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  • [Review] BlurriedNCBackground Brings A Glassy Look to Notification Center

    Would you prefer to have a sleek blurred, glassy Notification Center over Apple's stock version?

    This new free tweak is called BlurriedNCBackground and it's from the developer Philippe Lalancette-Caron.

    Meet The Developer:

    I talked to Philippe via email to ask him to tell us a little bit about himself. At the same time, I also asked him a few questions regarding BlurriedNCBackground. The conversation is as follows:

    Anthony: Can you tell us in about a paragraph a little about yourself? You can include your schooling goals, how you became a developer, a little about your life, or anything you want to say.
    Philippe: I am from Quebec city in Canada and I'm now 14. I started to develop my first iPhone app at 13: Hello-World. At that time, I was saying that programming was difficult. But, I didn't quit and started to use YouTube tutorials to learn. At some time, I was learning by myself and with a lot of testing I became really good at programming at 14 and I started to develop tweaks the hard way because the easiest one wasn't working with my setup. I developed many tweaks like iBlank Shadow Remover, EmojiEnabler, PassUnlock, iSlideText, etc. Then I tried again to use the easy way to make tweaks and it worked so here I am today. I have really good grades at school. They are all over 80%, and most of them are over 90%.

    Anthony: Why did you make BlurriedNCBackground? Was there a story behind it?
    Philippe: One day, my friend asked me if I would be able to make a tweak that would blur the Notification Center screen and I said that I would try. A day or two later, the tweak was working after some problems with deleting cache files. Then we were in disaccord with the gaussian blur to apply, so I made a setting for that, and later I wanted to fix the lagging issue, so I putted a 'Asynchronous' setting. And then I made it public by putting it on the BigBoss repo after it was previously on my private repo.

    Anthony: Are you planning any future updates to BlurriedNCBackground?
    Philippe: Fixing typos and adding better support for IntelliScreenX.

    Anthony: What are your favorite settings for BlurriedNCBackground?
    Philippe: I frequently change the blur settings. Asynchronous being on, to 'fix' the lagging issue.

    Anthony: What other Cydia packages are you responsible for?
    Philippe: iRetiner GUI, IconMaker, ChangeCarrier, iSlideText, NCNyanCat for Notification Center, WiFiCenter for Notification Center, and a few more.

    BlurriedNCBackground Settings:

    BlurriedNCBackground has some configurable settings to help with the kind of device that you might be using. Certain settings will produce less lagging than others on older devices. Devices like the iPod touch 4G and iPhone 4 will not have any real lagging problems. I have both devices myself and this tweak runs as smooth as butter. If it starts lagging for you it's because you have too many notification center widgets installed. Plain and simple. Look at my Notification Center and you will notice that I am a minimalist and do not use any additional widgets, only the stock ones and the ones that come with IntelliScreenX. Devices such as the iPod touch 3G and iPhone 3GS may be more prone to lagging due to the nature of the slower processor and less RAM. Albeit some devices are faster than others, you can try out the settings for yourself to use what best suits you. Here are the settings:



    First, you can adjust the radius of the Gaussian blur so that it's more or less blurry. You can adjust it to your liking. Obviously, the more blurry it is, the more work the processor has to do meaning the longer it will take to load meaning the laggier it will be. I recommend leaving it at the default value if you're worried about it being laggy.

    Second, is the divide number. This basically names the resolution of the blur. The resolution will either be blocky (low) or crisp (high). The higher the number, the lower the resolution will be and it will load faster. The lower the number, the higher quality it will be it will load slower. And iPod touch 4G or iPhone 4 will have no problem having this setting at 1. Older devices might want about a 2 or higher. If you have a lot of widgets, put it at 8.

    Last but not least, you can turn on the blurring mode to Asynchronous. Doing this will eliminate the lag, however the blur will not render until about a second after the Notification Center is launched. I prefer to keep this setting off regardless. But, if you have severe lag with this tweak, then go ahead and try turning this setting on.

    The General Consensus:

    This tweak is pretty cool. It works well, it looks nice, and it doesn't require WinterBoard (Thank Goodness). One thing that should be noted is if you are an IntelliScreenX user, you may notice that on the lock screen your status bar will not show up:



    This is conflicting with IntelliScreenX. Philippe has promised that he is working on an update to fix that small problem. As of now, Philippe does not own a copy of IntelliscreenX, but thankfully since IntelliscreenX was just released to the public ModMyi repo today, Philippe will get a chance to download it and play around with the tweak until he gets it to work.

    Name: BlurriedNCBackground
    Developer: Philippe
    Repo: BigBoss
    Price: FREE
    Version: 1.0
    Editor's Rating:  4/5

    That's pretty much all that there is to BlurriedNCBackground. As always, thanks Philippe!

    Sources: Philippe Lalancette-Caron
    This article was originally published in forum thread: [Review] BlurriedNCBackground Brings A Glassy Look to Notification Center started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. Newbee123's Avatar
      Newbee123 -
      Nice.
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      OK, looking at the controls I figured out how it works...

      It takes a screenshot, applies the blur effect and finally displays it to you by replacing the notification center texture.

      That's why there is a delay either for the blur to show or the notification center to show... So yeah Meh...
    1. Commandor's Avatar
      Commandor -
      I think it could be better if there is a switch to turn it on/off, or just a sbsetting toggle.And if I themed NC manually or by winterboard, this tweak will show no effect.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      hideous
    1. Paco's Avatar
      Paco -
      I didnt get any delay with or without asynchronous on
    1. keenpois0n's Avatar
      keenpois0n -
      I like it, but it definitely doesn't work with intelliscreenx, as it also makes the 'slide to unlock' blurry. until that's fixed, I'll have it uninstalled! it's nice though. props to the dev
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by keenpois0n View Post
      I like it, but it definitely doesn't work with intelliscreenx, as it also makes the 'slide to unlock' blurry. until that's fixed, I'll have it uninstalled! it's nice though. props to the dev
      The reason slide to unlock is blurry is because you're pulling a Window over your lock screen. You need to slide it back up to get rid of the blur. I don't think that will be fixed because it wasn't a problem to begin with. Since it's a slide down menu, it will have that effect. The stock IntelliScreenX is clear, that's why you can see the slide to unlock bar.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I'd like the option to just change the wallpaper. This is a step in the right direction, but not quite what I want.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      I'd like the option to just change the wallpaper. This is a step in the right direction, but not quite what I want.
      If you want to just change the wallpaper, then use WinterBoard themes for Notification Center. There are a good number of them in Cydia. If there isn't one that you like, then you can find a wallpaper you like and SSH it into your iDevice to use.
    1. GrandMasterB's Avatar
      GrandMasterB -
      Wow, surprisingly this has quickly become one of my favorite ios5 tweaks. Very cool with ISX ( I don't use the locksceen ) and I don't notice any more lag than the stock pulldown with ISX. Very cool tweak Philippe!!
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Very boss. But I personally like both Apple's and the tweaks.

      Only one thing left to do: flip a coin (with an app)!
    1. vcao's Avatar
      vcao -
      Quote Originally Posted by GrandMasterB View Post
      Wow, surprisingly this has quickly become one of my favorite ios5 tweaks. Very cool with ISX ( I don't use the locksceen ) and I don't notice any more lag than the stock pulldown with ISX. Very cool tweak Philippe!!
      I'd like to see this for folders(folder enhancer) and the multitasking bar!
    1. charliebee's Avatar
      charliebee -
      Woah man you lost 3% battery in 2 minutes! Are you running 5.0.1?? heheheh
    1. Philippe97's Avatar
      Philippe97 -
      Quote Originally Posted by charliebee View Post
      Woah man you lost 3% battery in 2 minutes! Are you running 5.0.1?? heheheh
      The percent option is not really precise.
    1. lkailburn's Avatar
      lkailburn -
      I think it looks fantastic! Wish I could make use of it though :-p 4s

      -Luke
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      If you want to just change the wallpaper, then use WinterBoard themes for Notification Center. There are a good number of them in Cydia. If there isn't one that you like, then you can find a wallpaper you like and SSH it into your iDevice to use.
      Winterboard is gross. I am sorry but I just won't touch it. UI sucks and makes things pig slow.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Kids these days
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      Winterboard is gross. I am sorry but I just won't touch it. UI sucks and makes things pig slow.
      Then you can still SSH (just replace the default file with a new one. Rename the old one filenameOLD.png or something like that).
    1. bunyip's Avatar
      bunyip -
      very nice !! i have a suggestion. Can you add an option to darken the blurred image. the white text doesn't read on light backgrounds. keep up the great work
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      looks very nice and worked just fine with ISX for me. i would agree with the suggestion to also dim the image, can be hard to read some text. you've got a great future ahead of you as a developer! don't listen to the negative comments, let's see what they coded for iOS lately!