Originally Posted on The Long Beach Local by Preston Wingrove
After recently jail-breaking my iPhone 5, I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s like an entirely new phone.
Being unable to take your eyes off your phone might be a bad thing for some, but I have learned so much more about the internal workings of the iPhone and, thus, have come to appreciate this extraordinary piece of technology that much more. Besides, our lives are on our phones, so why not customize your phone to make it work the way you want it to work.
I first stumbled upon the extremely easy-to-use evasi0n jailbreak while poking around online (see below for instructions). After getting over the frightening feeling that someone was going to immediately find out that I overstepped the boundaries that Apple has put in place, I decided to go through with hacking my iPhone.
I read a few simple instructions, downloaded the file, connected my phone to the computer, and after about 5 easy minutes, my iPhone rebooted. After unlocking the phone, an app for the app store Cydia was placed on my home screen. Within this store, one can download hundreds of different themes, ringtones, tweaks, sounds, apps, etc
First things first. Before we take a look at a few of the cool tweaks the jailbreak has to offer, let’s hack your phone, one step at a time:
- Search the internet for evasi0n jailbreak or go to evasi0n.com. (That’s evasi0n with a zero).
- Click the blue download button that has your corresponding operating system: Mac OSX, Windows, or Linux.
- Click the blue “here” to download the attachment.
- Connect your iPhone to the computer (a backup of your phone is recommended but not necessary).
- Open the downloaded file (with your phone connected to the computer) and click “jailbreak.”
- Let evasi0n run it’s course on your phone (it will reboot a few times while installing Cydia).
- Navigate to the Cydia App Store (should be at the end of your home-screen) and check out the demos of the best Cydia apps and tweaks below. To download any of these tweaks, simply navigate to the search section in Cydia and type in the name.
- Some of the apps in the Cydia store, including some of those demonstrated below, must be purchased through the Cydia store. Most apps and tweaks are free in the store but some will charge you. To get around this, you can use hacked directories called “repos.” Repos give you access to paid content for free through their directory.
It didn’t really make much sense to me to have to pay for apps and tweaks produced by hackers (kind of ironic), so I added a few repos to download some of these tweaks for free. To access repos, open the Cydia store app > “Manage” on the bottom black bar > “Sources” > “Edit” in the top right corner > “Add” in the top left corner > enter the address and click “Add Source.” A disclaimer will most likely pop up after you click add source, warning you that the content you will be accessing is hacked and, hence, may be considered somewhat illegitimate. So add repos at your own risk or pay for the content. The way I see it, my phone is already jail-broken so accessing jail-broken content within the jail-broken app store doesn’t really eat away at my conscience. You can add as many repos as you like (each repo has different hacked content).
Here’s a list of repo addresses currently on my phone that you can add to yours to access content for free:
Through a few YouTube reviews on the best of the jailbreak, I narrowed down 10 reasons that make jail-breaking your iPhone completely worth it.
First, my 5 favorite minimal and simplistic tweaks that add some flare to your iPhone: </p>
1. Unfold (free)
2. Barrel ($2.99 paid app or use a repo to get it free)
3. NC Settings (free)
4. BlurriedNCBackground (free)
5. Zeppelin (free)
Then there are the more advanced tweaks. These tweaks are a bit more intricate and allow you to have more control over the iPhone’s inner workings (such as code and gestures). Here are the 5 that I think are the most useful:
1. Activator (free)
2. Springtomize ($2.99 paid app or use a repo to get it free)
3. Winterboard (free)
4. iFile ($4.00 paid app or use a repo to get it for free)
5. Customizable Themes (via iFile or Winterboard)
Being able to download different themes to your iPhone is one thing, but being able to customize them once they are on your phone is a whole new thing. Through the iFile app (video above), you can download themes straight from the internet (my favorite is deviantart.com and this is the theme I have installed and customized on my phone: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/LS-Climacons-LIGHT-Edition-353382285).
LS Climacons Theme before I messed with the settings:
LS Climacons Theme after I customized it:
Once these themes are on your phone and you have navigated to them (see below), you can edit the HTML code for which the phone is referencing to tell it what to display. Reading the code gets a little confusing so do this knowing there is a risk of ruining the theme entirely. I’ve only really messed around with the height, color, and opacity of certain aspects on my theme.
To navigate to your themes and begin customizing them, open the iFile app from Cydia and navigate back until you can’t go back anymore, there will most likely be a “/” (backslash) on the top black directory bar. Then, click on the folder entitled “var” > “stash” > “Themes.XXXXX” (might be a random serious of letters following Theme. but that’s where the themes are stored) > and click on the theme you wish to modify (mine is LS Climacons, for example). There should be an HTML file within this folder. Click it and open with Text Viewer. Then you can hit “Edit” on the top left corner anytime you wish to make a change and “Save” on the top right when you’re done. The changes should be immediately applied when you hit “Save.”
That’s all it takes to customize your phone! Nothing to it…happy hacking!