Nowability adds music controls and recent notifications to Reachability

By , Jul 16, 2016

Nowability accessibility new features

Those of you who use the Reachability interface at all know that it can come in handy during times when you want better one-handed access to the features at the top of your 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch display.

On the other hand, it leaves a big void at the top of the screen that could be utilized to display additional information about your device, and that’s just what a new jailbreak tweak called Nowability aims to accomplish.

Redefining the usefulness of Reachability

Instead of leaving all that blank space at the top of your screen when you use Reachability to make reaching something easier, Nowability provides you with information about any media that might be playing, in addition to information about the most recent notification you’ve received.

Music widget

The music information includes built-in controls, which allow access to playing and pausing the song, in addition to moving forward or back in the line of songs. You can also scrub through the song by dragging the slider to any point in the song – perfect for getting to your favorite guitar solo.

In terms of information, the small widget shows the album artwork, in addition to what app is playing the music. If you tap on the application icon at the top left of the widget, it will launch the app playing the music; in our case, that would be the Apple Music app.

Notification widget

The notification widget provides you with a little reminder of the most recent notification that you’ve received on your device. It  doesn’t matter if it’s a text message, Facebook notification, Twitter mention, or even a phone call.

This section shows you the app it was received from, how long ago, and some content that reveals a hint as to what the notification is about. You can tap on the widget at any time to launch the app that has the pending notification and view what’s new.

Configuring Nowability

Nowability looks pretty bare-bones, but when you launch the Settings app after installation, you’ll find yourself presented with configuration options for the tweak that allow you to make the tweak work in the ways you want it to.

Nowability preference pane options to configure

You can disregard that the preferences pane actually says Frost instead of Nowability; at this point in time we’re not sure if that was intentional, or was some sort of bug, but the preferences pane is certainly full of options pertaining to Nowability.

Among the options you can configure from the Configuration cell are:

  • Using black music controls instead of white ones
  • Using white text instead of black text
  • Excluding Calendar, Clock, and/or Weather alerts from the notification widget
  • Disabling the automatic dismissal of Reachability when opened
  • Disabling the music widget whenever no media is playing in the background

There is no need to respring the device, as all changes occur on the fly.

My thoughts on Nowability

Nowability is certainly one in a handful of tweaks that has aimed to make better use of all that empty space in the Reachability view. Of course, it does a great job and uses widget designs that look and feel a lot like notification banners in iOS 10. With that being said, things are very Apple-esque with this tweak.

Keep in mind that Reachability is only available on the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6 Plus, and not the iPhone 5s or earlier. Nevertheless, you can still use a tweak like ReachAll to enable Reachability on any device. And yes, Nowability will work with ReachAll on legacy devices and I think that’s a great addition for those who want these features and don’t have Reachability to begin with.

In all honesty you can always get music information directly from Control Center or notification information right from Notification Center, so the tweak doesn’t really bring any new features to the table. I also think it would be cool if you could swipe between notifications in the widget rather than only seeing your most current one.

Nevertheless, it does fill the empty space in Reachability quite well and maintains Apple’s design standards. So it’s just an added bell and whistle you could have on your jailbroken device.

Wrapping up

Nowability is a new way to fill the void in the Reachability interface on your jailbroken iOS 9 device, and it is available in Cydia’s BigBoss repository right now for $0.99.

Will you be downloading this on your jailbroken device? Share below!

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  • T. Allen

    IF the jailbreak EVER returns.

  • Jay Dee

    It’s pretty buggy so far. For me, it’s only working when I use reachability on the springboard and then sometimes it stays on the screen and just overlaps my icons after I dismiss it.

    • Aviorrok

      I’m sorry about bugs but @cpdigitaldarkroom working on fixes.

  • Great idea!.. wish Apple would take a cue from this and use a similar feature in iOS 10.1 or something.. reachability has so much wasted space on top.