Feature for feature, the iPhone is one of the best business phones around. It offers high-quality hardware, top-notch security and arguably the best library of business and productivity apps on any mobile platform. But you can squeeze even more productivity out of Apple's smartphone. Jailbreaking your iPhone lets you tweak your device in ways that weren't previously possible, opening up new customization options, and letting you install unauthorized applications.
Jailbreaking your iPhone is relatively easy (click here for a step-by-step guide from our sister site Laptop Mag), but it's not for everyone. According to Apple, jailbreaking your device voids your warranty — though you can always use iTunes to restore your phone to its default factory setting to avoid this problem. And jailbreaking can potentially open your iPhone up to malware risks, since a jailbroken phone lets you install unapproved apps. But if you lean heavily on your iPhone to stay connected and productive when you're away from the office, this software modification could really give you a boost. Here are five tweaks to get you started with your jailbroken iPhone.
Note: To get these apps, follow the steps in the guide referenced above to jailbreak your iPhone. Next, open the Cydia app directory on your device. Finally, search for the apps you want to download, and install them.
Android smartphones support a variety of file management apps, which let you browse and move documents, photos and other files on your device. You can also and edit the properties of these files. To get similar functionality on your iPhone, you'll need to jailbreak it first, then download a file browser such as iFile. The app lets you copy, paste and move files among folders on your iPhone, and it helps you find files stored on your phone's internal memory with just a few taps. In other words, iFile works a lot like Finder on your Mac computer. The iFile app also makes it easy to import and export files between your iPhone and desktop computer, so you can use your phone like a portable hard drive.
One of the best business features of the iPhone 5s is TouchID, a fingerprint reader embedded in the Home button. It lets you unlock your phone quickly and easily by simply placing your finger over the reader, and if your phone is lost or stolen, this feature ensures that others won't have access to sensitive information stored on the device. It's a great tool for security-minded business users, and it's even better with BioLockdown, an iPhone app only available on jailbroken devices. The app expands the capabilities of the fingerprint reader, letting you lockdown not just your phone, but also individual apps, folders and settings using TouchID. It gives you more granular control over who can access which parts of your phone, and that's a boon for any users who store secure or private data on their iPhones.
Using your iPhone for business can really take a toll on the device's battery life, especially if you frequently use your phone's WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. Those functions can drain your battery in a hurry, leaving you with a dead device long before dinner time. You can take some simple steps to extend any phone's longevity, but if you're looking for a more nuanced approach to battery life management, BatterySafe can help. This iPhone app, available only for jailbroken devices, lets you set a set a battery percentage such as 20 percent or 30 percent. When your battery reaches that level, BatterySafe can automatically disable WiFi, Bluetooth or all cellular data. The app can also automatically dim your iPhone's display at the same time, for further battery life savings. You can perform all of these functions manually, but BatterySafe ensures you'll never forget to reduce your phone's battery consumption before it's too late.
Successful small business owners must stay on top of their email inboxes. Your iPhone is great for email, letting you tap out responses to important messages when you're away from the office — but its small, touch-screen keyboard isn't always the fastest or most accurate typing tool. Other mobile platforms such as Android let you install third-party keyboards with more-advanced functionality, but iPhone users have to stick with Apple's stock keyboard — that is, unless your device is jailbroken. Then you can install a better keyboard, such as iSwipe, which lets you spell out words by dragging – or "swiping" – your finger from one letter to the next on the keyboard. This fast and accurate method works better for typing with one hand.
Getting a good night's sleep can reduce your stress and boost your productivity during the day. But if you stay glued to your mobile device to check your email before bed, that can impede your ability to get the rest you need. Studies show that blue light emitted from electronic screens on devices like the iPhone can actually keep you tossing and turning, even after you shut these machines off. The best solution is to spend at least an hour away from your computer, tablet or smartphone before bed, but the next best thing is to install f.lux for iOS. The app, which only works on jailbroken iPhones, slowly warms the color temperature of your screen throughout the evening, which reduces eyestrain and ultimately helps you fall asleep more quickly.