands of the jailbreak community. With GV Mobile and a Google Voice phone number you can do the following:

  • Dial numbers via the iPhone address book or typing on the keypad
  • Full SMS support (view historic, reply, send new)
  • Retrieve and delete recent call history
  • Playback and delete voicemails
  • Take calls from different phones other than your iPhone
  • Enable or disable the phones that Google Voice forwards calls to
  • Add or delete phones that Google Voice forwards call to


Backgrounder allows you to multitask App Store apps on your iPhone in the background. Yes, you heard me correctly, you can now listen to Pandora while you are in your favorite App Store app! This is your perfect opportunity to show Palm Pre owners how it's done. ;)

Just press and hold the home key while running any application. After a few seconds, the "Backgrounding Enabled" pop-up appears. Release the home button, Backgrounder automatically returns you to SpringBoard. After that feel free to open any of application you see fit. To quit the background application, re-launch it from SpringBoard, then press and hold Home until the Backgrounding Disabled pop-up appears. It's as simple as that.



Do you find yourself on one of the million iPhone App Store Twitter clients most of the day? If you answered yes to that question you may just find this app worth a good look. qTweeter is status update application that lets you tweet messages and update your Facebook status. You launch qTweeter by sliding your finger down from the status area and can start tweeting right away. Then you simply press the update button to update your Facebook status, send your Tweet, or both.

Some features of qTweeter are as follows:

  • Update Facebook and Twitter at once
  • Update your status on top of any app
  • TwitPic support
  • TwitVid support
  • Shortened URL
  • Music Tweets, YouTube Tweets, Safari Tweets
  • Long Tweet and TweetShrink support
  • Fast shortcut to your other Twitter app


For those of you who really want to apply a different look to your iPhone user interface, Winterboard. is the app for you. Using Winterboard you can apply complete skins to your device or just specific parts of it. Some of the things you can customize include app icons, wallpaper, statusbar, dock, etc... You can spend hours tweaking your UI ways that will make you wonder why Apple didn't think of this.

SBSettings 3.0.2

The last app for today, SBSettings, addresses a common complaint that we hear a lot about the iPhone. Do you want a way to turn Wi-Fi on and off without going through all the settings? SBSettings can help you out. How about adjusting your screen brightness? How about the ability to toggle Bluetooth on and off with a single button on your home screen? Edge and 3G? I'm sure you get where I am going with this.



The jailbreak community seems to have a bright future with the way Apple has been keeping the App Store on lockdown lately. Whether you decide to jailbreak your iPhone - please remember TiPb and any and all staff and writers take no responsibility for any mishaps, mistakes, wrong doings, etc, that may occur during the jailbreak process.

For more on Jailbreaking and Jailbreak apps, see the TiPb forums!

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


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Reader comments

Top 5 Must-Have Jailbreak Apps: Post iPhone 3.0 Edition


The jailbreak community seems to have a bright future with the way Apple has been keeping the App Store on lockdown lately.
Yeah and Rene the super crazy fan of apple what do you think about this?!

Backgrounder was a good app on 2.2.1 but are you sure it still works on 3.0? I think its gone back to basic features whilst the dev sorts out the 3.0 kinks...

Have heard a lot of people complain that Whiteboard is a memory hog and many have removed it. Thanks but no thanks.

Great list. I like BiteSMS as well.
@Glenn_CO: I have winterboard on my 3GS and it runs fine. I have a springboard background, lock screen, slider, and battery all changed with no issues. On the 3G/2G it might run slow and cause lag, but many say it is ok on the 3GS as long as you don't go overboard with themes.

"Music Controls"- Available through the Cydia store rapidly became one of my top five. It (along with Backgrounder) gives you the same level of control over streaming audio apps (Pandora, Slacker, Simplify, Orb) that you have over the iPod app. Its how the streaming apps would have probably worked in the first place if Apple allowed background applications.
Other four for me?
Winterboard (still no keyboard support in 3.0, though)
Qik (Thanks for the video on the 3gs, Apple...but I've got a year left on my contract and want video)
Snapture- (Apple, if you CAN zoom on a 3g, why does it take an outside app to actually DO it?)

Backgrounder doesn't work on 3.0 yet so not sure if it should really be on the list...
I found Winterboard a bit of a hog.. dont use it anymore...

Thanks for the list! Had it been a Top 7, my additional two would have been: Cycorder (if you're not on 3GS) and MxTube.

Backgrounder DOES work on 3.0.
I've been using it for weeks.
Maybe you need to run windows update...

Can someone answer a general jailbreak question for me...
After jailbreaking, I can't auto update to 3.1 when Apple releases it, right? I need to wait until a new jailbreak is ready for 3.1?

it is the "Tenuis Matte" theme... it comes with SBSettings i believe. you can change the themes in the options (pressing the More icon).

that is correct. most likely it won't be that long after 3.1 is released to the public that a JB is released, because it's already been given to developers.

Why do people post replies without knowing what they're talking about? Backgrounder works very well on 3.0. The only functionality currently missing in 3.0 is the settings to auto-background certain apps and the spinner icons on the springboard showing which apps are backgrounded. Neither are necessary and the main functionality of the app works perfectly.
Good list, though, Jeremy. I don't use Winterboard or Twitter, so those two wouldn't be on my list. But I know a good chunk of people use both. I've seen some pretty amazing Winterboard themes that are definitely tempting, but I have no problems with the default 'theme' along with Five Icon Dock and Stack.
@jtz5: Technically you can immediately update to 3.1, but you will no longer be jailbroken. If you have a desire to be jailbroken again in the future, it's strongly recommended to wait until the 3.1 jailbreak is released before performing the upgrade. There may be some extra steps necessary in order to work around any locks Apple may have implemented.

'RedLaser' is another brillant jailbreak application.
It uses the iPhones camera as a real-time barcode scanner, to scan various products such as books, CDs, DVDs, Games etc. It'll then use google product search and amazon to search for that product.
I've found this program is amazing and works extremely well, much better than anything the app store has to offer.

The GV Mobile debacle pushed me to jailbreak my iPhone 3GS, and then I moved to do the same with my son's 2G iPod Touch and my wife's iPhone 3G. Absolutely no issues with any of the jailbreakers (purplera1n for 3GS, redsn0w for the others). I've installed SBSettings, Winterboard, MakeitMine, GV Mobile (of course), Backgrounder, Flashlight, and bought 3G Unrestrictor. Tried PDANet, but that seemed to mess with my 3G connectivity, so I abandoned it.
Although I know that I'm in violation of Apple's software agreement, I know I can restore at any point. And I will not install any AppStore programs that have been pirated.
My biggest complaint is that there's no central "gallery" of themes, and many of the themes are incomplete. (Tried a Cubs theme that left many programs without an icon at all). Otherwise, it's nice to be able to give my wife and stepson the numeric battery status that my 3GS has, the customization of winterboard is great, and I look forward to using Skype on 3G and in the background (incoming calls).

i had jailbroken my 3g back when cydia was first starting and never used it much because there wasn't much there. looks like that has changed. might be time to do it again.

BiteSMS - QuickReply and QuickCompose text from any screen
Backgrounder - Run Apps in Backgroun
Sbsettings - toggle wifi/3g on the fly with a simple swipe
Qtweeter - Twitter from any app...(personally I hate twitter but it is a great app)
Winterboard - Theme manager.

If winterboard is takin up too much space, delete themes that you aren't using. Background does work on 3.0, I'm using it as I type.

One thing you should add to the list is this app called 'Inspell'
It's a spell checker and it's automatic....when you make a mistake it underlines the word in red and then you highlight it using the magnifying glass, then it takes you to its dictionary and you choose the correct spelling.
It's much more simple then I made it sound....try it out if you want your letters or emails to be mistake works GREAT!!

@ BARRY......there is a app store app called SnapTell, that does a great job doing the same's free in the app store!

I just recently went on an expedition to locate an app to change my lock screen. I was really needing a way to quickly see my upcoming meetings. Lock Calendar provided this, and now I must say I surely can't live without.
I will never understand why apple makes the lock screen so pointless. Lots of real estate to show important custom user information.

Hi, quick question...can you run SBSettings and qTweet together? Because isn't the downward swipe the initiation action for both does the iphone distinguish between the two? Thanks.

Apple needs to just add some of this stuff. They could definitely do Winterboard and SBSettings. qTwitter just needs a good dev I think to make it happen. I don't see why Apple wouldn't allow it. They will definitely eventually add background apps but it needs a better battery first, I'm fine with Push for now. And as for Google Voice I mainly think it's because of ATT.

With background how well do things run when you keep something running and go do other stuff? How does the battery handle it? can't run them together to initiate qTweeter you swipe down, for SBSettings you swipe across.

great so 5 apps that have been around for a while, must not be anything new available.
backgrounding works in 3.0 but only the basic backgrounding, nothing else.

Adam, SBSettings has a new two-finger, less sensitive command to access your settings. It is enabled by default with the newest version.

@Adam to use qtwitter you swipe up and down
To use SBsettings you swipe Right to Left or Left to Right.
@All , don't be scared to Jailbreak your iPhone. Even a caveman can do this. The tutorial is sooooooo easy. Including backup in iTunes , the process will take about 20mn.
Being with Tmobile, the only way for me to use the iPhone was to Jailbreak.
I owned all 3 generations since 2007. And believe me I never had a problem.
You still have the solution to Restore just in case something goes wrong.
I can understand why people can be affraid, :) at the end of this nice post, the author put a warning lol.
NOBODY EVER REALLY BROCKED HIS IPHONE. if You fail the jailbreak , just restore and start over. Most of people jailbreak in minutes.
PS : the best app is quick SMS ( where you can write/reply/call a contact in the middle of ANY application running.
REPORT SAYS THAT SAURIK FROM CYDIA MADE HALF MILLIONS $ since he launch Cydia store in March/April 2009.
In your face APPLE :)
please support the jailbreak community. DONATE.

iPhone auto correction. Please read :

Much like people defend iPhone battery life by saying "it drains faster than a Blackberry because you use it more," backgrounder drains the battery faster than a "regular" iPhone only insofar as you use things more.

  • If you have backgrounder installed, but are not running anything in the background, you will see minimal or no impact on your battery.
  • If you are constantly streaming Pandora in the background while you do other things, your battery will drain pretty fast -- only slightly faster than if you were running Pandora separately, but it will seem much faster, because with backgrounding you will keep listening to Pandora far longer and more often than if you had to keep it as the only running app.

If you like things like streaming music, backgrounding lets you get a lot more out of your phone, but you have to learn a more personalized use vs. battery life equation.
Disclaimer: This was my experience with 2.2.x, as I unjailbroke at 3.0 and have not re-jailbroken.

@ Adam:
SBSettings is a cross swipe, while qTweeter is a downward swipe.
Unfortunately, I get a "Size Mismatch" error when I try to install qTweeter. Maybe it will get fixed soon.

I took the plunge and JB my 3G today, with great ease, and I'm sort of impressed with the options/features. It's a shame Apple doesn't implement some of these.

How come no one mentioned quick reply or irealsms? I can't tell u how nice it is to reply to a text message while in any app. That's my biggest annoyance with the iPhone. Listening to the ball game in the bottom of the 9th in MLB At Bat and someone sends u an important text.

What about ultrasn0w? That's actually the only reason I jailbroke the 3G I gifted to my wife.

BARRY, RedLaser isn't a jailbreak app. It's available for purchase on the iTunes Store. Sorry to say that you must have (inadvertently?) pirated it.

@fassy, thanks. That's what I figured. Been considering it more and more now that I know I am keeping my 3G for another year (just had it replaced 4 days before my warranty was up, hehe) and now I'm thinking jailbreak will get me through the year with new stuff to do.

I restored, re-jailbroke, and only installed SBSettings and I couldn't believe the improvement in battery life and snappy performance. It was either BiteSMS or Winterboard that was hogging resources and killing my battery. My bet is Winterboard. Too bad.

Another to add to that list - GriP is pretty awesome, and actually lets you have push notifications the way they should be implemented; just an alert, not an in your face look at me popup!

You guys are forgetting CYCORDER, for those of us that don't own a 3gs. That alone is worth the jailbreak. I agree, winterboard is great to look at, but it does take tons of memory and slow down my iPhone. I'm seriously thinking of removing it, even though I DO love it.

Got a couple of gripes with SBsettings and Winterboard...
I used to be addicted to SBSettings, using it all the time in 2.x to turn on / off WiFi or the accelerometer, and I was very excited when it was updated to 3.0 basically at the same time the 3.0 OS released. However, I noticed that after I installed 3.0, my iPhone was overheating ALOT, and the battery life was completely shot. When I had the percentage battery on, I could see my battery drop 1% every minute. It was ridiculous. So I restored my phone, rejailbroke, reinstalled apps, and still the same problem. Then I Googled around and read that other users have been having the same issue when they have SBSettings installed, so I uninstalled SBSettings and voila! No mysterious overheating, and my battery life is back to normal. I really hope BigBoss fixes this soon...
As for Winterboard, I had it installed once upon a time, and it made my iPhone run so ridiculously slow! Everything was twice as choppy as it usually was, apps were crashing all the time, etc. until I Googled around and was advised to uninstall it. Am I the only one who has these performance problems with SBSettings and Winterboard?
As for the other apps, I am in LOVE with Backgrounder (Backgrounder + Internet RadioBOX = why I bought my iPhone), and it's pretty much the only reason I jailbreak!

Backgrounder does work on 3.0, provided you install the version that specifically states, for Firmware 3.0. fine on my 8GB 3G. Didn't see any speed changes with or without. Or battery droppage. With themes, some of them can be pretty large. Those I would assume would create some lag and battery issue. I created my own theme and kept every thing to a minimum.
SBSettings...have to look up what Lazlow stated. Never heard that happening. I have SBSettings but I am not having any heat or battery issues. Well, I did have the percentage issue (dropping a % close to every minute or so), I just assumed it wasn't working correctly, because by the time it showed 50%, my battery icon was still at least 3/4 or more full.

I can't even imagine using the iphone anymore without Grip and Backgrounder. Everyone should definitely try out Grip.

Does anyone know of a backgrounding application that will notify you when the application is activated? I'm thinking this would be great for Programs such as skype which you can background but then how do you know if someone calls you? Or maybe there is a push notification jailbreak for skype?

After I jailbreak my iPhone v3.0,I can't enter to my general mode,when I select the general mode it back to home screen

mcleaner (call block) - awesome
yourtube (dl vids to youtube app) - awesome
gonna try out some of the stuff ive heard mentioned

I use winterboard and it's not a resource hog at all. My iPhone is no slower than new. Only difference is it's slower to boot up. I boot up once a week lol

I love my jailbroken 3G! I have changed pretty much everything. I have Winterboard which I have no problem with, backgrounder, fontswap, sliders, SBsettings and much much more and the only problem I have is it gets a little warm every now and then. Which I heard is from SBsetting but I love it! Dont know why I didnt do it sooner

If your iphone is running slow ? This is an easy thing to fix if you have jailbroken your Iphone. Just download Speed Intinsefier and also Speed Intinsifier ADD ON ! Problem Solved Can't get any easier.

I have Adobe Flash on my Android and it works awesome. so don't say "it was designed for big, powerful computers, not highly portable, low power phones and tablets"