How to get Chat Heads on iOS right now with MessageBox

By , Apr 26, 2013

MessageBox Chat Heads

Normally speaking, mainstream outlets like The Verge don’t run posts on topics like jailbreaking or jailbreak tweaks, but one in a while they do. For instance, they will be happy to cover a tweak like Auxo, which transcends barriers of interests, even for those who’ve never jailbroken an iPhone.

Recently, another jailbreak tweak has graced the front page of The Verge: MessageBox. It’s the tweak, that as I’m sure you all know by now, allows you to enable Facebook’s new Chat Head feature system-wide. It, too, proved to be a very popular topic of interest in the tech community. What? Facebook’s Chat Head on iOS? And so soon?

If you’ve been around jailbreaking for any length of time, you probably weren’t surprised to see Chat Heads appear on iOS within such a short period of time. In fact, I outright predicted it in this tweet. It was even less surprising when I heard who was actually behind the tweak — Adam Bell. Adam is an excellent developer and designer, and he’s come up with some of the community’s most innovative releases.

Ever since MessageBox was first shown off, I’ve been in contact with Adam while he’s been knee-deep in code. For the record, MessageBox is still in beta, but the potential for greatness is undeniable. The demand is so great that a deluge of tweets, emails, and other forms of communication have landed on Bell’s digital doorstep. Now he’s decided to release a beta version of MessageBox as an answer to the demand.

What should you expect? I thought you’d never ask…

Video walkthrough

How to install MessageBox:

Note: You must be jailbroken, and have iFile on your device to follow these instructions.

Step 1: Install the official Facebook app from the App Store

Step 2: Download this file from GitHub while on your iPhone

Step 3: Open the file with iFile, and select install

Step 4: After installation is completed, completely reboot your device

After rebooting, load up the Facebook app, login, and initiate a conversation using the Messenger button in the upper right-hand corner. Once a chat is initiated, you should see a Chat Head appear.

Once the Chat Head appears, you can press the Home button to get back to the Home screen, and the Chat Head should still be present on the screen. Tap the Chat head to open the conversation view, and tap the head again to close the view.

Chat Head Conversation

Chat Heads should be accessible while on the Home screen, or in any app. You can move the Chat Head around the screen by tapping and dragging. You can remove the Chat Head from the screen, by tapping and dragging down to the bottom portion of the screen.

Chat Head close

Adam Bell has made the MessageBox beta release available for all users to download right now. Bear in mind that the tweak is still in beta, and contains a variety of random glitches. Bell plans to continue to work on the tweak to get the remainder of the bugs worked out, but even still, I found it to be surprisingly usable in its current form. What has your experience been like with the MessageBox? Share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions, in the comment section below.

Note: MessageBox is now available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for free. Head over to Cydia to download it now.

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  • Bilal Malik

    Lovely tweak. Just love it

  • http://twitter.com/PrsnSingh Prasoon

    This is amazing! Works really great on my iPad 2.

  • http://twitter.com/PrsnSingh Prasoon

    This better be integrated with iMessage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.internasional Jørgen Øiseth Berg

    is there a way to restrict it to the home screen. so its not visible all the time over every app?

  • http://twitter.com/rasramanirish JAB

    Yes I would love this for whatsapp

  • http://www.facebook.com/GabzOlivares Gabriel Emilio Olivares Burgos

    That would be awesome [ChatHeads for WhatsApp + Messages]

  • http://twitter.com/drumdude1107 Tony Loera

    I noticed a rather significant decrease in my battery just over a few hours with it set at a very low refresh rate

  • http://twitter.com/moussa_jabbour Moussa Jabbour

    I noticed after i installed messagebox, The weather app start crashing, anyone have similar problem, any idea how to fix it ?

  • kariakoo

    it doesnt work with IOS 5.1.1

  • Trevor

    I installed it when it was put on Cydia, and I’ve got 2 phone calls since and both times i pressed answer it send me straight into safe mode.. Anyone else getting this problem?

  • http://twitter.com/NimaSalami Nima Salami

    Will this work with the official Facebook Message app? I don’t use the other app.

  • Rickm_jr

    I like how the video starts out with the old style of your videos and then it changes and you’re all “ha, I got you guys”

  • http://bareform.no/ bonka

    Luckily, Apple will never let this in on their platform ever. iOS gets better every minute – without even trying.

  • http://twitter.com/KooladeGrape John Effiom Jr

    There needs to be a tweak suggestion section

  • mwpitt52

    I never thought I would see anything more lame than Facebook. Until now. Wake up Facebook is a bunch of fake friends. Just turn it off and work on real relationships.

  • disqus_9BKxzzGlp4

    how do you uninstall the file from github?

  • kurdistan202

    can you guys bring back the ask jeff series.

  • SweKiwi

    Author, you could change the how-to to simply “got to Cydia”, since the tweak can be installed through there :)

  • SAG

    APP CRASH ….WHEN I MOVE CHAT HEADS IN FACEBOOK GETTING BLACK SCREEN ….

  • http://www.facebook.com/nassim.chidekh Nassim Chidekh

    not working for me !! i followed all the steps but still nothing shows up?!! iphone 4s with iOS 6.1.2 and the latest Facebook version

  • http://twitter.com/MrPowerGamerBR MrPowerGamerBR

    Installed, Then, when i tried to open the Facebook App, the Screen became black (only showing the Status bar), and freeze…, and, i could not do the “DFU mode” (Broken Home Button), well, i did wait for the battery run out…

  • frankie

    how do you uninstall the file from github?

  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    Boy this eats battery like hell, nearly 50% in half a day ans i did’t even touched my iphone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/acilectro Pille Acilectro

    Anyone have bug with facebook when using chatheads? Black screen when using zephyr to quicky change from facebook to another app, or when receive sms when using facebook app?

  • http://twitter.com/h01ymArt1n Martin

    does this work on iPad?

  • http://www.facebook.com/filohh Diego Schlemper Rosa

    And how to uninstall?

  • SweKiwi

    I found it quite buggy. It was lagging like hell. Took forever to load up a new comment and I’m not to sure about the battery drain…

  • Jakob Wångö

    It doesnt work on my ipad.

  • 2EyesWideOpen2

    Crashes crashes and…crashes.

  • Xain Saeed

    not working on my iphone 4 :( i am on ios7.0.4 plz help

  • marcus

    My Iphone only goes into Safe mode after crashing, is there anything i can do to fix this?

  • Dejan

    just to ask, will there be an update for message box that allows that tweek to work on ios 7 devices?