The only thing cooler than an iPhone…

…Is a hacked iPhone!

So, as promised, I ran the AppTap installer last night and unshackled my iPhone. The whole process was dead simple — so simple, in fact, that I think Apple might secretly not mind at all that its going on. It might be part of their strategy to let third parties experiment, without having to be responsible for the quality of those apps.

13052_large.jpgThey needn’t worry too much, though. Most of the apps I found were excellent. Once you run AppTap, you get a new little icon on your home screen called Installer. From there you can download the community services package, and open up a world of new toys and gadgets for your phone.

SummerBoard adds much needed enhancements to the home screen, allowing you to set a backdrop picture, change the theme and scroll through more than one page of apps (you’ll need to do this once you see what’s out there). The installer offers pages and pages of programs — everything from a VNC client and the Apache web server, to an NES emulator that actually works really well. There’s also a Chat client (AIM only, unfortunately), a voice recorder, and a DDR clone called Tap Tap Revolution, that manages to capture most of the frantic action that is DDR.

I’m completely happy with my hack, and totally OK with waiting until the community adapts to the upcoming 1.1.1 firmware before I upgrade. The only thing I’m not happy about is a stupid mistake I made while copying NES ROMs over my network to be loaded onto the iPhone. I tossed them in my videos directory — needing just a temporary share to transfer them with — and then deleted them when I was done… Only I accidentally deleted some of the video folders at the same time. Lost about 120GB worth of TV shows, 100GB worth of our movie collection, and our home movies…

I immediately ran Data Rescue II, but it wasn’t able to recover a single file. Fortunately, my friend Jon Bates had just mirrored my movie collection, and most of the home movies are on DVD somewhere. The TV shows are all gone, but if it had to happen, the timing couldn’t be better. This summer we managed to watch all of Stargate SG-1 (yes, all 10 seasons), all of X-Files (except season 9, which I had started, but am not disappointed at all about losing) and all of Lost season 3. And new TV starts next week, so the hard drive will quickly fill back up with newly recorded shows. And anything we really miss… there’s always the torrents.

In conclusion, I am retarded, and my iPhone is not.

Advertisements