Some of the most compelling features that set iMessage apart from traditional SMS in Apple’s Messages app are the creature comfort features that it provides such as read receipts, typing indicators, and the lack of character limits. Among those, read receipts and typing indicators are some of my favorites because they lets me know when the other person is typing so I can refrain from interrupting them mid-dialogue and when they’ve read my message so I can nag them about why they didn’t respond to me later.

But as anyone with a jailbroken device will tell you, there are always ways that things can be improved. The much appreciated iMessage typing indicator is no exception to that rule, and that’s one of the primary reasons why I’m advocating for a newly released jailbreak tweak called TypeCentury by iOS developer captinc.

As depicted in the screenshot examples above, TypeCentury makes it easier to discern when someone is composing an iMessage to you by putting the typing indicator in your Status Bar and in dedicated notifications in their own right. As you might come to expect, this will be visible from anywhere in iOS, and best of all, it displays the name of the person typing so that you don’t need to waste time guessing who it is or switch applications to find out.

Looks cool right? Indeed it is, but trust us, it only gets better…

After you install TypeCentury, you’ll find that it’s fully configurable. It adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where you can configure both aesthetics and behavior, among other things:

Here, you can:

  • Toggle TypeCentury on or off on demand
  • Configure Status Bar view and push notification behavior:
    • Toggle person typing Status Bar indicators
    • Toggle read receipt Status Bar indicators
    • Open the conversation in question when the indicator gets tapped
    • Toggle person typing push notification indicators
    • Toggle read receipt push notification indicators
    • Enable split mode – use push notifications when locked and Status Bar when unlocked
  • Configure in-Messages app behavior:
    • Show person typing indicators in the Conversation list
    • Configure indicators for when replying to specific messages
    • Configure a prefix for “Reply to”
    • Disable in corresponding chat
    • Disable sending your typing indicator to the recipient
  • Configure aesthetic positioning and animations:
    • Choose between using presets and custom X & Y positioning values
    • Align the indicator to the left, center, or right
    • Hide underlying Status Bar icons
    • Adjust for Status Bar Breadcrumb links
    • Choose enter and exit animations
    • Configure the animation duration
    • Choose when the typing indicator gets dismissed
    • Choose when the read receipt indicator gets dismissed
  • Configure Haptic Feedback and Sounds:
    • Enable haptic feedback for when typing indicators begin appearing
    • Enable haptic feedback for when read receipt indicators begin appearing
    • Choose a haptic feedback strength for each
    • Choose between single, double, or triple haptic feedback vibrations for each
    • Enable and choose a push notification sound to go along with the haptic feedback
  • Configure Format & Do Not Disturb:
    • Select whether the typing indicator displays the bubble & name, bubble only, or name only
    • Configure a name format
    • Enable nicknames when available
    • Force push notifications in landscape orientation
    • Obey Do Not Disturb settings
    • Obey Hide Alert settings
    • Disable TypeCentury for specific people (namely those who text you too much)
  • Send a test typing indicator alert
  • Send a test read receipt alert
  • Reset all settings to their defaults

From what we can gather, all changes should take effect immediately without the need to respring your device, and that’s good, because with all the settings you can change, it’s a nice user experience when you can text out your settings in real-time without having to respring in between each configuration you make.

If you’re an avid iMessage user and you happen to have a jailbroken handset at your disposal, then this is a tweak we can wholeheartedly recommend. Not only does it make it easier to determine when someone begins typing to you or when they read your messages, but it brings so much configuration to the table that you can avoid common annoyances from folks who might badger you with messages all day long.

According to the developer, more features are set to come in future updates, including a glowing notch, support for iOS 11 & 12, a free trial, and much more.

If you’re interested in trying TypeCentury in its current state, then you can purchase it for $2.49 from the captinc repository via your favorite package manager. The tweak currently supports jailbroken iOS 13 devices only, and it’s worth mentioning that the tweak will only work with iMessage – not SMS.

Do you plan to give TypeCentury a try? Let us know why or why not in the comments section below.