Seeing contact photos in text message threads and conversations is common on services like Viber, Whatspp, and KIK, as well as the built-in Messages app on Android, but it’s not the case with the stock Messages app on iOS. With tight Facebook and Twitter integration for updating contacts (which includes updating their photos), photos in message conversations should have been included by default in iOS 6. You needn’t give it a second thought if you’re jailbroken, though, as there is a new jailbreak tweak for that! Check it out after the jump.
Developed by Aleksander Azizi, Messages Conversation Photos is a tweak for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that adds photos alongside each message in a message thread as long as the person you are receiving messages from has a photo added to their profile in your Contacts.app.
We have tested Messages Conversation Photos on a jailbroken iPhone 5 running iOS 6, and confirm that it works as advertised. It showed perfectly round, Facebook Chat Heads-like photos alongside each message in a thread. For contacts without any photo in their profile in your Contacts.app, Messages Conversation Photos will revert back to the standard Messages.app interface.
Our only real gripe with the tweak is how it adds these photos to each and every message in the conversation. A much better solution would have been to implement it like Viber, where – in the latest version – there is only one photo for each bunch of messages sent in quick succession. You can see what I’m talking about below:
Other than that, it’s a perfectly fine tweak. Hopefully, the developer will add an option to change how many times photos appear in an update. Perhaps future updates will also bring the option to switch between rounded photos and square ones with rounded edges, as I personally think that would fit better with iOS.
Installing the tweak did not add any app icons, or options in the Settings menu. It is one of those straight up install-and-use kind of jailbreak tweaks.
This goes without saying, but you will need to jailbreak your iOS 6-running iPhone or iPod touch using evasi0n to get access to Cydia, and subsequently, install Messages Conversation Photos.
Messages Conversation Photos is available as a free download under the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store. If you’d rather add contact photos only to the main screen of the Messages app, be sure to check out xMessages.