Tablet Tips: Jailbreak your iPad and run windowed apps with Quasar

by Seamus Bellamy

June 4 2012

Also: Remotely accessing your photo library, coding on the go, and getting productive with Evernote.

Contrary to popular belief, jailbreaking your iPad isn't a complicated hacker pastime. By jailbreaking your iPad, you’ll gain access to hundreds of new tweaks and programs that simply can’t be found in the iTunes App Store. Want to put more apps into a single folder? How about folders inside of a folder? Perhaps a better on-screen keyboard? A quick jailbreak and a trip to Cydia—the jailbreaking community’s alternative to the iTunes App Store—is all it takes.

For anyone who has an iPad running iOS 5.1.1, jailbreaking is as easy as connecting your tablet to your computer and pushing a button, thanks to Absinthe 2.0. A free jailbreak program developed by the Chronic-Dev Team and the iPhone Dev Team, Absinthe jailbreaks your device and installs the Cydia Store to your iPad in under five minutes. Available for Mac, Windows and Linux users, Absinthe 2.0 is a free download (although donations are accepted) that’ll change the way you use your tablet to work.

If at any time you decide that jailbreaking’s not for you, your tablet can be returned to its stock configuration—definitely something to keep in mind. Apple's official line is that jailbreaking "can violate the warranty" but in practice, a Restore via iTunes is all it takes to put things back in order. 

Once you’ve jailbroken your tablet, we recommend downloading Quasar, an amazing multitasking app designed specifically for the iPad and available exclusively from the Cydia store. Quasar makes it possible to work with multiple apps running in windows. The windows can be moved, resized or minimized, just like you would on a desktop computer. After working with Quasar for a few hours, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Also featured in this week’s roundup:

  • Mac|Life explains how to use Blinq to remotely access your mac’s photo library.
  • Macworld introduces readers to Diet Coda - an iPad app that allows users to code, transfer files via FTP and work with terminal commands

Be sure to check back with us every week for more tips on how work, smarter, faster and more efficiently with your tablet.

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  • autotraveler
    2 years 5 months ago

    As someone (a journalist) that lives on my PC laptop, anything that increases the utility of my iPad is worth exploring.

    I've talked about why I think Windows 8 tablets, if they are priced higher than a comparable-spec iPad is a non-starter (, these jailbreaks (which I plan to try) just might be the final nail in the coffin of most competing tablets, Android or Windows.

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