I should have suffixed the headline with “no jailbreak required” for added punch. Yes, Overglide for the iPhone and iPad indeed is a tiny game that you play within iOS 8’s Notification Center and right on the Lock screen, even while your iOS device is locked.
This cave flyer has you piloting a paper plane as far as possible while dodging the obstacles, and it even comes with Game Center leaderboards and achievements.
How’s that possible? Read on or grab Overglide for 99 cents in the App Store and see for yourself.
“You can quickly access Overglide from the today screen or lock screen to easily try and beat your top score anytime,” developer AA Matter noted in release notes accompanying the download.
The main app serves as a settings interface where you can choose your preferred backdrop (Transparent, Black and Blue Skies) and blocks (Silver, Green and Wood). From here, you can also share your score via Facebook, Twitter, email or SMS.
Before you can run the game, you must first enable it by tapping on “Edit” at the bottom of your Today view in the Notification Center. Once enabled, Overglide will be just a swipe away in the Today section of the Notification Center and on the Lock screen.
As native apps cannot really run on the Lock screen or within the Notification Center (unless you jailbreak), Overglide is basically an iOS 8 widget disguised as a game.
Because it runs in a very limited sandbox and can’t access the full set of APIs, Overglide is very simplified in terms of graphics, feature set and execution. For example, widgets can only register touch events and swipes and don’t support keyboard entry.
Overglidećs simplified controls actually turns these limitations into its advantage: touch and hold to glide up and release to fly down. While not the type of game one would normally expect on iOS, Overglide serves as a technology showcase that illustrates what’s possible on Apple’s mobile platform with a little bit of imagination.
I’m more puzzled that Apple’s App Store reviewers have approved Overglide.
According to Apple’s documentation for developers, Today widgets should be quick, simple, limited and highlight “the information users are interested in,” a description this game does not fit in.