Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hacking The iPhone. Gasp!

Hacking the iPhone what a hot topic. The battle between hacker and The Man has been around for ages, a constant game of cat and mouse. But never has such as battle evoked such emotion, you could say that Apple just has a cult following a more loyal fan base, or maybe it's the fact that thousands of iPhones became paper weights (like mine) through an Official Apple update.

The easiest method for hacking your iPhone has been released this week, simply point your iPhones browser to jailbreakme.com (over WiFi) and after a few seconds you're ready to make your phone even better.

Well now that the cats out of the bag, and there are literally hundreds of applications developed for the iPhone people have been begging Apple to allow 3rd party apps on the iPhone, legitimately, even if they have to pay for them. Make the apps go through some kind of certification process and let the developer decide what they what to charge and then Apple takes their cut. Everybody wins: the devs make money on their hard work, Apple make (more) money, and the consumers get the applications they want without having to worry about destroying their phones.

Now I'll walk you through some of the things you can do with 3rd party apps...

Now everything you see above is just eye candy, but time and time again people have shown how much they want to be able to customize their devices. Apple won't even let you change the background on the iPhone! As you can see here I've replaced the AT&T logo with the Apple logo and the word 'iPhone', also color was added to my WiFi signal (green full, yellow half, red low), also the dock (the four buttons on the bottom, phone, mail, etc...) has been changed to make it reflective much like the dock on a Mac.

There are also new apps on the main screen here from games (Tetromino, a Tetris clone), and apps that let me change colors and logos (Customize, and SMBprefs), to the Installer app that let's me find and install new apps on to the iPhone.

Here's a preview of just how easy Installer is to use. Above is the main screen you see when you open up Installer.

Installer organizes all the apps into folder for you to browse through. Simply click touch a folder and decide which apps you want to install on your iPhone.

The app Customize is so strait forward and easy to use, you just touch what icon you're looking to change and it gives you a list of preset images and colors to look through.

Now hacking isn't for everyone, but don't worry Apple has recently announced that they will be allowing 3rd party apps on the iPhone. Starting in January Apple is going to release an SDK (software development kit) so developer can start make licensed apps for the iPhone. They have yet to release the distribution model (iTunes, duh) or how pricing is going to work. I'll keep you posted.

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