iOS-powered devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are hugely popular around the world, with Apple’s mobile OS considered to be one of the most complete offerings in the mobile world. Like all major operating systems that are updated periodically, iOS has seen organic growth over its life and has benefitted from multiple feature additions as well as numerous bug fixes. Apple have steadily introduced enhancements to their mobile OS over time which has significantly improved the software and ensured that it clings onto the top spot.
Although the OS has been, and will continue to be updated, there are certain little things that Apple seem to either overlook or miss out intentionally for whatever reason. Their reluctance to add specific user requested functionality seems rather perplexing, but we have come to expect this from the company who sticks to their beliefs and does things their own way. The release of iOS 4 saw Mobile Safari get quite a substantial behind-the-scenes make over, however, Apple didn’t take the opportunity to introduce a homepage option which seems rather bizarre. All major desktop browsers offer the convenience of a toolbar button which, when tapped, takes the user to a specific URL.
I am pretty sure Apple have their own internal reasons as to why this has never been implemented into Mobile Safari, but it is something users no longer need to worry about – at least if you are jailbroken. HomeSafari is a relatively new tweak to hit the Cydia store which allows users to specify define a URL as their homepage in Safari. The tweak appends the Safari action menu to include an additional option, simply shown as ‘Home Page’. Tapping this new button does exactly as you might imagine and quickly loads the pre-defined homepage that has been set through the new settings entry.
HomeSafari adds its own preferences panel into the Settings application that allows users to add or remove the Home Page button from the action menu, toggle the tweak on or off and specify the URL to be used for the Safari homepage. HomeSafari is a very simple offering which will satisfy a lot of users desire to be able to define a homepage. It does work extremely well, however it is missing one key piece of functionality in our opinion. When all Safari pages are closed and a new instance of the browser is invoked, it would provide a much better user experience if HomeSafari launched on the specified homepage instead of a white screen. An alternative option known as Home Page In Safari is also available through Cydia which offers that functionality.
HomeSafari is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repository with no mentions of specific device or firmware compatibilities.
Of course, you will need to jailbreak your device to install this tweak. For jailbreaking the latest iOS 5.1 (tethered), follow the instructions posted here to jailbreak using Redsn0w, or here for Sn0wbreeze. For jailbreaking iPhone 4S and iPad 2, you can simply follow our step by step tutorial posted here to jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 using Absinthe on Windows or Mac. Those of you with an iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 1, and iPod touches can use Redsn0w or Sn0wbreeze to untether jailbreak on iOS 5.0.1.