Velox makes a great case for widget-like icons, and a great alternative to Notification Center on iOS. I only end up using Velox a couple of times a day, but every time I use it with the right app it feels very much a part of the operating system.
By default, swiping up or down on an app icon will activate a notification folder or widget. Messages, Mail, and many third-party apps launch a set of notifications. Depending on what is applicable, each notification can be replied to or cleared individually or en masse. In certain cases, these notification drawers can draw on data already within an app. Calendar, for example, shows a long list of appointments, sorted by date. It’s perfect for when you want to know what your next few meetings are. Unfortunately, this same treatment doesn’t work nearly as well for Reminders. The laundry list of tasks confuses me, and it’s not sorted by date like it’s supposed to be.
Velox’s other big trick is that it turns certain app icons into widget launchers. Photos launches a dialogue folders for sharing your most recent photo, Settings launches an SBSettings-like folder with toggles for various radios, and Music brings up a great little pop-up player, complete with album art and scrubber. Other implementations aren’t quite so great. Maps could be extremely useful, but it simply shows me that I’m in Toronto…not where I am in Toronto (I have to zoom in several times for that level of detail). Tweetbot, YouTube, and Facebook just launch mobile version of their respective websites, which I never use.
Velox includes an API so that other developers can make Velox plugins and release them on Cydia. I’d love to see integration with apps like Rocket Man (to tell me when the next bus is) and Things (for quick task creation). The good news is that Velox has only been out for a few days, and yet there are already a handful of plugins for it, so I’m hopeful for the future of this tweak.
I’ve also found Velox to be quite stable so far, with zero Springboard crashes. I initially had a bit of trouble with the camera widget not saving photos properly, but one of the recent dot updates fixed all of my issues. At $2, I can heartily recommend Velox to fellow jailbreakers. This 1.x release is already totally usable, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what future updates and plugins will do to Velox.
TAGS: jailbreak tweak