A friend of mine talked me into jailbreaking my iPhone soon after I got it, and I’m really glad that he did. My device is ten times more powerful and customizable thanks to jailbreaking and many of my home screen apps reflect that. Thanks to a myriad of Activator actions to open SBSettings, Quick Compose a text in biteSMS, or access my iPod, I actually don’t use my home screen very much. However, there are a few apps that I do find very handy, and I use them enough to put them on my home screen. Here they are!

Cydia (Free – Jailbreak Only)

AKA the jailbroken app store. This is where you can find all the apps that don’t meet Apple’s specifications, whether they open up unintended functionality or make Apple’s stock offerings just look plain shoddy. Some of my favorite apps/tweaks/hacks are SBSettings, LockInfo, and SMS GV Extension. It’s also very handy for saving your SHSH blobs and then using TinyUmbrella to make sure you can keep jailbreaking long after Apple stops signing off on old firmwares.

Mint.com (Free)

Mint.com is a very useful site where you can keep track of all your personal finances. After linking up your bank and credit card accounts, it automatically tracks transactions for you by type, allowing you to setup budgets for each type of transaction so you’re completely on top of your spending. I check it once a day to see how I’m doing budget-wise for the month to make sure I’m not spending too much.

Reeder ($2.99)

Like so many other HackCollege writers, Reeder is invaluable for me. Whenever I’m on my daily commute or just waiting in line for something, it’s so handy to be able to fire open this very, very pretty RSS reader and browse through all your Google Reader feeds. It makes keeping on top of all your blogs a million times easier.

Skype (Free)

It takes everything you can do on Skype (well…except for screen sharing) and puts it on your iPhone. I use it to call family living overseas for super cheap and to make free video calls without having to be on Wi-Fi like FaceTime. It’s intuitive, fast, and free!

Yelp (Free)

Yelp is great for finding new places to eat when you’re travelling and have no idea where to go. Just search for whatever you’re in the mood for near your current location, and you instantly have an entire list of great dining options to peruse.

biteSMS (Free with Ads, $9.99 for a full license – Jailbreak Only)

Once you try biteSMS, you’ll discover how texting on the iPhone was meant to be. Simply put, it blows Messages out of the water. Features include Quick Compose, Quick Reply, Smilies, Saved Message Templates, and much more. Check it out, and you’ll never go back to Messages.

Camera ($1.99)

This is another example of developers showing Apple how it’s really done. When you have time to compose your shot, Camera brings a myriad of features that make your iPhone pictures look a million times better. You can both focus and maintain white balance lock simultaneously. And after you take your pictures, you can edit them using Camera ’s many filters to give your shots that hipster flair before you upload them to Facebook.