Jailbreaking and theming my 3GS was still a laggy experience on my 3GS, so I was curious to see how my iPhone 4S would handle being skinned. I’m aware that skinning isn’t an incredibly laborious process as far as the CPU is concerned, but I distinctly remember two states on my jailbroken 3GS: “unskinned and fast”, and then “skinned and slow”.
Fortunately, the experience with Winterboard has improved a lot. Not only is the 4S able to handle skinning without any perceptible changes in battery life or speed, but choosing a theme has also gotten a lot easier.
There’s now a great preview section for Retina and non-Retina themes within Cydia, with clear price points for each pack. Each skin you preview will also tell you whether or not the skin is adaptable. Adaptable skin packs feature pre-made masks for icons, so that even apps that don’t have tailor-made icons in the theme will fit in, visually. Furthermore, installing a skin will automatically add Winterboard to the installation queue, if you haven’t downloaded it yet. This makes the whole experience feel much less technical for newbie jailbreakers, and for the most part, it just works. All a freshly jailbroken need do is browse the theme section, install a skin, and then watch as everything – including Winterboard – installs itself.
I ultimately decided to stay with the stock look of the home screen, if only because I don’t intend on staying jailbroken for very long, and I’d rather not get used to an alternate look. I was pleased to find out that uninstalling Winterboard also uninstalls all of the Cydia-installed themes alongside it, so there’s very little hassle involved. So as far as I can tell, the experience with Winterboard on the 4S and the latest version of Cydia is fantastic – and if you’re out to theme your iOS device, I don’t think there has ever been a better time to do it.
[Featured theme: Suave by Tobias Wiedermann]