Using an old iPhone 4 as a feature phone

Dear community. Since I came across many people that said they would need some features that are not planned for the Mudita (like maps and navigation and a camera) I thought I’d share this here. I have recently come across a tutorial for setting up an old iphone 4 as a minimal feature phone. It involves some jailbreaking, but it was quite easy to do. The end result is an iphone with minimal features:

It can call, send texts, has reminders, notes, alarm clock, calendar, maps, music, voice recorder, camera, calculator, flashlight, as well as optional secure messaging through Threema (although who knows how long it will be supported on iOS 7). If you have some special need for a custom app: web browsing works with the nowadays mandatory TLS v1.2 encryption but modern websites are often broken (only supporting newer versions of javascript. So it would be possible to make custom HTML5 apps for this phone if you are a developer kind of person. It’s also possible to use it without itunes, transferring data through ssh, making it pretty much self-sustainable in the long run.

The usability of this tweaked smartphone is quite surprising, the interface is very responsive and since there is nothing much to do online with this phone, it tends to stay in my pocket, allowing me to focus on the here and now, while still being available for phone calls.

Now if anyone would like a hand in getting their old iphone in their drawer back to live, feel free to message me. I’ll do my best to clarify any steps in the process and am planning a blog post with a detailed tutorial on my setup.


If this method helps you to spend less time online, then that’s great. However, the SAR value may still be a concern to some, as well as the blue light emitted from this device.


Thanks, I see you have mentioned Devra Davis earlier on your blog, I found this a very interesting introduction to the issue of mobile radiation:


Yes, that is a very good introductory lecture, thank you for sharing it. I attended an equally interesting one at EMFC last year. Dr. Davis has some nice books on the subject too. A lot of research in this field is still required but the more technology becomes ingrained in our everyday existence, the more crucial the work of EMF experts. Apple provide information about the levels of RF exposure, which can also be found in the ‘settings’ of their devices.

how about battery life? chances are an iphone 4 even with reduced capabilities will still need more frequent charging than newer models.
nonetheless, it’s interesting to see this as a method of reducing waste.

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It’s definitely a good way of upcycling an old device. That’s very true that the battery life isn’t going to be great when compared to Pure!

Standby without data enabled is pretty good, taking about 10% per day. That is with the original battery that has 88% of it’s original capacity. Definitely much better than charging every day. Looking forward to the Pure thoυgh. What is the expected time it will last on standby?