Sphere brings a Chat Heads-inspired multitasking UI to jailbroken iPhones

Apple makes it a breeze to switch from one recently-used app to another on your iPhone, but one area where this particular platform has always left a lot to be desired is the multitasking department.

Jailbreak tweak developers have created a myriad of novel iOS multitasking concepts over the years, but one of the latest examples to land on a mainstream repository is a tweak called Sphere by iOS developer SynnyG.

As depicted in the screenshot examples above, Sphere takes a Chat Heads-inspired approach to making multitasking easier on the iOS platform. With it, recently-used apps can run as floating bubbles over the top of other apps, reducing the effort required to move from one app to another in a multitasking-esque situation.

Just like the original Chat Heads concept, users can tap and drag their multitasking spheres anywhere on the display or tap on a sphere to open a floating bubble for that app. If you’d rather run the app in full-screen mode instead of bubbled mode, then you’d tap and hold on the sphere instead of just tapping on it.

If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Back in 2014, we showed you a jailbreak tweak called AppHeads that did essentially the same thing, albeit with different options.

Once installed, Sphere adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure a number of options to their liking:

Here, you will be able to:

  • Toggle Sphere on or off on demand
  • Blacklist certain apps from being used with Sphere
  • Enable and configure a custom sphere border width
  • Enable and configure a custom app bubble corner radius
  • Enable and configure a custom app border width
  • Enable a background style that impacts recently-used spheres when compared with currently-used spheres
  • Respring your device to save any changes you’ve made

Can Sphere make you a better multitasker? It really depends how you use it. Personally, I prefer the side-by-side multitasking experience of iPadOS over something inspired by the old-fashioned Chat Heads interface because the latter feels a bit more cluttered — especially when you’ve got random buttons hanging out over the top of your user interface. That aside, it’s a good hold-over, at least until Apple figures out how to improve multitasking on their smartphone platform.

Those interested in trying Sphere may purchase the tweak for $2.99 from the Packix repository via their favorite package manager. Sphere supports jailbroken iOS 12 and 13 devices.

Do you plan to augment your iPhone’s multitasking experience with the new Sphere tweak? Let us know why or why not in the comments section down below.