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Innovation

Seven reasons to jailbreak your iPhone right now (updated)

Now that the feds have said that jailbreaking is legal, let's have some fun. Here are my top five jailbreak applications.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

Since publishing my piece on how easy it is to jailbreak an iPhone (and now, iPad) on Sunday, I've received a lot of queries about the pros and cons are of jailbreaking and why someone would entertain rooting their iOS device to knowingly install software that exploits a security loophole.

The answer is apps. But not just any apps. The main reason that people (including myself) jailbreak their devices is to use third-party app stores (like Cydia) to install unauthorized applications. But let's not confused unauthorized with nefarious.

Some people assume that Apple has purely holistic reasons for shunning jailbreaking -- your user experience and battery will suffer! -- but there's also a profit motive. Apple would rather collect the sales commissions on apps than hand that money over to a third-party. As always, its incumbent on you to take extra precaution when installing JB apps, as there's nothing stopping the baddies from distributing malicious apps.

Now that the feds have said that jailbreaking is legal, let's have some fun. Here are my top five jailbreak applications:

  1. MyWi 4.0 ($19.99, Rock) – Jailbreak tethering app
  2. Intelliscreen ($9.99, Rock) – Jailbreak lock screen customization
  3. ScreenRecorder ($1.99, Cydia) – iPhone video capture
  4. TVOut2Mirror & TVOutTuner (Cydia) - Mirror your iPhone display to an external source (TV/monitor)
  5. My3G – Makes apps believe that they are on WiFi instead of 3G. With My3G, you can watch HD YouTube videos, use Skype, Fring and make FaceTime calls over 3G. 'Nuff said.
  6. NES/SNES Emulators - There are a bunch of these on Cydia and yes, playing Donkey Kong on the iPhone is a lot of fun.
  7. SBSettings has an option to add a dBm meter to the menu bar. (Tip:)

Apps I'm currently seeking:

  1. temperature in the menu bar
  2. other stuff for the menu bar

Update: Some of your favorites:

  • BiteSMS – SMS with lots of extra features like smileys, Quick Reply, Quick Compose, privacy, scheduled SMS, passcode lock, delivery reports, signatures, and much more (tip: @jacktiggs)

What are your favorite jailbreak apps? Which ones do you wish existed?

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