Jailbreak: The Poor Man’s iPhone 3GS

Having iPhone 3GS envy? Well, if you already have iPhone OS 3.0 jailbroken, here’s how to make your last-year gadget feel just a tad more like the new iPhone 3GS.

The poor man 3GS

Battery Percentage

Custom Battery Percentage IconMany users were disappointed to learn that Battery Percentage is exclusive to the iPhone 3GS, and not a general feature in iPhone OS 3.0.

There are two ways to turn on the battery percentage in the jailbroken iPhone OS 3.0.
1. Through SBSettings
If you have SBSettings installed, simply tap on “More,” then “Extras.” There you will find Enable/Disable Numeric Battery.

2. Through AsBattery
If you prefer to have the stock Battery Percentage toggle found only in the iPhone 3GS, you’ll need AsBattery. To install AsBattery:

  1. Fire up Cydia.
  2. In its “Search” section, type in iPhone-notes. What you are doing is looking for the repository that AsBattery is hosted in. Install this repository.
  3. In Cydia’s “Changes” section, look for “AsBattery” and install that.
  4. Reboot your iPhone.

Once you’re back in, the battery percentage toggle will be present in Settings ? General ? Usage.

Battery Percentage iPhone 3GS

The magic that AsBattery does is it adds the string gas-gauge-battery to a file called M68AP.plist (if you have an iPhone), N82AP.plist (if you have an iPhone 3G), N45AP.plist (if you have an iPod touch 1st-generation), or N72AP.plist (if you have an iPod touch 2nd-generation).

Video Recording

Video Icon iPhone 3GSJailbreakers have long enjoyed Cycorder, a free app that records video in MPEG 384 x 288 at 6—15 fps, depending on lighting conditions. Sure, it’s far from the 640-by-480-pixel at 30 fps capability of the iPhone 3GS, but, hey, I’ll take some video over no video any day. It’s better than nothing.

Voice Control… somewhat

Voice Control Icon iPhone 3GSIf you’re so inclined towards voice dialing, there’s always Vlingo and Melodis Voice Dialer. Both apps work pretty well, though you can’t do neat stuff like ask your iPhone what song it’s currently playing (and have it reply!). One other notable voice-related app is, of course, the Google Mobile App, though it should be noted that this app does not do voice dialing.

Vlingo has one neat feature. You can dictate a status update for your Twitter or Facebook account.

Vlingo Social Page

Isn’t North Always Up?

Compass Icon iPhone 3GSSorry, it’s a hardware limitation. But it’s not that bad. Do a search for “compass” in the iTunes App Store and you’ll find a plethora of apps purporting to show you the way to The Great North. Most, if not all, of these apps require you to be outdoors and to be actually moving, since they employ GPS to find out your bearing.

If you are in a built-up area, there is an easy way to find our which way north is. Fire up Maps and let it find your current location. Since all maps are drawn with north pointing up, all you have to do is do a visual survey and orientate your iPhone so that any roads around you line up with their counterpart on the map.

But if you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no distinguishable landmarks, you’ll have to settle for sticking a compass on the back of your iPhone.