Saturday, February 06, 2010

iPad mini update

The iPhone 3Gs is a great device, but the following changes make it a ton more useful.

Functional Upgrades

Lock Calendar
(jailbreak needed)
Lets you see your calendar on the lockscreen.

(jailbreak needed)
Gives you access to some common toggles and a task manager by swiping your finger across the status bar. What toggles? Toggles like 3G, airplane mode, WiFi, Location, and auto Rotation (separate install). Also lets you change what's showing in the status bar allowing you to get the battery, GSM, and WiFI meters as a number.

(jailbreak needed)
A great UI for multitasking. Lets you flip through open apps like you flip between open Web pages in Safari.

(jailbreak needed)
This app lets you program hotkeys for apps. For example, you could make it so that wiping up from the bottom of the screen pops up the search panel. Or double tapping the status bar brings up the iPod. Comes with ProSwitcher.

91 PC Suite for iPhone
(jailbreak needed)
This is an app for the PC that does a lot of stuff that iTunes should do, but doesn't, or sucks at:
  • Back up and restore contacts
  • Back up and restore text messages
  • Back up and restore calendar
  • Back up and restore notes
  • Back up and restore call history
  • Photo manager (meaning you can copy files on and off and also make ALBUMS!)
  • Contact editor
  • Text message conversation editor (I can't see how this can be used for good, but it's there)
  • Full calendar UI (like the old Palm Desktop)
  • Notes editor
  • Call history editor
  • Bookmark manager
  • Search and install of Cydia apps
  • Manage voice memos
  • Make your own ringtones
  • Access your iPhone's file system
  • IM client for SMS chats through the phone
  • Stores for Chinese music, wallpapers, themes, ringtones. I think the content is free. What is clear is that it's all in Chinese.

(jailbreak needed)
The Flashlight app in the iTunes store can't match this one because the official one isn't allowed to adjust the brightness of the screen. The jailbroken one automatically maxes out the iPhone's display brightness so that the Flashlight can actually be a flashlight.

Other Notable Apps

(jailbreak needed)
This app is for lost iPhones - like what mobileMe offers, but for free. If you lose it, you can either have it start playing music or you could log into and see where it is (and the 12 past locations) on a map.

Style Mods

Lil Wayne Weather Theme
(jailbreak needed)
The weather app is boring. Lil Wayne will bright up your day. Depending on the time of day, Lil Wayne will either be awake or passed out.

(jailbreak needed)
A control panel for setting various theme elements. Lets you toggle icon labels and other things out of the box. Also the standard tool for using downloaded themes like the Simple iPad Theme.

Free SMS GV Mobile+ and TextFree (lite)
This isn't perfect, but it allows you to send and receive SMSes from people using a regular phone number via Google Voice and TextFree.

If you only use TextFree, you'll be able to send and receive texts for free through an e-mail address. It works fine, but I've found that many people do not respond to these texts since they aren't coming from a phone number. Instead, many responses are through my regular phone number, which isn't free.

To get these texts to come from a phone number, you'll need Google Voice.
If you want to go all out, there is a third party Google Voice app for the iPhone available on Cydia called GV Mobile+. If you don't get that, you can still initiate texts using the Google Voice Web site. Once you get Google Voice, have it forward your text messages to your TextFree e-mail. This way you'd get notifications when a text comes in (Google Voice doesn't do this on its own). The first time you get a reply back from someone, it'll be from some weird e-mail address @googlevoice. To get a regular name to show up, you'll need to add that address to the contact in your address book.

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