Apple’s WWDC presentation for 2020 brought with it the unveiling of iOS and iPadOS 14, the premier operating systems for the company’s iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad platforms. While these updates will unquestionably incorporate countless new improvements by way of new features and user-friendly interfaces, it’s worth noting that the jailbreak community provided access to many of those features before Apple.
In this piece, we’ll discuss at least fourteen new features from Apple’s upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 software updates that jailbreakers have enjoyed access to for what feels like forever thanks to the boundless possibilities presented by jailbreak tweaks.
1. Home Screen widgets
Widgets are nothing new for iOS or iPadOS, but iOS and iPadOS 14 will bring a brand-new way of interacting with them to the iPhone and iPad. This software update will let users integrate widgets of varying sizes directly into the Home Screen without having to swipe over to the Today page.
2. Picture in Picture mode for iPhone
Picture in Picture mode has been available to iPad users for quite some time, permitting video playback to transpire inside of a floating and movable window so that other activities can be performed while watching that video simultaneously.
Apple is finally bringing the beloved Picture in Picture mode to the iPhone and iPod touch, which is something you would have needed a jailbreak tweak like ipadify or Titan to do before iOS and iPadOS 14 came to fruition.
3. Hide apps from the Home Screen
For the first time, iOS and iPadOS 14 will permit minimalists to hide certain apps from their Home Screen on demand with a brand-new feature intended to reduce clutter. Granted, users will need to do this on a page-by-page basis, it’s still a great way to keep things organized, and you can still search for those apps whenever you need to.
The ability to hide apps from the Home Screen has been available to jailbreakers for years thanks to tweaks akin to HideYourApps.
4. Background video playback
To be fair, some apps like YouTube will permit background video playback for a monthly fee so that you can listen to just the audio while you do other things, but it’s far from a native feature. iOS and iPadOS 14 will make this a native feature for the first time, allowing users to hide a Picture in Picture video pane from view while continuing to enjoy its audio in the background.
If you remember a popular jailbreak tweak called playbackSafari, then you’d know this was previously possible to do on a jailbroken handset without having iOS or iPadOS 14 installed.
5. Smaller Siri interface
For the longest time, Siri has been a rather intrusive full-screen interface, but iOS and iPadOS 14 are introducing a new non-intrusive interface in which Siri appears as a small animated glyph at the bottom of your display when invoked.
Putting Siri on a diet isn’t anything new to jailbreakers; in fact, jailbreak tweaks such as SmallSiri have been doing this for years.
6. Pinned iMessages
iOS and iPadOS 14 are also bringing a revamped Messages app with a truckload of new features, and one of those is the ability to pin certain iMessage or SMS conversations to the top of your conversation list for easier access.
Those familiar with jailbreaking will probably remember a recently-released jailbreak tweak dubbed DopeConvos that offered this very same functionality on pwned handsets.
7. More CarPlay wallpaper freedom
Anyone who has a CarPlay-compatible car knows that CarPlay leaves a lot to be desired in the wallpaper department. Fortunately, iOS 14 will bring a plethora of new wallpaper options to the CarPlay interface in your car, allowing for a more user-defined experience than ever before.
Jailbreakers have been able to set custom wallpapers for CarPlay for quite some time now because of tweaks like Canvas, which permit you to set any wallpaper from your Photo Library as your CarPlay wallpaper.
8. Compact incoming call interface
It’s only taken Apple more than a decade, but the company is finally charging forward with a new incoming call interface in iOS and iPadOS 14 that doesn’t intrusively take up the entirety of the iPhone’s tall and gracious display.
This interface should look vividly familiar to jailbreakers, especially since popular jailbreak tweaks like CallBar XS and Scorpion have provided access to this type of incoming call interface for what feels like forever.
9. Message grouping
Apple is finally starting to realize just how cluttered the Messages app can get with conversations, and if you find yourself struggling to keep up with the most important ones, then you’ll be happy to know that iOS and iPadOS 14 will incorporate features to help you out with that.
But let’s not give the credit to Apple for this one, as jailbreak tweaks like Groups have allowed those with pwned handsets to better organize their Messages app for quite some time now.
10. Smart app launcher
Another of the key features in iOS and iPadOS 14 is the new App Library, which is essentially an intelligent application launcher interface that organizes your apps based on category and usage. It’s definitely intriguing, but app launchers aren’t Apple’s invention.
While Apple’s concept is substantially more advanced and inclusive of more intelligent features, the idea for an app launcher first originated in the jailbreak community in the form of jailbreak tweaks including InstaLauncher 2, Launchtron, and Rofi. But we’ll give Apple some credit in their design and logic work here.
11. Low AirPods battery notifications
iOS and iPadOS 14 can now notify you when your AirPods or AirPods Pro get low on battery life, a feature that’s sure to prevent some users from experiencing frustration while watching their favorite shows or listening to their favorite music.
This is something Apple should have implemented from the start, but didn’t. Fortunately, the jailbreak community has had something similar to this in the form of a tweak called AirPods Case Low Battery for about a month now.
12. Smarter Siri
Apple is pumping Siri with some important brain-friendly vitamins and nutrients with iOS and iPadOS 14, as Siri will now provide users with smarter answers for certain queries instead of simply asking if you want to search the web for whatever it is you might be asking about.
We expect that Apple will improve Siri’s responses with each software update, but it’s worth noting that the jailbreak community has been working on ways to make Siri a more capable voice assistant since it first debuted just shy of a decade ago. Classic tweaks like AssistantExtensions, Lingual, and MyAssistant are a testament to such things.
13. Change default apps
Another noteworthy feature that Apple seems to have kept on the down-low is that users will be able to configure default email and web browsing apps on their handset. While it has been possible to delete default apps for a while now, this is the first time users will be able to set new default email and web browsing apps upon downloading them from the App Store.
This is something jailbreakers have been able to to for quite some time thanks to tweaks like Evil Scheme.
14. Home Screen app icon theming
iOS 14 brings with it the ability to create custom Home Screen themes and layouts the likes of which we’ve never seen before on stock iPhones and iPads, but these may seem familiar if you’ve ever jailbroken before.
These custom Home Screen themes incorporate support for custom app icons, which can be added to the Home Screen by way of the iOS 14 Shortcuts app. The original app icons can then be hidden away inside of the App Library.
It goes without saying that some of these examples aren’t apples-to-apples comparisons, but that’s to be expected given that Apple is a trillion-dollar company and that a significant portion of the jailbreak community is comprised of younger and inexperienced developers who might just setting their foot into iOS development for the first time.
While some concepts first flashed in the jailbreak community may or may not be as robust as those offered by Apple in iOS and iPadOS 14, that’s not to say that the jailbreak community doesn’t deserve at least some credit for bringing some of these features, as simple as they may have been, to the iPhone and iPad first. That is the point of pieces like these – to recognize the hard-working jailbreak developers who will unquestionably be overshadowed by Apple’s official software releases.
If you’re interested in learning about more of the features Apple has snagged away from the jailbreak community, be sure to check out last-year’s roundup showcasing some of the best features that iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 ‘borrowed’ from the jailbreak community.
Can you think of any other examples of jailbreak tweaks that iOS and iPadOS 14 appear to have drawn inspiration from? Let us know in the comments section below.