‘VideoPane’ brings true video multitasking to iOS

By , Aug 6, 2013

VideoPane Featured

Judging from the popularity of the preview post, it looks like quite a few of you are highly interested in Ryan Petrich’s new flagship video tweak. VideoPane, as it is called, was just released, and it’s now available for purchase on Cydia’s BigBoss repo.

This is a tweak that allows users to detach video from its native player, and float it on top of the iOS UI in a way that allows you to multitask. VideoPane makes it totally possible to watch video while sending a text message, updating your Facebook status, browsing the web, etc. This is true multitasking with video, and for the most part, it works gloriously.

As mentioned in the preview post, the Galaxy S3 might not have been the first smartphone to allow you to watch video while performing other tasks, but it was certainly the device that made the concept popular. Now we iOS users get to experience similar function, and although I thought of it as a bit of a gimmick on the Galaxy, I can now see why the feature is so compelling.

As a tweak, VideoPane grants its users a sort of freedom that’s hard to come by on iOS. There are, of course, jailbreak tweaks that allow users to do all sorts of things that Apple would never approve of, but VideoPane provides a whole new sense of freedom — the freedom to get things done in tandem.

Once VideoPane is installed, it simply begins working. Open the YouTube app and start a video; you’ll instantly be prompted as to whether or not you’d like to detach said video. Tap detach, and the video opens in its own floating window above everything else.

VideoPane 02

Detached videos gain their own sense of freedom in that they can be moved around with a finger and snapped to the various quadrants of the iPhone’s screen. You can even double tap a video to make it transparent so that you can see behind it. This is perfect for trying to browse websites while simultaneously watching video.

While VideoPane contains no dedicated preference panel, you will find several Activator actions dedicated to it in the Activator preferences. By default the double tap VideoPane gesture is assigned to the transparency action, but that can easily be reassigned to a pause gesture, close gesture, or the like.

Although I am quite ecstatic about VideoPane, and I plan to use it on my daily driver, I do have a couple of complaints, which is certainly a rarity for a Ryan Petrich designed tweak. First of all, I wish there was a way to detach video without having to catch the initial detachment prompt that appears when you first start the video. It would be nice if there was a detachment Activator action that could be assigned to a gesture.

VideoPan 02

My second gripe stems from the lack of a dedicated preference panel. Configuring the tweak is a bit of a chore, because you have to go deep into the Activator preferences in order to do so. This wouldn’t be a huge problem if Activator didn’t force you back to the main page of the Settings app each time you leave its preferences. VideoPane needs its own dedicated settings for ease of use and simplicity’s sake.

Lastly, and this could just be a user error on my end, I was unable to get Netflix video to work with VideoPane. Each time I started a Netflix video, I was was never prompted to detach the video. With all other videos that I tried — Safari, YouTube, iTunes — I experienced no issues.

Even with those few problems, I don’t regret dropping $1.99 for VideoPane at all. This is a tweak with loads of potential. It’s from a developer who’s always fine tuning and providing updates for his tweaks. You should be able to go in as an early adopter, and feel confident about your decision. Even with its few shortcomings, the coolness and usefulness factor far outweighs any downsides at this point. Head over to Cydia’s BigBoss repo and download it now.

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  • J™

    Ryan Petrich always create good and useful tweaks

  • Mr. E

    Just when you think Petrich has done it all. Boom he hits you with this

  • n0ahcruz3

    This is great!.. Whatever happen to Quasar by the way?

    • Liam Mulcahy

      Jailbreaking the iPad is illegal and It doesn’t work for iPhone so it’s forgotten

      • n0ahcruz3

        Thats too bad, its a nice feature and has potential.

      • Liam Mulcahy

        There’s not much else to do than watching videos while doing others stuff and it doesn’t even work on iOS 6 and iOS 7 beta 5 is out

      • Royce Otero

        They say its illegal but who’s stopping them lol.

    • Gorgonphone

      the dev lacked the skill to polish it

      • Liam Mulcahy

        agreed

      • theiostream

        the dev found better shit to do.

  • Lagax

    I like having no Video Multitasking! A reason I use iOS is that if you watch a Video you watch a Video and that’s it!!! That’s simplicity and if people would like video multitasking apple would have implemented it like shamesung, but they didn’t, cause it would make the OS feel WAYS more unstable and irrological.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Uhm then dont install it.

    • MarcPhilippeB

      whats the point of watching a video while doing whatever on your phone? the only reason I found is that the video is just too boring.

      • Damian W

        oh man you are missing the point. The point is you can text, email or do whatever while watching a movie at the same time. Simple. How can you not get it?

    • smtp25

      seriously? Do you not watch a tv program and send a txt or quickly look something up at the same time? Sure you must do and its the same thing.

      Yes if its an epic movie you want to dedicate your attention, most aren’t

      What if you want to Watch a live sports feed and follow twitter at the same time?

      Watch a movie on iPad, and you want to check out what the plot was meant to be on IMDB or who that familiar looking actress is at the same time? now you would have to pause, switch to browse and come back again.

      The ipad screen is 9.7″ so more than two iPhone screens, its perfectly reasonable to be able to watch a movie on the top half and browse on the bottom. Before my iPad I watched a ton of movies on my iPhone and the screen was plenty big enough for personal viewing.

      And don’t forget most 16:9 movies are letter boxed on your ipad/phone anyway so there is spare screen real estate

      • MarcPhilippeB

        It makes more sense from a technical point of view, nevertheless I’m convinced that you can’t focus on two things simultaniously. (except for sports) Either you watch a movie and it gets your full attention or you look sth up online. And if you focus on one thing, it isn’t multitasking anymore, it just looks like it.

    • Matt Dowdy

      then based on your post i would assume that you don’t jailbreak your ios devices because if apple wanted us to have all the tweaks available on cydia they would have implemented them right? the very reason for jailbreaking is to give choice to the end user

      • Lagax

        I don’t have it jailbroken since I am on iOS 7, but I had before. And I installed tweaks making the OS easier(like BiteSMS). But not things making it more complicable.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      Ok you don’t need to install it this is jailbreaking do want you want

  • Mike

    I don’t understand why you would want to watch a video like that. Your better off having a split screen tweak instead.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      This is a split screen tweak dumbass this is the only one too that works on iPhone

  • Chris Holden

    Ryan Petrich should work for apple and bring this amazing tweaks to ios , i know its a dream

    • Liam Mulcahy

      damn right

    • deepdvd

      I disagree. Every time someone says a particular jailbreak creator or developer should work for Apple, I cringe. Apple would just stifle and hinder exactly what they are doing and love… and that is FREEING my iOS device and maximizing its potential.

  • AntzinPantz

    No VideoPane prompt on ios 5.1.1 :(

  • Shingo

    works best on ipad screen.

    • Gorgonphone

      it works on ipad now????

  • KraKsX

    Few things-
    Only one video can play at a time
    Once a video is playing, you can’t pop it out

    • RarestName

      Yes you can.

      • KraKsX

        So enlighten me, let me know what I’m missing

      • RarestName

        You can spread two fingers on the pop up, you can tap on the full screen button, and you can assign an Activator action to make it full screen.

      • Ron McLaughlin

        I installed video pane and nothing happens when I play a video,, what am I missing?

      • KraKsX

        Are you on iOS 6.x.x ?
        Have you rebooted your device ?

      • Ron McLaughlin

        Yea, I did an initial respring after installing it, after realizing nothing happens, I rebooted by holding down the Lock/home buttons for several seconds… still nothing,, went back into Cydia and modified the source to reinstall/respring… still nothing happens.. I am on iOS 6.1 (iPhone 5) Maybe I have a jailbreak tweak installed that is causing vidoepane to not work ???

      • Alex Marwaha

        hmmmm. best option is to completely restore..
        jkjk I would recommend get rid of tweaks that you don’t use. this may be hard but im telling you will will speed up your device and clean out a few junky stuff. try that and tell me what happens. get rid of ALL the tweaks you don’t use.

      • Alex Marwaha

        did you buy it or get it from like bite your apple r someething

      • Ron McLaughlin

        Purchased it from Cydia

      • KraKsX

        I think you are missing what i am saying.
        If you are playing a video as normal, not detached. There is no way to detach it mid play. I am not talking about full screen at all.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      I don’t know why you would want to play 2 videos at a time that sounds dumb

      • KraKsX

        Doesnt matter why I want to, I do… Let me show an example:
        Lets say im watching a Live event. And during it, a subject comes about, i google the subject, and a video is there, I would like to play the new video while the live event is still detached.

      • Liam Mulcahy

        But you couldn’t hear the damn videos and your device would be lagging

      • KraKsX

        There is no reason the device would be lagging.
        And you dont need to always hear things.

        Just because you dont seem to want this feature, doesnt mean its a dumb feature.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Nice stuff, but don’t see the need of it on my small 4S screen…besides, most of the time I’m watching a video on my iPhone, I’m too focused on it to care about other apps.

  • Question

    This is sweet but im on ios 7 now missing my jailbreak.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      I’m still on jailbroken iOS 6 like a boss

  • Salman

    Ryan Petrich always brings us amazing things if video multitasking is possible, maybe he should release something like Quasar cause that developer is taking too long and probably gave up.

    • Gorgonphone

      yeah that dev lacked the skill to smooth out quasars bugs very sad

    • Liam Mulcahy

      What else could you want other than watching videos While you doing other stuff?

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    Pretty awesome. I wish we could change the size of the pane using pinch gestures

    • Niclas

      You can!

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        Perfect!!

  • Ismail ‘marco’ Azeem

    waiting for my bank balance to be updated to purchase this tweak :D too many tweaks on my phone :-s just removed InstaLauncher and Badger cause dont use them anymore hope they Dev’s develop iOS 7 versions of those thou

  • http://donflor.me/ Don Flor

    jeff, you forgot to mention that you could resize the video by pinching/spreading it first then dragging it in or out. Great tweak btw.

    • iosPixel

      I cant wait till they add a thin border or some padding.

    • Damian W

      actually pinching method is very bad (inaccurate). I just got an email from petrcih saying that to have the best resizing result we should double tap on the video and drag the finger across the screen in either down or up direction.

      It works very smooth and fast this way.

  • notewar

    Love this tweak. I hope Ryan bring in Adjustable vdo size by dragging on the corner of the vdo on the next update.

    • KraKsX

      Two fingers up makes video bigger, two fingers down video becomes smaller.

      • notewar

        shit my bad…thank for the input!!!

      • KraKsX

        No prob, i tried the pinching technique at first and it worked, somewhat weird. Took some playing to figure out what gestures did it correctly :)

      • Kevin Bustillo

        I want to purchase but my only question is if it works with espn watch app or mlb at bat app? Anyone who has purchased care to help me out? Would be perfect to watch my teams while multitasking.

      • notewar

        Yes i have to agree with you there and i always ended up move the entire vdo. There should be more ways to configure the gesture.

      • KraKsX

        Its not bad, once you know what it is.

  • patmack

    I just purchased this tweak. Works Great!

  • Ron McLaughlin

    Cydia showed my device as compatible (Iphone 5 jailbroken at 6.1) I purchased videopane and installed it. But when I play a video or youtube video nothing happens?? What am I missing?

  • Alex Marwaha

    I always feel sooo bad that I am on ios 7 beta 5 now. I don’t fully regret it, but I do miss thhe cool features with jailbreaking. Does anyone know when the ios 7 jailbreak might come out? maybe in late or mid September? early oct?

    • Gorgonphone

      yeah and its ugly hahha

      • Alex Marwaha

        you guys are dumb I mean ios 7 looks beautiful.

      • Gorgonphone

        Thats what you are supposed to say but really its a fail

      • Alex Marwaha

        you dont have the beta so you dont appreciate it. learn to appreciate things and not to scoff at things you dont have.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      hahahaha

  • Liam Mulcahy

    I’m downloading now

  • Gorgonphone

    back ground manager fixes that already

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Ryan makes the best stuff

  • Damian W

    This is the type of tweak i am used to from Cydia and I want to see more. It is all about usability and productiveness. Way to go Ryan.

  • iPhoneDanno

    Doesn’t work for me. iPad 2 on 6.1.2JB. I’ve trimmed down my tweaks to bare minimum and still no joy. Multiple reboots, resprings and reinstalls with no change… I was really looking forward to this tweak. I never get the “Detach” popup window.

    • iPhoneDanno

      Updated to VideoPane 1.0.1 and it works for me now. Yeah!! It works with Netflix and TimeWarnerCable streaming.

      • Alex Marwaha

        it works with movie box!!! thank the LORD!

  • Fahad AlMaamari

    One of the best tweak ever, it looks great on my iPad. One question though if i didn’t detach the video when i start playing it how to detach it again ?

  • TakerX

    VideoPane 1.0.1 works on iPad 4 iOS 6.1 (10B141).

  • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

    Never cease to amaze me how Android users keep using the “Android has had that forever” argument. Who cares? Ok, you were first to have it. Great. Congrats. I’ll send a box of cookies to the Android team.

    • David Villamizar

      Just one cookie

  • Alex Marwaha

    when is gunner z coming out? I need to know.

  • JI

    You can contact me? I use your videopane when there is a little problem, resulting in Caton input method, please write to 674685392@qq.com

  • Juan Guerrero

    I rather stick with samsung ios sucks plus samsung already had video