Ayecon is probably the most well-known jailbreak theme of all time, and for good reason; it was groundbreaking upon its initial release, harnessing the power of the then newly-christened Retina display for insanely detailed and hyper-skeuomorphic app icons.
But when Apple decided to switch things up with iOS 7—ushering in its first post-Forstall release and shedding tons of skeuomorphic weight in the process—Ayecon no longer felt fresh and new. Ayecon is like the anti-iOS 7, because it heavily depends on the now outdated skeuomorphic identity of iOS 6 and below.
When the iOS 7 version of Ayecon was released earlier this year, it was met with mixed reactions due to its polarizing nature when compared to iOS 7. Although some pledged unequivocal allegiance to the legendary theme, not a few were disappointed that it didn’t usher in something new, something more iOS 7 appropriate, something, well, more flat.
Surenix’s first new theme since Ayecon is the perfect answer to the semi-collective “meh” heard across the jailbreak community. Instead of trying to shoehorn an old theme into a mold it was never intended to fit, a fresh new start was warranted. Ayeris is that fresh start.
Unlike Ayecon’s heavy-handed approach to design, Ayeris is a much more subtle re-imagining of iOS 7. We’ve been testing Ayeris for the past few weeks on our day-to-day devices, and we’d like to show it to you now. Check inside for our full hands-on review and video.
Ayeris will be available for $3.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. You will, of course, need a jailbroken iPhone in order to use this theme. Ayeris is an iPhone only jailbreak theme that requires the WinterBoard framework.
Once you download and install Ayeris, you’ll need to open WinterBoard and enable the theme. Ayeris features three sections to enable via WinterBoard, and you’ll need to enable all three sections in order to get the full Ayeris experience.
Like Ayecon, Ayeris comes bundled with a plethora of themed app icons. All of the stock iOS app icons have been tweaked and themed to match the overall style of Ayeris, and many of the popular third-party applications have been themed as well. In fact, there are well over 200 different app icons that have been themed and tweaked, some drastically, some not-so-drastically, but generally for the better.
If you find that a particular app you like to use hasn’t been included with Ayeris’ icon-set, Surenix has set up a form so that users will be able to submit requests. He says that he plans on doing frequent updates to implement new icons and UI changes throughout the life of the theme.
Six beautiful new wallpapers are included along with some updated status bar icons, and system-wide UI tweaks in stock apps like Mail and Safari. Again, the updates and tweaks are nowhere near as drastic as Ayecon, but the changes are noticeable if you pay attention.
Stock app icons
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the stock application icons. All of the app icons have been changed in some way. Some of the changes are limited to the color gradients of the app icon’s background, whereas others are complete alterations from top to bottom.
Stock iOS 7 on the left, Ayeris on the right
Safari UI tweaks
Notice the buttons at the bottom, stock iOS 7 is on the left
Mail UI tweaks
Again, notice the subtle differences; stock iOS 7 is on the left
Six new wallpapers compliment the new app icons
Ayeris is the result of many months of meticulous designing, re-designing, and starting from scratch. Just in the brief time that I’ve been beta testing the theme, there have been several iterative changes that have switched-up the look in subtle areas.
This is not an overt punch-you-in-the-mouth sort of theme. This is a wine taster’s theme. It’s aimed at a sophisticated palate, one who has tired from the themes that simply try to do too much. It’s a theme for those of us who realize that Apple’s designers have some really good ideas, ideas that don’t necessarily need to be totally thrown out to pasture. Maybe Apple’s designs just need a little tweaking? A subtle shift from here to there, a curve instead of a hard angle.
But sophistication won’t exactly come cheap. Ayeris will be available for $3.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. For some, that could be pushing the limits of what is acceptable from a pricing standpoint, or perhaps users will appreciate the amount of work that has been put into this theme, and reward Surenix accordingly.
One thing’s for certain, if you generally enjoy the look and feel of iOS 7, you should definitely try this alternate take on Apple’s design if at all possible. Whether it’s better than iOS 7’s design as a whole is going to be up for personal debate, but I don’t think there’s any question that it is. I plan on keeping Ayeris on my daily driver for the foreseeable future, and I’m willing to go out on the limb and say that many of you reading this will too.
Ayeris is what people probably expected from the updated version of Ayecon for iOS 7, but Ayecon is Ayecon, and it can never be changed. Skeuomorphism is what made Ayecon so special, and it wouldn’t have been right for Surenix to ditch its design to appease iOS 7 users. Instead, Surenix did the logical thing and created a from-scratch iOS 7 theme called Ayeris, and it’s really good.
What do you think? Do you plan on using Ayeris on your iPhone? Share your thoughts about Ayeris in the comment section down below.