On its face, a tool that gives you remote control over your jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch seems kind of pointless. If you're sitting at a computer already, why would you need to use your tiny touch screen computer? But take a moment to think of the things you could save time typing out—like built-up text messages and frustratingly non-syncing notes—as well as the ability to charge or play music while still using the software. Now it's a safer bet that some curious hackers will want to tunnel into their gadgets. Let's take a look at how to set up Veency, along with a few good uses for it.
Setting up Veency
First off, Veency is only available for unlocked (i.e. jailbroken) iPhones and iPod touch models running the 2.0 software. We've detailed the jailbreaking process usingQuickPwn on Windows and Pwnage Tool on a Mac along with a few apps you can only get with jailbreaking worth checking out. Once your device is unlocked, open the Cydia installer, hit the "Search" button in the lower-left corner, and type until you see "Veency" available. Install the app, and hit "Reset Springboard" when finished. You won't see any new icons, but your iPhone or iPod touch can now accept VNC connections.
Head to the home screen and then to the Settings tool. Click Wi-Fi, then the arrow to the right of your home connection, and note the IP address listed there. If you're going to use Veency, you should probably click the Static preference at the top-right and choose an IP address you can remember. You might also want to set your Auto-Lock timer (under the General tab in Settings) to a higher number, or "Never" if you're going to be connected for a lengthy session.
Now you'll need a VNC client to connect to your device. Windows users should check out UltraVNC or TightVNC, while Mac OS X users have the excellent Chicken of the VNC. Most Linux distros have a VNC client pre-installed; if not, TightVNC or most any option offered in your repositories should do the trick. Open your client, enter the iPhone or iPod touch's IP address as the host, then pick up your device.
You'll see a prompt to accept or reject the connection from your computer's IP address. Hit "Accept," and you'll notice a small VNC icon in the upper-right, near the battery indicator. Those shows that your iPhone has accepted a remote connection, and now you're on your way.
What can I use it for?
Using your mouse and keyboard, you can do pretty much anything you're normally able to do on your Apple device. Left-clicking is the equivalent of tapping, and holding the button while moving is like swiping. Right-clicking effectively presses the bottom "Home" button, and a middle click activates the top-left locking/power button.
Having said that, here's a few good reasons to consider VNC-ing into your iPhone or iPod touch:
- Turbo-type text messages
- Use your phone while charging it: These gadgets aren't known for super-long battery life. Whether you want to text, pump music to your speakers, or play with new apps, you can do it across the room from your docked unit.
- Write notes for later: Whether it's grocery lists or an address, the Notes app still doesn't sync to any desktop app or files (why, Apple, why?). VNC into your device, copy-paste your grocery list or vital data, and you're set, online or off.
- Edit contacts, update calendars, finish a long email: Because none of these things can't be done faster with a real mouse and keyboard.
Got another VNC/iPhone trick, serious or silly? Share it in the comments.