A recently-released jailbreak tweak called OS Experience
by iOS developer Evan Swick has been released in Cydia that brings desktop-class multitasking to iOS 7 on the iPad. It doesn't matter if you're using an iPad Air, iPad Mini, or other variation of an iPad, as long as you're running iOS 7, you can download OS Experience.
A lot of OS Experience seems to adopt features from Mission Control
in Mac OS X. It shows this through the interface, which brings the ability to have multiple desktops at the top with previews and applications that you can drag from desktop to desktop. OS Experience works in both landscape mode and portrait mode, as shown above.
From the Mission Control-like interface, you can move from desktop to desktop, or from desktop to application by swiping left and right on the display with four fingers. You can also drag any open applications to any of your open desktops. You can also tap and hold on any of the little previews at the top of the interface to bring up a close button that you can tap to close the application or desktop:
When an application is in full-screen mode, you can swipe up with four fingers to open the Mission Control-like interface. When an application is in full-screen mode, you can also swipe down with four fingers to bring up a bar that shows the name of the application, a close button, and a minimize/maximize button. Tapping on the minimize button will minimize the application so that you can have multiple windows open – each window having a different application:
You can drag the windows anywhere you want them to be on the display by tapping and dragging from the bar at the top of the window. If you drag a window to the edge of the display, it will snap, similarly to how it would if you were using Windows 7
. This is great for running side-by-side apps (you can use them both at the same time):
If you want to hide the dock for additional canvas space, you can swipe down on it with four fingers:
By tapping and holding on the close button, instead of just tapping on it, you will get the option to run the application in iPhone mode:
iPhone mode works with some applications, but not all. It won't run as expected with every application, so use this feature at your own risk. In this case, we're using the App Store in iPhone mode:
When you press the Home Button, or you pinch the display with four fingers, you are brought to the Home Screen, which now blurs your wallpaper to make it feel more like Launchpad
on Mac OS X:
Tapping on applications from here will open them, and you can manage them from the Mission Control-like interface we showed you earlier, either by switching between open applications, moving them to new desktops to run in minimized mode side-by-side, or closing them.
OS Experience adds a preferences pane to the Settings application where you can enable or disable the tweak on demand, enable or disable live application previews, and adjust the application transition speed:
Through our testing with OS Experience, what we can say is that it takes a lot of getting used to, switching from the way iOS normally handles applications to this new multitasking system; the learning curve is pretty large, so we can't stress that enough. On the other hand, it makes for the possibility of very productive multitasking with efficient use of resources if used correctly.
We did notice that if you have too many applications open, it will bog down the hardware pretty bad, even on the latest A7 hardware. This is most likely due to the fact that the tweak was using live previews, but it's worth noting that you will want to be light on your usage for the best performance. You can also disable the live previews in the Settings application's preferences pane if performance is an issue.
OS Experience doesn't come cheap; it's available right now in Cydia's BigBoss repository for $9.99. If you're serious about your multitasking, then we'd suggest you give it a shot. It's very well implemented and seems to be quite usable. The tweak does require an iPad, and it does require iOS 7 to be installed.
iOS 7.0-7.0.6, iPad
iPad Mini with retina display running iOS 7.0.6