Back from the days when I used Android, one feature that came is pretty handy was the ability to map various lockscreen gestures with certain actions of applications, thus providing a real quick access method to the user (I’m talking about CyanogenMod here, specifically). Over the past few years, several attempts have been made to bring such a gesture-based system to iOS as well, albeit none very successful until now. Developer Akhil Tolani has introduced a new Cydia lockscreen app on the Cydia jailbreak store that allows users to perform various actions on their iOS devices right from the lockscreen, all using gestures. More on this after the break.
Christened LockGestures, this commercial Cydia lockscreen app is available under BigBoss repository for a mere dollar. Since it’s being distributed through Cydia, you can well imagine that the tweak is ‘jailbreak-only’, and should work on all iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later.
Once installed, LockGestures will enable certain gestures like single tap, double tap, double tap with two fingers, swipe up, down, left and right, and various others, on your lockscreen. These gestures, in turn, can be mapped with various actions like next track, previous track, increase or decrease screen brightness, quick launching an application, making a quick call and several others. All these actions are configurable through a new entry placed in the Extensions section of iOS’ native Settings app.
Configuring LockGestures is pretty simple and easy, thanks to a well-defined entry for each gesture supported. The tweak even features pinch gestures – much like browsing a web page – for association with any action you deem fit. This tweak definitely makes operating the device easier, and would even reduce some burden from the almost-essential jailbreak tweak, SBSettings. On a personal note, I found the ability to change brightness right from the lockscreen highly useful; and could only be done using this Cydia lockscreen app.
The developer of the lockscreen app provided a list of what could possibly be an ideal combination, which can be found at the end of LockGestures’ settings page. Suggestions include triple tap for Power Options, swipe up for higher brightness, swipe right for next song, etc. Check out the full list in screenshot below.
I must say, ‘slide to unlock’ has become rather boring and Pinch Unlock is a really cool idea!
Let’s examine the security front now, since LockGestures provides interaction with system applications right from the lockscreen. Thankfully, there is no option to bypass a passcode lock, so if you perform a gesture that is supposed to launch an app, for instance, you’ll have to enter the passcode. However, instead of facing the Springboard, you’ll be taken directly to the desired application, if that’s some consolation.
Lastly, screen real estate for gestures is also something the developer has taken care of, keeping in mind that people might be using other Cydia lockscreen tweaks. For one, any free space on the lockscreen can be used to perform gestures, but if you’re using something like LockInfo which takes up all your real estate, then the clock area is always open to gesture detection.
All in all, using a Cydia lockscreen app like LockGestures is a great step towards making your cherished iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad even more friendly and easy-to-handle. Assuming that better gesture control is coming in iOS 5, this tweak can be a good preview of how that would feel like, and trust me when I say it, it feels good. Try it out, and let us know through your comments if you found it as useful as we did.
What are you favourite Cydia lockscreen apps? Have you got another way to tweak your lockscreen? Tell us!