Axis could be the iPhone’s best Lock screen launcher

By , May 12, 2013

Axis Featured

There’s no shortage of new Lock screen launchers as of late. You have Atom, Grabby, JellyLock, and a plethora of others. But there’s a newcomer on the block that’s trying to stake claim as the king of Cydia’s Lock screen launchers — it’s called Axis.

Axis is a jailbreak tweak designed by Sentry, and coded by an enigmatic, but an obviously talented young man by the name of rud0lf77. We’ve had our share of run ins with Mr. rud0lf77 in the past, but talent’s talent, and he’s apparently got some of it.

Sentry really needs no introduction. He’s been a part of a string of hits on Cydia as of late, and has even more in the way of concepts. He’s been the inspiration for numerous tweaks that have made their way to the Cydia store, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

At first glance, his new Lock screen launcher tweak may seem familiar to you. It’s actually pretty similar to the aforementioned Grabby Lock screen launcher tweak recently released by Ryan Petrich. In what seems to have been nothing more than a pure coincidence, both tweaks take the same basic idea, but the approach is different enough to make each tweak stand on its own.

Take a look inside, as we break down what makes Axis such an appealing new tweak. We go hands-on in this detailed video walkthrough.

At first glance, Axis looks very similar to Grabby. Like Grabby, it uses the stock Lock screen camera grabber as a basis for its functionality. Where other tweaks incorporate radical design changes from standard iOS, this tweak logically builds on what’s already in existence.

Axis allows you to use the stock camera grabber to slide towards the left side of the screen. Doing this reveals four additional app icons, which can be launched using a slide up gesture. The basic idea is that you now have five applications that can be launched like the stock camera grabber instead of one.

There are some very subtle differences between the way that Grabby and Axis allow you to select the app that you wish to launch. Grabby features a couple of options — you can slide over the app icon and release, or slide over and then slide up. Axis only allows you to use a slide over and slide up gesture, but it differs in the way that your cursor “snaps” to each app on the Lock screen. Viewing the video will help you to see what I mean, but I must say that I prefer the snapping action featured in Axis. It leaves no doubt as to which application you intend to launch.

Axis Settings

Another thing that I appreciate about Axis is the simplicity of its settings. This is something that has become sort of a staple of tweaks designed by Sentry, and it makes it easy to configure the tweak to you liking.

Axis’ settings feature the five Lock screen launcher app icons at the top of the screen, and each can be customized according to the apps that you wish to appear. The settings are broken up into different sections, logically arranging the different applications by means of category. You’ll find basic apps, messaging apps, social apps, productivity apps, etc.

To customize the launcher app icons, simply tap the icon at the top of the screen that you wish to customize, and select it from one of the categories below. The nice thing about Axis is that it features built-in support for quite a few custom app icons designed by Sentry himself. Axis can even recognize which apps you have installed on your device, and displays a list of other apps that feature custom icon support as well. Yes, you can add an app regardless of whether or not it features a custom icon. In that case the app icon featured on the launcher will default to one of its standard generic icons.

Unfortunately I do have to say that it’s not all sugar and bunnies. I do have one complaint, and it may prove to be a deal breaker for some of you, at least initially. If you use a passcode, regardless of what time intervals you use to configure it, you’ll have to enter that passcode every time you want to launch an app using Axis. Yep, it doesn’t matter if you don’t require a passcode for 15 minutes, it will still ask for the passcode if you launch an app using Axis. The only exception to this rule is when you have iOS’ stock camera configured as one of your launch apps.

Axis Passcodes

After talking to Sentry, he says that future versions will fix this issue and that you’ll be able to use passcodes on an app by app basis. Yes, it’s a disappointing thing to encounter for such an awesome tweak, but that’s the reality this early in the game. The good news is that the issue should be fixed in a future version of Axis, and by then you’ll gain even better functionality.

Axis is a tweak with huge potential; it can easily be the best Lock screen launcher on iOS with a few refinements. Its design is impeccable, and its settings are simple and straightforward. If the duo can iron out the passcode issue and continue to refine the tweak, then I don’t think it will have any problem claiming its stake as one of the best Lock screen launchers available.

Axis is available right now on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for $0.99. What do you think?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Grabby works with or without a passcode and on the iPad. I have still purchased this tweak though as I have a huge amount of respect for Sentry and his concepts of which grabby was born. The only good thing about Axis is that it is easy to configure. But that is all in my opinion…

    EDIT: It appears this tweak also doesn’t look as nice as grabby when using subtle lock.

    • http://twitter.com/KBustillo1 Kevin Bustillo

      I’m sure a future update can fix that.

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      I like grabby better and it is better with subtle lock, but it messes with my lock screen with or without subtle lock. Date and time are sometimes missing, I have to respeing or reboot from the lock screen, as the lock screen goes completely blank.

    • JamesR624

      Not to mention, Grabby just lets you use all of your apps and shows them all instead of this asinine propietary list of Apps the developer likes. I REALLY HATE it when the developer pulls that crap. Makes the UX for configuring the tweak a chore.

    • Damian W

      I just dont understand why they simply copied Grabby and sell it (it would make sense to make a free alternative). It is slap in a face for Ryan Petrich, creator of Grabby. Petrich spent months on developing this tweak to its final state, and they just did what Samsung does to Apple.

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Although I agree with you there but Axis was and has been in development for a while. That’s why they released it…

      • Damian W

        Yeah this is the only credible excuse I guess. Sentry came up with a concept and wanted to get credit for it.

      • http://twitter.com/42GAR Saúl Ga

        Sentry came with the concept months before Grabby. Rudolf was the first who approached to Sentry to develop the concept soon after Sentry showed it, and has been in development since

      • RyanFoley

        Axis was been in devopmt before Grabby. There was a concept and everything from last year. They had already confirmed to be working on it, then suddenly Petrich came out with Grabby.

      • Damian W

        Yes we know it , 10 other people already wrote about it so no need to repeat like a parrot

      • Dlevi309

        i disagree… Axis was in development for more months than Grabby, i know this because im friends with the developer (Rudolf). Plus, i have nothing against Mr. Petrich but he knew damn well that this tweak was already being created by the original concept designer and a great developer. if anyone got a slap in the face it was Sentry & Rudolf. Now, not as many sales are going to hit Axis because of Grabby.

      • Damian W

        Did Petrich know this concept was being developed? I guess the best way for these wannabe concepts is when the designers make it clear they will work on them in the near future. Otherwise people like Petrich and MPow will make lots of tweaks based on someone else’s concept.

    • jose castro

      just updated.

  • http://twitter.com/reloadedhead Tom García

    So much better than Grabby..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004797691284 John Smith

    Jelly lock is king and it supports up to 6 apps. Highly recommend.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      But you need to enter your password (if you have one set). With Grabby you do not need to and with Axis soon you will also not need to. In my honest opinion Jelly lock and Atom just take up valuable notification space…

      • http://twitter.com/xKami786 Kamrul

        Atom doesn’t.

      • http://twitter.com/vipulkv Vipul Verma

        The big problem with Atom is that there is no Kill-Switch button in setting. Only way to turn off Atom is uninstalling the app; so I uninstalled it :P

      • Surenix

        We’re working on it.

      • http://twitter.com/xKami786 Kamrul

        Yeah that would be a nice feature

    • http://twitter.com/vipulkv Vipul Verma

      Yup, and best thing is it is free.

  • Tom Canuck

    Did you just say password req on an app by app basis? As in configurable?! :| adding to my Curiosa list, as soon as that’s added i’ma be all over this. It’s be a dream come true if it could put a passcode on Messages+ quick compose…

    • Beta382

      You can also mark a package as “Show all updates” under “Change Package Settings”, and when an update comes it will pop up at the top of your refresh list.

      • Tom Canuck

        Yes, but I like getting notifications about updates (or tweaks I’ve been waiting to get released) rather than checking for them. So I use Curiosa. Makes my life simpler heh

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.kautz.353 Alex Kautz

    But what does it look like if you don’t have a passcode?

    • http://twitter.com/AlexDacome Alex Dacome

      You just go straight to the app.

  • TeddyBearStand

    Grabby just felt awkward.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Awkward in the sense of borrowed/stolen/copied/implemented “Awkward” right? Since Grabby is a great tweak but it’s not Sentry’s tweak. It’s kind of bad Sentry didn’t work with Rpetrich once Grabby was released but I’m guessing this tweak was already under development not that RPetrich knew anything about that

    • Damian W

      awkward? And now identical tweak does not feel awkward? BTW Grabby just got an update 1.1 and it is smooth as butter now.

      • TeddyBearStand

        Sorry– Grabby and Axis both feel awkward. The swiping to the left then up feels very odd and unnatural IMO.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Axis = Grabby at a lower price.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Which is worth it in my opinion since Grabby is double the price but supported on double the devices (it’s a Universal tweak). If you only use iPhones and iPods then Axis is great however I think it should have the option to use app icons like Grabby has…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Yeah, but i’m sure that can be added in a future update, just like Auxo. Besides, I personally don’t like to support devs who refuse to atleast reply with a confirmation of the problem/bug in their tweak when I email them. Ryan seems to be one of those devs….

      • RarestName

        I agree. Some of them have legitimate reasons though.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Not sure what excuse there is for taking my money then ignoring my requests for support….

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Usually whatever license it is given to you under which states that the product is given as it is with no warranty of any kind and no support and may be discontinued at any time

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        That hasn’t been the case with most of the paid tweaks, including LockInfo. That usually applies only to free tweaks.

        If it’s a paid tweak, there’s got to be support for situations regarding bugs in the tweak; I didn’t intend to pay for a buggy tweak and it was never stated in the description that it is buggy (if it did, I for sure wouldn’t pay for it in the first place without a trial).

      • jp2002

        99% of all tweaks made by Ryan is perfect. I mean it does not have bugs. The problem would generally be with conflicting tweaks. And its a pain to mention the list of tweaks that could conflict.

    • Damian W

      Hmm.. he does reply, but it takes him few days to do it. I just got 2 emails from him this morning.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Interesting, ’cause he never replied my months-ago emails (sent like 5-8) regarding problems with Grabby and Activator (on iOS 6).

        Didn’t complain about Activator as its free, but grabby….guessing he didn’t reply ’cause it was free in beta?

      • Damian W

        My guess is he replies to problems that he believes are relevent and will be fixed in next updates. Some issues with tweaks on our phones are difficult to reproduce for devs on their phones. When we complaign about problems, they can’t help us, because they don’t and they can’t get the same issue.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Right, except the recent issue, regarding compatibility with FolderEnhancer, which was fixed in v1.0 was one of the problems I was reporting to him, yet I never got any confirmation of the problem. Regardless if it was fixed or not, a confirmation (or disapproval) of the problem would make a difference in customer service.

      • Damian W

        I agree

  • Al

    Now that Axis is completed… Auxo for the iPad must be around the corner, eh?

  • http://twitter.com/maxhasadhd Max

    Axis is not worth a $1. It’s pretty horribly developed. Its just getting attention because of the designer and most of the icons look nice. But you can’t use a lot of apps, unless you want to have no icon. Also you can’t even launch all of the default apps, such as settings. Atom is way better tweak!

    • http://twitter.com/PakoBahena Pako Bahena

      Are you stupid?

      • JamesR624

        No. He’s realizing that the tweak is actually crap compared to similar tweaks like Grabby and Atom and it’s only getting attention due to the athsetics. This propietary list that Axis has that makes you only use apps that the developer likes is stupid, ruins the whole tweak, and actually shows that LESS effort was put into making the tweak work well, and a lot more effort was put into making it look pretty. Kinda like Auxo.

        Why is it that many, many Apple users pride prettiness over functionality to the point where they’re willing to spend a LOT of money on half-baked crap that looks nice?

        Remember the old saying, “Polish a turd and it’s still a turd.”

      • Beta382

        If you actually purchased Axis, you would realize that you are able to choose any app you want.

        In terms of bugginess, Atom is far more buggy than either Axis or Grabby, mainly because too much attention was paid to certain details, whereas there are glaring omissions in other places (i.e. the nub appears under the keypad on a respring, notifications aren’t handled nicely, the top bar unnecessarily slides away to reveal another top bar when going to the keypad, there is no smooth animation for just letting go of the nub, etc.) (Also, the dev doesn’t handle support well, and refuses to do anything about significant performance loss on older devices due to overly flashy animations)

        Comparing Grabby to Axis really deserves a post of it’s own. Both have their strengths, both have their faults (Grabby, for one, doesn’t play nicely with Forecast, and it force-clears notifications from the lockscreen even when you don’t leave it).

      • jp2002

        You made my day! I see that a lot in these comment section in idb. Tweak would look damn nice, but functionality wise – it would just mimic another tweak or its half baked buggy tweak with good graphics . People here dont care about functionality. To be technical they just want some complex set of CALayer(s) packed into the tweak.

    • http://twitter.com/xKami786 Kamrul

      I agree, I bought it since its cheap but was dissapointed that you couldnt put settings and some other apps and if you did you have to put it under the same icon as another stock app. Atom atm is the best nothing beats it. If Axis changes to accompany more apps then I might switch because of its simplicity.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Is atom compatible with LockInfo? Don’t think so…

      • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.lee.790256 Brandon Lee

        Atom and LockInfo work fine for me iPhone 5 iOS 6.1

      • RarestName

        Just send him the app bundle name! I know because I found a few for him as well. One of the nicest devs ever.

      • JamesR624

        - Not compatible with lockinfo.
        - Not compatible with subtlelock.
        - Can’t use all your apps.
        - Doesn’t work on the iPad.
        - Opens apps really slowly.

        All of these things are not a problem on Grabby.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paulmeneshian Paul Meneshian

      atom is nice but it does open the apps up all slow compared to grabby. whats nice about grabby is you can already see the app ready to load up when you swipe half way through like the actually camera grabber

  • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Also I’m no UI expert I’ll leave that to Sentry but I don’t think it is good UI design to have a big cancel button next to where you type your password (if you have a complex password not a simple one)…

    • Stijn De vries

      It is just like the iPad one

  • http://www.facebook.com/UchihaItachiLegacy Volker Lobato

    I’d rather jellylock its better from my point of view even though it doesnt have that customization but i like the interface

  • Ben Rosenthal

    IMHO, there is no point to a lockscreen launcher that doesn’t let me program activator actions to an icon. It would be very useful if I could slide up from the message icon and compose a message with messages+, or slide the twitter icon to compose a new tweet. But as of now, I see no purpose (with the exception of the camera app), it’s just as easy to unlock and access the dock on the springboard.

    • Gorgonphone

      actually its great and has the same benefit as the camera function..

  • http://www.facebook.com/silvelix Jeffrey Abejar

    Jeff, of course it will always ask you for password every time you go to lock screen. Even without this tweak every time you open your phone you have to enter your pass code unless you disable it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.lee.790256 Brandon Lee

      Wrong. Some people have it where there’s a set period of time before the pass code reactivates. OR they have cleverpin or autoprotect

      • http://www.facebook.com/silvelix Jeffrey Abejar

        He didn’t mention cleverpin and autoprotect. And about setting a period of time for the passcode it doesn’t matter coz u still have to lock the screen to use axis.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.lee.790256 Brandon Lee

        You fail so hard. Are you even sure you have an iPhone?

      • http://www.facebook.com/silvelix Jeffrey Abejar

        Why dont u try using axis without going to lockscreen then prove your point. I’m only pointing out that you have to disable your passcode if jeff don’t want his passcode appear each time he lock his phone. And I have an iphone 5. I’m wondering what’s yours…

    • Steroc

      This is the main reason I find Grabby the best of these lockscreen launcher tweaks. It does bypass the passcode for the selected apps then returns you to the lockscreen when you exit (much like the default camera grabber icon). This is handy for me as I use the calculator a lot at work and don’t have to enter a password to use it but the rest of the phone ramains password protected.

  • http://twitter.com/dpbiscuit D1M

    Not a bad tweet. Just tried it. I hate the delay when opening an app. It’s like a small freeze. Anyone else getting it?

  • Jonathan Chiapas

    Yep, I’ll stick with Grabby!!!

  • Aber1Kanobee

    You’re kinda annoying with your “best tweak of 2013″ comment…seems like it was just yesterday you were sweatin’ Auxo, and now you don’t even have it installed…

    • http://twitter.com/TwoWeeksOff TwoWeeksOff

      I find your comment infinitely more annoying…whiny too.

      • Gorgonphone

        I find both of you to be very emotional.. almost estrogenically so….

      • http://twitter.com/TwoWeeksOff TwoWeeksOff

        Oo nice word.

  • http://twitter.com/the415giant F P

    Had Atom, Jellylock, & now Axis…Jellylock is best.

    • Gorgonphone

      not its not

      • http://twitter.com/the415giant F P

        Axis just doesn’t look as nice as my jellyLock. Both atom and axis bypasses the unlock sound. Plus with this new cydia theme for jellyLock, it’s really sweet!

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

    IOS does not use or refer to launcher that is android terminology. These themes seem to try to convert iOS to android or some hybrid of the both.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I hate to say it since the whole lock screen launcher thing has obviously come from Android but it is actually a good idea I just prefer the implementation of Grabby/Axis rather than the Androidesque alternatives…

  • http://twitter.com/PoliBerla PoliBerla

    Grabby allows you to configure number of apps on camera tray to your liking, from two up to five, with axis when you want to have only one more app you have to add three more that will have no use to you.

  • Kurt

    Wi-Fi: “Modigliani” nice :)

  • Kurt

    I wish you didn’t have to swipe up. Or if they got rid of the slide to unlock and used one of the icons to go to SB. I’m gonna get this tweak now. Looks great.

    Excellent job rud0lf77

  • http://www.facebook.com/yenting.chen.777 Yen-Ting Chen

    Anyone like me preferred LockSliderz? One swipe to the app, up to 8 apps to set, and the option to make lock slider background transparent!

    • Damian W

      Locksliderz is awesome. It used to work with earlier version of SubtleLock so the lockscreen looked really awesome. Now it does not change lock slider position after using SubleLock. But, I started to prefer Grabby over LockSliderz for the last couple days. Just give it a shot.

  • LeMerlot

    I like Axis very much – useful and very stylish design. I’d even pay more than $0.99 for that kind of nice software.

  • http://twitter.com/rares_andrei_96 Rares

    Axis is much better than grabby,it is silky smooth on older devices and it has better icons that grabby where finding an icon is a pain in the a**.It is better than jelly lock,

  • http://twitter.com/rares_andrei_96 Rares

    @aidan Harris stop kissing Ryan’s ass

  • bloodshed

    Doesn’t respect lock-sound.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameronrc Cameron Chao

    Grabby just needs to add the ‘snap’ feature and i think it will be resoundingly better than Axis.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cameronrc Cameron Chao

      Aaaaand, he added it. Thanks Rpetrich

  • Soleros

    Axis have the Activator gestures bug?

    • http://www.facebook.com/marvin.steppenhofer Marvin Steppenhofer

      same here! after open something with axis activator actions didnt work anymore!

  • http://twitter.com/songer121 JS3

    yeah jeff the hole “best tweak of 2013″ has got to go… velox, atom and jelly lock blow this outta the water. DONT get me wrong it is a nice tweak “even tho from a buyers perspective” it looks like it was just copied from grabby, and its a shame developers like Sentry and Ryan cant work together.

    • Gorgonphone

      YES I AM TIRED OF THE TWEAK CLONE WARS…LOLO

  • http://www.iheavy.com/blog/ Sean Hull

    Just downloaded this. One more reason I love the jailbreak. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/StarWare1 StarWare Productions

    rud0lf77 lol his tweaks have to be someone elses ideas every time

  • http://twitter.com/StarWare1 StarWare Productions

    s*it

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

    It’s a gorgeous and well implemented tweak, but lack of support for CleverPin makes it a no go for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005439874554 Bob Patin

    Axis doesn’t work on my iPhone 5; is it compatible with IntelliScreen X, Forecast, Abstergo, Velox? Something’s clearly interfering with it…

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

    In this initial iteration, Axis isn’t even close to the “Best Tweak of 2013.”

    • Gorgonphone

      HAHAHHHAHHA

  • Gorgonphone

    FASTER WITH UNLOCK LAUNCHER AND COOLER TOO..LO

  • http://www.facebook.com/nations.gary Gary Nations

    I can not find axis in big boss repo. Some help please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marvin.steppenhofer Marvin Steppenhofer

    There is a bug! Activator actions didnt work anymore after i open something with axis!!!

  • Guest

    Does anyone know how to add icons to those apps, which don’t have one through Axis itself?
    If I use Google Search or Authenticator e.g. I only get a blanc
    Thanks in advance guys :)

  • http://twitter.com/BratuTony micro

    It isn’t compatible with folderenhancer and activator or sbsettings (because sometimes it cancel my gesture set in activator for sbsettings), and sometimes when i press the camera icon on lock screen or i double tap on home button for music, it resprings. It would be great if apps would open like grabby and then when i press the home button the lock screen appear, instead of unlocking the device :D

  • Gorgonphone

    jelly lock is fantastic..

  • http://twitter.com/erhefe Erhan Efe

    It could be better if unlock sound doesn’t appear after launching an app. Although i disable unlock sound, it is still there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Whitaker/100000796710385 Greg Whitaker

    I like it! Though in the future I think it would be nice if one could pull or push the camera icon (or user set default icon) up or down to scroll to more options. Additionally, based on some of the comments below, perhaps implementing a way to set custom icons (from photos) in place of the default icons would resolve some of the aesthetic issues some folks seem to be less than thrilled over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marvin.steppenhofer Marvin Steppenhofer

    for real dude!

  • mav3rick

    Could be… But it has bugs:
    - breaking gestures on status bar
    - after launching apps from lock screen, Folder Enhancer opens over status bar
    - with Unfold the most left app icon in lock screen is covered by the arrow pointing the unlock direction. The arrow is not automatically hidden.

    Also cannot choose number of apps.

    Bought it in a flash but wished Jeff tested it a little bit longer…

    For this type of lock screen launcher as close as possible to stock look, Grabby is working very good.

  • http://theeyesofmarch.wordpress.com/ Timothy

    I really don’t like how it handles the icons… I can see why the simplified icons are appealing, but most of the apps I want to launch quickly aren’t in the proprietary list the tweak comes with, and only show up as a dashed outline. This means I have to *remember* which app is which position, rather than simply seeing the app’s icon.