Backgrounder is available for your Jailbroken iPhone through Cydia. What does this mean? You can finally truly multitask on the iPhone. This is something that should be officially coming at some point but should really have been enabled in 2.0 of the iPhone firmware. I’m still testing it out but so far it is working like a champ. The most use I’m going to get out of it is to be able to listen to Last.fm while checking mail or playing Spore. If you still haven’t Jailbroken now is the time. If you have then fire up Cydia and check in changes. It is small and you’ll be happy you have it.
Once you have it installed all you have to do is hold the home button down for a few seconds in the app. You’ll see the pop-up in the image below. It will then exit the program but it will continue to run in the background. To close it just open the app and do the same thing. You can even set up programs that you always want to run in the background.
I’ve been asked by some people what iPhone/iPod Touch apps I like to use on a regular basis. First off, you must understand I’ve jailbroken my iPhone 3g and am happy I did. The extra non approved Apple apps I get are worth it plus I like the customization. Like being able to have five icons in my dock instead of four. Very nice. When there is an app that requires jailbreaking I’ll let you know. So here it is, my list of my most used iPhone apps (all free of course):
- Twitterific – I use this all the time on my iPhone as well as on my mac. Sure I could fire up a browser and go to Twitter.com but were is the fun in that?
- Facebook/Myspace – If you are on these sites and have an iPhone you already have these installed. ‘Nuff said.
- Bible – There are a lot of free bible apps out there but this one hooks up the web so you can have the NIV for free which I like. This is one of the first ones I grabbed and it gets the job done. Special Bonus: you can set it for viewing in the dark which changes the background color to black. Very nice since I’m usually reading in bed before I go to sleep.
- Macman – You’ll have to be jailbroken for this one but it’s a pretty nice pacman clone that you steer using the accelerometer. It’s fun and it’s free!
- Aurora Feint – Another one of those apps that I downloaded on day 1. It’s a game along the lines of all the other games where you match three like items in a row and they disappear. It has some cool functionality to it. I consider this a must have. It’s easy to get into and it saves your progress so it’s easy to stop and come back to later. Perfect for when you’re standing in line.
- MotionX Dice – This isn’t so much a game as it is a way to roll up to 5 dice. You can use it to play dice games but there is no actual “game” that comes with it. Still it’s fun and handy if you are into games with dice like “High Five”.
- Klick – If you use Flickr you should have this app installed. Even if you are on the touch this is still useful for looking at friends photos and commenting and what not. With an iPhone you can of course take and upload geotagged photos to your account. This is one that is not popular on iTunes but I think is the best next to the alternatives like Exposure.
- Last.fm – For streaming music over the internet Last.fm is the way to go. I’ve been using it for years and I can go back and tell you what album I listed to the most on a particular day or week 17 months ago. This is the portable app of that site and it’s awesome. It’s one hundred times better than Pandora.
- Remote – How could I wait so long to get to this app? I love this thing. Basically it uses my wireless connection to hook into my PC with my iTunes library. From there I can control what song or playlist to play, volume, etc… I also have an Airport Express with airtunes so I can tell it which speakers to output to. So my iPhone hooks up to my PC and iTunes which streams music across my house to my sound system. If that sounds awesome to you then believe me, it is!
- iPhone Modem – There used to be an app on the app store called Netshare that let you share your iPhone’s data connection with your computer. After a day or so they took it down. Probably because it’s against your agreement with AT&T. Never fear! Jailbreak your phone and download this app. It’s tethering bliss.
- WinterBoard – Like it’s older cousin SummerBoard this is a way to theme your device. Nothing much to say here other than it changes the look of your interface. If you are into that then this is the best option but again this requires jailbreaking.
- WootWatch – This is an app that I actually just started using today. There is a Woot Off so I needed to be able to keep up on what is being sold. If you use Woot then this is a handy tool to keep in your pocket.
There you have it. I have many other apps installed and some of them are pretty cool. For instance: AIM, Airsharing, Now Playing, and WordPress. That’s just to name a few. I don’t use these very often at all though which is why they didn’t make the list. Do you have a favorite app? Please share it with us in the comments!
- Hold down the power button and then slide to turn off
- Hold down the Home button while plugging it into the computer
- You’re done
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. If you still can’t figure it out buy a Zune.
Those not in the know still use Pandora to stream music over the internet. The cool kids on the block use Last.fm. In a sentence: Last.fm is better because it keeps track of the music I play on my ipod and on my computer and gives me statistics about that data too. Here is a leaked video of the 2.0 version of their app for the iPhone. Very cool stuff. This video will probably be taken down but you can check it out here for now.