With the new jailbreak for iOS 6, it's time to start playing around with all the great apps and tweaks on your newly freed device. Here's a look at some of our favorites available in Cydia for iOS 6.
Jailbreaking has changed a lot over the years, and while it's a little less exciting (and arguably less needed) than it used to be, jailbreaking is still a great way to get the apps Apple doesn't want you to have. It's not just apps though: jailbreaking is also the best way to quit the Apple ecosystem and get the functionality you want from third party apps and add smaller tweaks. You can get rid of the annoying password request from the App Store, or add push notifications to email apps like Sparrow. For many, solving those annoyances are reason enough to jailbreak.
Note: If you're new to jailbreaking, check out our guide to Cydia to learn how to search for and install apps and tweaks.
Dreamboard isn't the only skinning app out there, WinterBoard is excellent as well, and seems to use a little less memory than Dreamboard. It's also an excellent tool for changing the look of minor things like your lock screen or dock if you don't want to mess around with appearance of iOS. You'll find plenty of themes in Cydia, but you can also install them directly with iExplorer or iFunBox by copying themes to the theme directory on your phone.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Dreamboard to download and install it for free.
Activator was one of the first jailbreak apps, and it's still one of the best. Activator allows you to customize button and multitouch functionality on your iOS device. On its own, Activator is a great way to customize your buttons and gestures, but it's also the backbone of a lot of other apps and tweaks, making it a required install for just about everything that features custom gestures.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Activator to download and install it for free.
Tune and Automate Your Settings with SBSettings and SBProfiles
SBSettings is another longtime favorite tweak that has been around nearly as long as jailbreaking. It essentially offers a quick way to access all the settings on your device like power, refreshing, respringing, Bluetooth, and tons more. It also offers up data like your IP address, disk space available, and more right in Notification Center. We're also including SBProfiles here, which allows you to for your iPhone to read your mind. If SBSettings is a little too crazy for you, NCSettings is a simplified version that adds the same toggles to the Notification Center.
Want these jailbreak hacks? Search Cydia for SBSettings and SBProfiles to download and install them for free.
Speed Up Your Web Browsing with Nitrous
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Nitrous to download and install it for 99¢.
Flex is one of the most interesting new apps we've come across. It makes it possible to create your own minor tweaks for any of your apps—no programming expertise required. You can do all types of things with it, including getting rid of annoyances like Chrome's side-swipe tab browser, or add images to text messages. It's incredibly versatile and can do a bunch of different things. While it's pretty easy to get started with Flex, it's not for the faint of heart, and you will (probably) screw a few things up when you're messing around with settings. Thankfully, it's easy to disable any tweaks you make in Flex, and when you uninstall it from Cydia it fixes everything you messed up.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Flex to download and install it for $3.99.
Trick Out Your App Switcher with Auxo
Auxo is easily the best app switcher for iOS. Auxo works just like multi-tasking usually does: double-tap the home button, and Auxo pops up. However, instead of just showing you an icon, it displays a preview of the app's current state. That in itself is cool, but what makes Auxo really handy is that when you swipe to the right it displays all types of quick toggles to functions like Bluetooth, 3G, lock rotation, and even the flashlight. All of this combined makes Auxo a brilliant little app switcher that does just about everything you'd want it to.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Auxo to download and install it for $1.99.
Get Voice Search with Google and NowNow
If you have an older jailbroken device and you wish you had something similar to Siri, NowNow is a pretty good replacement that utilizes the Google Search app to search for anything by voice. It's not nearly as integrated as Siri in controlling your device, but if you only use Siri for searching the web, NowNow (and Google Search) is far more worthwhile than Siri. You can look up just about anything, get directions, and more with just a few words.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for NowNow to download and install it for free.
Supercharge Your Text Messaging with biteSMS
BiteSMS is one of the rare apps that people jailbreak just to use. BiteSMS is essentially an app that supercharges your messaging, allowing you to easily reply to incoming texts from anywhere in iOS, mark messages to read later, and plenty more so it operates as a full-blown messages replacement for your iOS device.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for biteSMS to download and install it for free (although some features are paid).
Get Homescreen Widgets with Dashboard X
It's no secret that iOS users have been clamoring for live widgets on their homescreens for a long while. Dashboard X brings fully customizable widgets to iOS that are dead simple to install and use. This means you can add a clock to your homescreen, live weather stats, and plenty more. Once you download Dashboard X, you'll find a ton of different free widgets to fully customize your iOS experience. Sure, widgets will likely kill your battery, but if you want live updates on what's happening, Dashboard X is the way to go.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for Dashboard X to download and install it for $1.99.
Fix Text Editing with SwipeSelection
Selecting text on iOS is terrible. SwipeSelection makes the process of selecting text and moving around text a lot easier. You can slide one finger on the keyboard to move the cursor around, or hold down the shift key and slide to select a block of text. Check out this video to see it in action. SwipeSelection is most useful on the iPad, but it's still rather handy on the iPhone as well.
Want this jailbreak hack? Search Cydia for SwipeSelection to download and install it for free.
The Best Minor Tweaks and Extras
Sometimes the best reason to jailbreak is to force Apple's default apps by the wayside and make your favorites easier to use. Jailbreaking also makes fixing minor annoyances incredibly simple. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite smaller tweaks and older apps we still love.
Springtomize: Springtomize is the swiss army knife of visual customization. With it you can control how many apps appear on the home screen, the look of Notification Center, icons, and more.
MapsOpener: Prefer Google Maps for all your mapping needs? MapsOpener opens the map links you come across from text messages, online, and in select other apps directly in Google Maps. For turn-by-turn junkies, we also love Navigate from Maps, which puts turn-by-turn navigation one tap away.
Password Pilot: The fact that Apple requires your password every time you download an app is incredibly annoying. Password Pilot enters it for you automatically.
Sparrow+: Even though it's not likely Sparrow will get updated again, we still love it as a fantastic mail client on iOS. But one of the complaints against it is the lack of push notifications. Sparrow+ adds push notifications, and makes Sparrow your default mail app when you open mail links in other apps.
Plugication: Plugication is simple: when you connect your headphones to your iOS device, it automatically resumes your music. It's simple, but incredibly useful.
Intelliscreen: Intelliscreen has long been the best way to supercharge your lock screen with information. It's $10, but it does a ton of great stuff.
F.lux: We love F.lux on pretty much every device. It does one simple thing: reduces eyestrain by turning the screen an orangish color as it gets later in the day.
CleverPin: CleverPin makes it possible to customize when your iPhone's passcode appears. On your home Wi-Fi network? No need for a password. On 3G? It requires a password.
Zephyr: Zephyr adds all kinds of multitasking gestures to your device allowing you to quickly switch between apps. Check out this video for a breakdown on how it works.
AnyLockApp: The camera grabber on your lock screen is great, but if you don't use the default camera app it's pretty useless. AnyLockApp lets you select any app you want to appear there (like Camera+). It's currently not working on iOS 6, but we'd be surprised if it doesn't receive an update soon.
Emblem: Let's face it, notifications on the iPad are pretty poorly designed because they're just up-sized versions of what you get on the iPhone. Emblem makes them more like the banners you see on OS X, and they look fantastic on the bigger iPad screen.
Search for any of the above names in Cydia to find and download them.
We couldn't cover every single jailbreak app and tweak we love, and last years iOS 5 roundup has plenty more options for awesome jailbreak apps.