Well I finally broke down and took a risk. At the recommendation of my buddy Brandon, I went ahead and hacked my iPhone. Even though hacks have been circulating around the internet for a while now, up until a few days ago, I was really hesitant to do any hacks because I was pretty happy with my iPhone. I also had some notion in my head that it was going to be a crazy geeky process, that could break the iPhone and/or make it unstable. I was wrong–it was so easy I couldn’t believe I didn’t do it earlier. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do this, coming from a “regular guy.”
- Step 1: Download and install Installer.app. Make sure iTunes is closed and the iPhone is connected, then just let it do its thing.
- Step 2: Make yourself a root beer float.
- Step 3: Enjoy. (both the iPhone and the float)
Yup, it’s that easy. Absolutely no hacking skills required. An “Installer” icon will be on your home screen and when you open that up, there’s a smorgasbord of 3rd party apps available from the community. Just choose and install!
I don’t know what this says about me, but the first thing that I changed was my dock, using Dan Rubin’s dock image to change it to look like the new iPod touch docks:
Other must-haves are Summerboard and rBST that allow you do some basic tweaks to your homescreen such as rearranging the icons, including the dock. I chose to keep mine exactly the same (for now) just because I’ve gotten familiar with the way it’s laid out. I then stuck all the third-party stuff hidden down below, only a finger-flick away to scroll down. Pretty slick.
My favorite app by far is the NES emulator, which allows you to play the original Nintendo games right on your iPhone. There are some sites out there that have the “ROM” files for every Nintendo game that ever existed. So I installed my favorite games from my childhood. The emulator isn’t perfect, and has some performance issues, but it’s still a lot of fun to relive these games that I enjoyed so much as a kid.
And Lem and Oliver, this is for you.
I also installed some stuff that is more on the geeky side of things: allowing me to ssh and sFTP in and a screenshot utility that allowed me to take these screenshots–actual sceen captures from my iPhone.
So there you have it. Proof that even for a guy who likes things to “just work” the way they are, iPhone hacking is simple with the tools that are available out there right now. Who knows if Apple will break these in future updates, but even if they do, all of this is so quick and easy that it’s no hassle at all to set it up again.