View Full Version : How deep in the OS can we program?

Jan 24, 2011, 09:29 AM

I am new to iOS development. I have plenty of experience with C/C++ and Java programming, and am currently learning as much as I can about Cocoa Touch/Objective C.

I would like to ask how deep in the Operating System one can go when programming for iDevices? Is it possible to change things outside of your app? For example, could I possibly change the app icon for a different app using my app?

I am attempting to determine the viability of an app that could change the color mapping of the entire display while my app is running in the background.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

forum user
Jan 24, 2011, 10:06 AM
You might want to google for winterboard and themes

Jan 24, 2011, 10:26 AM
I think you misunderstood what I need to do. I am not trying to simply put some themes on an iPod. I am asking if there is a programming solution (in Cocoa Touch/Objective C) that is available without jailbreaking? My company is considering creating an app to remap the many-color display to a two-color display for use in-house with night vision, but I cannot find any documents from Apple that describe what I need to do. I am trying to determine how deep into the operating system I can delve with the SDK.

Jan 24, 2011, 10:28 AM
Outside of your app's sandbox there is very little you can do, without jailbreaking. Based on what you say you're wanting to do, I believe jailbreaking is your only option.

Jan 24, 2011, 10:34 AM
Thank you for the information. Is there a particular toolkit for creating apps for jailbroken devices that I should investigate in relation to this?

Jan 24, 2011, 10:47 AM
Is there a particular toolkit for creating apps for jailbroken devices that I should investigate in relation to this?
That question is probably better suited to the iPhone Hacks (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=105) forum.

forum user
Jan 24, 2011, 11:38 AM
hackint0sh.org (http://www.hackint0sh.org/f165/) has a section for the free toolchain.

I wouldn't expect you find much documentation from Apple on changing color mappings and theming an iPhone. The source for Winterboard is probably the best documentation you can find on this.

- Olaf

Jan 24, 2011, 01:28 PM
Objective C is pretty much a pure superset of Standard C. Any ANSI C code that stays within the sandbox is perfectly legal (including most posix calls, sockets, pthreads, etc.) Changing a devices UI outside of your app is not legal for App store apps or stock OS devices.

Think of programming for the iOS sandbox as running on a properly locked-down shared corporate unix server for which you have a user account but do not have any superuser or root permissions, and are allowed to use or compile and run any non-malicious code that can run in a single process.