The Notification Center in iOS was one of the first steps towards a better overall notification management system, and since then, things have continued to improve for the Cupertino company’s operating system for smartphones and tablets. Over the course of last two major iterations of iOS, the notification center has improved considerably, especially when it comes to the design overhaul that iOS 7 brought. However, despite the visual enhancements, there is the omnipresent challenge of iOS not allowing detailed level control of any interface element, which is perhaps what prompted the release of BetterNC7
– a Cydia tweak for jailbroken iPhones aimed especially at improving (or changing) the iOS 7 Notification Center experience.
You might have heard that Android changed its entire look and feel when Apple unveiled the iPhone back in 2007, something that Android fan boys would be really reluctant to admit. However, I am nowhere implying that Android didn’t carry its original elements. In fact, Google’s offering allowed you to perform certain actions that either never reached iOS (alternate keyboards, anyone?), or were too late, like changing wallpapers, and using widgets. In fact, Apple’s implementation of Notification Center widgets was so miserable that I don’t even count them of any use.
Luckily, iOS users have the jailbreak scenario to turn to for assistance, and a new Cydia tweak for jailbroken iPhones, iPod touches and iPads from the famed developer Alan Yip aims to address the lack of widgets problem for good. This wonderful package has been labeled ProWidgets
The long way that iOS has come over the last (almost) seven years, and the fact that jailbreaking initiated pretty much around the same time, has made certain tweaks and jailbroken apps such common knowledge that they barely need an introduction. Any jailbreak aficionado will be well versed in the likes of Mobile (now Cydia) Substrate, SBSettings, Activator, Winterboard and the like. Then there are certain tweaks out there that may not be as famous as the aforementioned ones, but still much favored and anxiously awaited by the jailbreak community. Badger is one such example, which, until recently, was only available for devices running versions of iOS 6. That changed with the release of Badger 7
, which made the neat notification handler not only compatible with iOS 7, but also gave the tweak a much needed aesthetic overhaul, making its integration into the OS more balanced and smoother. Details just past the jump.
Tweaks that let users customize the iOS lock screen
are abundant in the Cydia store, but Spin
is the kind of release that just refuses to get lost in the crowd. With Spin, you get a complete revamp of the lock screen music view. Instead of a square containing the album art of the current song, Spin displays a radial frame in the middle of the lock screen. The current status of the track is depicted by a knob around the border of the album art. Spin doesn’t stop at just changing the album art; it also affects the playback controls and the overall layout of the lock screen, including the status bar clock and the wallpaper.
A jailbroken iPhone always trumps its jailed counterparts, or at least that’s what I firmly believe in. You see, it’s never about piracy – it never was, in fact – and the sheer volume of modifications that you can make once you’ve shed the restrictions imposed by Apple makes the whole process worth it. Take AdaptiveKeyboard
, for example, which is a recently-released jailbreak tweak that changes the iOS keyboard color to match the dominant color in the respective app’s icon, giving a cool aesthetic overhaul to the typing experience on the whole. Intrigued? Let’s see what you get with this package right after the jump. Read More
Control Center and the revamped App Switcher are two of the most major changes offered by iOS 7. To make these changes even more pronounced, many developers over in the Cydia store have come up with tweaks to alter and augment these two parts of the OS. We have covered CControls
, both of which change the Control Center and App Switcher quite dramatically. Vertex
does not belong to the same category of tweaks, as it goes a step further and lets users access the Control Center and App Switcher in one place. This combination of the two has a distinct look, and comes with a few useful customization options as well. Read More
Even after all these years professionally covering mobile apps, tweaks, tips, and tricks, I still haven't quite found a sure answer to the question: "Should I manually close all apps from the multitasking app switcher, or let the OS handle everything?"
There are two schools of thought here. The first - which I personally believe more in - is that Apple has put enough smarts into iOS to ensure apps running in the background are running efficiently, and that misbehaving ones are closed automatically. The other school believes that manual intervention is a must, as developers are not so artful at making performance-conscious apps.
Is there a middle ground, then? Famed iOS jailbreak tweaks developer Ryan Petrich believes so. His recently released tweak called SmartClose
claims to be the smarter way to close apps running in the background. Read More
The system toggles in the Control Center might get the most press, but the shortcuts in the bottom row have their uses as well. Out of these shortcuts, the flashlight button is likely the most frequently used button. There are many occasions when you are likely to need the flashlight feature that comes embedded with iOS 7, even though the LED at the back of the device is not originally designed to be used for that purpose. For photography, the unchanging intensity level of the LED is fine, but if you are using it as a torch, it is nice to have some extra level of control. A while ago, we covered PhotoTorch, a tweak that allows users to change the intensity of the iPhone
camera LED. CCFlashLightLevel
does the same thing, but this new release works from the iOS 7 Control Center. With this tweak, users can use the CC flashlight toggle as a controller for the LED’s intensity level in a very convenient manner.
It might not be the most popular app on the iPad, but Photo Booth still has a considerable amount of fans. Many photo editors and camera replacement apps have tried to emulate Photo Booth on other platforms
, but there is always a certain charm in using the real deal. Since Apple doesn't offer Photo Booth for iPhone, developers have been coming up with ports and alternatives for smaller screens. On iOS 7, Photo Booth (iOS 7)
brings this classic iPad app to iPhone and iPod touch devices running the latest iOS firmware version. The port offered by the tweak is a little too simple, but serves the purpose for which it has been designed. You get all the popular camera effects, as well as a set of comprehensive sharing options.
Before the start of the previous weekend, the blogosphere woke up to the news of Apple releasing iOS 7.0.6 with a brief release note mentioning bug-fixes for an SSL-related exploit. Nothing to be scared about, right? Well, no. As it turns out, the exploit leaves your device wide open to malicious 'man-in-the-middle' attacks on public WiFi networks. Read More
If you are already a fan of some third-party Camera app for iPhone, you might not be missing CameraTweak
too much after updating to iOS 7. Anyone who has previously had a taste of the tweak in the past, however, is sure to be thrilled by the news that CameraTweak 2
has just been released for iOS 7. The updated version of the tweak doesn’t just bring compatibility with the latest iOS version; it also offers a completely new UI and some new ways of enjoying extra camera features. CameraTweak 2 works in both photo and video modes, with options like White Balance Lock, countdown timer, a timelapse mode and more added to the mix. To make CameraTweak 2 really convenient to use and unobtrusive, the developer has added gestures to it, which ensure that the added buttons don’t interfere with normal camera operations. Read More
There's a fine balance to be struck between functionality and simplicity for modern smartphone lock screens. Add too many features to the lock screen, and it starts looking like the actual home screen. Taking away too many will make it too simple; an unnecessary step before getting to the home screen. Unlike with Android, iOS users don't get to tweak said balance, for they are expected to be satisfied by Apple's solution of the smartphone lock screen. That is, of course, unless they jailbreak their device, opening it up to a world of powerful apps and tweaks.
One such new jailbreak tweak for boosting lock screen functionality is PassDial. It allows you to set certain codes - other than the 'passcode' that unlocks your device - entering which calls a certain, predefined number directly from the lock screen. The tweak is brilliant when you think of it! It has a certain Samsung TouchWiz-like feel to it, which isn't bad at all. Read More
Tweaks like HideMe7
are great since they deal with multiple aspects of iOS, but there is always room for specialized packages in the jailbreak store. While HideMe7 has some pretty decent options to customize the iOS 7 status bar, you cannot call its feature list exhaustive by any means. For example, if you want to hide the status bar altogether, HideMe7 cannot help you there. With a tweak like StatusBarSuite
though, you can do exactly that and more. This new release lets you change the visibility status of all iOS 7 status bar elements, dealing with both the temporary and permanent ones. Users get to hide battery and WiFi icons, the time display, and just about every other thing that appears in the status bar.
With the announcement of iOS 7, Apple had users quite excited about its new dynamic wallpapers addition. With each beta release, we kept hoping that the next one (or at least the final release) would bring more live wallpapers or a way to download more. The latter didn't seem like a safe bet, considering the restricted nature of the platform, but we were quite surprised and disappointed to see no addition to the quantity of default dynamic wallpapers. Once iOS 7 was jailbroken, though, the Cydia community was quick to deliver multiple solutions to this problem. Just a couple of days ago, we covered Weatherboard, which offers a vast collection of weather-themed dynamic wallpapers
. Before that, iDynamic brought a few more options to the iOS 7 dynamic wallpaper list
might not come with a lot of variety, but this latest addition to the genre offers some really thorough customization options. It doesn’t let you create animated wallpapers from scratch, but the editing options are so comprehensive that you might get the same feeling. Read More
While Cydia tweaks like ClassicSwitcher
allow users to bring back the old app switcher to iOS 7, the newer version of this feature has already garnered quite an adoring fan-base. The cards offered in the new app switcher look nicer, and of course, provide previews of all opened apps. FullscreenPreviews
is a new tweak that expands on this idea, and stretches the app switcher cards to cover the whole screen. This might not make sense at first, but you just have to use the tweak once to understand the thought that went into its making.
Just a few days ago, we covered iDynamic
, a Cydia tweak that adds to the iOS 7 dynamic wallpaper collection. Weatherboard
is somewhat similar to that release, but it adheres to a single theme: weather. Tweaks like WeatherIcon
have already given users a taste of the beauty weather-related animations can add to iOS. With Weatherboard, the animations aren’t just limited to an app icon though, as it offers the animated backgrounds from the stock Weather app as dynamic wallpapers for your home and lock screen. Weatherboard doesn’t automatically set the wallpaper according to the current weather (a feature for future releases, maybe), so you can select any from over 80 available animated backgrounds, where each is available in two flavors; one for the day and one for night.
The Kids Zone feature in Windows Phone 8
has certainly shown that there is room in the market for mobile platforms that offer multiple user accounts, just like desktop devices. On many occasions, it might feels rude to refuse giving someone your smartphone, but it seems even more rude to constantly try and see what they are doing with it. The only way of putting your mind at ease in such situations would be through the creation of a guest account of sorts on your device. For iOS, we have previously covered a tweak by the name of iPrivacy
, which lets you limit access to the apps installed on your iPhone. GuestMode
is a new tweak for iOS 7 that is based on the same principle, but is much more intuitive in usage. You won’t be confused by a myriad of configuration options while trying to set it up, and the whole thing is ready to spring into action right after you choose the apps and features that you deem safe for the viewing of strangers.
Generally speaking, there is an inverse relationship between security and convenience. In most cases, higher security comes at the cost of convenience. Two-factor authentication on services like Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook requires you to enter two codes to get access to your own account - higher security at the cost of decreased convenience. Lock screen passcodes on smartphones can range from simple 4-digit codes to long alphanumeric passwords; in any case, you're adding an extra step to accessing your own device. A better balance between the two aforementioned properties, but still far from perfect.
iOS comes with two useful settings to reduce the time or steps required to get to the home screen: 'Auto-Lock', and 'Require Passcode'. Apple has included 4-5 predefined options for these in Settings > General, but if you want to have full control over them, you're out of luck... unless you have jailbroken your iOS device. 'insanj' has come up with two tweaks - LongerAutoLock
- which allow you to set a custom time for Auto Lock and Require Passcode options, respectively. Read More
Originality certainly has its merits, but if an idea is already good enough, you merely have to tinker with it to get perfection. The previously covered JellyLock tweak
garnered a lot of praise and popularity when it was first released last year, for both its features and looks. A year on, almost everything about the looks of iOS has changed, and so it makes sense for JellyLock to have an updated version to match the new flat UI as well. JellyLock7
is quite similar to its predecessor if you only consider basic traits, but there are some finer points that make the new tweak a huge improvement over JellyLock. You can now see icon badges on the shortcut ring, there are more customization options, and of course, everything looks more in tune with the flat iOS 7 UI.
The modern smartphone has replaced many gadgets, including but not limited to the music player, the personal diary, the pen and paper to-do list, the low-end scanner, the GPS navigator, and the conventional alarm clock. I don't remember the last time I saw anyone set an alarm on anything other than their smartphone or tablet.
Now, the iOS 'Clock' app comes with good but basic Alarm functionality. You can set multiple alarms, set them to repeat after a certain period, give them different labels, different alarm-tones, and turn Snooze off or on, but there's little to no 'intelligence' involved with this digital alarm clock app. You set it to ring at a certain time, and it rings at that certain time - plain and simple. AlarmRestrict7
is a new tweak available for iOS 7 that aims to change that by adding just a tiny bit of smarts to the dumb Alarms functionality. We discuss it in more detail after the jump.