Velox Reinvents How You Use iPhone Apps From The Home Screen [Jailbreak]

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What if you could do more with the app icons on your iPhone?

Velox is a highly anticipated jailbreak tweak that arrived in Cydia over the weekend. It has been a long time coming, and it’s finally here. This is one of the most original and well done jailbreak tweaks I’ve seen in quite awhile. Your iOS app icons will never be the same, and it has the potential to change the way you use your jailbroken iPhone.

With Velox, you can access apps and view their notifications without actually opening them from the Home screen. Swiping on just about any app icon reveals a drop-down panel that’s similar to the stock folder animation. From the panel, notifications can be viewed, replied to, and dismissed. This works on any iOS app that is capable of interacting with Notification Center. It’s a cool idea that has never really been implemented in a jailbreak tweak before.

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The real power of Velox lies in the options that are baked into Apple’s native iPhone apps. For instance, swiping on the Messages icon lets you tap to compose a new message and reply to unread messages without entering the app itself. Invoking Mail will show you all of your unread emails on the Home screen. Swipe left on each email to dismiss, and swipe right to quickly reply. The tap to compose option is also available.

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Apple’s Photos and Camera apps work really well with Velox. Swiping on the Camera icon lets you quickly take a picture, and swiping the Photos icon reveals options to post the most recent pic to Twitter, Facebook, email, or Messages. Taking a picture and then sending it off to Twitter has never been faster.

The Phone app shows missed calls and the ability to text or call each person back. You can quickly take a note from the Home screen with the Notes app. Calendar displays all upcoming events. Weather shows a shrunken view of the app as if it was its own folder. Swiping on the Safari icon lets you browse the web inside the drop-down panel.

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A nice mini-player appears when you swipe on the Music app’s icon. The Settings icon gives you instant access to some frequently used system toggles, like WiFi and Bluetooth. If an app is in the process of downloading to your iPhone, swipe across the icon to see its progress as a percentage.

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My only gripe with Velox is that the Facebook and Twitter apps only show ugly web views, not more native-looking panels. I’d like to be able to browse my Facebook notifications without logging into my account in Safari.

Velox plays nicely with most of the other popular jailbreak tweaks, like Auxo, Zephyr, Abstergo, Infinifolders, biteSMS, and Springtomize. To get it working properly with FolderEnhancer, make sure to disable the “Enhance Special Folders” toggle under the “Experimental” tab in FolderEnhancer’s preferences. Velox is for the iPhone and iPod touch only. iPad support will be coming in a later update.

I really like Velox. I was skeptical at first, but I think this tweak has a lot of potential, especially if other jailbreak developers start creating extensions for other apps. Velox costs $2 in Cydia.

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About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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