Cult of Mac Favorite: MobileStacks Is the Best Reason To Jailbreak. Period.



I really like Stacks on my Mac. Stacks makes it fast and easy to find files, folders and apps right from the Dock. It makes managing a Mac pretty slick with all sorts of little UI tricks. That’s why I recently gave MobileStack a go on my jailbroken iPhone.

I must say that it lives up to the challenge of making an interface that is intuitive and user friendly enough for the small iPhone screen. In fact, it’s definitely the best excuse to jailbreak.

What is it: MobileStacks is an application for the jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch that makes it easier to arrange and access applications on the iPhone. There are four stacks. Think of each as a virtual container, where you put a ‘shortcut’ to your favorite application, making it easily accessible. Opening a stack displays all the applications either in a ‘pile’ or a grid view depending on the number of applications. It’s just like Stacks in OS X, except on the iPhone.

Stacks, built into the OS X Leopard and OS X Snow Leopard allows you to place applications, files and folders in a virtual box. It displays all of them in a pile for you to access any of these directly from the Dock. You can even navigate inside folders from within a stack.

Why it’s good: MobileStacks has almost everything to make it a fully functional version of Stacks for the iPhone. Placing any application ‘shortcut’ in a stack is very simple. Just drag and drop an application inside the stack icon. You can remove it later by simply dragging the application icon outside the stack.

You can organize stacks in two different views, grid or pile. Grid view is automatically activated if you have more than five applications in a single stack. You can scroll inside the stack, when in grid view, if there are a lot of applications in that particular stack. It is even possible to add a custom background for the grid view, if you don’t like the plain grey-ish one.

The stack application itself is easily movable, just like any other iPhone application, and can be placed anywhere on the screen. You can even customize the icon to make it look like applications are stacked over each other or as a single icon, which you can further change with themes. Renaming the icon or hiding it’s label is also possible.

All of this done in a neat and speedy manner, with no visible flaws or slowdowns.

What’s missing: MobileStacks is pretty neat if you want to arrange applications by category with no further organization inside the stack itself. Currently, the position of an application is decided by the order in which you add it to the stack. If you have over 30 applications in the same stack, navigation inside can be a mess. The app needs to have an option to arrange the applications inside by their name or manually.

Where to get it: It’s neither available in Cydia nor AppStore but you can install it manually. Simply head to the application’s page and make a donation of any amount more than a dollar. You will then receive an e-mail guiding how to install it.