Auxo is dead.
Perhaps that’s what some of you thought last June, when you first saw Apple unveil iOS 7 at its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference. You weren’t alone. Even Sentry, the tweak’s prolific designer, sat with a temporary moment of dejection as he watched Apple unveil its newest stride in mobile computing.
Less than a year later, Sentry is back, and he’s brought along QusicS, a skilled developer who’s helped him express a brand new take on a legendary tweak. Whereas the original version of Auxo gained popularity from its full app previews, Auxo 2 is much more of an evolutionary take on iOS 7′s App Switcher as a whole.
Ultimately, this has proved to be a wise decision, because Apple’s version of the App Switcher is nowhere near the limited mess that it was on firmwares below iOS 7. Auxo 2 is a serious refinement and feature-filled update, and I believe you’ll find that it significantly improves the process of switching apps.
We’ve been testing Auxo 2 since Saturday. Does it live up to the hype? Check out our full review and video walkthrough for the answer.
Listen to Let’s Talk Jailbreak: episode 51 as we chit-chat with Sentry about Auxo 2, the development process, his favorite features, release date, and pricing structure.
Auxo 2 comes bundled with quite a few options, but there’s one feature that stands head and shoulders above the rest. That feature, is of course, the Quick Switcher. There’s a reason why the Quick Switcher has been showcased in teaser videos. There’s a reason why Sentry calls it his favorite feature in Auxo 2. It’s because the Quick Switcher will change the way you use your iPhone.
The Quick Switcher allows you to switch apps using nothing more than touch gestures. Its precision and ease of use make it a feature that feels second nature after just a few minutes of hands-on time. It’s not a ground breaking idea per-se, but it makes more sense in usage than any app switching tweak that’s been released on Cydia to date.
Using the Quick Switcher
Position you thumb near the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and drag up. You’ll witness the current app zoom out and six app icons appear near the bottom of the screen. In one sweeping motion, drag your finger across the screen towards the right to switch between apps. As you switch apps, the full screen app preview will change to match the app icon appearing below. Release your thumb when you’ve located the app you want to switch to, and voila, you just switched apps in one beautiful sweeping motion.
The Quick Switcher in Auxo 2 is quite the compelling feature
By default, the Quick Switcher allows you to switch between the last six recently used apps, but there’s an advanced option in the tweak’s preferences to allow switching between all recently used apps.
Switching between all of the apps available using the Quick Switcher
The wonderful thing about the Quick Switcher is that it features fluid animation, it’s extremely precise, and it’s all accomplished in one sweeping motion that allows you to keep your thumb on the screen. Switching between apps with the Quick Switcher feels natural, not forced. It’s a function that is sure to cure the most striking cases of Home button dependency disease.
The next most notable feature to be found in Auxo 2 is Multi-Center. Multi-Center has done the obvious thing and combined Control Center together with the App Switcher. Multi-Center eschews the barren App Switcher view found in stock iOS 7 for a feature-packed view that features toggles, the App Switcher, and media controls.
Multi-Center features fluid animations and mixes Control Center with the App Switcher
Multi-Center is not the standout feature that the Quick Switcher is, but I believe most will find it to be a useful, if not an unheralded part of the package. Multi-Center allows you to retain all of the functionality of the App Switcher, but throws in additional features. You can use swipe-down gestures to select apps in one fluid animation, and access a kill-all-apps option when swiping up on the Home screen card. Auxo 2 is even smart enough not to kill apps that currently are playing music.
Closing all apps from Multi-Center
Inside Multi-Center you’ll find all of the familiar assets of Control Center. There are media controls for playing music, brightness and volume controls, Quick Launch shortcuts, toggles for Airplane mode and Bluetooth, and the AirPlay and AirDrop controls.
It was no small feat to squeeze everything into the Multi-Center view, so a few different measures were taken for crowd control. First of all, the Control Center elements are split up, with some assets, like toggles and AirDrop/AirPlay controls appearing at the top of the screen, and other assets, like media controls and Quick Launch shortcuts, appearing at the bottom of the screen.
Strikingly fluid animation
In the middle of all of the action lies the App Switcher, and as you can see, the animation was done in a way to help maintain a feeling of balance. This can be vividly illustrated when using a swipe-down and swipe-up gesture on one of the app switcher cards as seen above.
Everything that you’d normally find in the App Switcher and/or Control Center has made the cut, but almost everything has changed when it comes to looks, location, and in some cases, function.
Tapping on the song info loads swipe-able album artwork
For example, take the media controls that appear at the bottom of the Multi-Center. Tapping on the name of a currently playing song will display the song’s album art in the center of the screen, overlapping the App Switcher. You can then swipe on the album artwork to skip or go to previous tracks. Tapping and holding on the song information will launch the music playing app in question.
You can scrub iTunes Radio tracks with Auxo’s media controls
iTunes Radio users will find a sweet surprise when controlling music with the media controls. Not only can you utilize the star button to help curate your radio stations, you can also use the scrubbing feature to rewind and fast-forward through a now-playing song. As you might recall, the stock Music app does not allow you to scrub iTunes Radio songs whatsoever, so this is a nice perk for Auxo 2 users.
Depending on how you have the rest of Auxo 2 configured, the Hot Corners feature is capable of doing multiple things. If you have the Multi-Center and Quick Switcher enabled, the Hot Corners will allow you to close any open app and go back to the Home screen using a swipe-up gesture in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
If you have Multi-Center disabled, the Hot Corners feature will allow you to swipe-up from the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to initiate the Quick Switcher, with a further swipe-up gesture launching the multitasking tray. The bottom-right gesture will still go back to the Home screen while in an app, and will invoke Control Center like normal while at the Home screen.
With Multi-Center disabled, Hot Corners can serve multiple functions
If you have Multi-Center and the Quick Switcher disabled, the Hot Corners feature will allow you to reveal the multitasking tray with a swipe-up gesture in the bottom left-hand corner. The bottom-right gesture will still go back to the Home screen while in an app, and will invoke Control Center like normal when on the Home screen.
Auxo 2′s advanced options allow you to configure the tweak to your liking using a variety of different toggles and settings. Auxo is smart enough to recognize when certain toggles and settings are no longer applicable, due to its configuration. For example, if you have the Hot Corners toggle disabled, the setting to Invert Hot Corners will be greyed out. If you have all of the primary toggles disabled, effectively disabling Auxo 2 outright, then all of the advanced options will be greyed out.
Auxo 2 is smart enough to know when options no longer apply
The Minimal Display toggle allows you to hide the AirDrop/AirPlay and track scrubber. There are several options and scenarios included when it comes to minimizing the display. You can choose to do so always, when no media is playing, when AirPlay is undetected, or when AirDrop is set to off.
The scrubber and Air options are still accessible in minimal mode, just hidden
Open to Last App
Open to Last app is useful when needing to quickly switch between two apps more than once
This option allows you to quickly switch between two apps when invoking the Multi-Center. This is a handy option to use when you need to gather information from two apps.
The stock Control Center features four different Quick Launch shortcuts for turning on the flashlight, launching the timer, Calculator app, and Camera app. These same Quick Launch shortcuts can be found in Auxo 2 as well.
Notice the Quick Launch shortcuts at the bottom of the interface
The Quick Launcher features options to display, do not display, and auto-dismiss when media is playing or when no media is playing. There are also three auto dismiss intervals available to dismiss after three, five, and eight seconds.
Unlimited Quick Switcher
The Quick Switcher, by default, is limited to six applications. By enabling the unlimited Quick Switcher, users can access any of the apps previously opened, just like the stock App Switcher.
Enabling the Unlimited Quick Switcher
Invert Hot Corners
You can invert Auxo 2′s Hot Corners to access the App Switcher from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and the Home screen on the bottom left-hand corner.
An example of Inverted Hot Corners
When you have Inverted Hot Corners enabled, you will not be able to use the Quick Switcher, which is, of course, a huge downside.
Disable in Applications
Not all applications, namely games and other full screen apps, will play nice with Auxo 2. With that in mind, an option is included to disable Auxo 2′s feature-set while in specific applications. You can even choose to disable Auxo 2 whenever a keyboard is open, no matter the app.
You can disable Auxo 2 for any app installed on your device
As I stated earlier, I’ve been using Auxo 2 on my daily driver for several days now, and I’m totally used to it. It improved the app switching experience, and makes it so I rarely even think about using the Home button.
I love the fluidity of the tweak, and I especially admire the Quick Switcher. The Quick Switcher is hands-down the standout feature in Auxo 2.
In our podcast interview with Sentry, I stated that the Quick Switcher is like having a desktop Command+Tab feature available on the small screen. It makes switching apps largely effortless, seamless and smooth. I love the fact that you don’t have to lift your thumb off the screen at anytime while switching apps with the Quick Switcher. It’s one thing to see it on video, but it’s a whole another thing to actually use it for yourself.
With that said, Auxo 2 isn’t perfect, but my main gripe with the tweak isn’t the fault of Sentry or QusicS. Sometimes you’ll encounter an animation lag when an app “settles” into view after switching between apps. This delay is caused by iOS’ animation, and results in input-lag when trying to quickly perform another app switching gesture right after one has been completed.
Most users probably won’t notice this flaw, which is actually more of an iOS flaw than it is an Auxo flaw, but nevertheless it is there. This issue becomes apparent, because the Quick Switcher makes switching apps so fast and easy, that it exposes iOS’ limitations when it comes to animation lag.
My last small complaint with Auxo has to do with the Multi-Center. As a minimalist, I find that the Multi-Center is a bit too busy for my tastes. The Minimal Display option makes a difference in this regard, and I highly recommend that you enable it in Auxo’s settings.
But even with the Minimal Display option enabled, I find that there still seems to be a little too much going on in the Multi-Center. I wish that there was an option to remove the app icons beneath the App Switcher cards, as that would assist with calming down the interface.
Despite any grievances that I may have aired, Auxo 2 is a winner, and you should purchase it as soon as it touches down on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. Auxo 2 builds on the legacy of the original tweak in many ways. It doesn’t just try to replicate or emulate its predecessor, but it has evolved into a tweak that truly makes the App Switcher in iOS 7 a better tool. No, Auxo is anything but dead; it’s very much alive.
Even if you’d only consider using the tweak’s Quick Switcher feature, Auxo 2 is totally worth the price of admission. If you already own the original version, Auxo 2 will cost you $1.99. If you’re new to the world of Auxo, then prepare to pay $3.99.
For the functionality that you get, and the future updates that are around the corner (hint: free iPad support, listen to the podcast), Auxo 2 is an absolute must-have jailbreak tweak that shouldn’t be missed under any circumstance. After you give it a try, please check back here and leave a comment sharing your experience.