If your jailbroken as I am you’ll know the many pitfalls that can come with it. Sure its GREAT to have a device freed from Apple’s proverbial prison. As awesome as it can be to have a themed device or special tweak installed that takes Apple’s software further, often times fixing a problem they thought they solved, it can also introduce bugs or lag; of which can be infuriating. The subject of this piece, as to why I would want to leave such a customized world far behind, begs for serious contemplation. While I love the software and hardware Apple designed at it’s core I don’t like the fact that other than changing the wallpaper and adding a case my device will look exactly like other stock iPhones around it. Some tweaks, like Controlers4All, I almost feel as if I can’t live without. Yes Apple has built in MFi controller support but that means I have to go out and spend another $100+. Why do that when I have a Wii U Pro controller already that I can use with the help of Controlers4All? Also why spend so much money when not a lot of games support MFi Controllers?
With all the wonderful things jailbreaking brings it also brings bugs. For the last few days as of this post I can look down at my device and see it in safe mode with crashreporter stating “there are no suspects”. Yes I could disable each tweak one by one using iCleaner or uninstall one by one but look at the hassle that comes along with that. Five tweaks removed just to find out it was the sixth one on the list just to have to reinstall those tweaks. Another thing is paid tweaks. The price of the average tweak isn’t really that bad but why pay for a tweak just for another iOS update to be released and if that version is jailbreakable said tweak may not get updated to add support. As any jailbreaker knows there have been many paid tweaks released never to be updated past version 1. Many, many themes don’t get updated for months after a new iOS release if at all, many of which are also paid themes. I understand that jailbreak devs develop tweaks in their spare time and charge to supplement their income for things like college expenses but why as a consumer would I want to pay for a tweak that may not make it to the newest, jailbreakable version iOS. That’s like going to a restaurant paying for the food just to take it home and immediately throw it away without eating a bite.
With iOS 9 right around the corner it is said that it may not be jailbreakable, or “rootless” leaving many to decide to stay on an older iOS just for the customization or upgrade for the latest features and security fixes. With every update Apple tries to give valid reason to not jailbreak, and block it, but there’s always room for improvement. Yes device customization in the way of themes is great and all but is it enough to stay on an older iOS? I myself am tired of the crashes with no explicable reason. What’s your thoughts?
Pictured above is an iPhone 5c running a jailbroken version of iOS 7.1.1 tweeted by @i0n1c. He also recently posted a youtube video demonstrating a jailbroken iPhone 4 with iOS 7.1.1. Will Sunday truly be funday? Possibly not as @i0nic is well known for doing such things purely for attention or profit. But only time will tell. Stay tuned to this blog for further updates. Below is the demonstration video.
Available for iOS and “coming soon” to Android is “Monument Valley” by USTWO Games for $3.99. Featuring geometric and colorful art “Monument Valley” is a must play game. The only downsides are that the game only has 10 levels and is very easy to beat. I beat this game in an hour so charging almost $4 for this game seems kind of outrageous considering similar games can cost much less and have more levels. But currently the game sits at number 1 in the AppStore so they’re doing something right!
Created by Elijah Frederickson and available on his repo cydia.abovezero.com is Appellancy. The Tweak is exactly the same solution for facial recognition as RecogniseMe was, but supports iOS 7. Here’s More info from his reddit page:
Appellancy is a next-generation face recognition tweak for your device that supports all iPhones, iPods, and iPads running iOS 7. It is nearly flawless in its recognition . It integrates into the native look and feel of iOS 7 so well that you’ll wonder why Apple didn’t create it.
Currently Appellancy supports facial recognition to unlock your device. See down lower for incorporating into other tweaks and stuff.
It has an app icon on the homescreen for registering and testing faces, and a settings page to configure options. No icons yet, however; I have no designing skills :P.
Some (most?) of you may think that Facial Recognition is inherently insecure (or dangerous).
Yes, it is somewhat inherently insecure. A picture could dupe it. Or a look-alike. Or a random glitch. Or whatever. However, what makes Appellancy so much more secure is that it, by default, includes a database entry of random faces (don’t worry, none of those random faces are people that would actually use Appellancy – it’s mostly celebs/dead people/etc) to populate a deny entry. This causes Appellancy to deny (nearly) any face except yours.
In my highly unscientific tests of scanning faces off Google images to see if it matched, only one or two of at least fifty were accepted. By enhancing this database and the facial recognition methods in the future it will become even more secure.
Currently if you add ~50 or more faces it begins to lag on startup due to the training of the recognizer. I’m looking into saving/loading the recognizer data/state or something to drastically speed it up.
Appellancy features an incredibly simple API for use in other projects.
Appellancy was designed to be used system-wide. It features an incredibly simple API for other tweaks to use. I hope to someday see it integrated into tweaks such as BioLockdown, BioProtect, iTouchSecure, AppLockWhatever, etc. I have yet to put up the documentation and sample project though. That will be done by release.
This beta expires on April 1, 2014. At which point, it will either be submitted to a default repo (probably for $1.99 unless you guys think it should be less) or a new beta will be released if it isn’t yet ready.
If a designer would like to create an icon set (for the application, settings page, and a Flipswitch toggle) that would be great, and I am willing to compensate them for their work. The same goes for a web designer to help create a beautiful web site/page for Appellancy.
I also have plans to create an advertisement video/screenshots for Appellancy by release time.
Official (currently crappy and thrown together) website and some other beta information: cydia.abovezero.org
If people would like to use/test it, please do. BUT, please report any bugs you encounter, enhancements you’d like to see, etc.
 – like I said previously, there are some bugs and whatnot. Different lighting scenarios will mess it up too. Edit: Beards seem to work fine! glasses do too.
For those of you old enough to remember the Sega Dreamcast, which launched to mediocrity in the U.S. on 9/9/99, there was a widely popular game “Crazy Taxi” (available free as of this post on the AppStore). Coming soon from the same creators is “Crazy Taxi: City Rush”. Players rush about picking up passengers and whisking them off to their destinations collecting coins and increasing their score by doing various tricks along the way.