When Apple unveiled their multitasking bar in iOS 4.0, they were fairly late to the party. As with multiple features, the jailbreak scene had already had multitasking apps like Backgrounder out for a while. Although it was belated, a lot of people really took a liking to Apple’s new multitasking support.

Then there are people like me, who are constantly searching for a better alternative for switching between applications. Sure, there are apps like Stacks and Dock that make multitasking easier, but is there anything else available?

Enter Physwitch, the Cydia tweak that allows you to cycle through your current open applications with your volume up and down keys. Typically I am a fan of mapping functions to physical buttons, so I was excited to try this particular extension out.

Once again, it has the typical tweak characteristics. There is no home screen icon, and there actually isn’t even a separate Settings tab for it. Once downloaded from Cydia, you can pop into your Settings, and under the Activator tab, select the Anywhere option.

Once there, just scroll through and select the option that you want to use to activate Physwitch. The default setting is that pressing both volume buttons at the same time will activate the multitasking tweak, but you can certainly change it. Maybe folks with large thumbs might find the dual-volume-button-press convenient, but I didn’t.

You’ll certainly have to play with Activator and find the best way for you to trigger Physwitch, but outside of that, the tweak is clean cut. Your different apps show up as large screen shots. You can scroll through them by flicking up or down, or using the volume buttons. Bouncing in and of apps is fairly smooth, and I haven’t noticed any stability issues yet.

Still on the fence? Check out this video demonstration of Physwitch in action:

If you haven’t had the chance to try it out, Physwitch is available from the BigBoss repo in Cydia (Icy doesn’t have a payment method yet). The download will cost you $1.99, but considering all the different ways you can initiate the tweak, it might be worth the money.

Have you tried Physwitch? Which app do you use for multitasking?

  • mripod64

    Gonna try it for sure!

  • Eric

    Neat but worthless. At least apple’s way there are 4 (or more if jailbroken) to pick from before you have to swipe. This you’re swiping if you want to go back 2 apps ago. Worthless time wasting. Nice parlor trick though.

  • Ant1Soc1al

    Quote…”Bouncing in and of apps is fairly smooth,”…did I miss something there?…”in and of___”?

  • Manuel

    Might use this but not with the volume buttons since I use those for my ipod app to switch back and forth through sounds and to turn on the ipod app itself. Might see if there’s another option though.

  • Ant1Soc1al

    OK. So after I made my first comment, I went back and watched the video. Uhmmm…so basically it is like Multiflow card style. I personally dig Multiflow. I have it set to my default double tap home button, BECAUSE IOS MULTITASK BAR SUXXX. Sorry, I had to get that out 😛

    One thing that I don’t quite grasp, might be just me, is that you have to physically page through alllll of your apps that are open to get to the one you want to be in. Multiflow does this too, though without always jamming on your volume rocker.

    So let’s say that you jam on the rockers to cycle from Safari to Maps. You have about 7 or 8 apps open. As it turns out, Safari was like the third app that you had opened. So you scroll up to “quickly” switch to the Maps app, and find that you went all the way to the last app…and it wasn’t there…S*#!

    So unless it is set up like a wheel, I didn’t see that in the video, you need scroll down “quickly,” MOVE YOUR ASS, now your making up for lost time, back in the other direction. (Which is the way that I would have gone the first time, 0.o just a little FYI) to locate, ironically, Maps. Doh!!!

    By the time that you’ve done this you could have even ,dare I say, used Apple’s crappie multitask system to get there “quicker”.

    Where as with Multiflow, that is why I prefer the Expose style. It gives you screenshots of all of your open apps, which are shown up to nine at a time, all ripe for your picking.You also have the option to adjust the order of them so if memory gets low, it’ll kill the least preferred app.

    One last question to ponder. Your going through Physwitch realizing that you now have a bunch of useless crap open. So what do you do after you have just scrolled through all of that crap? Why of course then you go to the multitasking bar and pick through the crap that you just cycled through and close half of it…Really…WTF?

    That’s why I will stick with Multiflow, cause all of these features are built into one app. And your backgrounded apps already start out in edit mode with nice little X’s perched atop the corners, like birds of prey, ready to devour the eyes of any of the Memory Hogging Militants that wage war against your RAM. I stand before you all this day and vow that we will never have to sacrifice another “RAM”. The Tyrany stops here before you this day, are you going to stand up and fight the “System”, Or will you crawl away with your tail between your legs like beaten down dogs to eat your own vomit.

    The choice is yours.

    Stand up and act like you have a Backbone.

    • Fapp_le

      Wow bro. Sebastian needs to give you a job. LOL. I just don’t see the point in wasting $2 on a tweak like that.

      • Manuel


        I’m sure there is a crack already out for this.

    • Ant1Soc1al

      Oh…I just saw the tabs in edit mode. Still don’t take back any of what i said..

      Thanks man. Seriously doubt I could get a job with these guys.

  • XepptizZ

    Why the hell would i want to exchange swiping for physical buttons? Swiping feels way more natural and smoother.

    • Ant1Soc1al

      So someone could be $2 richer. Duh

  • phono

    I try to reduce using the hardware button as much as I can because it might subject to wear and tear. I would recommend multiflow – which gives you an expose-like way to switch apps

  • Topsy

    Another get rich scheme.

  • Gorgonphone


  • But how to change it to Volume control ?