Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zephyr – the ultimate gesture based multitasking for your jailbroken iPhone

I had known about this Jailbreak tweak for a while but the price of it held me back. It is US$4.99 in the Cydia store (BigBoss repository). But I finally gave in and bought it.

Double clicking the Home Button to activate the app switcher is sometimes a pain. By default, you have to press the Home Button twice to activate the app switcher but the OS does not always register it as two button presses. More often than not, it would regard it as a single press and you are taken back to the Home Screen. 

Further, the phone responds to the double presses slowly. At least, it is too slow for me. Maybe not for the average Joe though. I am very sensitive to the slightest delays BTW. Zephyr fixes both these problems.
Here’s a small video showing it in action.

The main thing it does is, pulling up app switcher when you swipe from the bottom of the screen. You can set what it should do when you swipe it from bottom. You can
  • simply close the app and go to the Home Screen or
  • you can just pop up then app switcher or
  • you can do both. (you would just swipe from bottom and if you hold it midway, the app switcher would pop up.) It does sound a bit complicated, but once you get used to it, it is pretty easy. I can go without a single Home Button press in an entire session.
However you will have to customize it to fit your usage model. For example, it also supports multitasking by swiping your screen from left or right when you are in an app, just like you move from one page to another by swiping the Home Screen left or right (actually you have to swipe FROM left or right in this case). But I didn't like it that feature that much. I can do with just the app switcher.

Access to the Zephyr Settings
IMG_0803

Setting for swiping from left and right
IMG_0804

Setting for swiping from bottom (this is the most important thing)
IMG_0805

You can keep the same behavior in the Notification Center too.
But I don’t need it there, so I disabled it.
IMG_0806

One of the latest additions is the “grabber” feature. So instead of doing what it is supposed to do when you swipe from bottom or sides straightaway, it will show a little thing you then have to grab and pull to do what you originally intended to do. It makes things slower, but if there is any application that does not particularly like Zephyr's default behavior, this might fix it. But I prefer the quick way.

Other features mean exactly what it says. Nothing too shady there.

So this become the most expensive app I have bought for the iPhone. Funny thing though is that it is a Jailbreak app.
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