Are Hacked iPhone apps Over-Rated?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by Virgil-TB2, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    There is a chart going around on some sites that I think had it's origins at Wired magazine that lists the major hacker apps you can get on one side and what you get from Apple on the other side. The hacker side is all check-marks (and one "X" for lack of WiFi iTunes), and the Apple side is all "X's." I was looking at this and it occurred to me that it's pretty much a crock. Propaganda if you will from the "Apple is Evil" group.

    Here's the list of the "cool apps" you get if you jailbreak your iPhone:

    01- Carrier Choice
    02- Cheap Roaming
    03- Instant Messaging
    04- Retro-gaming
    05- Command Line
    06- Remote Desktop
    07- Global Positioning
    08- Voice Recorder
    09- Office Reference
    10- IRC
    11- eBook Reader
    12- Delete Menu Items
    13- File Browser

    Of course there are a few more apps out there than this, but these are the "cool" or useful ones that everyone quotes. This seems rather lame to me and a bit made up. For starters... "Office Reference"??? Cmon! (not even going to dignify that with a rebutal).

    The cheap roaming has already been addressed by AT&T, and sure we all know that we don't have a carrier choice, but the only other carriers capable of handling the hardware offer either exactly the same priced package or a more expensive one.

    "Global Positioning" is a bit of a misnomer as the iPhone can't do GPS and the mentioned app is a hack that imitates GPS, just like the Google maps feature of the iPhone has a "GPS-ish" app.

    Some of these are valid missing apps like "Voice Recorder" and "Instant Messaging" and "eBook Reader" but IM is rumored to be coming on the original iPhone next month and you can already view a lot of eBooks types already as well. Also with Leopard there is no reason not to expect the "QuickView" feature to be included in the iPhone and thus make a dedicated reader even less needed.

    A voice recorder would be nice, but anyone who's heard the Voice Recorder app can tell you that it sounds like a corpse talking out of a tin can. Again this is something that most people don't really use as well.

    Almost all the rest on this list can be summed up as hacker tools.
    The apps were created mostly for the purpose of hacking the iPhone in the first place and have little utility outside of hacker activities.
  2. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Apps are one aspect, but you're forgetting, wallpapers, ringtones, icons, etc,etc..

    Even on OS X you're "allowed" to change a file or applications icon if you so choose.
  3. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    Sorry, IM is useful. Being able to use local SIMs when traveling abroad is useful. In fact, they're absolutely mandatory for me. (along with copy/paste. *cough*)

    Apple's not going to launch free IM for the iPhone until it's completely clear to them that they're failing without it. That's not happening anytime soon.

    Take your "rumored software update" and call us back when your dream comes true, fanboy.
  4. oxeneers macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2007
    South San Francisco, CA
    This is the image the OP was referring to if anyone is concerned:

  5. joseftu macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2007
    This is just plain wrong. There is no usable ebook reader on the iPhone with its stock apps, and QuickView doesn't even come close to doing the job.

    An ebook reader has to have chapter navigation, it has to have persistence (it remembers where in the book you left off when you go to another screen or turn it off and then come back), it has to display cover art. And it must be usable off-line (on an airplane, in the subway, etc.).

    Those are the bare minimums, and the iPhone (shockingly) comes with nothing that can do any of those. does them all, and does them well.

    Ideally, the reader should also support bookmarks and searchable text and dictionary doesn't do those yet, but possibly could, soon.

    For me an ebook reader is a truly crucial app. The other hacks I could take or leave.

    But for those of us who really do want to read books on this device, the third-party applications are essential--and that's the reason I won't be upgrading to 1.1.1 until apptapp is ready for it.
  6. DamnDJ macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2003
    Denver, CO
    The only apps I am really missing are:

    SummerBoard - Miss my theme.

    SendPics - This program sends photos taken with your iPhone in full size, not the smaller version the iphone sends you.

    Pushr- Was awesome uploading my pictures to Flickr with one push of the buttom.

    Other than that? Oh well.
  7. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    I hacked my Phone but I found very little that would make me want to hack it again!

    Backjack was the best thing I found on

    Apollo IM was too early to be useful.
    command line on my phone makes me laugh!
    NES games were awesome for a while, but got old quick

    not to mention the UI got cluttered when you add too much!
  8. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The To-Do List is great

    Both IM programs are great, especially since they support MSN. You can bet iChat wont do that.

    Finder is great

    Summerboard is essential to having extra apps.

    So no, the 3rd part apps are not over rated. I use a lot of them freqently.

    Apple is going to have to drop something significant for me to upgrade.
  9. linshiwen macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2007
    IM and interface customization are two features that are absolutely mandatory - no excuse for them not to be built in. TTR, minesweeper, summerboard, dictionaries, NES, music quiz - they are all sufficently entertaining that I would miss them if they were gone. Luckily they arent gone, since 1.1.1 isnt going on my iphone until its cracked, even if that is never. It doesnt look like Apple is going to put out any updates worth installing anyway...
  10. lovemyiphone macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2007
    I agree with you on 3rd party apps are not over rated. I love my 3rd party apps and I will not be upgrading until they get it fixed or apple comes out with some better apps.
  11. bentup macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2007
    San Francisco
    A hax0red phone was great. I miss all the apps, and the ability to store any file on the phone. Having updated and lost it all, I have to say that the apps were not over rated at all. Being able to easily mod through summerboard, customize and even ssh was really great. I can keep going, but it has all been said. If you haven't already, don't update.

    (i know i had a choice. i took a risk and came out at a loss. it happens. besides, it is just a matter of time before this update gets hacked. show your support at )
  12. shk718 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2007
    the backlash over the $200 price drop was so great that apple was forced to give us a rebate. i think the backlash over 3rd party apps needs to be just as great to force them to allow them. now they may be -planning to allow them once they feel the platform is stable enough to create an sdk - but i wish they would say something cause on a plane or subway the web 2.0 apps are completely useless - and most of them w/o wi-fi are useless.
  13. woode macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2007
    Interface customization? The examples I've seen so far are about as elegant as a Windows 3.1 desktop. I can understand why His Steveness would shudder at the thought of his beautiful phone sullied by such atrocities. Well, my opinion anyway. YMMV.

    As for the "Apple Is Evil" FUD list:

    1. Carrier Choice -- We know this will not change any sooner than 5 years from now. It's called a contract, and Apple has one with AT&T. Stop beating a dead horse.
    2. Cheap Roaming -- Can turn off international data roaming in 1.1.1.
    3. Instant Messaging -- Don't need a hack for this. FlickIM? Meebo? Both of these detect that you're visting with your iPhone, and completely change their presentation to match. Sweet!
    4. Retro-gaming -- Maaayyybeee. Need it for casual gaming while waiting around? Stuff like Bejeweled is already out there as a web-based app (and designed specifically for iPhone). Bet we see native games on the iPhone very soon, anyway.
    5. Command Line -- Why do you need this? I mean, other than for hacking your phone? Oh, to telnet into your server? My web host has a web-based telnet. Haven't tried it, but don't see why it wouldn't work fine. I'd still *way* rather do it with my MacBook.
    6. Remote Desktop -- Um, screen's a little small for that. And no mouse. And there are web-based VNC options. No need for a hack. Again, I'd much rather do this with my MacBook.
    7. Global Positioning -- There is no GPS hardware in an iPhone. Software can't change that.
    8. Voice Recorder -- Hmm, THIS could be useful. Found it useful once on my iPod.
    9. Office Reference -- LMAO. Google is your friend. So are, wikipedia, etc.
    10. IRC -- ROFLMAO. Besides, isn't this basically saying "Instant Messaging" twice? And there is CG:IRC for people who just gotta have it.
    11. eBook Reader -- *shudders at the thought of reading an eBook on the iPhone screen* An actual paperback is *much* easier to deal with and read, which is why eBooks (and readers) haven't taken off after 10 years of attempts by everyone from RCA to Sony. If I just gotta have something, I can email myself a PDF eBook anyway.
    12. Delete Menu Items -- Only needed if you're loading up your iPhone with iCrap.
    13. File Browser -- Why? This is a phone, not a Mac. It's not like you can edit that file anyway.

    The thing that bothers me is that whoever produced this list thinks that this is stuff the iPhone is seriously lacking. It's a *phone* FGS, not a PC! And a lot of this stuff is available without hacking your phone as a web-based app. Want it always there, even without web access? Learn about putting your web apps in boonies mode!

    And don't get me wrong, I seriously do love hacking stuff. I'm trying to figure out if my friend's HDTV with USB-upgradable firmware can be hacked. Mwahahahah!
  14. Marcjcd macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2007

    You make a great arguement except your forgetting one thing... To Each His Own! What is important to you might not be important to others, and visa versa. Modifying the phone is almost always due to personal preference and/or to make the phone more to the owners liking. It is very hard to make a logical debate about the usefulness or importance of 3rd party applications when the most common use is for the owner to enjoy their phone more! Like most things in life, "usefullness" doesn't always come into the conversation when your talking about "enjoyment".
  15. joseftu macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2007
    The voice of non-experience!

    The iPhone (used to have a Treo) is actually a great eBook device--the screen is bright and clear, and you can read it in the dark, or with one hand, on a crowded subway. Neither of those are possible with an actual paperback.

    If you email yourself a pdf, you can't read it like a book--can't come back to where you left off, and it's mighty tough, unreliable, to read offline.
  16. Lord Sandwich macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2005
    Coming from a Windows Mobile phone to an iPhone, I'm wary of installing a slew of unsigned 3rd-party apps as my experience is that they make the system horribly slow and unstable over time.

    I love device tweaking as much as the next geek, but after WM I want my phone to Just Work. The iPhone has enough built-in apps to make me happy for now.
  17. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Most of us felt the same at one point, and now we have apps. :D
  18. earthsick macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    central nj
    you forgot:

    14- Terrible battery drain
    15- Sudden crashes when performing simple tasks
    16- The phone occasionally just shuting off

    I miss summerboard and NES, but people need to be honest and admit that the apps that are available are, while a good start, not really quite there yet. They are glitchy, and really not a trade off for a smooth running iPhone. I loved my hacked phone then realized after I upgraded to 1.1.1 how poorly the OS was running before hand. I no longer have to do multiple resets every day. Bash me if you want, I am just being honest.
  19. Lionheart macrumors regular


    Jun 29, 2007
    Tampa, FL
    Sorry...couldn't disagree more. I love my 3rd party apps, and it seems that the vast majority of those that have used them either haven't updated, wish they hadn't, or rolled back.

    Sure...most of them are pretty optional, but no more so than most of what comes on the phone. The point is the potential. Just a phone....hardly! We've only scratched the surface of what is available, and waiting for Apple to bring it all to market is just foolishness. I still love to check Installer to see what new goodie pops up on my screen. The past week things picked up again, with Mobilecast (wireless podcasts), Nikotalkie (email voice messages), and Lockbox (secure info storage) all have found a home on my phone.

    Biggest reason for 3rd party apps - no Internet required. It's very nice to be able to read a book or play a game when you're out of range, on a plane, etc. I'm not all that interested in Web 2.0 apps. Connecting to the Internet for everything just plain ridiculous when it's obviously possible to run natively.

    I have a custom and unique look...very classy in my opinion. That's enough to keep me from updating until something much more significant comes along.

    I don't have many lockups. I have to reboot a couple of times a week, but as I remember, I had to do that before I hacked my phone. No big deal.

    No battery drain issues, no sudden power offs, phone looks and runs great. I'm sure some apps cause problems....just don't install more than one at a time and just uninstall the ones you think may cause trouble.

    Bottom line - it's good for all of us that these developers are working overtime to bring new apps to the phone. Apple needs to expedite the process and get the SDK out so we can really tap the potential of the phone.

    To each his own.
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA

    1. Turn SSH off with Services, another lovely app.

    2. Understand that an always on app, like Apollo or Chat, will drain the battery more than a game of Solitaire. Apple sponsored iChat will have the same impact.

    3. By now most people have figured out which mods and apps they like and have done a whole lot of installing and uninstalling to get there which results in instability. It behoves everyone to restore with iTunes 7.4.1 and do fresh batch of mods. Your phones will be way more stable that way.
  21. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    And that is where my opinion differs from yours, at least. To me, it's a small and very cool mini-mac/iPod, with phone functionality thrown on top as a bonus. And being able to add apps and extend the functionality is useful as well as fun. For example, I now have lighttpd acting as a webserver on the phone, allowing me to read pdfs offline. Why would I need that? For work, as I read scientific papers all the time, and it's good having a few of the "critical" one available at a moment's notice (without having to email everything to myself, and hope I have wifi to download it later).

    Also, some of the existing apps may be useless, but many offer cool new options such as on-the-go podcast downloading (MobileCast) that would be useful for anyone who wanted fresh content without having a chance to sync (say waiting in an airport with wifi).
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    It also bears mentioning that when Apple releases iChat for the phone it will only support AIM and Jabber, like the desktop version, and both Apollo and MobileChat support (and will support) more protocols. That makes them more valuable than what Apple will give us.
  23. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I toyed with 3rd party apps a while back and found nothing compelling. The Touch theme via Summerboard was nice, but I figured the home button double tap of 1.1.1 would be pretty useful.

    So I wiped the phone and upgraded to 1.1.1. The very same day, Taskbar Notifier was released. It gives the phone a much needed icon on the taskbar, indicating unread email and SMS. As everyone knows, without it, finding out if you have new email is a 2-3 step process...tap home button, slide to unlock, tap home again (if you weren't already on the home screen) and check the email icon for a red badge. With the Notifier, all you have to do is tap the home button.

    Taskbar Notifier alone was worth the price of hacking admission for me. Add to that a serious delay in opening the SMS app after installing 1.1.1 and I was ready to go back to 1.02.

    I downgraded to 1.02 last week and have been happy ever since. I've also re-ordered my home screen icons to make accessing more used apps (like SMS) easier to do with one hand. The phone has been running as smooth as a brand new one...meaning of course that Safari still crashes now and then. ;)

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