Has it ever happened to you that you were deeply immersed in the intense gameplay of perhaps a tower defense game on your iPhone or iPod touch, laying down your strategy to prevent the oncoming hordes of enemies from reaching your base, when suddenly, the whole world comes to a halt! You hear the game’s mystifying soundtrack fade out as the familiar chime of a text notification takes its place, and the game pauses itself to give room to the banner notification dropping down from the top of the screen. If you’ve experienced this, or anything similar to what I described, you’d know what a big annoyance this whole situation is! What’s worse, the dropping banner notification covers the top part of the screen, so if any navigation controls are there (which is quite common across the iPhone ecosystem), they’re temporarily (and unnecessarily) blocked, and should you accidentally tap in that area while the notification is visible, you’ll immediately switch to whatever app sent the notification. Considering all this, and perhaps many other similar scenarios, one can only deduce that Apple has made a fundamentally erroneous judgment call with iOS banner notifications. CoverMeNot is a new Cydia tweak in town that addresses this seemingly-small yet highly annoying banner behavior, and modifies it in the simplest of ways to make our lives easier, which we’ll discuss just past the jump.
Since, for the most part, the problem lies with the banners interrupting whatever the ongoing activity was, CoverMeNot tackles the problem exactly where it occurs. The tweak essentially increases the height of the iPhone’s status bar to two rows instead of one, but not always. This height jump happens only when a notification is received. Hence, whenever a banner alert is to be displayed, the tweak increases the height of the status bar so that the banner remains contained within, and doesn’t cover up the app. Consequently, you may also say that the tweak ‘pushes down’ the currently active app to make room for the notification, whichever way you prefer.
CoverMeNot (quite aptly named, I must say) is available in the ModMyi repository of Cydia, and can be downloaded for free. It doesn’t come with any settings or springboard icons, and takes effect right away after installation. Despite being highly useful for almost all jailbreak users, I felt it can use a cosmetic upgrade. For one, when the notification is displayed in the larger status bar, one can clearly see redundant black space on top of the banner, which might be due to some misaligned pixels. For another, when the banner vanishes out, you can see (for a split second) the persistent blue status bar that appears for background activities like personal hotspot. This, again, in my opinion, is something that speaks aesthetic polish, and the developer might want to iron out these small wrinkles to make CoverMeNot all the more appealing.