iPhone Screenshot

Appellancy—the facial recognition jailbreak tweak that unlocks your device—is now available for download on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. The tweak, which is by far the best jailbreak tweak to feature facial recognition unlocking, worked very well in my testing of the final build that just hit Cydia.

I was a bit skeptical due to some issues that I had with the beta versions of the tweak (mainly crashing), but most of those issues seem to have been fixed. Check out our video walkthrough of the tweak after the break.

After installing Appellancy, you’ll find a new app icon on the Home screen. This app icon is used to take the pictures used by the tweak to identify each user. Multiple users can configure the tweak to work with their face, which will allow more that one person to unlock the device using facial recognition.

Upon first unlocking your device after install, Appellancy will ask you to unlock with the passcode so that it can store the passcode information. The passcode is then used to unlock the device when your image is verified.

Configuring everything was very straightforward. All you do is open the app, tap the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner, enter a name for the user, and begin taking photos. The app asks you to take photos at multiple angles in multiple lighting conditions.


The more photos you take, the better it’ll learn your facial structure, and in theory, the more secure the tweak will be. The developer notes that more pictures will increase the time that Appellancy takes to unlock your device, but I didn’t notice any drastic time differences when I had 30 photos configured as opposed to 10.

After you take the necessary photos, head to the Lock screen and simply look at the screen. Appellancy should recognize your face and unlock your device in short order. If you use a swipe gesture to access the passcode lock, you’ll see a live image using the device’s front facing camera, which should help in those instances where you’re having trouble with recognition. Most of the time, though, Appellancy will recognize you and unlock your device before you even get a good chance to view the live photo; it’s very fast.

Appellancy Recognize

Appellancy features quite  a few options in the stock Settings app for further configuration of the experience. There’s a kill-switch for quickly disabling the tweak, an option to start recognition only after swiping to view the passcode, and various other options to further customize things. There’s even an option to use the GuestMode jailbreak tweak on rejection, which will allow rejected users to still use the iPhone at some high level.

Appellancy options

Appellancy isn’t perfect. I still ran into crashes when taking photos from time to time, but it’s come a long way since I first tried its beta version. Developer Elijah Frederickson has even created an API for integrating the facial recognition tech into other jailbreak releases.

Of course, due to the nature of this tweak, there is a definite hit on battery life, but that’s to be expected. Frederickson has done his best to negate instances where the camera is put into use, so the battery life hit might not be as extreme as you would think.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Appellancy. Obviously, tweaks like this are inherently less secure than a Touch ID fingerprint, or perhaps even a 4-digit passcode. Still, it’s a great tech demo to show off to friends, and if you’re a non Touch ID device owner, you may find that it’s a great alternative to the passcode.

You can find Appellancy for $1.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo today. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

  • Async


    • Anthony Nguyen

      there’s other pictures of Jeff too like this. this is really creepy…. 😐

      • jocastro

        lol he basically is a kid lol

      • RarestName

        I thought that the first time we saw his face was the video where he interviewed another guy, like a few years back.

  • Danuel Carr

    Brace yourselves for dozens of comments about getting to see Jeff.

    • Jonathan

      I don’t see why people are wowed with they see Jeff. He’s just another person like me or you. Sure, I’d like to meet the iDB team, but I don’t want to go coo coo over it.

      • Danuel Carr

        It’s the simple novelty of seeing Jeff’s face in a video that people are excited over.

    • RarestName

      The only thing that I noticed is Ducky Benjamin is indeed still alive.

  • Jonathan Ramirez

    Does this work for iPad?

    • Holdi Bart

      yes, works great

      • Bruno Santos

        Something weird happened here. I installed, there are options to configure at settings, but there’s no app! So I Can’t register any faces!

      • Jim Hart

        Go to Cydia, remove the app and then reinstall it.

  • Peter

    I like this but it recognizes my brother as me. But I still like it.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      This is the problem with facial recognition. Assuming you and your brother look alike there’s not a lot you can do to prevent it unlocking when it shouldn’t…

    • Jonathan

      Here’s an idea.
      In the section where you can add faces for it to deny, trick him into thinking he’s adding his face. If he asks why, tell him so it recognizes him even better. Then have him take pictures and then it won’t add him. =)

      • Palmer Paul

        But since OP and his brother look alike, doing that will not only stop his brother from unlocking his device with his face, but it will also stop OP from doing so!

      • Jonathan

        Not likely. The 2 brother’s faces are slightly different. They’re never 100% the same. Since it completely know’s his face, it will allow him, but since his brother’s face is similar, it will allow him too. But if he adds his brother’s face th the rejection, it will then look for the tinier details of the face th allow only him and not just brother. Or at least, it should. Hopefully. lol

      • Peter

        Wait. Where’s the section for denied faces

      • Jonathan

        I can’t remember. I don’t have it installed ATM. I had the beta, but got rid of it since I didn’t have enough RAM.

      • ProfSpaceCadet

        Go to Appellency’s preferences pane in settings and turn on Show Deny Entry.

  • mordechai eliyahu

    once we get to see him once we will see him all over

  • Alan

    Could anyone help me? It say recognized but doesn’t unlock ?

    • lol


    • Osama Muhammed

      can i have that wallpaper :O

    • Osiris

      Give me that wallpaper please

    • Alan

      Here , but I still need help lol !

      • Osiris

        You didn’t attach the picture?

      • Alan


      • Abbas

        god damn she hawt !! who’s she ?

  • J. Rockwell

    R.I.P. Battery

    • Jonathan

      I tried the beta. I didn’t notice that much of a difference. But since I have Nintype keyboard installed, having this on top of it sucks up my RAM. In other words, my springboard crashes every 30 seconds – 2 minutes.

  • Dan

    I didn’t use this for long when I had an android device (although it worked very well) the novelty wears off. Imo fingerprint works better and faster.

  • Sleetui

    Was able to detect my entire family. Recommended you take pictures that are at specific angles where you can hold your phone comfortably. Also with different areas with different lighting. Or you can minimize the chance of somebody trying to access your phone by taking pictures “closely” to your face so it sees more “detail”. Like the tweak: Needs improvements.

    • ProfSpaceCadet

      Add them to the Deny entry. You can enable it in Settings > Appellency > Show Deny Entry – on.

      • Sleetui

        Oh didn’t realize there was an update that included that 😀 Thanks

      • ProfSpaceCadet

        No problem.

        p.s. If you like Appellency, try Appellocker. It lets you (un)lock apps with Appellency. I bought it and it works great!

      • Sleetui

        Is it from the same developer or is it a new tweak?

      • ProfSpaceCadet

        No problem

  • Awesome tweak, works flawless for me. Thanks iDB for the info.

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  • TheDude

    So does this mean I can’t QR from lockscreen with biteSMS with this tweak? Will it just automatically unlock? Could be a deal breaker if that’s the case.

    • ProfSpaceCadet

      Not if you have Disable on Notification (or something like that) on.

  • jocastro

    Now this is what im talking about!!!!!!!!! They should of shown this instead of Auki at WWJC.

  • App is crashing an awful lot here.

  • even after the latest update, it’s still crash city, but I’m sure they will fix it

  • 1.0.6 STILL crashing

    • Palmer Paul

      Do a hard reboot (hold down power and home until the phone turns off). As phone is turning back on, hold down volume up. This *should* get you into a state similar to Safe Mode where Cydia Substrate is disabled. Now you can navigate into Cydia and uninstall the tweak. Do a normal restart and you’re good to go.

  • Itay

    I can’t add myself to the list
    When I press the + button it shows
    The empty line to enter the name
    After press “ok” it’s wont do anything
    I’ve reinstalled the tweak for a few times and wait a about 1 minute but nothing happens keepers doing it and install from another repo but still the same

    • Itay


  • Chuck

    Ya got this yesterday and saved 30 pictures of myself and figured I’d test it out with the ol’lady… opened right up with her face. We don’t even look similar, I’m bald with facial hair, brown eyes and she has lots of hair with blue eyes… its a waste….

  • Ismail ‘marco’ Azeem

    its not only crashing but SUPER BUGGY 🙁 but an awesome tweak hope the dev fixes the crashes and the bugs soon.

  • Eder

    I do not think the icon of the app to add people, it’s gone and I can not make it appear

    • Itay

      You will not see it but if you tap on the empty space(where should be a new downloaded app) you’ll see that it open up!! Have a try…

  • Nice when it works, A little slow loading and will often lock you out of your phone by crashing; but this can seemingly be fixed by rebooting

  • Guest

    or white. He looks mixed. So in my book, he can be considered white.

  • Arlind

    It should make some improvements, because it recognizes some faces of my friends. They can unlock my iphone.