I’ve gone back and forth with many others on the risk/pain vs. reward of jailbreaking your iOS device. I can tell you that I have a few packages or apps that I really love and improved the iOS experience. I really do value and use these daily.
I use most apps on my iPhone in landscape orientation, so I am always frustrated when I have to switch it back to portrait when I go back to the home springboard pages. With IconRotator, I don’t have to. It reads the iPhone orientation and dishes the icons to adjust to me. Love it.
2. Browser Changer
This is a major annoyance that should just be a preference. But, to get around this issue, many developers are having to put settings in their individual apps to set links to open in non-Safari browsers. This hack sets it globally on iOS.
Apple did sell this wireless scanning tool via the AppStore at some point. I know because I bought it and loved it. For whatever reason, they yanked it and I was unable to obtain it again without a jb. It is the best wireless scanner I have seen on iOS. It is vital to troubleshooting connectivity and possible connectivity or interference issues across a large distributed campus of access points in a urban environment. Great tool to have if you are a sysadmin.
4. Activator + Springflash
The Activator framework allow you to add additional functionality around iOS. I have been running Springflash at the home screen, so when I shake the phone, it will turn on/off the camera LED to become a flashlight. This is very handy for me day-to-day.
The Apple light sensors on iPhones have always been bad. I have always had to go in and tweak the brightness if I am working on the phone at night. Bright lights and dark places generate eye strain. I can’t recommend f.lux enough to help with eye strain on gadgets. I am unsure what Apple could object to on this.
Honorable Mentions: Manual Correct and OpenSSH
Rather than having the iOS behavior of correcting your text as you write with a pop-up, Manual correct flips the functionality. If you have it enabled, the pop-up word suggestion is only activated if you want it with a click instead of having to click to ignore. This feels much more natural when you get used to it. I don’t understand why this just isn’t a preference for iOS that the user can control? I am unsure. Gladly, this puts the user back in control. I really loved this in iOS 5.1.1 and used the free version, but have not bought the iOS 6 compatible version.
SSH – I spend a lot of time in terminals and in SSH sessions, so having that available on my phone is just a huge deal for me.