So, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my iPhone software again. I was stuck on 4.2, and couldn’t play some games and such because I was too far behind the curve. So Tuesday when I checked the web for a new version, I found the stars had aligned once again, and not only was a decent iPhone software out, but it had been out for a while and was easily jailbroken by a one-click program from greenp0ison.
If you don’t know what jailbreaking is, it’s a simply “unlocking” the restrictions on your phone so you can do stuff with it. Apple, for one, likes to maintain control over their products, so as to increase reliability. IF everyone can screw around with their operating system, it’s more likely that people will cause problems and go running to the Apple stores with their screwed-up stuff.
Jail breaking for me has always simply been about customization. I like to change the icons, sounds, fonts, and look of my phone, much like windows used to let you do back around Windows 95 or 98. I think the whole “theming” for windows is gone, but there used to be a lot of cool stuff you could do.
I tried tethering once – that’s where you use your phone as a wi-fi spot. It’s always been sort of “built in” to the phone, but AT&T wouldn’t let you do it. Back when I tried it, it wasn’t allowed at all, and because our area was stuck in the “E” dark ages, it never really worked well. Now AT&T WILL let you tether your phone, but they charge you extra for something you can already do. If they catch you tethering for free, they’ll charge you for it, so I don’t do it.
At one time I had a little Bluetooth folding keyboard. It wasn’t any bigger than an android phone, and pretty light, but it needed a driver to run, and jailbreaking allowed it to work. It has since broken, and since the company no longer exists, I couldn’t replace it. It was always a little finicky anyway. Apple’s non-folding Bluetooth keyboard works a lot better, but it won’t fit in your pocket.
But yesterday I was looking around and found one of the best reasons EVER to jailbreak. It’s an app available through Cydia called “User Agent” and totally kicks ass.
If you’ve used a cell phone browser at all, you’ve run into the “mobile” versions of web sites. Often butchered, not well thought out, and with severely limited functions. Some sites have a “desktop version” button hidden somewhere, or a “full site” link to click. But some do not, and you are forced into the mobile version with all of its idiosyncrasies and non-functionality.
User Agent fools the web sites. You tell the phone to pretend it’s a desktop computer in settings, and even pick which browser you want to pretend to be using. BAM, no more “mobile versions” ever, well, unless you go into settings and turn off User Agent. No more nag screens from “tapatalk” when using internet forums, no more looking for the ‘full version’ link.
I just hope iPhone 5 is a little bigger… because browsing on that little screen gets painful on the eyes.