Back in the Dark Ages (iPhone 2.0 firmware) jailbreaking your iPhone had many points of merit. It could give you MMS, Copy & Paste, tethering, video recording, info on your lock screen and more. However, the reasons I jailbroke were for MMS, Copy & Paste, and Internet tethering.
So when the much-awaited 3.0 release was finally here, I thought to myself, “Great, no need to jailbreak anymore.” I installed my developer’s copy of the beta firmware and there was much rejoicing with smooth, Apple home-cooked MMS, copy & paste, and Internet tethering.
But then, as I watched episodes of “Arrested Development” via XBMC using my iPhone as the remote, or lay in bed on my side trying to read news feeds without the screen rotating when I didn’t want it to, I really, really missed SBSettings. So it came to be that the day the jailbreak dev team released its official PwnageTool for 3.0, I immediate jailbroke my 3.0 iPhone. Just for one application: SBSettings. It really does bring that much convenience to the table.
So what is SBSettings? Its a HUD interface that’s available from any screen that also displays the status bar at the top; thus almost all applications. To activate the HUD you simple swipe your finger across the status bar, left or right, or even down from it. The HUD will then smoothly slide from the top of the screen to give you lots of information and toggles.
As well as giving basic information about your phone (IP Addresses, memory usage, free space), you can configure which toggles you want to display, and other developers can write their own toggles that interface with it. Above you can see the toggles I have configured; they are as follows:
This brings up a list of currently running applications. Of course since Apple only allows its apps to run in the background by default, this will usually only display the Mail, Phone, Safari and iPod apps (unless you’re using the jailbreak Backgrounder tool). More importantly, it allows you to kill these apps. If my iPhone is running slower than usual, having a look in here usually shows that iPod and Safari are also still running, and by killing them I can force the system to free up memory and processor power immediately.
I leave the iPhone’s brightness control on auto, but sometimes it doesn’t work so well — especially if I’m in bed playing Peggle, FlightControl, or catching up on feeds while my wife is trying to sleep. The brightness toggle simply gives you a quick easy way to control the screen brightness.
KeepAwake is one of the third-party plugins for SBSettings that when toggled will keep your Wi-Fi connection awake even if the phone is sleeping. This is ideal when using your iPhone as a remote control for XBMC or VLC or anything else. Without it, you use the remote to start watching a TV show or a movie and then put your phone down. Half an hour later you pick it up to hit pause and then have to wait for up to 30 seconds for the Wi-Fi to reconnect before you can do so. KeepAwake solves this issue; just toggle it on when needed and then toggle it off when done watching TV. When it’s toggled on, it also puts a little indicator in the status bar to remind you that it’s on.
This lets you quickly toggle Wi-Fi on and off, making it a lot easier to conserve battery power when you know you don’t need Wi-Fi. If you hold the toggle down, another HUD will pop up with info about which Access Point you’re connected to.
Along with the jailbreak you can install OpenSSH to give you direct access into your phone. This is really only of interest for the technically curious (or for copying videos created with Cycorder), but this toggle lets you turn the SSH opening on or off, thus reducing a potential security hole (especially if you install OpenSSH and forget to change your iPhone’s root password).
Bluetooth & Phone
I doubt I need to explain these, but I will anyway. The Bluetooth toggle lets you quickly toggle Bluetooth on and off, while the Phone toggle turns the phone on and off. You can quickly enter flight mode by ensuring the Phone, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles are all off. For me, its about complete and easy control.
The Rotation toggle installs with the Rotation Inhibitor application and allows you to lock the screen to a specific orientation. I find this is perfect for those times when using your iPhone lying down on your side. Tapping and holding the toggle lets you chose into which orientation you want to force the phone.
There are also SBSettings toggles for typing auto-correction, 3G and EDGE and the GPS. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Tethering toggle released by somebody in the next month or so to allow quick toggling of Internet tethering. You can also quickly shut down or reboot your phone, and configure the battery percentage text (and date display) in the status bar.
SBSettings is all about providing quick and easy control so you can maximize efficiency. For me, it’s the only reason I jailbreak, and until Apple provides something as sleek, quick and easy, I will continue to jailbreak.