The Touch Bar is perhaps one of the most innovative new features of the latest model of MacBook Pro, but a new jailbreak tweak dubbed TouchBar by iOS developer LaughingQuoll aspires to bring a similar feature to jailbroken iOS devices.
After installation, the tweak essentially hides out at the bottom of your device’s display in all interfaces. This makes it easy to get to, enabling you to access its shortcuts with ease, no matter what you might be doing.
Because the interface never actually goes away, it does take away from some of your device’s screen real estate. Nevertheless, interfaces from all sorts of apps, both stock and third-party, seem to squeeze it in quite nicely without any graphical problems.
You can swipe left and right in the Touch Bar interface to access different controls. On the main page, you have the App Switcher, Home Button, and Back shortcut, while on the left page you have the play, pause, forward, and backward buttons for controlling media, and last but not least the right page has controls for brightness, volume, Siri, and Rotation Lock.
As you use either the brightness or the volume options, you will see a slider like the one below for making precise adjustments:
Configuring Touch Bar
TouchBar iOS adds a preferences pane to the Settings app where you can configure a bevy of settings for tailoring the tweak to your own personal needs:
Among the things you can configure here are:
- Disable Touch Bar in certain apps
- Choose the default Touch Bar page that appears when inside apps
- Revert to the default page when you close an app and then return
- Enable transparency effects when inside apps
- Enable Touch Bar on the Home screen
- Choose the default Touch Bar page that appears when on the Home screen
- Revert to the default page when you leave the Home screen and then return
- Enable transparency effects on the Home screen
- Enable Touch Bar on the Lock screen
- Choose the default Touch Bar page that appears when on the Lock screen
- Revert to the default page when you leave the Lock screen and then return
- Enable transparency effects on the Lock screen
- Choose a custom height for the Touch Bar (in pixels)
For the most part, you’re probably going to want to leave most of the options stock. Having the tweak enabled everywhere is very convenient, as is the stock height.
On the other hand, you might want to choose default pages on the Lock screen or Home screen, since the activities you perform there are going to differ from when you’re in apps. You might also want to consider disabling the tweak in game apps, as full-screen games are typically incompatible with most jailbreak tweaks that utilize screen space.
Overall, it’s a pretty cool tweak. It’s not as versatile as it is on the Mac, which means it doesn’t dynamically change depending on the app you use it in, but it does offer significant time-savings in terms of getting to your favorite features of iOS from anywhere. While that’s a bit of a bummer, such integration would require the support of App Store apps, which we know Apple would never allow in the first place.
The fact that it’s always showing without hindering the iOS experience whatsoever means that it’s easier to get to than Control Center for things like music controls and brightness/volume settings. Moreover, it keeps a minimalist design that remains inline with Apple‘s design standards, so it looks great too.
If you’re interested in giving Touch Bar a try, you can download it for $2.00 from Cydia’s BigBoss repository. This is a special 20% off price for the first launch week, and it will up to $2.50 afterwards. The tweak works on all jailbroken iOS 9 and iOS 10 devices.
Do you like the idea behind having a Touch Bar-like experience on your iPhone or iPad? Share in the comments section below.