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With a name like Blackra1n, you’d think my iPhone would be depressed…

the results of a "happy iPhone" google search

the results of a "happy iPhone" google search

But it’s not. So far, it’s very, very happy! It’s loaded up with SBSettings, mQuickDo, Elert, ToneFXs, Backgrounder, and Notifier.

I know you folks aren’t new to jailbreak posts on JAiB, but I figure I’d take a crack at one since I haven’t been jailbroken in a little while. This time around I used Blackra1n, as the title of the post suggests, and I also chose to install Rock Your Phone aside from the yucky vanilla Cydia. I respect that Cydia has done a lot for the jailbreak community, but I do not respect its UI at all. Rock Your Phone, on the other hand, looks quite impressive. I would have also tried to install ICY Installer, but I had a pretty crashtastic experience when I tried it out on my 2G a few months ago.

Hit the jump for a ton of newly jailbroken impressions!

The thing I’m hoping to achieve by JB’ing is a more united, informative interface that feels more like my own. It’s something the more hardcore Windows Mobilians (Oh, sorry, Windows Phonians*) know well – and it’s something that’s always quite tricky because you need to monitor battery drain and the device’s speed. I got a bit too excited last night and loaded five pieces of software, but ideally I’d build this new iPhone house one jailbroken app at a time.

SBSettings

’nuff said. This one has been an essential app since the dawn of freaking time. With all the fantastic speed and ingenuity of the iPhone interface, you’d think it would have occurred to at least one iPhone designer to not bury the wi-fi, 3G toggle, and Bluetooth buttons several menus deep. Everybody loves to make fun of Windows Phone, but even my TyTN had a dedicated wireless radios screen that could be called up with one button press. I’m really, really glad to have SBSettings and all of those flicky, switchy, activatey toggles back.

mQuickDo

I won’t talk too much about this one because Patrick has covered the heck out of it. I’m on the three-day trial right now, but I’m seriously considering paying the $7.99 asking price. It’s a great app for people with broken Home buttons, but it also functions as a fantastic app switcher. I have it configured to run from the top bar alongside SBSettings so that I swipe halfway down the screen to see it. I’ve put five of my most-used apps along the bottom, and it’s a fantastic way to check for unread messages in Beejive since the badges also show!

Elert

This was an app I hadn’t even heard of until last night, but I saw it on Rock Your Phone and found it intriguing. It’s got an 8-day trial, a $0.99 price tag, and it’s made by Intelliborn (makers of Intelliscreen). I haven’t had many e-mails in the last eight hours, but the ones that have come in popped up like this on-screen:

Elert

You can move that little box around, tap the ‘x’ to close it, and there’s a little settings app that lets you choose the colour and display length. Tapping and holding on the alert will open up a preview of the whole e-mail, just like Intelliscreen. What I like about all of this is the idea of pop-up mail notifications without any sort of Push engine behind them. If I understand the app correctly, it just ties into the default Mail app on the iPhone so that if you’re already a Mail user, you shouldn’t necessarily see any more of a battery drain (as opposed to using something like MailTones, Boxcar, or PushGmail to receive notifications). Look for a full review of this later on. I’m still a testin’!

ToneFXs

MailTones made a pretty big splash (in my view) because it allowed you to customize the sound of incoming mail alerts, but there were two drawbacks: I didn’t like many of the custom sounds and I still couldn’t change the SMS ringtones. You see, I’ve had a small sound clip called “roar.mp3” of my best friend going “roar….rar rar” on some cheap USB mic. The sound clip is from my first year in high school and to date it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, and I’ve used it on all of my devices until I stumbled upon the closed-off, dictatorphone from Apple.

Anyway, long story short: roar.mp3 is back thanks to ToneFXs, and so are all of the ringtones and songs I could ever want to use. I can change the lock screen, calendar alert, charging, and many other sounds all from one quick menu screen. Sounds clips are transferred via USB and created in a free ToneFXS app on your PC or Mac. I’m using the 5-day trial, but this could be another $4.99 lost to an impulse buy. C’mon, it’s roar.mp3!!!

Backgrounder

This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to run a program in the background. I don’t ever listen to internet radio or stream music, but I’ve been testing iGmail over the past few days and one of my main gripes with the program is that the inbox loading times can vary greatly. iGmail does load up faster than the Safari version, but it can still be unreliable, so I’m testing the app as a background process to save myself the hassle of all those seconds of load time.

Backgrounder

I think the small loading circle on the bottom-left of a “backgrounded” icon is a nice touch, and I’m quite happy that Backgrounder is free!

Notifier

I’m still not decided on this one, but it does seem like it would have a very minimal footprint. All Notifier does is stay on the status bar and display an alert of any new voicemail, sms, missed calls, or e-mail that you haven’t marked as viewed yet.

Notifier

This might actually be rendered obsolete thanks to mQuickDo and its badge support, but at $0.00 there’s literally nothing to lose in trying.

Why I won’t skin yet

Like I said earlier in the post, I’m still a complete nublet at all of this. I used to really enjoy skinning my device on WinMo, but it was actually a heckuva lot easier there. You could see full-screen previews in forum posts and you never, ever had to touch Cydia :P. However, now that RockYourPhone supposedly supports theme downloads, I might just try it out. The last obstacle here is finding a theme that uses the default icons. I test a fair number on apps on a weekly basis, and I hate the look of un-skinned apps sitting beside a set of matching, skinned icons. If you’ve got any suggestions, please hit us up in the comments.

A lot to play with

There’s a heckuva lot more stuff to play with, and I hope to cover more of the jailbreak SMS solutions, maybe try out some lock screen widgets, and eventually dabble with some skinning. Make it rain!

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  • I'm so excited. I am going to jailbreak tonight when I get home. I have greatly missed notifier and themes.

  • Notifier does much more then only display allerts, there are also sound notifications, icons on the lockscreen and more.

  • Brian

    Like Olek said, Notifier is much more than you make it out to be. Repeated alerts is HUGE for me and sound notifications are very nice. Even at it's most basic level, being able to quickly glance at the status bar no matter where you are (even if phone is locked) and know that you have new mail, texts, IMs, or missed calls/voicemail is amazing. Notifier is definitely one of the most useful jailbreak apps and something that should be built into the OS.

    Not that you asked, but here's my full list of must-haves:
    Backgrounder, Five Icon Dock, iFile, Lockscreen Info*, Notifier, PrivaCy, Safari Download Manager, SBSettings, UserAgent Faker

    * I use the Gruppled Lockinfo theme and love it. Everybody has different preferences, but I can't imagine my phone without one of the lockscreen info apps. (Lockscreen Info, Intelliscreen, Lock Calendar, or the upcoming SmartScreen)

    Additional JB apps I enjoy:
    Action Menu, CyDelete, Emoji, GV Mobile, iMobileCinema, MobileTerminal, mQuickDo, ReflectiveDock, SMS2Mail, 3G Unrestrictor

  • @Olek, Brian

    ooo! you're right – it does a heckuva lot more! I dare say those extra features are hidden pretty well, though. I thought that icon on the top-right of the screen was simply that…an icon. Oh, how quaint! A screwdriver and a wrench!

    I also saw those repeat mode and time interval dialogues, but didn't realize what they did until after this post.

    In any case, thanks for the heads-up. I might even just use Notifier alone and skip buying ToneFXs if I can figure out how to creat my own ringtones and load them through SSH or USB.

    Asf or the must-have lists, I'll definitely check some ouf those titles out, thanks!