ActiveDock brings an OS X inspired dock to iOS

By , Feb 21, 2013

ActiveDock

When you hear about an upcoming tweak collaboration between jailbreak community staples like Filippo Bigarella and Surenix, then the tweak is pretty much destined to be good. Unsurprisingly, that is the case for the upcoming ActiveDock, a jailbreak tweak that brings an OS X styled dock to the small screen.

We’ve gone hands-on with ActiveDock and put it through its paces. Needless to say, we came away impressed. Check out our video walkthrough inside.

ActiveDock is a tweak that focuses primarily on enhancing the look of the iOS dock. Considering that Surenix is an accomplished graphics designer credited on projects like Springtomize 2, Evasi0n, and Ayecon, it’s not exactly surprising that the tweak makes the iOS dock look so close to its desktop counterpart.

While not surprising, it is a bit startling when you consider how much detail has been put into ActiveDock. You’ll notice subtleties like light indicators, which tell when a particular app in your dock is running, and blurred reflections, which mimic OS X to a tee.

The real outstanding feature about the tweak’s design is that you pretty much don’t know it’s even there. If ActiveDock was installed on your iPhone unbeknownst to you, you’d probably never recognize that it was there. It blends in so well with stock iOS, and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. You can’t say that for a lot of the popular WinterBoard themes out there, but you can surely say so for ActiveDock. BTW, ActiveDock doesn’t require you to use WinterBoard, just in case you were wondering.

The coding mind behind ActiveDock is none other than the well-accomplished Filippo Bigarella. Bigarella is the same developer who created the recently release LivelyIcons, a fun little jailbreak tweak aimed at raising money for cancer research. His more ambitious tweaks, CleverPin, Springtomize 2, and PasswordPilot, have made many of our “must have” lists over the years, and all three appeared on our recent “perfect iPhone” post.

ActiveDock, while looking pretty, has a bit of functionality up its sleeve as well. Venturing into the Settings app, you’ll find a kill switch, and bounce settings for the apps in your dock. The bounce settings allow you to enable a bouncing app icon whenever an app is launched from the dock, or more usefully, whenever you receive a push notification for an app running in the dock.

ActiveDock Settings

Either of the bounce settings can be enabled or disabled independently of one another. ActiveDock contains an interval setting for the frequency of bounces too. These include Never, Constant, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1.5 minutes, and so on. I found the bounce indicators to be nice for the notifications, but as a personal preference, I wasn’t too found of the bounce on launch. That’s because the bounce on launch adds a bit of a delay to launching apps due to the bounce animation. Not a big deal, but it’s something to take note of.

While there’s currently no set in stone date for ActiveDock’s release, I will say that the tweak feels pretty much complete. Obviously, there’s room to add more options to ActiveDock’s feature set, but something tells me that the duo behind this tweak have a simple affair in mind. Upon release, ActiveDock will be available for $1.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

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  • http://twitter.com/Grolubao Grolubao

    Another great video by Jeff!

  • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

    Who else agrees that this new video format is just plain awesome?

    • http://www.facebook.com/soto619 David Soto

      What format is it? I’m on my android.

      • SKATE4FREE

        What Jeff is doing is record the screen and then blur it bigger to make a background. Before he used to film it with a camera.
        I’m personally ok with it, altough before it was nicer and more dynamic maybe this way how it’s easyer to do ha can do more content

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        No he just superimposed it lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/soto619 David Soto

        Man, I was all thinking is it html, flash, h. 264, or some sort of video format. Seb that’s a fucking video style dude.

      • leart za jmi

        Sushi

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.tilden.9 Jamie Tilden

      Jeff needs to showcase AssistantEnhancer! New, and amazing, Siri tweak!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000603361739 Osama Muhammed

      actually, no i dont, i think how he describes everything using his hand moves it kinda better

      • David Villamizar

        Also you get the full frame rate from the iPhone with the camera, using display recorder fps get a lot lower, anyway, the camera didn’t show too high fps before, so it’s not a big difference

    • EpicFacepalm

      Old style was better “in my opinion”. Though I don’t care much since this isn’t really near bad at all. If it is easier for him to make videos with this format, I’m OK with it.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        I do agree the old way was cooler with his hand movements that’s “classic Jeff” always showing how its done right he really should be running the blog not that Sebastian isn’t doing a great job, but Jeff is just excellent when it comes to showcasing its a wonder why none of the big outlets haven’t snatched him up yet I’d imagine he’d have a huge following?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamesheckiii James Heck III

      I much prefer the “old” format with the hand gestures and more realistic background.

    • Devam

      Please brin back your old video style.. Please!! I Hate this!!

    • JimGresham

      Maybe I’m biased because I’m on the team, but, Jeff has been killing it lately. I love the new format. Even though I’m a contributor, I look forward to Jeff’s articles and videos.

      Keep up the good work.

  • Christophe

    Can it work with overflow?

    • http://twitter.com/FilippoBiga Filippo Bigarella

      yes

      • http://twitter.com/seanzukin Mr. Pink

        could you possibly make the bounce intensity variable?

      • Christophe

        If so it will be a nice jailbreak tweak if we mix it with infinidock and overflow

  • http://twitter.com/h2hmw3 GoodApps

    Would be nice if it made all available apps on the springboard bounce around like that when a notification came in for it and not just the docked apps.. By the way.. The background makes the video look fun..

    • Surenix

      This is ActiveDock, not ActiveCircus :P

  • Aluka

    when i get old i will tell my grand grand son to not play with toys (iDevices)

    • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

      Good for you ..now piss off..troll..

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        As men we can all agree we love gadgets heck we love anything that is shiny lights up and makes cool sounds so this aluka character is either a female or an elderly man out of touch with technology either way they are in the wrong medium and they are indeed a troll lol!!!(ps there are women who share our techno love however they are indeed a minority among the female species)

  • asdlb4

    Hmmm…all the stuff that annoys me about the OSX dock now available on my iPhone…

    • David Villamizar

      I don’t like mountain lion’s dock, but the running lights are awesome.
      This + infinidock – mountain lion dock = awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/soto619 David Soto

    This is pretty sweet. Stock os and a6 chip is just a waste.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.tilden.9 Jamie Tilden

    Often digging the Grizzly Bear, now Carly Rae? Wtf?!

  • http://twitter.com/reynolmata Rey Mata

    Very nice. What if you have a folder in the dock? I also hope it’s compatible with Infinidock.

    • Surenix

      1. Folders won’t bounce, it’s too heavy
      2. Compatible with Infinifolders? Yes

  • http://twitter.com/tsevince Vincent Tse

    Compatability with inifinidock?

    • Surenix

      Yes.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        Now that’s a deal maker right there. I’ll be able to move all of my icons off of my front page and put the ones I use most in the dock with infinidock. Then move the ones I don’t use that much into one big folder using FolderEnhancer. This will give me a phone very similar to my Mac. Looking forward to it.

      • Surenix

        I like your creativity.

      • Om Soni

        Hi Surenix! I was just wondering if the tweak works with Springtomize 2′s CoverFlow effect?

      • Surenix

        Yes it does.

  • Jonathan

    love the blurry live background in the video :) Not sure about the tweak though, the dock background looks better and I like the bounce for notifications, but the bounce for launch and active indicators seem a little pointless.

  • Gerald Gaitan

    Cannot wait for this! Finally something to help the OSes feel unified. One small step closer. Shame it’s coming from jailbreak developers, where real creativity seems to start, and not Apple. Just saying

  • Bob

    Livelyicons already adds the jumping effect, so in actuality all this app does is add the blue lines under the dock lol.

    • Surenix

      LivelyIcon was a stylized way to launch an app and does it very well.

      ActiveDock makes your dock, well, an ActiveDock with lights, bouncing icons that screams “look at me, you have notifications and important missed calls/texts etc.”

  • https://twitter.com/#!/alexjdz Alex Diaz

    I’m not complaining or anything, but has anyone noticed that many new tweaks cost these a days?

    • http://twitter.com/SebastienPage Sebastien Page

      Yeah I’ve noticed that, but you know what? I don’t work for free and I don’t expect anyone to :)

      This being said, my iPhone jailbreak setup cost me less than $30. Well worth it if you ask me. I’ll pay anytime for a reliable tweak that will be updated rather than a free tweak that might not make it past iOS 7.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        Wow tense much ? Maybe decaf coffee there buddy it’s ok to say that tweaks are costing moola these days it’s just an observation he’s not saying anything about work or people not getting paid you shouldn’t come at your readers that hard practice restraint and use a tad amount of tact.

      • andrewgoldsmith

        How was his response tense? I interpreted it with a very friendly tone, there’s even a smile face :)

        The point about not working for free is just a point that many people don’t think about when they expect something to be free they often forget someone worked hard to make it and sometimes these people want to make it their living

      • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

        You clearly don’t know how coffee works. Caffeine gives you a mild euphoria, so you are less tense mentally. High amounts can even alter your perception to a slight degree. Physically, the muscles (usually mostly the jaw, neck and hands) can get tense and shake, but Taurine (very healthy, you even produce it your self, and would die without it), taurine lowers your cholesterol as well as removes shaking and tension in your muscles.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        Too much caffeine or coffee can leave you agitated tense nervous and even irritable and or grouchy.

      • Kurt

        its also addictive and some people use it (coffee) as a means to lose weight as it fills you up. then you get a sweet heart attack.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        Lol true true I like where this comment thread is going!

      • http://www.facebook.com/tha.tutsta Tha Tutsta

        Sorry but I did work for free theming and modding Symbian before iOS greed took over, I also. Put in more hours than you EVER will, we did this on the cusp of people realising there was money to be made in this game, back when I was the first person on the planet to post guides showing how to hack (the original word for jailbreak/open device security) we did it for glory not money, that’s why I’ll always pirate your apps

    • Surenix

      I agree with Sebastien and although there are quite a number of free and paid tweaks, I’ve also noticed that the paid tweaks are the ones that are actually “premium/good”.

      • David Villamizar

        Except by some simple great tweaks, like nownow, activator and swipeselection.

      • Surenix

        It all goes down the the person’s “situation”: Are they in need of some cash? Do they /want/ to make anything in return? How long did it take to make etc.?

        Also, don’t be deceived by how “simple this tweak looks”—the simplest things in life are the ones that take the most time. I’m sure Apple didn’t take a week to create the design of their products as we know today. Or did they?

      • David Villamizar

        They didn’t took a week because it is not simple, it looks simple. I meant simple as simple to make.

        I’m not decieved by it, the simpler the tweak, the better it is. What I find frustrating is how some developers like intelliborn give so little support over the time given the price of their tweaks. Maybe we end up paying more for the anti-piracy system than for the tweak itself, in this speciffic case.

      • iHamzaDev

        I agree with Sebastien and Surenix. I would rather pay for a paid tweak and have reliable support, as well as the chance for it to be updated to next iOS version, rather than a free tweak that posses the risk of my iDevice breaking down. Much like what Sebastien said, it cost me about $36 to have my setup, which I think is well worth it. Why not pay a few dollars to the developers who work hard to develop and maintain their tweaks and apps? I really hate it how some people have the mentality of jailbreaking to get pirated stuff. If you can’t spare even a dollar, you don’t deserve to jailbreak or install anything because you don’t realize the hardwork developers like us put into our stuff.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558812483 Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        Paying is ok. I spent some cash teaking my phone. I now its not the case but sometimes developers greedy with money and sell useless “updates” aka Intelliscreen

      • f1ght3r

        When is this tweak going to be released?

      • Surenix

        very soon

      • http://www.facebook.com/tha.tutsta Tha Tutsta

        And I disagree with you, all tweaks should be free I don’t care how many hours you have put in it won’t even come close to the hours I’ve put in for free, your greedy Nd you should be doing this for the glory not for money, don’t like it? Then go sell drugs or rob people for your money, iOS is not your property therefor you have no right to make money from it, your a thief and a criminal in my eyes, nice tweak tho obviously I stole it just like you steal the iOS platform dock code

      • http://www.facebook.com/tichenord Daren Tichenor Jr.

        By that standard, Aren’t iOS App Devs thieves too for selling apps on the App Store? That’s crazy. For some people, it’s not a hobby, but rather a career. Is it really so wrong for them to sell their product? YOU sir “Thu Tutsta” are the wrong. YOU are the thief, by your own admission. You call @Surenix a thief? You are a hypocrite. Some jailbreak tweaks have a cost, normally fairly reasonable, if you don’t like the price, then don’t buy it but that does not give you the right to steal somebody else’s work.

      • http://twitter.com/CovXX CovXX

        I’m not even going to try to fight with you on this, but you okay buddy? I think you need to take a “stop being a dick head” pill. Surenix isn’t greedy, neither is any developer, they put hard work and time. THEY MADE IT , they can do whatever they want with it. The only one whose a criminal is you, every here of pirating ? Well its illegal and you just did it Mr.Criminal

      • http://hbang.ws/ Adam D

        You’re a douchebag.

  • Immortal1s

    Just wandering: what lockscreen tweak are you using Jeff? It looks like ISX but there is no tab at the bottom to dismiss it… Lockinfo?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    Should not be 1.99…

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Cool can’t wait!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    I liked the old videos better

  • http://twitter.com/Mattoligy Matt Taylor

    A great tweak like this with great potential, and it’s limited to four apps in the dock! Really? It should definitely be combined with dock scrolling/paging functionality to open it up and on top of that, if the developers really want to bring the OSX dock to iOS they need to add running apps functionality to the dock! For example, any springboard app that is not in the dock but is running in the background or in a suspended state, should be added (as a shortcut) to the dock! Similar to how the switcher behaves with remove recents installed! For me this would completely replace the app switcher! I know you would not have the media controls but who here hasn’t used the Jukebox widget in the notification center!? It does everything the media controls bar does and more! Plus there are many free alternatives!

  • http://twitter.com/RECON1_ [RΞCØИ1]

    Jeff, why you listening to Call Me Maybe? Lol jk…

  • http://twitter.com/xUnicornxPornx Tender Vittles

    Am I the only one that doesn’t notice a difference at all?

    • Surenix

      Then in a way, ActiveDock is doing it right.

      • http://twitter.com/xUnicornxPornx Tender Vittles

        lol. Then I guess good sir, you are in a way, correct. But what is the point of getting a tweak if it changes nothing for you?

  • http://wpleet.com WordPress Elite

    I don’t understand the features, the only thing i understand is the bouncing icon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidfabian David Fabian

    Active Dock would be more useful if it served as a switcher companion where as apps are opened, they cycle through the dock. This would fundamentally change the dock concept from the current static icon mode, but it could be handy for some users.

    • Surenix

      Maybe someone will make an ActiveSwitcher?

  • digitalusmax

    I kinda think it bounces too high & moves a little too quick. The Mac dock bounce is a lot more controlled. Perhaps not so hyperactive. :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      my iphone 5 is so fast there is no time to watch the bounce animation at all…llol

  • http://twitter.com/jlimph Jeffrey

    looks great :)

  • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

    Community staple? Can a person be a staple?

  • theresonemorething

    “I wasn’t too *fond of the bounce on launch”

  • http://twitter.com/rick5up Ricky

    Wow jeff have a lot of tweaks installed. How to enable rss feed?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Becky.hahahaha Charles Ryder

    I jail broke my nieces iPhone 4S. She keeps telling me that it goes in safe mode once in awhile is that normal?

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      no you messed something up..

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558812483 Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        No, she didnt mess anything up. Jailbreak is a secure process. Maybe her niece is installing a bunch of crappy tweaks that collides with eah other and crashes the phone. For instance, if you download liveclock, your phone will go to safe mode

  • http://www.facebook.com/edmkec Edmond Koh

    When will be the earliest ETA? Can’t wait for this one! I do hope Surenix or Filippo can fix the icon jump height. The tweetbot icon seemed a little too excited! :p

    • Surenix

      Sunday funday :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    this is some interesting eye candy and all but we have 1000000 app switcher tweaks now can we please get some devs work to bring back the background tweak?????? so we can actually really back ground our apps 100% again

    • Surenix

      This is not an “app switcher” tweak. It’s only dock related—which we aren’t getting enough of?

  • http://twitter.com/chazyronnie ron arcilla

    I CAN’T WAIT for this tweak. Please release this NOW! Well worth it for the price!

    • Surenix

      Soon enough :)

  • http://twitter.com/chazyronnie ron arcilla

    I just hope it does not have conflict in “folder enhancer” and DONT eat too much memory.

    • Surenix

      Every substrate extension “eat memory”. The more you have, the more it eats. *om nom nom*

      I don’t think it will conflict with Folder Enhancer but if it does, please do email us.

  • http://twitter.com/ReyATX Rey

    I find it more annoying when you already purchased an app similar to a new app released by the same developer. Now I have to spend more money to get the new app. I like the way Dustin Howett Dev of SDM (Safari Download Manager) and the Dev of iFile worked it to where you received a discount on iFile if you purchased SDM. With FilippoBiga I just purchased Lively Icons for $1.99 and now this comes out. I guess I can take solace knowing my $1.99 for Lively Icons went on a good cause. Still slightly annoyed :~/

    • Surenix

      I think I’ve replied to someone who also mentioned something close to your comment so here we go again.

      LivelyIcon is a very different tweak than ActiveDock. Based off of just the name, LivelyIcon modifies your entire library of “icons” on your home screen + dock and animates them when you launch an app.

      ActiveDock, based on its name, will only modify your dock—which it does. It notifies you when an application is running in the background and it notifies you (with only 1 animation—whereas LivelyIcon has 5+) via bounce animation.

      I hope I made myself clear? If not, I don’t know how else to explain it to you.

  • Wilfredo Nanita

    Hello! I would like to know if ActiveDock is compatible with the theme named Ambriel. Ambriel doesn’t use a Dock at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karlo.cometa.7 Karlo Cometa

    can anyone tell what is white circle appear in that video when jeff touch the iphone screen? a want to use it to its cool. so please tell me. thanks

  • Kurt-Gerhard Rekowski

    Hi,Kurt here.

    I’ve downloaded Active Dock this morning and do not have the slightest idea what it actually does. The only effect up to now is a hopping news app when I receive an SMS. No light indicators, nothing. The app is correctly enabled but I really didn’t find out yet what I spent the 1,99 for…

    Maybe I think AD is disabled by other tweaks I use. I don’t know…

  • Iateglue2

    Im not gerting the bounce to work on notifications

    • Iateglue2

      Help?

  • Francisco Herrera

    My icons don’t bounce when receiving notifications. Haven’t been able to figure out why?

  • http://twitter.com/neokennetken Kenneth Lai

    mine dont bounce on notification – only tap to open – any ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/neokennetken Kenneth Lai

    mine doesnt bounce on notification … ideas?

    • http://twitter.com/fable_red red fable

      i’ve got the same problem…ideas?!