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.
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 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.
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.
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+.