Update: There is now an official Jailbreak released by the Pangu team!
Apple released iOS 8 yesterday and the brand new iPhone 6 & 6 Plus tomorrow, adding essential new features onto Apple smartphones which users were once deprived of. Among recent years, many fans of the iPhone community have found a diminished need to download and install a jailbreak so that they can run Cydia apps on their devices. Now, Apple have practically added many of the essential tweaks which once made many iPhone users value the choice of jailbreaking – however I’m still unsatisfied until I’m able to successfully jailbreak iOS 8!
Where’s my Hipjot / Nintype keyboard?
‘Hip-what?’ you might be asking, I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t heard of it, but many members of the jailbreak or Android community might be aware of this brilliant custom keyboard which honestly overcomes any other smartphone keyboard I’ve used!
So iOS 8 now has the functionality to support custom third-party keyboard; quite frankly it was a slow process, but a fantastic decision on Apples behalf. Many smartphone keyboards have already been created or ported onto the updated operating system (such as Fleksy, Text Expander, Popkey, Minimum SwiftKey, Swype and more), yet none of them truly can compete to the standard and usability in which the Nin keyboard works as.
Swiping keyboards have existed on smartphones (particularly on Android running phones) for a while, even now we have ‘SwiftKey’ and ‘Swype’, yet the Nin swiping keyboard outdoes the other competitors by a beautiful & customisable interface, a pleasant typewriter keyboard sound and easier functionality.
The Youtube video above is based on an earlier beta copy. Whilst the tweak still is in beta, it’s practically flawless now. No longer is it buggy, not working in some areas or even draining battery – now it works in a way that you couldn’t imagine using any other keyboard as your base keyboard! They swiping gestures on your fingers feels completely more fluid compared to using something such as ‘Swype’ or ‘SwiftKey’, the keyboard itself allows multiple fingers sliding so that you can type words quicker with two hands rather than just one and the optional customisable animations add a whole depth of usability to the keyboard.
The only reason why it isn’t coming to iOS 8 is due to restrictions Apple have implemented with third-party keyboards, most of which conflict with what Nintype requires in order to work on iOS 8. The developer promises to attempt to find a work around once his iPhone 6 order arrives, but as for now it’s safe to assume that the keyboard won’t be making its way to Apples newest phone OS.
I’m awaiting for my iPhone 6 pre-order to arrive in the next two weeks, but as for now I refuse to upgrade my iPhone 5S with iOS 8 primarily for the lack of the Nintype keyboard!
According to the developer, there’s been some progress with the funcionality of Nintype, he’s finally made OpenGL compatible with his keyboard and says “I’ll probably still have to spend 5-6 days optimizing memory further”, so there might be a chance that this point becomes irrelevant and Nintype could be arriving to iOS 8 devices!
The keyboard is in actual development and is currently being tested by selected beta users. The official release is expected soon!
Apex and other small customisability options.
When ‘Apex 2’ was released for iOS 7 on Cydia, I became absolutely excited with the possibilities. I personally use Apex as a replacement for folders in general. The ease of sliding your finger on an app in the homescreen, only to reveal hidden related apps which you’re grouped together, could have perhaps been the best jailbreak idea I’ve used. It’s a little tweak; I wouldn’t start throwing a tantrum had it been taken away from me, but I certainly would miss the option of using it. There’s so many tiny details which I’ve managed to add with the use of jailbreaking so that I could enjoy my overall experience with my phone.
Lock, Unlock, Lock, Unlock – it becomes a bit tedious having to press a physical button to wake up your device, only to later lock your device with the sleep button, which eventually becomes a repetitive chore to use. Activator came to my rescue as now I’ve set a gesture of sliding my finger from left to right on the status bar which locks my device – speeding up my overall time of usage on my phone. Once again, it’s a slightly little detail which I enjoy using. However considering that I’m soon to be using a iPhone 6 anyway, I doubt that stretching my thumb outwards to reach the status bar to slide would’ve been that efficient anyway.
Other small tweaks range from extra functionalities in Instagram, locking my apps with Touch ID (some apps will integrate this themselves), JellyLock 7 and more – all of which causing me to desire an immediate jailbreak for iOS 8! Of course, it’s not that simple for this to happen immediately, but I must admit my greed is getting the better hand of me.
The later possibilities.
Apple adapted iOS 8 following a few jailbreak related tweaks and a few Android features too – a company without an opposing market is bound to find it difficult to change and remain intuitive. I’ve always adored iOS for it’s simple functionality, no matter how restrictive it can be compared to other OS’s, however it’s made a massive leap from the original iOS release to what it’s become now – and that’s all due to competition and rivalry.
If the inevitable iOS 9 is to ever improve upon the foundation which Apple has built, it must look to inspiration of other ideas at first, before upgrading themselves. That’s why I justify the existence of Cydia is fundamental in order for the smartphone market to survive.
Currently, I’m only thinking in a limited capacity. I imagine future tweaks such as unlocking horizontal mode (which is exclusive to the 6 Plus) onto the iPhone 6! There are already existing tweaks which do so, yet I’d preferably want one which would add the same extra content which would appear on-screen on the iPhone 6 Plus onto the iPhone 6 (the screen for the iPhone 6 is big enough to display them, right?).
But forget about what I imagine, the jailbreaking community is so diverse and full of geniuses, that already sense that they could add a whole new range of tweaks on iOS 8.
Anyone who’s anticipating the next jailbreak as much as me needn’t worry. The PanguTeam who’s recently released the Pangu jailbreak for iOS 7.1 has posted on Weibo “For iOS 8, we are already on the way…”, however the amount of time that will take is uncertain for now. But still, we can grasp onto this glimmer of hope that one day we’ll be running iOS 8 on a jailbroken device!