Auki Featured

As I sit in the airport terminal at 9:30 PM, I get to reflect on the whirlwind that has been the last 30 hours. I landed in San Francisco last night around 6:00 PM and hit the ground running. The blistering break-neck speed of the last day has made it a little difficult for me to register what just happened, but the down time in the Airport—the first real down time I’ve had in a couple of days—allows me to slowly digest what just occurred.

It’s been surreal. Meeting (and interviewing) some of my favorite jailbreak developers—creators of some of the tools and tweaks that I use on a daily basis on my iPhone. Mingling with fans, listening to intriguing talks, and finally meeting Jim Gresham and Sebastien Page, have all been highlights of my visit.

But when it comes to actual jailbreak releases, there has been one run-away highlight of this trip. Surenix—doing his best Steve Jobs impression—announced Auki —a brand new quick reply and quick compose tweak for the iPhone that he designed.

Developed by well-known tweak developer Bensge, Auki prides itself on feeling native and devoid of unnecessary features and bloat. Does it succeed in its lofty ambitions of making you forget about tweaks like Couria, Messages+, and biteSMS? Check inside for the full video first-look.

Please note that this video was shot and recorded at WWJC, hence, you may hear background noise (clapping) because this was created during Surenix’s presentation.

Quick Compose

Auki allows you to invoke a quick compose interface by means of an Activator gesture, or by using a swipe down gesture while within Notification Center. Once the quick compose interface is visible on screen, users can begin typing a contact’s name and Auki will dynamically filter through your list of contacts until you come upon the target name.

Multiple names can be added to the recipient field simply by tapping on the field and typing additional names. Unfortunately, deleting recipients isn’t as easy, as you’ll need to cancel out the quick compose window and re-invoke it in order to start over from scratch.

The text field where you type a message is dynamic as well, in that it resizes in order to fit the amount of text that you type.  You can quickly insert a recently snapped photo, take a picture, or insert a photo from your photo library by means of the camera icon towards the left of the text input field.

Auki invoking

Invoking Auki via Notification Center

At the bottom of the quick compose window lies three buttons—cancel, open and send. The cancel button closes out of the quick compose interface without sending the message. Open allows you to open the stock Messages app, and Auki is smart enough to open to the conversation thread of the contact in the recipient field. Auki won’t carry over any text that you’ve started typing in the quick compose interface to the full Messages app, so be aware that you will lose any unsent text if you open the full interface.

The last button on the Auki quick compose interface is its most important—the send button. The send button’s color will reflect the type of message that you will send—SMS text or iMessage. The green color pertains to text messages, and blue pertains to iMessage.

Quick Reply

Quick replies are initiated directly from banner notifications or from the Lock screen or Notification Center. You’ll notice a blue reply button on the far-right side of the banner notification, which, when tapped, reveals Auki’s quick reply interface.

Auki Reply Button

The quick reply interface closely resembles the quick compose interface. The main difference between the two is that quick reply doesn’t allow you to modify recipient. Quick reply recipients are pre-populated, and the send button that normally appears on the quick compose window has been changed to a reply button.

Auki Quick reply

There is another feature with quick reply that astute observers will notice. Beneath the name of the contact you’re replying to rests the contact info used by the sender. This contact info can be an email address, in the case of iMessage, or a phone number, which is useful for gaining additional context of a conversation.

Silent Mode

The third and final big feature of Auki is the silent mode. Silent mode can be turned on for any conversation simply by swiping the conversation thread, and tapping the silent button that lies next to the delete button.

Auki Silent

Silent mode allows users to suppress alert sounds, notification banners and vibration. Silent mode also activates something that has been dubbed stealth mode. Stealth mode disables the read receipts and now-typing indicator normally present when replying to messages.

Conclusion

Auki is opinionated software, meaning that that Surenix and Bensge have created it with their vision in mind and don’t allow users to customize the experience. In fact, the tweak doesn’t feature a preference panel in the Settings app at all. While I don’t mind this, and I actually find it to be refreshing, some users may understandably not agree with this approach.

Fans of biteSMS or other Messages app related jailbreak tweaks may find Auki to be a bit limiting and devoid of some of the features that other full-featured tweaks have. However, Auki wasn’t created as a do-everything Messages app replacement; it was created to provide simple and concise quick reply that felt native and I think that it accomplishes this fairly well.

Auki landscape

Does it have room for improvement? Of course. It’s a 1.0 release. For example, I’m hoping that a future update will allow users to attach media to outgoing texts while in landscape mode. It would also be nice to include basic preferences, such as a kill switch for disabling the tweak.

If you’re a huge biteSMS fan who loves its feature-set, then I don’t see Auki pulling you away. But if you’re someone who wants a lightweight implementation of quick reply and quick compose, something that feels as if it could have been natively included, then Auki is worthy of your consideration.

Auki is available right now from Cydia’s BigBoss repo for $3.99. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Is quick reply available from the lockscreen?

  • JeffBenjamin sound like Thunder

    • jocastro

      ? really???? i always knew he was black from just his voice lol

  • The only thing I like about biteSMS is the lock mode alert when someone texted you, the contact image on the messages app and the quick reply thing. But to be honest, the iOS 7 app of biteSMS is so buggy. I always experience that thing when you can’t touch anything on the screen after someone texted you and the bitesms window pops up. I need to restart my phone to make it disappear. If Auki can add more feature to it like what I mentioned above, I will consider ditching biteSMS for it.

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  • Fady

    I dunno if ppl know this but, by using activator, you can assign a gesture to start auki quick compose feature (i.e: I have double tapping the status bar)

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  • Chris

    There is an android tweak called GoSMS that has a private box, basically it is a private PW protected box that you can assign contacts to and all messages from them are placed in that box, you can either silence it or assign it a notification tone. Someone REALLY needs to include that in an iOS messages tweak!! When the kids, or someone else is using my phone, and the wife wants to send me something I worry about them opening the messages app and seeing it. Sure I could lock the messages app. all together but thats a PITA when I want to text someone that doesn’t need to be private. BTW anyone found the settings tab for Auki? There are features listed that I can’t seem to find how to activate.

    • jocastro

      there isn’t a settings tab for Auki.

      • Chris

        I am aware of that but where are all these other features? group message, message carryover?, stealth mode.

      • Lance Baker

        I wondered that, too. What the hell is message carryover? I have hopes for this because I love the aesthetics.

      • jocastro

        watch the video guys

      • Lance Baker

        The video says nothing about message carryover. Thanks, though.

      • jocastro

        lol omg, message carry over is typing a message on the lockscreen but then you decided you want to go to the message app. it carries over your message instead of making a new one

      • Lance Baker

        Except that it doesn’t do that. Read the article.

      • jocastro

        you know your right, i dont know lol, good catch

  • how is this different from bitesms?

  • blawbair

    Sweet! Enjoy the tweak. 🙂

  • jocastro

    no problem, your not the only one 😛

  • CAS

    So after all I bought it, I gotta say I’m not impressed, it’s better than messages+, works great, not a single problem, but the looks of it… I just don’t like it, I hate the blur in the QR/QC, hard to believe this was designed by Surenix. Congrats to Benno in the coding, No issues at all.

  • airjer

    For $3.99 you’d think there would be iPad support as well.

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Sticking with bite. Only one ever QR lockup ever on my 5s, which I closed by merely pushing the home button. Besides I’ve already owned it for like 3 phones. Mayb if they’d integrate a few more key features I’d consider trying. Not very fond of bites rite swipe dismiss being so wonky, rlly needs addressing.

  • kahlil velayo

    Like it, but developers they don’t do future updates. Like anemo and irealsms. Steep prices though. Unlike bitesms in the very beginning even up to now they keep on updating. It’s worth buying.

  • JS3

    im not buying nor using this simply for the fact the Developer is a POS and doesn’t support his tweaks after 1-2 updates…. Also i hate this surenix kid for the fact that all he wore at WWJC was hoodies with HIS NAME on them lol… its like HEY EVERYONE im surenix! look up to me! lol…. yea no thanks!

    • Surenix

      The developer’s the smartest kid I know so I disagree and I guess name tags were not approved by you either 😛 but yeah, you’re free to have your own opinion (or something like that)

  • chex_mix

    Eh at the end of the day Couria is $4 less than this (free!) and does everything this does except the “Silent Mode” feature which I can’t really see myself ever using and the “Last Photo” option when adding a photo to a message. If this were $1 I would consider it just because it seems a little more fluid and smoother than Couria but at $4 that is just too much to me when there are free alternatives.

  • JS3

    too bad the developer doesn’t support his tweaks…. sucks you in for a price and then never looks back! refuse to buy tweaks and themes like that!!

    • Surenix

      Typically, if a product is popular enough, I don’t see why anyone would stop supporting it. We’ll all just have to wait and see.

      • JS3

        you dont have to respond back but ask yourself why velox only had 1 update when there were SOO many things wrong, and still wrong to this day…? exactly…

      • John Willis

        You, JS3, are a troll.

  • dnice

    its not working for me, just uninstalled bite, installed auki and swiping down in the notification center does nothing, also swiping across a message only gives me the option to delete

    • Surenix

      Send us an email with a list of your tweaks please.

      • DSN1138

        did you figure why its not working for ? Im having the same problem

  • Am I correct that auki uninstalls Intelliscreen7X?

    • Surenix

      The next auki update will make you happy (for the most part)

      • Excellent. Add a dark translucent theme while you’re at it and Auki is a home run

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  • John Willis

    Installed it two days ago and AUKI is fantastic. The cleanest integration of a simple tweak yet and it does it so well. @Surenix:disqus, great work sir, I have hated how complicated BiteSMS makes things and Auki is perfect! I’ll gladly fork over $4 for this quality of work again.

  • Akw6190

    Everyone is talking about how much they like BiteSMS and I’m just over here loving my Couria.

  • Qasim

    I bought it but i cant get it to work on my iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1.2, after i install and respring, i dont see anything different, no quick reply anywhere, i enabled it in settings, and sent myself texts from another phone but all the features explained above arent there, CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT WORK?