[Review] LSCameraExtender - Multi-Purpose iOS 5 Lock Screen Button
With iOS 5, Apple gave us a button on our lock screen that can be used to rapidly access our Camera application. The button is invoked by pressing the home button twice while on the lock screen and then tapping on it launches the Camera. While this was a great idea, most can agree that it would be great if we could make that button more useful by allowing the implementation of customization for the button’s uses. A new jailbreak tweak dubbed LSCameraExtender by iOS developer Nicolas Montvernay
lets us do this. The tweak works only on the iPhone.
LSCameraExtender serves two purposes – 1. It lets you change the button on your lock screen between a camera shortcut button, an orientation lock button, or a ringer/silent button. 2. It lets you customize the functionality of the ringer/silent switch on the side of the iPhone between a ringer/silent switch and an orientation lock switch. In the event that you change your ringer/silent switch into an orientation lock switch, the Camera button on the lock screen will no longer give you the option to turn it into an orientation lock button, instead it will be made into a ringer/silent button.
All of the settings for this tweak are configured via the Settings application. The settings aren’t overwhelming and are pretty easy to understand. The first setting lets you enable or disable the effects of the tweak on demand, which is helpful if you want to quickly turn your ringer/silent switch back into a ringer/silent switch temporarily without resetting your settings for LSCameraExtender. Under that is the picker for choosing the functionality for the ringer/silent switch.
Next is the ability to make the Camera button on the lock screen dual-capable of being a Camera button and either a ringer/silent button or an orientation lock button. If you have the ringer/silent switch set to its default capability, then the only option you have in this picker is the ability to pick orientation lock. If you have chosen to make the ringer/silent switch your orientation lock switch, then this is the only time you will be able to have the ringer/silent button on your lock screen where your camera button is supposed to be.
Below those settings are two more. The first one is a switch allowing you to hold down on the button to make it switch between Camera-mode and the other mode you are using, whether it be ringer/silent or orientation lock. It only takes holding on it for about a second to kick in, which is extremely convenient. The picker below the Long Press switch lets you choose what button will appear on the lock screen and when. You can have the Camera button always appear first and then hold down on it to invoke the secondary functionality, or you can have the secondary functionality appear first. You can even have the last button that you recently used appear first if you find that to be more useful.
Taking the tweak for a spin for ourselves, we have discerned that the functionality is beneficial for a myriad of people, however it will depend greatly on your needs. Many people prefer the idea of having the hardware switch as a ringer/silent switch and will therefore find the functionality of turning it into an orientation lock switch useless. On the other hand, they will still be able to make the Camera button on the lock screen twice as useful as before. The biggest concern is trying to decide if that added functionality on the lock screen is worth 99˘. The graphical appearance of the button on the lock screen definitely has some appeal as well – taking Apple's design from the App Switcher.
Developer: Nicolas Montvernay
Sources: Nicolas Montvernay