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10 Useful But Less Common Cydia Tweaks Worth Trying February 14, 2013

Posted by Bilal in iPhone.
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In December 2012, After the sudden shutdown of Installous, the major  pirate appstore by the Hackulous team, many voices were herd saying that the game of jailbreaking is over. Sheer silence about the jailbreak of iOS 6  added fuel to the fire. But with the record downloads of the evasi0n, all such rumors came to their own death. There was a tweet saying that

The jailbreak for iOS6 is awaited even more than the iOS6 itself!

And it is totally true. The slow countdown for the release of evasi0n also persuaded this waiting. On the contrary, when the download of evasi0n was made publicly available, all the crowd rushed to grab it which resulted in the slow performance and time-out errors of the Cydia. No doubt, Saurik was there to take the quick care of it. The web has been flooded with the new and updated posts and tips to do right after jailbreaking. Here, I am going to mention 10 useful but less common tweaks and utilities that you should give a try to feel the true freedom that jailbreak provides to you.

KuaiDial

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

Apple has done a marvelous job developing iOS and iPhone but it seems that they forgot to make a proper app for the phone itself. iOS 6 provides some major tweaks to the phone app but still it is not fully customizable. This tweak provides you options for customizing almost everything about the phone app (check screenshot below). The homepage of KuaiDial does not provide much information. To explore it fully, you must give it a try.

KuaiDial

 Image: Main Settings for the KuaiDial

NCTabClock

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

When we are running a full screen app and we want to check the time or the battery, it is very annoying to minimize the app and then reopen it or to open the full notification center. NCTabClock is a very small and simple tweak that adds a clock and/or battery to the tab that appears when trying to open the notification center in a full screen app.

BatteryDoctorPro

Category: Utilities

Price: Free

It is not just a battery manager, it is much more than that. It  provides a lot of features including and not limited to:

  • Battery Profiles – A set of Predefined settings and toggles to get the estimated  battery timing
  • Optimization of battery life by adjusting the charging pattern
  • Full record of charging, discharging, battery usage by apps etc.
  • An extensive collection of toggles AND list of running apps by tapping the battery icon in the status bar
  • Very elegant UI

Personal Note: Highly recommended

batteryDoctorPro

 Image: Battery Profiles with their estimated times

Bridge

Category: Multimedia

Price: $ 1.99

Before iOS 5, even to activate your new iOS device, you have to connect it to iTunes. Now, with iOS 6 running on the devices, the dependency on iTunes has decreased quite considerably but still there are some places when you need to use iTunes to complete a basic task. A very simple task, transfer multimedia files to your device’s iTunes library still required iTunes for this purpose. Bridge allows you to import music and videos straight to your media library (from web browser or other supported apps.)

DataDeposit

Category: Utilities

Price: Free

Although iOS provides the option of the iCloud/iTunes backup but it is very limited in options. Also, if you want to upgrade the OS of your device with CLEAN installation and only interested in the saved data of just a few apps, you are out of luck. If your device is already jailbroken, DataDeposit comes to your rescue. You can upgrade you deice with a clean  installation, to avoid the old stuff that made your previous OS somehow sluggish over the time. Once the upgrade is complete and jailbroken ( e.g. transition from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 6.1), you can use DataDeposit to restore the data for the selected apps ONLY. It uses Dropbox integration for data deposit and recover.

Personal Note: The app is pretty simple and the recovery rate is almost 90%. If you are too much concerned about your data, you can still take the iTunes/iCloud backup as a plan B.

DietBar

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

Either you are working on a big screen device or small hand held device, your main concern is the contents of the screen. Hope you remember one of the very first shiny feature of the Google Chrome, a single navigation bar on the top and freeing the rest of the screen for the contents. When you are using small screen device, the screen area gets even more precious. DietBar reclaim precious pixels by shrink the height of most in-app navigation bars to a minimal size.

Personal Note: It works fine with majority of the apps, only in a few apps, a white line appears under the navigation bar.

FolderCloser

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

It is a very simple tweak that closes the folder automatically once the application has been launched.

iCallAnnounce

Category: Utilities

Price: 0.99 $

As clear from its name, it will announce the name of the caller in a human voice. It also supports announcing sms sender name and the sms text also.

Personal Note: The name will be announced before the bell ring starts. It depends upon the device volume or ringer volume.

PasswordPilot

Category: Tweaks

Price: Free

How many times it has happened that you are trying to download/update an app which is even free, but you are required to enter your password for the apple store account. Since the password requirements for the apple store account are very good from security point of view ( combination of small letters, capital letters, numbers etc); it gets very annoying to enter it again and again. Although an attempt has been made to reduce the frequency of entering password in iOs 6, you still find yourself entering this complex combination too often. PasswordPilot lets you enter the password for your apple store account once and whenever the password box pops up. It fills it automaticall.

Its PRO version is also available for 1.99 $. It supports multiple account and other features.

WrapAround

Category: Tweaks

Price: 1.99 $

Suppose you are having 8 pages of apps on you device and you need to go to the page one. Just press home button once and you will reach home page, simple isn’t it? But what about the reverse i.e. you are on page 1 and need to go to page 8? You have to swipe through hall the pages until you reach the last page. Get WrapAround, it will let u reach to the last page from home page in just 2 swipes : Home Page –> SpotLight Search –> Last Page. It lets you scroll forever through icon pages with infinite scrolling. Last icon page wraps around to Spotlight.

Note: It is possible that some of these apps and tweaks might not be fully ported to iOS 6 but stay tuned, soon you will be able to get the updated version.

Disclaimer: These utilities and tweaks have been mentioned to facilitate your iOS experience. Writer is not responsible for any harm/loss occurred due to the usage of these tweaks and utilities.

Portable Battery for iPhone March 1, 2011

Posted by Bilal in iPhone, Product.
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By now, the tethered JailBreak for 4.2.1 is available. It took a long time for this version as compared to previous versions in the near past.

In the early days of 4.2.1, I had 4.0.1 (jailbreaked) that was corrupted due to some junk installations. In normal circumstances, I would have waited for the stable un-tethered JB for 4.2.1 but at that time, I had to. I upgraded to 4.2.1 and tried to ‘survive’ without JB. I could not drag it for more than 2 days and on 3rd day, using LimeRain I jailbreaked it, although tethered.

I am having one charging cable in office and the other one I have in my car, all the time. It’s suitable for normal conditions but when you r having a Tethered JailBreaked device, you have to be more cautious.
I tried to look for any external battery available locally in the famous stores like iTechia, iWeaver, iZone, RadioShack but no one have it either in the stock or in the product list. Some I visited personally and some other I checked through website or phone. It was just by chance, that I happen to go to eXtra store with my friend who was looking for some laptop, I usually don’t go to eXtra (due to some reasons). To my utmost surprise, not only there was an external battery but also another model with solar charging. Since it was my first purchase from eXtra, I don’t want to get a crap product and waste my money. I noted the details and after checking it on the web, I purchased it on next day.

Since then, I have been randomly using it. It is giving more than 50% of battery when fully charged with the LED indicator of remaining battery.

The product home page can be accessed here but more details can be found here. If you want to know the price in SR, check this link. To get the actual price, dont forget to include the shipping.

Hellooo!

kool down, I got from eXtra, not from Globalmediapro, i got it for a fair price of 89 SR only. The other model with solar cells was available for 10 SR extra i.e. 99 SR. Solar Cells are quite sensitive and require care, so i skipped that one. It is more suitable for the people planning for desert trip.. Sorry, I don’t have its picture. If you happen to get it, do share it with me.

Updating to iOS 4 June 22, 2010

Posted by Bilal in iPhone, Updates.
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Looong awaited iOS 4 is out since yesterday (8 PM KST)

I tried for the update in the morning & it was pretty much smooth. I plugged my iPhone to iTunes and it seemed that there was much load on the server. iTunes did not started properly, I closed it from the task manager and re-opened it. I was unable to get the “update available” msg, anyhow I clicked the iPhone in the iTunes and it showed update available. I clicked update now and it was all done.

First it downloaded the update package of 378 mb(app) then it took the backup of the iPhone and after that it communicated wid the device and installed the update. It asked me to keep iPhone connected while it get restarted.
After restart, the device was loaded with the updated OS.

I m using STC sim in my device purchased from Mobily. Last time when I updated from 3.1.2 to 3.1.3, the update was not successful until I inserted the mobily sim. I was afraid of same situation this time but luckily no such issue.

The first thing that I did after update was to utilize the new network setting “Cellular Data” and turn it off. I had been facing an issue wid it.

By the way, it’s my first post from iPhone using wordpress app.

Purchasing an iPhone 3GS from Mobily April 25, 2010

Posted by Bilal in iPhone, Product.
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[i hav been enjoying my 3GS for more than two month but I could not manage to share my experience b4…..! Even this post has been written in 3 sittings over a span of more than 3 weeks]

Few days before I purchased my new toy [yessss], my colleague has to go to the STC office on the Palestine Street while I gave him the company. The Mobily office is also there. I took this opportunity for-granted and went there. The receptionist told me that they have only Black Colored set of 32 GB. At that time I had not decided for white or black but I just confirm him about the availability of the stock that he confirmed. Next week, when I went there, got the token number and finally it was my turn. When I talked to the Mobily guy, he told me that they only have the black sets, I said him its okay. Then he revealed to me that they are offering the postpaid package (99SR) ONLY! It was really disturbing! I m an STC user and its my luck [or bad bad] that I have to purchase it from Mobily i.e. STC’s first competitor. I asked him about the availability on other branches, he said that no such system is available that could tell about the availability of stock on a certain branch. Its really a bad thing for such a big big company like Mobily, the SOLE official iPhone distributor in the Kingdom! He told me that I have to go from one branch to another, get myself covered with black dust until I m able to find the GEM buried in the coal mines.

Feeling very upset, I asked him about the main branch at Jeddah, Tehleya [that was suppose to provide the iPhone on the launch day of 7th Dec as per the notification sms], he said NO; Tahliya is out of stock long ago! A much desperate situation for a person who has been waiting for this day sooo long and finding no way to reach his destination.. I then requested him to discuss wid his colleagues and guide me from which branch I should start my hunt? After consulting his colleague on phone and verbally, he advised me give my luck a try by starting from the Arbaeen Street branch.

Morally very down, we went to the Arbaeen Street branch. So in order to avoid the same thing happen again, I first of all asked the receptionist about the availability of the required device, instead of the Yes/No answer he asked me about the capacity (16 or 32) and told me to take the token and wait while he checked the stock in the back store. I asked him again and he replied me same; wait!. Anyhow, I waited until it was my turn. I went to the counter with extra fast heart beat and repeated the same question, IPHONE 3GS 32 GB with prepaid plan. His reply was simple, “YES”! His short answer was like an oxygen for my bad mode.. He asked me for the color White or black, it was also a shock of happiness. In the last branch the answer was “NO” and here the answer is “this or this”.

I had made a little search for white or black color. Some people were saying that its up to ur personal choice but many other were in favor of white color. At one page I got this comment which I think is most reasonable or this is what I was looking for:

White is magnet for Dust,
while black is magnet for Finger Prints,
select as per your personal interest.

So, I can say that I got my 3GS Black colored by CHOICE.

The next step was the Mobily sim card. It was the part of the package, a Mobily SIM card with 250 MB data for 6 months for no extra charges [ as a bonus 😉 ]. Before the attended proceed with the issuing process of new number, I requested him to try my STC number, off course with some alteration. To my hard luck, it was not available (or not available without some extra fee). We made 6/7 attempts and finally we selected the number.

Although, the first interaction with Mobily was not so pleasant, but I must admit that the staff specially the attendant was very helpful. The overall atmosphere/performance of the customer centers is good or at least better than STC. This is ONE of the main aspects in which STC needs much improvement.

In the last it would be unjust if I don’t mention a person who is helping a lot of peopel like me in this cause publicly and personally. He is known as Mr. Khaled. He maintains a personal siteand also a technology blog about Apple and Mac activities in Middle East or more specifically about Saudi Arabia: Saudi Mac. I hav been visiting his pages months before I purchased my iPhone. He keeps us up to dated thru blogs and also Twitter. If u r interested in such things, I would recommend u follow him on twitter.

Chill till next…..