Ever since the release of iOS 5, the Notification Center has engaged the imagination of a lot of Cydia developers. There are several Notification Center widgets in the store, but that’s not all. A significant number of NC-related tweaks alter some basic features or cosmetic aspects of the grey notifications area. While cosmetic tweaks mostly do not offer any useful options, they are still adored by the jailbreak community. There are tweaks that let you change the whole appearance of the bland NC background, but one area that has so far been ignored is the drop-down animation that precedes the Notification Center’s appearance. New to the Cydia store, Ostium is a tweak that allows you to access notifications with a two-finger split gesture, and replaces the familiar drop-down animation with one that splits the screen vertically to reveal the Notification Center.
The best thing about Ostium is that it gives you new features without taking away the old ones. Although it adds the option to use a two-fingered split gesture for launching the Notification Center, you can still use the old downwards swipe on the status bar. If you use the two-finger split gesture, whatever screen you’re on will part at the middle, revealing the Notification Center behind. The older swipe gesture makes the NC fall down from above, but the screen still splits in two to make way for it.
Other than a new launch gesture for the NC, the tweak provides a new way to close it, too. You can tap the left or right edge of the screen to have the Notification Center recede, pinch inwards horizontally to get the inverse of the screen split animation, and of course, use the handle at the bottom to drag it back up as usual.
Everything about Ostium has can be configured via the menu it adds to the stock Settings app. There are four toggles – two for controlling and enabling the new animation to the default NC launch gesture, while the other two deal with the split gesture that can be performed on SpringBoard. The tweak works in both portrait and landscape modes, and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (running iOS 5). Ostium will cost you $0.99 and is available in the ModMyi repo. Note that it does add lag to the launching and closing of the Notification Center on older devices, albeit a negligible amount. If you are a stickler for cosmetic customization, we’d definitely recommend giving it a try.