Badger lets users view unread notifications by tapping the app icon badge

By , May 21, 2013

Badger Featured

Ladies and gentlemen, after much wait and after even more debate, it’s finally here. I am, of course, talking about Badger — a tweak that we initially previewed some months back. After some very intense development and design, the final version of Badger has shipped. It’s now available for purchase on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for $0.99.

If you’ve been keeping your ear to the proverbial street, then you already know what Badger is and what it does, but let me jog your memory anyway. Badger is an iOS tweak that allows users to view unread notification alerts by swiping on the app icon displaying the badge. Once the app is swiped, a highly stylized pop-up menu containing unread notifications will appear on screen.

That’s what Badger is capable of doing in its most basic form, but as you might guess, the tweak contains quite a few hidden goodies and options under the hood. Check inside as I provide you with an in-depth look at Badger and show how you might benefit from its usage.

Video walkthrough

First and foremost, I should mention that you have to have badges enabled for the app that you want to use Badger with. This can be enabled on an app-by-app basis by venturing over to Settings > Notifications > and tapping the app name under the In Notification Center section. Make sure that the Badge App Icon toggle is switched to on.

Badge App Icon

When you receive an incoming notification, you may then swipe up on the app icon itself to activate Badger. This is the default way to invoke Badger, but there are other options for doing so that we’ll discuss below.

Options

As stated, Badger contains quite a few options to customize the tweak to your liking. There is the customary kill switch, along with settings for entry and exit animations for the Badger pop-over interface. You’ll also notice a setting for contact pictures when interacting with apps where contact pictures might be displayed.

Badger options

The entry and exit animation styles allow you to tweak how Badger looks when appearing and when exiting from view. In total, there are five styles to choose from, with the from screen top option being the default. I personally prefer using the fade animation for both exit and entry.

Badger Entry Animation Style

Advanced options

If you’re still not fond of the default activation method, then don’t worry — the tweak’s preferences contain a setting for different activation methods. There are in total, four activation methods that can be used for badger, and they are highlighted in the screenshot below:

Badger Activation Method

Of the four activation methods available, I believe that the stock method — swipe up on icon — or its inverse version — swipe down on icon — are the best two options available. The tap app badge option works, but it requires a bit of practice to get the tap zones down in just the right place. The remaining option — double tap icon — worked as well, but I can’t recommend its usage, because it slows down the normal app launching ability. That’s because every app will now need to “wait” to see if a another successive tap will be used before launching.

Badger advanced options

The remaining options are as follows:

  • Multiple Activations: this allows you to use the same activation method used to activate Badger to dismiss Badger
  • Switch Action Page: Allows you to change the swipe direction of Badger’s action page.
  • Disable for apps: Allows you to disable Badger for specific apps. See the screenshot below.

Badger DIsable for apps

The verdict

Badger is a very interesting release. On the surface, it’s a tweak that offers a lot of promise. It’s highly likely that the tweak’s stylized look will be appealing to you. Unfortunately, I just can’t help but think that there simply isn’t enough benefit to using Badger to warrant switching up the way I interact with notifications.

The shortcomings of Badger, while hidden a bit at first, become much more glaring after continuous use. One example of this is the fact that hardly any of the incoming notifications that you see can actually be read from Badger. Yes, you see a few bits of information about the notification, but more times than not, it’s significantly less information than you’d see by simply swiping down on the status bar to invoke Notification Center.

Note: I was informed by the developer that tapping on the text in question will display the full text of the notification. This wasn’t working for me at first, but apparently I had a conflicting tweak that caused issues. This does work, and is not an issue. With this in mind, this makes Badger a much better experience.

Badger scrolling

Then there’s the case of interacting with Badger’s action page. You can delete notifications from Badger’s interface, but they still show up as valid notifications on the app’s notification badge. This make for a very disjointed experience, and one that’s confusing at times.

The unfortunate thing about this all, is that when I first looked at Badger, I saw a tweak with a lot of promise. I still think that Badger has promise, but to be honest, it isn’t much different from a usage standpoint than it was in early betas. I was excited to see a tweak that had improved leaps and bounds and that would make interacting with my badge notifications a better experience on iOS. Sadly, that’s not the case with Badger 1.0, but I’m still holding out hope that the team behind the tweak can rebound, and make something truly great that lives up to their obvious potential.

I’ve been in contact with Badger developer, Aehmlo Lxaitn, and he is a truly nice guy who obviously wants to make a tweak that users will enjoy. He seems to be very invested in Badger, and invested in making it the best tweak that it can possibly be. Right now, he, admittedly, has his work cut out for him.

Again, Badger is available right now on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for $0.99. Do me a favor and let me know what you think about this highly anticipated tweak in the comments section below.

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  • http://twitter.com/monster_hazardo Roger Riekki

    I agree with you Jeff it just renders the notification process it doesn’t help it.

  • kamocho

    oh poor guy, I know the developer worked very hard on this one, and had hundreds if not thousands of iterations to get this done, and the review pretty much destroyed it :(
    I agree with it though, doesn’t really help a lot with the notifications. Is a little sad after all the hype to see what if finally does (or doesn’t do)

    • Gorgonphone

      lol well thats life.. i iam a creative professional and i have to be very critical on myself before i present my work to others so that they see something at least good..

      • iosPixel

        This tweak would of had more impact if velox didn’t exist.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

        Velox is not installed on my device, so far I have not seen one reason enough to make me get that.

      • J™

        Velox is overhyped… and its a ram killer

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

        I can’t agree more with you, sir.
        And I agree with the parent comment: kudos to the developer regardless of the outcome. :)

    • mrloko

      i had to restore my iphone 4 to give it to apple care…can i downgrade it from 6.1.3 to 6.1.2 ?? its iphone 4

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

        If you have blobs saved then yes. I’ve never done it myself so aren’t the person to ask but I’m sure Google has some nice tutorials! If your still stuck I recommend checking out jailbreakqa(dot)com and ask your question there…

      • mrloko

        if i somehow get ios5.1.1 then will it have any disadvantage over ios 6 ???

      • Murp

        Only if you have the shsh of 6.1.2 ios …

      • mrloko

        i have saved the shsh blog a few months back..of ios 6.1.2..will it work ?

      • Murp

        ;)

      • RarestName

        If they don’t give you a replacement iPhone 4, you can do that.

      • mrloko

        if i somehow get ios5.1.1 then will it have any disadvantage over ios 6 ??

  • Jeff

    I made a mistake with this review, and I’d like to apologize to the readers, and to the developers and designers behind Badger. I criticized the tweak for not displaying the entire contents of a notification, but that was not true, and was an oversight on my part. Full notifications can be displayed by tapping on the Notification. Again, this was my oversight, so I hope that this won’t negatively impact your opinion of this tweak. – Jeff Benjamin

    • Damian W

      Even the full badger notification does not make it easy to preview the message. Still takes a while to see the text slowly scrolling to the side. I think there should be speed adjustments for scrolling text. It would be nice if we can manually scroll too. Sort of like Reveal tweak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mattpet Matt Dowdy

      You could always edit your review to remove what you said in the first place?! #justsaying

      • Jeff

        Well, I want to be totally transparent on the mistake that was made instead of trying to cover it up.

      • Gorgonphone

        you need to edit the vid

      • http://twitter.com/Tkf530 Tristan

        You’re fired.

      • RarestName

        lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

      I was going to point the same limitation until I saw your GIF. Again, thank you for posting the animated GIFs, very useful indeed.

  • http://twitter.com/HassanTheGooner Hassan Shah

    Don’t see the point of this to be honest. Similar to Velox – but even Velox needs a lot more improvement. We need to start seeing useful velox widgets for popular apps. Without that Velox and Badger are pretty useless cos of the Notification centre

    • Gorgonphone

      velox is better… h and when will velox work in folders..?

      • http://twitter.com/NamraMuhammad Namra Muhammad

        I hope its sometime soon :)

  • SimonReidy

    Until this syncs with Notification Center by removing NC entries and badges after viewing them in Badger’s UI, its a bit too limited. However I can’t see why that integration can’t be added, so I’ll at least be keeping an eye on the tweak. Hope to see some improvement.

    • Gorgonphone

      yeah it really could have been great but its not

  • jose castro

    pass.. sorry man

  • jose castro

    sorry velox and this tweak are both good ideas.. but not enough

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

      Still nice but in my mind they will always be gimmicks, good gimmicks that have the potential to be so much more but not necessarily ready for stock iOS (yet). If any developers are reading this a tweak I would like to see for velox that has the potential to save time is one for the Google Authentication app since it really does waste a lot of time opening the app…

  • http://twitter.com/Kevinfest Kevin

    Its great! I don’t really need it since Velox already shows me the notifications when I do the slide up gesture, but it looks great. I’ll see if I end up using it a lot more during this week.

  • czbird

    Looks nice, but it’s missing the option to clear the badge.

  • Gorgonphone

    badger suucks…. sorry

  • Dixon

    Looks great but also using velox so there is no need for badger

  • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

    I think a by side comparison between this an velox should be interesting

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

      There’s not much to it really. Velox is more about saving time and presenting information quickly and easily with its enhanced folders and at the moment badger is about displaying not enough information and not quickly enough although for 99 cents can’t really complain and I’m sure there will be updates to it in the future…

      • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        Fair enough…

  • Dmaez

    Looks really cool but with all the tweaks coming out for velox I don’t really think its worth it…maybe this guy and the velox people can get together to create something even better

    • Dmaez

      I can say now after purchasing badger just to test it out I am more impressed with Velox myself. From my personal experience at least Velox is much better.

  • mrloko

    i had to restore my iphone 4 to give it to apple care…can i degrade it from 6.1.3 to 6.1.2 ?? its iphone 4

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    Coolness, now, where’s this week’s episode of Let’s Talk iOS (Jailbreak) … I need some podcast in my life! :(

  • Zaidan Umar

    This is for us who were not satisfied with velox for any reason

  • J™

    maybe u should wait a bit longer before installing these new tweaks… there are bound to have some teething problem when they are newly developed

  • http://twitter.com/NamraMuhammad Namra Muhammad

    Hmm what else you got ?? xD

  • http://WorldstarHipHop.com/ Joshua Jones Makaveli

    Lol 1$ my ass Velox is way better then this sh!t

  • bw00ds

    I don’t know…I still do not see the value of this or Velox when it takes almost no time at all to deal with Notifications or to just open the app. Why bog things down with more barely useful tweaks?

  • BABALAL

    I cant install it, does anyone have this problem?