Tech blogs are abuzz this weekend because of Auxo, a new iOS 6 tweak for jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch handsets.
Auxo, developed by @Sentry_NC, is a replacement application switcher for iOS. There are two main features of Auxo which really grabbed my attention. The first is a new card-like interface to show you which applications are running on your iOS device. The second, a feature that I really like on smartphones running Google Android, are a sort of widget-like toggles for features that you normally have to go hunting for in the Settings control panel.
iDownloadBlog.com recently posted a video demo of Auxo running on an iPhone 4S. Below are some screen captures from the video which we link to below.
These first two photos show the new app switcher interface. The standard iOS app icons have been replaced by smaller versions of the app icons with a thumbnail of the application state. This is really kind of cool in a webOS kinda of in that it shows you what the application is 'doing'.
These next photos show more detail in to the other key feature of Auxo, iOS control widgets.
The first image in this set shows the replacement iPod music controls and the second image shows the regular Rotation Lock control, and three new controls that allow you to quickly toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular radios on/off. Auxo also allows you to have two rows of four controls. In the last screen shot, the red arrow points to the two 'page' indicators that you see elsewhere in iOS, like in the Home screen.
Auxo is an unofficial tweak for iOS 6 devices. Because Auxo is a tweak, and not an 'official' app that comes from Apple's App Store, you must be running a 'jailbroken' device and install the software from the Cydia app store. Auxo will be a paid tweak, however reports say that the cost will be 'reasonable.' The developers are suppose to be working on an iOS 5 port now.
Auxo, Jailbreaks, and Staying Competitive
I have to say that I've always been a member of #TeamPure and up until now, I have not seen a tweak that would make me consider jailbreaking my iPhone 4S or iPad 3. There has been a growing call from bloggers and 'geeks' (ie: not your average consumer) that iOS needs a major features shake up with iOS 7 that is expected to be released late in 2013, and I'm starting to come around an agree with that sentiment. Google's Android and to a lesser extent, Microsoft's Windows Phone, are putting up a strong challenge to Apple's mobile platform. With iOS 7, Apple needs to start 'borrowing' ideas from their rivals and making some 'strategic' code acquisitions from the iOS jailbreak community if they want to stay competitive. I hope that Tim Cook, Jonny Ive, and the rest of the Apple team setting the direction for iOS in the wake of Scott Forstalls stepping down as the head of iOS development really take a look at what's going on with other mobile operating systems and look to them for inspiration on new features and improvements in iOS.