If you have ever wanted your iOS device to unlock from the Lock Screen by the sight of your face, and no one else's, then look no further than new jailbreak tweak called Appellancy by iOS developer Elijah Frederickson.
Shown above, the tweak adds facial recognition to the iOS 7 Lock Screen of any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. If the face of the person trying to get into your iOS device matches the face that the tweak was taught, then the device will unlock automatically. On the other hand, if the face of the person trying to get into your iOS device doesn't match the face that the tweak was taught, then the device will say "Face not recognized" and refuse to unlock for the user.
As an alternative, the user always has the ability to enter their passcode instead of using Appellancy, which can come in handy in situations where the tweak might not be able to recognize your face due to lighting conditions, or other strange conditions.
Appellancy adds an application to the Home Screen where you can configure the face(s) that are allowed to unlock the device by way of facial recognition:
When you tap on the "+" button to add a new face to recognize, you will be asked to enter the name of the person. You are allowed to have multiple people that are allowed to unlock the device by way of facial recognition. After you choose a name and tap on the "OK" button, you will be given a set of instructions to follow.
The instructions note that it's important to move the camera around at different angles so that you get a fair photo set of your face from different angles and lighting conditions. The developer recommends at least 20 photos taken in at least 4 different lighting conditions, but the more you take, the slower the application gets, so try not to take too many.
Once you agree to the instructions, you can tap "OK" and you will be brought to the recognition screen where you can start snapping photos of yourself. There is a "Switch" button at the top right of the application so you can move between the front-facing and rear-facing camera.
If you tap on the "Recognize" tab at the bottom of the application, you will be able to test your facial recognition tweak against the photos you've taken:
If the face is recognized by the tweak, a green bounding box will surround the face, the application will tell you that it has recognized [insert name here], and it will show you a confidence number. If the face is not recognized by the tweak, then a red bounding box will surround the face and the application will tell you that there was "no match found."
The only time you should get the red bounding box is if the person the tweak is trying to recognize isn't stored in the application, so if the tweak isn't able to recognize you, then we would recommend taking more pictures of yourself with Appellancy so the tweak can store your digital images in its database.
Appellancy also adds a number of preferences that you can configure to the Settings application:
From here you can:
- Enable or disable the tweak on demand
- Force yourself to awake the device once more after receiving a notification to use Appellancy
- Disable Appellancy when you have pending notifications on the Lock Screen
- Only enable Appellancy from the passcode screen
- Disable Appellancy when music is playing
- Force Appellancy to always start on the passcode screen
- Hide or show an image preview of Appellancy on the passcode screen
- Enable GestMode if Appellancy rejects a face (separate jailbreak tweak that we showed you back in February)
- Keep the enter passcode label
- Reset saved passcode and respring
Appellancy is a very nice facial recognition jailbreak tweak for iOS 7, and perhaps the most interesting part about the tweak is how it's so perfectly integrated into the Lock Screen in a way that it almost feels native. Obviously, facial recognition isn't perfect, so you can expect the tweak to goof up every once in a while. Also, the tweak can be spoofed by someone holding a photo of you up to the camera, so it's not the world's most secure way of protecting your device.
Since the tweak does use the camera for its facial recognition, it will have a small impact on your battery life, but because it's only draining battery when it's looking for your face (which isn't all the time), it won't be a constant battery drain while you use your device.
The developer of Appellancy notes that he has included an API for Appellancy so that it can be used with other features in addition to the Lock Screen – for interested developers, information about the API can be found at Github at this link.
If you would like to give Appellancy a try, it's available in Cydia's BigBoss repository right now for just $1.99.
Requirements: iOS 7.0-7.0.6
Tested on: iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.6
Developer: Elijah Frederickson
Editor's Rating: / 4.5/5