Velox 2 is being developed by Philip Tennen and it will be available on the BigBoss repo for $1.99. Steve Portas, the designer of the first Velox approached Phil out of the blue and asked if he would like to develop a second iteration. Phil had actually thought about how cool it would be if someone made a new one so he happily obliged. The original tweak came out on the tail end of the iOS 6 days, around when iOS 7 was going to drop. This among other things including a lack of support and updates contributed to a bad reputation leading to a lot of people being let down, thinking it wasn’t worth their money. Phil talks about this and more on an episode of JailCast, he responds to peoples concerns with “I would hope people can look to my track record of tweaks and the support thereof” and “I don’t look at it as me picking up a legacy of a failed tweak as much as inheriting an idea that lets you interact with your phone in a whole new way.” His track record speaks for itself, with tweaks like Acute, Hermes and Roomy and great customer service, we should be able to expect Velox 2 to surpass it’s spiritual predecessor.
If you already don’t know what Velox does, it simply allows you to assign a gesture to icons on your SpringBoard that opens a little widget-like view of that app. A great example is the Settings app — when you perform your gesture it opens a little view that lets you Reboot, Respring and Lock your device. In the old version there were more toggles and a brightness slider as well. If there is enough interest I’m sure Philip could add it to be more like the old one, if not someone else could as Velox is entirely plug-in based. Meaning, it simply reads a folder with a specific set of files in it, and then displays the view based on whats there. Developers can make their own plug-ins for their apps if they so choose, and this is where it can get exciting! A few developers have already jumped on board: CokePokes is helping make a Snapchat view and stated that he would make one for Transcynd.
Here are their teaser tweets about it!
— Compatic Arts (@compaticarts) December 9, 2014
Do I make SpringBoard tweaks?!? Shhh pic.twitter.com/KRf2Aciu64
— CokePokes (@CokePokes) February 21, 2015
Another great example of an incredibly useful view is for Safari. It defaults to Google so you can easily search without opening the app. While you can browse other sites as well, it’s best for a quick search and then moving on. This is indeed a whole new way to use your phone, it enables you to use features that weren’t necessarily designed with this use-case in mind in faster and more efficient ways. One thing that I think would be really cool that he could add to this particular view is to display the favorite bookmarks like the new tab page in the regular Safari app view. This would enable users to very quickly perform a gesture and then tap on the site of their choice to quickly grab a piece of information or update on some news.
Another thing that might be cool is the ability to adjust the view by dragging up from the URL bar so you can see just a bit more of the content on the webpage. I am unsure how difficult this would be to code, or how many other people would want it, but the view is just a little too small for my liking, even though it is still completely usable.
The Weather and Maps views are very nice and pretty useful for a quick glance at the weather or your immediate surroundings. With Weather you get a little four day forecast and the high and low as well as a large current temperature, which can be set to Fahrenheit or Celsius in Velox’s settings. The Maps view would be greatly improved if you could also search and select from favorite places but it’s still pretty neat to be able to scroll and zoom around the map from your home screen.
The Music view is one of my personal favorites because it’s designed with a minimalist aesthetic in mind. There are no buttons or controls obviously displayed, but they are there just beneath the surface with gestures. You can swipe the current playing song to the left to skip the song, tap to pause and swipe right to go back, after a few swipes and taps it feels very natural. The progress indicator creeps along the bottom with the elapsed time so you can see where you are in the track, which is really neat! One thing it’s missing is a volume bar, which would be really nice and fit right in at the top of the view where there is a bit of empty space. Another potential thing he could add that users might like is the ability to toggle between the minimalist controls and a more traditional type of music widget for all the conservative jailbreakers in the community.
iTunes Radio would be the next logical thing to add, which would really make this view super cool. Even access to the stations you’ve already created would be incredibly slick, as well as the voting options.
The only other thing I can think of is adding in the ability to search for a song or album and browse through them, currently you can just tap on the view and it will start playing something. You can also just go into the Music app and pick something to play then control the music after closing it from the view.
Notes are a no brainer, it’s one of the more useful views that I have seen so far. As someone who uses the Notes app a lot, I find myself needing to quickly jot something down and get on about what I’m doing. To be able to double tap on the icon, then tap the view and start writing is very nice. My one suggestion would be to have the keyboard come up when the view is opened, making it that much faster to create a note.
The settings view is by far my most used, it has almost completely replaced my previous method of re-springing since it only takes a few taps as well. Again the only thing I would add would be the ability to take a tap out; when you press reboot or respring it will prompt you for a confirmation which is a bit slower. Adding a toggle so users could turn that off would speed things up, but it’s nothing major and it’s still an awesome way to respring and reboot. Like I mentioned earlier, it would be great if he could add some toggles and a brightness slider which would almost replace the need for the control center.
There is one last thing that I can hint at that will be included when Velox is released. I won’t say it outright just for fun but it has to do with the messages app. What would a good view for that be? Hint, there aren’t many tweaks that do this in iOS 8 yet…
I could keep going with a bunch more screenshots and descriptions about what they do but it would make this post unreadable so I’ll leave an Imgur album with the rest of them here:
Velox 2 definitely has a negative reputation to overcome and a few other hurdles to ensure it’s success in a community with a long memory such as the jailbreak community has. Philip has proven to be a great up-and-coming developer and hasn’t let anyone down yet so the prospects look good. There is no set release date for Velox 2 as he wants to make it bug free for release day. The hype for Velox was so much that it actually inspired a little extortion drama that played out over a few days. Basically, someone claiming they had the .deb file was trying to get money out of Phil in order to not leak it to a pirate repo. Stay tuned for a post detailing the drama that ended up being pretty interesting toward the end.
Thanks for reading!