Sunday, September 26, 2010

My iPhone 3G jailbreaking experience Part 2

It's been a few weeks since my previous post about jailbreaking the iPhone.  Since then, a few things have happened.
  1. The Samsung Facinate came out for Verizon to mixed reviews.
  2. I learned that some of the slowdowns I experienced with the iPhone may have been due to iOS 4 on the 3G.  Apparently this is a known problem that was addressed with the iOS 4.1 update.  Unfortunately, jailbreakers cannot yet update to 4.1.  Even with a jailbreak, a working carrier unlock is still key for me.
  3. Rock Your Phone was bought by Cydia, giving the slow crufty Cydia a lock on jailbroken app stores.  Blech.
  4. Verizon still can't seem to get its act together and appears to be no closer to getting the iPhone when Apple's exclusivity contract with AT&T ends.
  5. I discovered a really inexpensive cell plan that is perfect for my needs.  I have no need for a data plan as I have wifi at home and work.  And at $0.20 a text message, I save money if I keep the text messages under 50 per month - an easy feat for me.  And, it's month-to-month, so I can go until February when my Verizon contract expires and then re-evaluate.
In order to deal with this transition time where my cell number is still owned by Verizon, I've done a few things.  First, I've forwarded my old cell number to my Google Voice number.  Then, I went to and added a shortcut to it on the iPhone as an alternative, since Apple rejected the Google's Voice app.  This lets me make calls as if it's from my Google Voice number (whenever I've got wifi of course since I didn't buy a data plan), which means that I don't have to expose my T-Mobile number to the world.  That's nice since that number is temporary until I can move my primary cell number from Verizon.

Also, I've discovered the world of free and low cost apps in the App Store.  My top picks?
I still have not found a calendar app I like.  I don't want to give out my Google Calendar login to some random app.  I'd much rather see a calendar app use the built-in calendar to feed its data and just display it better.  Calvetica seems nice, but again lacks a Week View which is essential.  But the app that I can't seem to find a free version of, but can't do without is CarbonFin Outliner.  It's just about exactly what you'd want in a list app - quick entry, nested checklists - it has everything but masterlists.  But, there's a pseudo-way around that until the developer gets around to it.  I've seen the SpeedList app too which may be better, but unless it's free I'm not sure I'm willing to try another one.

When deciding what I was going to do with all this, my friend who went through this whole process with the original 1st gen iPhone on T-Mobile gave me some good advice - there's some neat stuff on Android, but I wouldn't be unhappy if I went with the iPhone.  And the guy who sold me his old 3G reminded me that all other phones on the market that I might evaluate would be compared to the iPhone.  It is "the bar" by which all alternatives are measured.  I have to admit, they both were right.