10 features Apple should steal from jailbreakers for iOS 8

Image Credit: Apple

Jailbreaking, the process of modifying the operating system on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, has been a common practice since the first iPhone came on the market in 2007.

Today, jailbreaking has evolved to allow users hundreds of extra features that iOS doesn’t (yet), such as a personalized control center and a low battery power-saving mode.

There are a handful of features Apple has stolen or “borrowed” from jailbroken iPhones over the years, like the control center and the ability to block callers in iOS 7. High hopes abound for the iOS 8 keynote at this year’s World Wide Developer Conference, where advanced users look forward to seeing how the new iPhone and iPad operating system will cater to them.

To help inspire the engineers parked on Infinite Loop, here are 10 features jailbreakers use today that Apple should be delivering out-of-the-box.



Want more than four apps in the bottom dock section of your screen? With the InfiniDock you can add and swipe through as many of your most important apps as you please.


Lockdown Pro

Not everyone finds it necessary to have a passcode locking their entire iPhone, especially with Apple’s remote locking feature, which allows you to lock your phone from a computer should it become lost or stolen. Lockdown Pro gives users the ability to add passcodes to certain folders with important apps stored, for example Paypal, Dropbox, and email. With this function you won’t need to put in your passcode every single time you pick up your phone, but your most important apps will remain secure.


Clever Pin

Clever Pin is an alternative to Lockdown Pro that disables your lock screen when your phone knows it’s in a safe place. You can choose to disable your passcode when you’re connected to your home WiFi network (meaning you’re at home). Other options include when you’re listening to music and when your phone is charging.


 Browser Preference

Isn’t it frustrating when you want links to open in Google Chrome, or locations to open in Google Maps, and the iPhone just won’t let you make any Google-made apps your preference? With a browser preference option you can choose Chrome as your default browser and Google Maps as your default maps app, just like the option is available to you on desktop computers.


 I Caught You!

This security feature secretly takes a photo and emails it to you when your passcode is typed incorrectly. It provides an extra layer of protection rather than just seeing the GPS location of your phone, which isn’t very useful if the phone is stolen, turned off, or blinking on a GPS map in a speeding cab that’s over 25 miles away.



Activator allows you to create shortcuts and quick actions through personalized swipes and taps. Want a quick swipe from the left side of your screen to open the texting app, even if you’re currently in another app? What about if a quick double tap on the bottom right of the screen always opens the Twitter app? Almost any quick tap or swipe personalization is possible, something Android users have a lot of freedom with that iPhone users don’t (yet).


 Switch Off Annoying Pop-ups

As an iPhone user for more than seven years, constantly reading the same pop-ups is beyond frustrating. For example, I’m connected to WiFi with my phone in Airplane Mode and the message appears, “You must disable Airplane Mode to send or receive messages”. Actually, iPhone, that’s not true, because I just successfully iMessaged my brother! Or the one telling me my location accuracy will improve if I turn on WiFi. Well, I don’t have access to any WiFi networks, but thanks for the heads up! Getting rid of these obnoxious pop-ups would be such a relief.


Front Camera White Screen Flash

Ever wondered why there’s no LED flash on the iPhone’s front-facing camera? This type of flash would practically blind you when taking close-up pictures, however a simulated flash is a great alternative. Instead of the LED flash, the screen would flash white, offering just a bit of extra light. This is what the Macbook’s front-facing camera does when taking a photo in Photo Booth. It’s a feature that can be implemented easily, so come on Apple!



Using your iPhone at night at normal brightness actually tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, which isn’t very healthy. Flux slowly changes your phone’s screen to a night-friendly halogen glow as the sun goes down, which is much better for the eyes and the mind.


 Simple SMS

Text messaging is today’s single most popular use of the cell phone. But if you’re trying to send a text, it takes up so much time. First, unlock your phone. Then, go to the Messages app. Next, find the person you’re texting. With Simple SMS, you can reply to an incoming text without quitting the app you’re currently using. You can even schedule texts to send later. In the long run, this feature is incredibly convenient and a time-saver.

These simple, jailbreak-inspired additions are more than ready for mainstream use. Apple should respond with software updates in order to avoid annoying loyal hardware customers. While Apple’s current feature sets are fine for novice users, experienced users simply must have additional options to make their iPhone experience more efficient, modern and pleasurable.

Ryan Matzner is the Director of Strategy at Fueled, a mobile design and development company based in New York and London. Ryan has a decade of online and mobile marketing experience, working with clients such as American Express, Condé Nast, Ideeli, Thrillist, HBO, QuizUp, Barneys, and Gilt Groupe. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin. and Google+.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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Mike Handy
Mike Handy

About 3 of these are a slam dunk.. The rest undermine apples business objectives

Myles Formby
Myles Formby

How about SwipeLock? Lock your photos camera roll, so when you pass your phone to a friend to show them a photo, they can't swipe to look at something they shouldn't.

Andrea Verocio
Andrea Verocio

I've all but abandoned apple. Their closed eco system is something i just couldn't take anymore. I've been a apple supporter for over two years and was at wits' end until just recently when i got my HTC One M7.

The straw that broke the camels back was the constant hype developers and apple put on all but forcing the public into iOS7 when some of us just don't want to go that route. I was just fine with iOS6. Everything worked just the way i wanted it. Then certificate issues started cropping up. First facetime started having issues and then application authors started making their apps iOS7 only. I'm betting this had to do with a little deceptive commenting on behalf of apple stating to everyone all apps had to be "optimized" for iOS7 by a certain time a few months ago.

And you know i'm all for security. But there is a certain reasonable expectation a company should have in good faith with its patrons. Apple reached way to far to fast.

I've got my android japanese black on black CA201L now with dock on a english rom, my HTC M7 and im hear to stay.

Michael Leibel
Michael Leibel

Those widgets from the video need to be there asap

Josh Kim
Josh Kim

would defeat the purpose of jailbreakinggggggg no?

Heath Zumstein
Heath Zumstein

Most companies do a horrible job of responding to what people actually want.  In the software world the unpaid public usually are the ones who make the improvements everyone wants, and yet it is often illegal.

Josh Pike
Josh Pike

@Andrea Verocio People like you make developers jobs harder by sticking to an older OS version for no good reason other than you 'have no reason' to upgrade. You demonstrate ignorance of the nature of software development, and expect all the benefits of upgrades... without actually upgrading your own device to match those benefits. You whine about apps being made iOS7 only without understanding why it's such a good move to encourage people to stay on the latest build of OS.

The painful irony is that you have moved to a platform which is open, and with your ignorance are perfectly happy on sitting on an OS that rots and becomes ancient. Good for you, please move to Android and stick with it so iOS can advance and stay fresh, and developers don't have to pull their hair out taking into account totally unnecessary problems like backwards compatibility.

Ben Klaiber
Ben Klaiber

@Andrea Verocio  Or, more likely, it could be the fact that there are so many technological improvements in iOS 7 that developers want to benefit from it. 

It's also pretty obvious that developers don't want to ignore the 90% of iOS users who already are running iOS 7, in favor of a very tiny minority who don't like what iOS 7 offers.

RBX Ali Denmar
RBX Ali Denmar

It's already implemented, all they have to do is give them access to it. Plus it would be better if they implemented a passcode just for the ones that have one to access their iDevice.

Malcolm Tucker
Malcolm Tucker

@Ben Klaiber 

Actually, I see it another way.  Apple is claiming these features as their own; part of the iOS Archetecture.  In the past, developers used to make good money making useful software for iOS. 

But today, Apple wants to control that.  I believe the reason why you can get this software is because iOS is jailbroken, and Apple doesn't want to support software it's Geniuses can't figure out.

Today, it seems the Mac and iOS gets most of its design updates from the unauthorized App Stores.  Even Steve Jobs, when demo'ing the iPhone 4, blamed MyWi™ accesspoints for interfering with Steve Jobs demo at the iPhone 4 release show.  Steve Jobs asked people in the audience to turn their MyWi app off. Apparently, there were a thousand MyWi Accesspoints in the audence... But the thing is... Steve Jobs knew what MyWi was.

Andrea Verocio
Andrea Verocio

. @Ben Klaiber @Andrea Verocio Ben i never said iOS7 didn't include improvements.
On the contrary i believe it did have some nice improvements. I even used it for a little while.

What i said was that for me I was perfectly fine on iOS 6. I had no reason to switch TO iOS 7.
Apple did to many what i believe to be shady things to force my hand.

That is just ONE of the very _MANY_ reasons i think little of their closed ecosystem.