halo back

I love the additional screen real estate my iPhone 6 Plus gives me, but it makes one-handed usage very difficult. I can reach about halfway up the display comfortably, but anything higher than that—say, when I need to tap an app’s back button—and I have to shimmy my hand up the device.

Halo Back is a new iPhone accessory that wants to help significantly reduce the need for shimmying. Billed as the world’s first “smart” screen protector, the Halo attaches to the front of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, and gives you a virtual back button within thumb’s reach—left of the Home button.

How does it work? It’s pretty cool actually. The iPhone’s capacitive touchscreen display knows what we want it to do by reading where our fingers distort its electrostatic field. Halo simply uses a circuit layer to re-route that current, allowing your lower left touch to register in the top left corner.

The screen protector itself is made of high-grade tempered glass, and features nano coating that repels skins oils and should help reduce fingerprints. The iPhone 6 version is 130mm long (150mm for 6 Plus), 59mm wide and weighs just 6 grams (8g), so it doesn’t add much bulk to the handset.

If you’re interested, the Halo Back is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter, where you can score one for as little as $12. The project has garnered just $6,500 of its $20,000 goal, so it has quite a ways to go before it gets funded, but the good news is it still has about 25 days left to do so.

Obviously, there are some questions here, such as will the re-routed button always line up perfectly with the app’s back button? Also, would you even need this with so many apps supporting the swipe-back feature? Still it’s an interesting, innovative concept that some folks may find very handy.

What do you think of the Halo Back?

  • TechMan93

    oneHandWizard >

    • Truth.

    • fb2

      That’s right. Another tweak is Activator. With the “back” action of recent beta versions of Activator you can assign almost any gesture to go back, that includes the back button of apps and also to leave the app and go to the home screen 🙂

      • mp

        Please don’t mention that infernal tweak and its creators obstinate attitude whilst we’re discussing a serious alternative to the back button.

      • Enrrique510

        Dont be mad Activator and Ryan Petrich are super handy. Some people are just lazy to set up settings. And this is not serious its more like a bubble, possibly good but who knows if the funding will get there. Not our fault apple closes up options for non jailbroken.

      • KP

        I used to love Activator. Now I loath it, and don’t use any tweaks that require it. It’s just horrid on iOS 8….

      • mp

        Maybe you’re just lazy to set up settings. 🙂 just kidding.

      • tyler bourbon

        yes. hate the fact that activator is still glorified although it just does not work anymore. half the triggers dont work. most unreliable tweak i know

      • fb2

        I don’t know what you mean and which triggers, everything I set up works perfectly and the tweak is just awesome. Maybe you’re using it completely different and found some bugs ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • mp

        You’re mistaking mad for extremely vehemently disappoiinted in a product and the avoidance of its creator to acknowledge a problem that exists and adopts an obstinate attitude. That and the fact you’re assuming the problems are related to laziness which may be true in some instances but not in mine. Yes Ryan appears handy when he mounts up on his trusty white stead and rides in to save the day for everyone. Saurik picked him in one explanation.

      • Really? Please kindly inform me of what’s wrong with Activator? It was a big and very handy tool back when I was using a jailbroken iPhone (last was on iOS 6), in fact, won’t be comfortable with my post-jailbroken-iPhone era if I had not found true alternatives to it for my OnePlus One (AutomateIt Pro).

      • KP

        Many of the gestures do not trigger the action mapped to them. Upon first installation, it disables Reachability completely, no matter if it’s enabled or disabled.

      • Oh, yeah that would be very frustrating. Thanks for sharing.

      • mp

        Yes Reachability and there was a tweak similar function different name on ios7 where I encountered Activator problems. The name escapes me at the moment.

      • fb2

        Can you give me some examples, for me everything works. I also tested some triggers which I don’t even use but they all work just fine

      • KP

        I’m not going to reinstall that garbage to give it another shot, I really don’t have much need for it at this point as I’ve veered away from tweaks which require it. But from memory, as I stated above, it disabled the accessibility mode for me. It also made it difficult to bring up the notification center.

      • mp

        I had it on my iphone 4S on 5.1.1. my favourite phone/ios/jailbreak combo. Activator hit its peak, the three press home button was a revelation to assign that an activator gesture and was the defining moment for Activator and put Petrich on the map. From that point on mysterious resprings, and gestures that were hit and miss started to develop. Nil replies to legitimate questions. I spent countless hours installing/uninstalling tweaks. A serious pattern eminated with the bulk of unrelated problems ceasing following Activators removal. I refused to believe it. I begrudgingly had to update to ios6 (thanks Activator) of all days on the day ios6 was released in Australia. However lucky for me ios6 plagued my phone with continuing resprings especially when you moved an app to another page amongst other problems. Apple were good and replaced it witn a refurb on 5.1.1. snd my problems gone. I later bought a 4S on 5.0.1 sealed in box with my neighbour bribing me for it. I went straight to ios7 with an iphone 5 and activator p,agued me there. Son of a *****. Activtor removed problems gone. This trend and pattern continued and that phone was humming on 7.1.2 from memory, I took a punt with Activator again and let’s just say we haven’t spoken since until my current 5S met Activator which caused me rapid battery depletion, using it for quick reply caused a no reply. The same went for any reply from Petrich. This is my very condensed reply to your query MrE. You’re probably right in that it was great in ios6. That’s where it should have remained.

      • I can definitely relate to the poor customer support experience. Sure takes a while to respond to problem reports, and you’d be lucky if he ever does. Other than that, the tweaks he made were really helpful in making my iPhone work/look the way I want.

        Couldn’t EVER use an iPhone without jailbreak, and Activator was a key component of my jailbreak experience. Jumped ship from jailbroken iPhones to Android over 8 months ago (for multiple other reasons), and from the sounds of things going on in the jailbreak community, I have even more reasons not to buy another to iPhone.

      • fb2

        I’m also serious. The tweak works perfectly and without any flaws (for me). I’m using it for years and the developer updates the tweak every time again and it’s also completely free. I don’t know if you really used it or not, but it does work.

      • That’s all well and good for the JB community, but what about the other 99.3% of iPhone users that don’t use a jailbreak?

      • therealjjohnson

        exactly.

      • Jonathan Zedig

        bruh, like any Android device has just that on like almost any device

      • Giovanni

        I’m not sure if I mistaken your sentence with something else but the jailbreak community is a lot bigger than .7% eheheh probably the .7% isn’t jailbroken 🙂

  • kurt

    It’s cool, smart idea, but you could always just swipe to go back instead of having to reach the back button or use reachability instead of paying to have a back button at the bottom of the screen. Although $12 isn’t very expensive. It’s definitely unique though.

    • Chao Yang

      Not all app support back guestures. For example: Google chrome. I do have to reach to top left of the screen if I want to go back. As long time Android and iOS user, universal back button is good thing to have.

      • James G

        That’s Google Chrome’s fault, not the device. It’s one of the things I hate about Chrome.

      • Techsticles

        I gave up on Chrome for iOS.

        How many times does a user want to swipe through open tabs vs go back to the previous page, especially when their tool bar is at the top.

      • James G

        Agreed. Stopped using it years ago.

  • Jimmy Velletta

    Great idea, but I prefer swiping to get back.

    • Alberto Espinal

      Even swiping back is a pain one handed, unless you have big hands, but try it!!

  • mrgerbik

    This is why we jailbreak – no fancy screen needed (if that tweak exists of course)

    • CryptoCoin420

      it does not exist.

      • Hot12345

        Open your eyes than,

      • fb2

        it does, with the recent beta version of activator you have the “back” action. You can assign almost any gesture to go back, that includes the back button of apps and also to leave the app and go to the home screen 🙂

      • czbird

        I was using slideBack tweak even before this reached Activator. Check it out, works flawlessly.

      • fb2

        Thank you for the suggestion 😉
        I know that tweak but didn’t use it anymore because I used Zephyr and now Tage where I don’t need Slideback anymore 🙂

      • mp

        Activator is stuck in a continuing state of beta. For beta or worse it’s a cancer of a tweak and doesn’t its developer know it.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    I find this idea very clever and innovative. I also like the fact that it’s a clear/invisible screen protector. Those matte screen protectors although provide nice smooth swiping experience but they degrade the image quality severely, feels like looking at a non-retina display.

    If this comes to market in Europe, I’ll definitely be buying it. Very reasonable price. There are garbage screen protectors out there that cost about the same maybe even more. This one’s great!

    • mp

      Agreed.

  • Eni

    How about when you playing a game and you press it intentionally with the palm of your hand what happens?

    • mp

      There’s always one with an intelligent question. Well done, the question of the day.

  • sorrento

    Useless since iOS 7… Slide left to the right.

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Until this day, not all apps support the Swipe-back feature,

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    This is amazing but how is this possible.

  • Yunsar

    Whoa. Does that mean that the whole front glass of the iPhone is capacitive touch, including the panels on the left and right of the home button? If yes then someone should develop an app to make use of those touch regions.

  • Byron C Mayes

    You’re familiar with the built-in Reachability, right?

  • Mir Owais

    By far the most awesome thing I’ve heard off. Can’t use the reachability every time as i think I use my phone too quickly and it just doesn’t work at times.

  • @sexyhamthing

    Hardware solution for software shortfallings, gg.