Top 5 best Jailbreak apps and tweaks for iPhone

What are the top 5 best, or just our most favorite, Jailbreak apps and tweaks for iPhone? That's something we get asked a lot in comments, in the forums, and during the podcast chat. Cydia is filled with wonderful tools and applications to enhance your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. In this version, we're going to look at the top 5 jailbroken apps or tweaks to help you make the best of your iPhone experience. Some of these may apply to other devices as well, but we'll strictly be looking at the iPhone variants. Hit the break for what we think are 5 jailbreak utilities every jailbreaker should check out!

Winterboard

Winterboard is a must have if you intend to apply themes to your iPhone or customize the interface. Of course, you can always SSH and install themes on your own, but Winterboard will make almost everyone's lives a lot easier. A lot of the times, if you download a theme that has a dependency on Winterboard, it'll automatically install it for you. Once you've got Winterboard installed, browse Cydia for themes and UI tweaks you'd like to put on your phone. The great thing about Winterboard is that it works as a hierarchy. Say you download a theme but you don't like the sounds. You can download a sound pack from Cydia you do like, check it in Cydia and drag it above the main theme. It will then override the theme's default sounds with the ones you've selected. It's an amazingly powerful tool that allows you to customize your iPhone just the way you'd like.

YouTube Link

SBSettings

SBSettings is more of a tweak than an actual app. It will allow you to add quick toggles to your springboard. You'll swipe your status bar (or whatever gesture you prefer to configure with Activator), and it'll show a drop down with several options. It also monitors your available memory, which is a nice added feature. It comes with several toggles built in such as wifi, 3G, bluetooth, brightness, and airplane mode. There are a lot of times I want to toggle some of these settings to save battery life. It's much easier to swipe my status bar and tap the ones I'd like to toggle than to dig through the settings panel for each individual setting and flip them off.

SBSettings also allows you to hide apps on your springboard. I personally prefer to hide some of the Apple default applications that I never use such as stocks, weather, compass, and a few others. You can still spotlight search for them but it hides them on your springboard. There are also many other tweaks and add-ons for SBSettings in Cydia, including themes.

YouTube Link

Folder Enhancing Applications

Under 4.x, Apple gave us the ability to create folders. Yet again, Apple limited the functionality of this feature. You can't create subfolders and you can only have 12 applications per folder. I have about 50 games installed on my iPhone at any given point. It's a pain to have to create 5 folders just for games. Apps like Folder Enhancer and Infinifolders seek to solve this problem. They give you the ability to create sub-folders within a folder. Not only that, it removes the app limit cap. Now I can have several applications in one folder. And if I choose, I can create sub-folders. I have all my games in one folder, then divided by sub-categories such as RPG, Strategy, Action, etc. Folder Enhancer will allow you to change the folder background image as well.

Text Message Replacement or Add-On Applications

Although Apple's default texting app is visually appealing, it's still got a long way to go in terms of functionality. Enter apps like BiteSMS, iRealSMS, & QuickReply for SMS. These apps pick up where Apple has left us hanging. I personally prefer BiteSMS but iReal is also an acceptable solution. I wouldn't recommend purchasing QuickReply for SMS as the dev has announced he isn't updating it any further. It's been rumored to go free any day now.

My biggest gripe with Apple's default texting app is that it's obtrusive and forces me to enter the app when I want to compose a text or reply to one. With apps such as BiteSMS, I can simply create a gesture that will bring up a quick compose screen. I can easily and quickly send a text without it interrupting my work-flow. When I receive a text, I can simply tap a reply button and reply without having to enter the texting app. BiteSMS is also highly configurable. You can configure options and tab through them on the QuickReply window. Options range from adding options such as reply, open, call, skype, delete, and many others.

BiteSMS and iRealSMS also have the option to show contact pictures in line with your text messages. This is a feature I wish Apple would have added to contacts and texting a long time ago. For now, apps like BiteSMS and iRealSMS will give you that functionality until Apple decides to.

MyWi and My3G

Network add-on applications are also a welcome addition to the jailbreak community. For those of us lowly users in the United States, AT&T likes to charge a ridiculous amount for tethering. MyWi allows you to turn your iPhone into a wireless hotspot. I use this feature frequently to tether my iPad. Until some carriers come to the realization that data is data and if we're paying for it, we should be able to use it how we like, apps like MyWi and My3G are essential.

My3G allows you to trick your phone into thinking your on Wifi. This is useful if you're in 3G and would like to download an app that is over 20MB. Simply turn on My3G and you're iPhone will assume you're on wifi and it'll bypass Apple's 20MB cap on network downloads. My3G also allows you to use FaceTime over 3G as well. There are several other apps available in Cydia like My3G so you can take your pick. Some of the others are 3G Unrestrictor, FaceTime over 3G, and Facebreak. You can choose from whichever suits your needs the best.

Your top 5?

As always, this is a list of our favorite jailbreak applications here on TiPb that we think all jailbreakers should at least check out. We know you guys have favorites too, so let us know in the comments! If you're new to jailbreak or thinking about jailbreaking your phone, check out our guide to jailbreak terms and tools and if you need extra help, dive into our Jailbreak Apps Forum.

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 5 best Jailbreak apps and tweaks for iPhone

35 Comments

Its been a while since i was permanently jailbroken since i got my iphone 4 - when the 4.2.1 untether turns up i will again, my top would be sbsettings - firewall ip, snaptap, photoalbums+ and lockinfo

Saving $$$$$ money is key $25-$30 /m
For ipads data package, not realizing when I bought the 16gb iPad 3G I could have saved $100 buying the wyfi only. And I'm lucky to still have att&ts unlim plan. FREE tethering he'll

Saving $$$$$ money is key $25-$30 /m
For ipads data package, not realizing when I bought the 16gb iPad 3G I could have saved $100 buying the wyfi only. And I'm lucky to still have att&ts unlim plan. FREE tethering hell ya ; ) MYWI all the way!!!!

My top 5 are:

  1. iRealSMS: It's hard to imagine not being able to Quick Reply to SMS messages (my primary reason for jailbreaking).
  2. SBSettings: Gotta love the time saved with the toggles.
  3. Notified Pro (& GRIP Plugin: Notification system similar to Android's (will be even better when the Mail crash issue is fixed).
  4. CallMe: Springboard Photo Speed Dial -- fastest on the market.
  5. RemindMeLater: Adds snooze button to Calendar events. Absolutely essential for those of us that have loaded Calendars.
  1. biteSMS: All in all the best SMS app available in Cydia. Really love it, f.e. just unlocking, pressing volume up button and tapping on the screen means you're about to type a message.
  2. SBSettings. No explanation needed. Big plus f.e. I've you need to respring/reboot quickly.
  3. MyWi: I went on a weekend with a few friends, some had their laptops, some their iPod touchs etc, but I was the only one who had a dataplan for mobile internet. So in the end, we all could profit from MyWi with creating a hotspot.
  4. LockInfo. Personally, I prefer the Twitter Plugin. Especially the option to tap a tweet and quickly reply to it!
  5. BTStack resp. the option to connect a BT keyboard and mouse to your iPhone.

What font is used in your pics? And why can't I ever change my system font on my iphone 4 with ios 4.1? I've tried Bytafont and FontSwap, but neither change my system font
And BiteSMS is the best text message replacement by far in my opinion

By far the best is the Veency (VNC) server. I have my iDevices up on my Apple 27", type using keyboard and if I need to explain something to someone (about iDevices) I just record the screen. MyWi is the close second.

Why does tipb not support html5? Huge, huge fail! Over 54% of ALL websites have support, but the one site that makes all their money talking about apple FAILS to support it?!? Huge, huge, huge, EPIC FAIL!!!

LockInfo is easily number 1 for me. Makes notifications/email/calendar so much better.
Also, iRealSMS is and always has been better than BiteSMS. BiteSMS did a lot of copying of features after iRealSMS had already implemented them. It's best to go with the innovator rather than the copier.

@Kris not quite sure what you are talking about but i never have issues viewing videos and images from my phone on the mobile and regular site.
do you by chance have frash installed? that messes with HTML5 support.

  1. SBsettings. Love it!
  2. RemoveBG. Hold my home button for a seocnd and it closes all open apps except the ones I choose to keep open like mail, safari, sms... needs Activator for that last option.
  3. iFile
  4. Wi-Fi sync
  5. Five Icon Dock
  1. Lockinfo. Reminds me of PocketDay on Blackberry. You can also toggle on/of if you want to see your background as default.
  2. Winterboard. Allows me to use the classy-looking IBOX Final carbon theme.
  3. RemoveBG. See above remark by Sogeking.
  4. SBSettings. Slick way to turn on airplane mode, adjust brightness, reboot, etc.
  5. MyWi. I've used it to test settings and work if site network has issues or if, in my travels, a free Wi-Fi hotspot is unavailable.

Mywi is my first, Callme is the best, Intelliscreen and bite sms are excellent tweets and tv out is my lifesaver.

is there anyway to increase the font size using bytafont or something? looks good in your pics Allyson but looks TINY on my 3gs.

1) SBSettings - Why is something like this not standard on iPhones?
2) MyProfiles - The only way I can use my phone as a bedside alarm clock and automatically turn off email, calendar and SMS notifications. Also automatically toggles WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS off when not needed (customizable).
3) Lockinfo - Coming from a Blackberry, I miss the notification light. At least I can check to see if there is anything new with one push of the home button.
4) Infinidock - I have 5 icons showing instead of 4, and can scroll to 4 more.
5) BiteSMS - I don't have it yet, but after reading this article, I will.

Here are my favorites:
1) SBSettings
2) iBlacklist
3) Lockinfo (with HTC Clock HD plugin)
4) Multifl0w & Backgrounder
5) Notifier+
6) PdaNet
7) Springflash

Lockinfo, without a doubt. Coming from WinMo, the ONLY thing I missed was having glance-able information. Lockinfo does that and frankly, it is the only reason I jailbreak.

Ditto WatersWest, although you've got me curious about Winterboard now. Looks like I have a new project for the evening... Thanks Ally!

how is your font different on 4.0x ? I thought fontswap didn't work anymore ? Anyone know how to change fonts now....the default font is boring....

Well, I don't have a top 5 since I'm not JB, but I've heard that SWITCHERPLUS on Cydia is awesome! It adds a multitasking bar to the lock screen and the option to kill all running tasks. Seems like it would be very handy...sure do wish Apple had done this stock.

1) LockInfo is a must for me. Makes the lockscreen actually useful and keeps track of notifications for me.
2) iRealSMS. The ability to send and receive texts within an app is essential.
3) SBSettings is also very useful. You don't realize how much you use it until you're on someone elses iPhone and start swiping the top to toggle wifi or something.
4) Multifl0w makes app switching faster and easier to find the app you're looking for.
5) FolderEnhancer: Same reason as above. 12 app limit is ridiculous.

"My3G allows you to trick your phone into thinking your on Wifi."
That's "you're" before "on Wifi." (i.e thinking YOU ARE on Wifi)