Apple knows that its largest handsets can be unwieldy for one-handed usage, and that’s the primary reason why all modern iPhones come equipped with an accessibility feature dubbed Reachability.
I take advantage of Reachability somewhat frequently on my massive 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, and while doing so, I often think to myself about just how much potential screen real estate is being wasted at the top of the display. After all, Apple could at least show device information of some sort in the unused Reachability space so that it isn’t occupied by a whole lot of nothing.
This is something that the jailbreak community has been remedying for quite some time, and now that we’re able to jailbreak iOS 14.0-14.3 on all devices, it’s not surprising that we’re starting to see iOS 14-focused solutions. The latest of those would be a new and free jailbreak tweak release called ReachPlayer by iOS developer ETHN.
Just as the name implies, this tweak fills the unused space of the Reachability interface with a Now Playing-centric command center. Depicted in the screenshot example above, you can see how ReachPlayer displays the Now Playing album artwork in addition to relevant details about what’s playing, such as the song’s name, the album’s name, the artist, etc.
One thing to note about ReachPlayer is that it doesn’t incorporate media controls. This is to be expected, as the Reachability interface is intended to move unreachable interface elements lower toward your thumb, so adding controls high up on the display simply wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense from a usability standpoint.
Instead, ReachPlayer serves merely as an information display, as it doesn’t take nearly as much effort for your eyes to glance at the top of the display as it takes for you to try and reach your thumb up there with one hand accessible.
Once installed, ReachPlayer adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure the tweak to their liking:
Options here include:
- Toggling ReachPlayer on or off on demand
- Enabling or disabling a background blur effect
- Adjusting the chevron transparency via a slider
- Adjusting the artwork display size via a slider
- Adjusting the horizontal positioning via a slider
- Adjusting the vertical positioning via a slider
- Setting a custom Reachability timeout period (in seconds)
The developer provides a complementary button at the top-right of the preference pane for saving the changes you make here, and upon tapping it, the user will be asked if they want to respring their device.
If you aren’t already using ETHN’s repository, then you can add it to your package manager of choice with the following URL:
Do you plan on giving ReachPlayer a try? Let us know down in the comments section below.