Last year, iOS developer Adam Bell surprised us all with a free jailbreak tweak dubbed Message Box
that allowed us to bring Facebook's Chat Heads out of the Facebook application and out onto our SpringBoard so that we would message people from our Home Screen or from other applications.
Fortunately, those iOS 7 users out there can now jump into the fun. Bell has just released Message Box (iOS 7)
in Cydia with full support for iOS 7, so now, iOS 7 users can chat with Facebook friends from their Home Screens and from other applications too.
It's important to note that Message Box (iOS 7) doesn't use the Facebook application, instead, it requires Facebook Paper to be installed. Facebook Paper is a free download from the App Store at this link
, and if you're already logged into Facebook on your iOS device, then logging into Facebook Paper is a cinch.
Once you've set up Facebook paper (assuming you don't already have it set up on your iOS device[s]), you can open a chat head from within the application and then close the Facebook Paper application, and the chat head will pop up on your Home Screen. That (or those) chat heads will follow you into any applications that you open, and you can tap on the chat heads to open them and chat with people on Facebook.
You can close out of chat heads, even when you're not in the Facebook or Facebook Paper application, the same way as you would if you were in the Facebook or Facebook Paper application – tap and drag the head to the bottom of the display where you see the round "x" button, and it will be hidden.
The tweak also adds a preferences pane to the Settings application where you can configure a couple of options:
From here, you can enable or disable the tweak on demand (changing this requires a respring to take effect), and you can enable or disable having the tweak check your current version of your Facebook applications. If it finds that the version of your Facebook applications are too new, it will automatically disable itself until you install a supported version of your Facebook applications.
Bell recommends that you don't have the Facebook Messenger application installed, as it can cause you to get confused with notifications, but that's optional.
Message Box (iOS 7) is an open source project and its source code is available to look at here
. If you would like to give it a try, it's available for free right now in Cydia's BigBoss repository.
Note: Bell tells us that support for the regular Facebook application is coming in the future!
Message Box (iOS 7)
iOS 7.0-7.0.6, Paper application for Facebook
iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.6