Introduction to Jailbreaking: A Step By Step Series For Getting the Most Out Of Your iPhone: Episode 1: Jailbreak and Activate!

So you want to get started on Jailbreaking, but you are new to this and don't know where to start? Let me first tell you that what I will share with you on this series of posts is that you risk your device being unstable, unsecure and sometimes even unusable. With that being said, I have never witnessed a jaibroken iPhone that couldn't be restored like new. However, if you can stick to just downloading a few key apps, you will find that jailbreaking can be well worth the risk. Want to continue? Let's go!

First things first. Back up your iPhone to iTunes. I'm not going to tell you how to do that. If you can't do that yet, you have no business jailbreaking. The reason you backup first is so that you have something to restore from with your most up to date information in case you need to restore for whatever reason or you just decide jailbreaking is not for you. Everything we are doing in this series of posts is totally irreversible. Next, open Safari on your iPhone and visit www.jailbreakme.com and follow the instructions. I would advise turning on Airplane mode and turning on Wifi for this so that you are not interrupted with a call while downloading the jailbreak software.

Now, that the jailbreak has completed, locate the App called Cydia on your springboard (App Pages). Now open up Cydia and choose Graphical User when given the option. This will download a number of sources which will provide you with the Apps to pick from. When that is finished, Cydia may ask you to update your installed packages. If this happens, select Essential. Next, your iPhone will need to reboot. As it is rebooting, don't panic if you see anything strange as it reboots. It happens to everyone.

Now, go back to your new Cydia app. Cydia is the App Store for apps that Apple disapproves for some reason. The best Cydia apps offer a way for you to customize your iPhone in a way that make it your own. One such app is called Activator. Activator allows you to use button combinations and screen swiping gestures to perform different tasks and open particular apps from anywhere at anytime. To find Activator, just select the tab labeled "Search" at the bottom of Cydia app. Type in "Activator" and press return and it should be the only app listed. Select the App and choose to install. After installation is complete, you will want to reboot your iPhone once again. (I find it good practice to reboot between installing apps.)

Now go into settings and scroll down until you see "Activator". Select "Activator" and you will see all the setting options that are available to you.

You can play around with this for hours until you get a setup that you are happy with. By selecting "Anywhere", you choose a gesture that can be performed from anywhere the iPhone allows which includes from within any app, or the Home Screen and sometimes even the Lock Screen. By selecting "Home Screen", "In Application" or "At Lock Screen", you choose to allow these gestures to work from these areas only.

Some of the options for gestures include double tapping the home button, holding down the home button, double tapping the sleep button, using the volume buttons or even swiping your finger across certain areas of the screen to perform a desired task.

Here are some examples of my current setup:

Home Button:

*Holding down the home button from the Lock Screen unlocks the device and reveals the Home Screen (no more slide to unlock)

*Holding down the home button from the Home Screen or within any app sends me back to my Lock Screen.

Volume Buttons:

*Press volume up then tap on screen to open my "Messages" app.

*Press volume up then down opens up a voice to text application I use called "Vlingo". *Press volume down then up opens an app that turns on the LED flashlight on my iPhone 4. Sleep Button:

Sleep Button:

*Holding down the sleep button for a second opens the "Phone" app. *Pressing the sleep button twice quickly take me directly to my "Voice Notes" app so that I can begin taking a voice note instantly.

Status Bar:

*Double tapping my status bar takes me to the last opened application.

*Swiping from left to right opens my "Twitter" app.

*Swiping from right to left opens my "Mail" app.

The options are endless. Get started! Next up:
Episode 2: Lockinfo: Getting the Most Out Of Your Lock Screen