It took a good while before iOS 5 received its first jailbreak, but now that you've jailbroken your compatible iDevice you need to know all the great apps and hacks it can handle. Here's a look at some of our favourites available in Cydia for iOS 5.
iOS theming has come a very long way, and that's all possible because of Dreamboard. There are plenty of great themes that complete change your iDevice's user interface. You can make it look like Android or Mac OS X Lion. It's pretty incredible. To use Dreamboard, you just install the app and choose the theme you want. If you want to use a theme that doesn't come pre-installed, just download it and copy it to the Dreamboard directory in the root of your iPhone. (You can use SSH or iExplorer to accomplish this.) Once you're done, just open Dreamboard and select the theme that you want. Dreamboard is known for overwriting lots of system files, though, so be sure to back up before you install!
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Dreamboard to download and install it for free.
Music Controls Pro
Music Controls Pro lets you control the — you guessed it! — iPod app from Notifications centre. It also shows album art, allows you to control volume and send a song via AirPlay. You can try it out for free for five days, but the full version costs $US6. There is a free version that's just called Music Controls, but at the time of this writing it has not been updated for iOS 5.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Music Controls Pro to download and install the trial for free. (After five days you'll need to pay for it to keep using it.)
Zephyr adds mulitasking gestures to your iDevice. It'll let you do things like swipe up to show the multitasking drawer or quickly swipe between apps. (Click here for a video demonstration.) The gestures feel so natural that it's kind of surprising that they're not already a part of iOS. The downside? It'll cost you $US3.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Zephyr to buy and install this tweak.
StatusGoogle is a very simple tweak that simply puts a search bar in Notification centre. Like any installable widget, you'll need to enable it in your Settings app, but once you do you'll be able to pull down the drawer and search from anywhere. (Note: You'll also want to edit the order of notifications to put StatusGoogle at the top, otherwise the keyboard will cover it up when you try to search.)
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for StatusGoogle to download and install it for free.
iOS 5 made it easier to access your camera by adding a button to your lock screen beside the "slide to unlock" bar. If you don't care about your camera and would like to have access to, say, Twitter instead, AnyLockApp will let you swap it in. You can swap in pretty much any app you have installed, so it's up to you.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for AnyLockApp to download and install it for free.
Activator has been around for awhile, but it's still one the best jailbreak hacks you can get. We've even written a guide on how to use it to customise your multitouch and button functionality. If you don't install it because you want to change the way specific functions work, it's good to have installed nonetheless because many other apps require it.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Activator to download and install it for free.
SBSettings, which stands for Springboard Settings, is a longtime favourite tweak that puts frequently-used settings in a drop-down menu at the top of your iDevice. You used to activate it by swiping from left to right on the top bar, but seeing as iOS 5 has claimed that space for its Notification centre that's not exactly an option anymore. Not to worry! SBSettings' latest update simply adds a Notification centre widget for iOS 5 users. After you install it, just go to the Settings app on your iDevice, then the Notification centre section and find the SBSettings widget. Turn it on and your settings will always be available in a concise Notification centre panel.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for SBSettings to download and install it for free.
BiteSMS has always been one of the top jailbreak hacks that gets you a better, more feature-rich text messaging experience. Aside from allowing biteSMS to function inside of iOS 5, the latest version adds support for the Notification centre and a few nice visual enhancements, too.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for biteSMS to download and install it for free (although some services associated with the app cost money).
F.lux is the handy tweak that changes the colour of your screen for safer viewing in the afternoon and evening (or really anytime when there's less light). F.lux originated as a desktop app but was ported to iOS 4. Now it works with iOS 5, too. If your iDevice is providing a little eye strain and you don't mind your screen turning a little (or a lot) orange in the later hours of the day, it's a good tweak to have.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for f.lux to download and install it for free.
A Few Extras
Despite the great improvements made in iOS 5, there are a surprising number of great jailbreak tweaks available. We couldn't fit them all on this list, so here are a few more worth checking out:
- Intelliscreen — Your lock screen on steroids. If you don't think iOS 5's lock screen info is sufficient, you'll want to install this. It'll cost you $US10, though (which is why it didn't make the big list).
- QuickMemo — Adds a little notepad to Notification centre so you can jot down notes whenever the desire strikes.
- RSSWidget — View your RSS feeds in Notifications centre.
- NoNewsIsGoodNews — This tweak does one awesome thing: it kills Newsstand.
- Favorite Contacts — Add your favourite contacts to Notification centre for quick dialling.
Search for any of the above names in Cydia to find them and download.