Monocle is a new jailbreak tweak from Ryan Petrich that allows you to enable a true full screen mode on many of your favorite apps.
I emphasize true full screen, because unlike Maximization — a tweak that lets your hide the status bar for full screen mode — Monocle goes the extra mile and hides the navigation bar, toolbar, and tab bar as well.
This produces a true full screen mode in apps like the App Store, where the navigation bar is still present when using Maximization. Check out our video walkthrough for a visual explanation…
By default the shake Activator action is assigned to Monocle, but that can be customized by venturing into the Activator settings and reassigning the action.
Once you’re in an app that you want to place into full screen mode, simply use the Activator action, and all of the UI elements you specified in Monocle’s settings will disappear.
The interesting thing about Monocle is that you can mix and match the four UI elements for a customized look. For instance, you can hide the navigation bar, but keep the status bar, or hide everything but the navigation bar. It’s totally up to you as to how you customize your view, but keep in mind that the settings are universal with every app; you can’t customize a view on a per app basis.
Since the navigation bar is essential for navigating back to a previous screen, hiding it can present a problem. For that reason, Ryan Petrich recommends another one of his tweaks — SwipeBack — in order to deal with this issue. SwipeBack is a bit similar to Zephyr, in that you can use swipe gestures to navigation about your device. The main difference here is that it’s only used to go back to the previous screen within the same app, so its use is focused on that one area.
Is there any reason to use Maximization now that Monocle is available for download? Well, actually, yes. Maximization features a special Notification Center tab clock that can be used to showcase the current time and battery life. All you need to do is swipe down on Notification Center while in full screen mode, and the time and remaining battery life are conveniently displayed. Monocle lacks such a feature.
Another thing to keep in mind when comparing the two, is that Monocle uses Activator. For each app you want to place into full screen mode, you must go to that app, and then invoke Monocle via the Activator action assigned to it. Maximization goes into effect for all apps once it is enabled.
Keep in mind that Monocle isn’t perfect, as it’s still in beta. I experienced a few UI issues with Safari while using it. In fact, if you want to use it, you’ll have to add Ryan Petrich’s beta repo (http://rpetri.ch/repo) to Cydia.
Which full screen tweak do you prefer? I think a solid case can be made to use either of the two. Let me know what you think in the comments below.