AppHeads is a new Cydia tweak by sharedRoutine that enjoyed a decent amount of hype in the jailbreak community. The original teaser post from 3 months ago had almost two hundred upvotes and a little over fifty comments with everyone wondering when they could get their hands on it. The post was this little teaser image in his alpha stage and people ate it up like the next best thing since sliced bread. A little while went by with no updates on it and then just under two weeks ago this post on Reddit popped up and teased it again with a video. It saw over two hundred upvotes and nearly one hundred comments with the same feeling from Redditors, they were basically frothing at the mouth and screaming, “TAKE MY MONEY!!”. It’s now on the BigBoss repo for $4.99 and worth every cent.
Taking queue’s from MessageHeads by Ian Burns, which is a quick reply and quick compose tweak inspired by Facebook’s ChatHeads for Android; AppHeads takes this a few steps further, essentially bringing the same functionality for all apps. It’s almost completely usable as a quick compose tweak and since there aren’t a lot of these types of tweaks updated for iOS 8, I’ll take what I can get for now. That being said, InteractiveMessageNotifications has been updated to work for iOS 8 as a separate paid package, however, the general impression from the community is it leaves a lot to be desired.
After purchasing and downloading this awesome tweak you are prompted with a message that confirms you indeed paid for it and then you can install the license that was downloaded automatically. After registering it you can start your revolutionary multitasking experience once you launch your first app, even if it’s just settings to go and tweak it to your liking; a little circle icon (the AppHead) will appear at the top left with the icon that you just launched.
In the screenshot above, you can see the AppHeads lined up on the left side of my Springboard. I was actually using Aeternum, which is an Apple Watch UI tweak until I installed AppHeads, but it just didn’t look right to me and it’s nice to change things up. You can assign different actions to single tap, double tap and holding the AppHeads to do things like show live view, open application and lock/unlock the AppHead in free mode. This helps make it very customizable and allows you to set it up how you like.
With the ability to enable it in all applications or pick and choose, you can make AppHeads work for just the apps you want. This is where I get a lot of use out of it as I don’t want every single app to have one. I have only my most used apps enabled, as well as Transynd, which sort of acts as a great little MiniPlayer alternative. You can even “Design the View” as he puts it in the settings — this will let you change the color and size of the border surrounding the live view and the radius of the rounded corner. You can also set what you want as the background when viewing an AppHead, you can have the current open app, the current wallpaper or no background view, which actually lets you interact with the window behind the AppHead. This is very close to using two apps at once, which some iOS users are complaining that we don’t have yet.
Using apps like 1Password with AppHeads is where it truly shines. You’re able to head into the App Store to check something out and then quickly grab your über secure 30 character random string of letters and numbers password without even changing apps! This is very similar functionality that ProWidgets had for 7.1.x, which hasn’t been updated for iOS 8 and there is no ETA.
Another interesting thing that AppHeads does is exclude the Mail.app automatically which you can turn off in the settings. The Mail app is excluded from iOS’s app deepfreeze so it would be permanently displayed as an AppHead. If you use the Mail app a lot then the option in the settings is be really nice for this, especially on an iPad.
I was able to get a short written interview with sharedRoutine on his development background and AppHeads, here are his answers:
1. Q: Where did your name come from?
Sharedroutines are subroutines in a program which are shared between two or more classes. some time back when I was modifying iOS binaries shared routines always were a nice challenge for me as if I edit it normally, the changes would apply for all classes using this method. My goal was to only apply those changes for one specific class. for example: The Main Class is Entity and there are two subclasses Player and Enemy. Both have a Health Value and it decreases on takeDamage function. If I edit the takeDamage shared routine both Player and Enemy will be invincible. So a goal of mine was to only have it apply for the Player class. Which sounds simple when it comes to objective c but much harder when you need to do this in ASM with limited bytes to write.
so because shared routines challenged me and because they were such fun to edit, I chose sharedRoutine as my developer name. (sorry for this technical explanation)
2. Q: How long have you been developing?
I’ve been developing since 2011, however, I am not sure if one could call it developing what I did in 2011 :P
3. Q: What made you want to start?
I can not really tell a reason that made me start, I was just fascinated by it and wanted to go in that direction.
4. Q: What kind of background do you have regarding coding and programing?
I first started on my iOS device using the command line language BASH. The only device I owned was an iPod Touch so I was a bit limited. Then I bought my first Mac and wanted to “convert” my BASH projects to Objective C / iOS Apps. Then I got to know theos, jailbreak development (before I only had used Tweaks).
5. Q: What devices do you have?
Two iPod Touches, one iPhone 4, one iPhone 5s, one iPad 4, one iMac 2011.
6. Q: What tweaks/ apps do you use daily?
- FlipControlCenter to enable Do not disturb quickly
- SBPowerAlert to quickly check information or respring
- Apex 2 to sort Icons on the Homescreen
- BioLockDown to protect my Apps.
- A bunch of developer tools
7. Q: What inspired you to make AppHeads?
I wanted to do a multitasking switcher replacement anyway and then I was using Facebook and I was aware of the Tweak MessageBox. And so I combined those ideas of an overall round floating “Access Point” and the idea of an AppSwitcher. This was the start of AppHeads basically and my own progress, my own increasing knowledge kept inspiring me to create AppHeads the way it is now.
8. Q: What does jailbreaking mean to you?
Jailbreaking means freedom for me. The ability to do what I want with my device (legally,I do not include piracy in there, that is not freedom.) I also like that I can do more useful things than others owning the same device. Jailbreaking is a way to express creativity.
9. Q: Is there is one thing we can do to help the public image of jailbreaking what do you think that is?
The public image of jailbreaking is formed by the high piracy rate. piracy is almost impossible to stop, especially in the jailbreak scene. The only way to help the public image is to show the good sides and the advantages of jailbreaking.
10. Q: How does jailbreaking effect your daily life?
I have another hobby, which is developing. without jailbreaking I wouldn’t be as good as I am now in programming, managing a project, speaking english. I wouldn’t be good in logical thinking. of course those things are because I program alot. however if there was no jailbreak I wouldn’t code that much. I sometimes do “legit” programs as well, but I feel limited somehow :)
Jailbreak often doesn’t affect me daily, but looking back at the years in which I’ve been jailbroken, I can say it affected me a lot in a positive way.
He is really fleshing out AppHeads with updates including bug fixes and updates:
— Janosch Hübner (@sharedRoutine) November 27, 2014
With all that being said, I’ll leave you guys with a few more screenshots:
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!