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  • Here Are Nine Things That iOS 9 Borrowed From the Jailbreak Community


    Every single year, Apple announced a major iOS upgrade and it's amazing just how much of each firmware update appears to integrate ideas that first stemmed from the jailbreak community, the place where ideas for improving on Apple's mobile operating system run rampant and can make or break a user's love/hate relationship with iOS.

    iOS 9 is no different than every other iOS release in the past. In addition to all of the under-the-hood improvements that will make iOS 9 even faster and more fluid on mobile devices (old and new), some of the new features in appear to derive a lot of ideas from jailbreak tweaks that have existed in Cydia for eons. And of course, Apple doesn't credit those ideas to the minds that came up with them first.

    So we'll do that part for Apple. In this list, we'll go through various new features in iOS 9 that the jailbreak community came up with first. Starting with....

    1. Side-By-Side Multitasking On the iPad

    This is one of the features that Apple includes in iOS 9; the ability to run two applications side-by-side simultaneously. It's arguably one of the most necessary features that the iPad has lacked over the last several years in its existence and it's finally here, albeit only on the latest iPad Air 2. Side-by-side multitasking has been available in Cydia for years in various forms. Jailbreak developers have competed over the years to provide the best side-by-side multitasking solutions, such as one called OS Experience, which promised to bring desktop-quality multitasking to the iPad.

    OS Experience went a step further though. It also brought a Mac OS X-like multiple desktop interface into the question, which allowed users to have multiple interfaces of their choosing that they could open on demand. The tweak also allowed certain applications to run in iPhone mode, which allowed for smaller canvas space usage, and competes a lot with what Apple is calling "Slide Over."

    It's hard not to see that the jailbreak community, in addition to the thousands of user requests, have had a huge bearing on Apple's decision to include this feature in iOS 9 for the iPad for the first time.


    2. Multi-Touch Gestures On the Keyboard

    Apple is also making text-editing better on iOS by allowing multi-touch to be used to move the cursor around on the keyboard on not only the iPad, but also on the iPhone and iPod touch. Sound familiar? It should, because a highly popular jailbreak tweak called SwipeSelection Pro (and its free counterpart, SwipeSelection) already allow you to do this on jailbroken devices.

    The feature makes it less cumbersome so that you don't have to tap and hold in between text characters and then drag around to find a sweet spot for the cursor, which was not only buggy, but slow and annoying at times. Moreover, iOS 9 also lets you use multi-touch gestures to highlight large strands of text at once too.

    The feature finally making its way to the stock iOS 9 operating system is exciting for users, but we feel kind of bad for the developer of the tweak who had no credit for implementing the idea in the first place.


    3. Picture-in-Picture Video Multitasking

    iOS 9 also includes a feature that lets you drag a video out of its usual UI and watch it while you perform other actions in iOS. If this sounds familiar, it's because well-known iOS developer Ryan Petrich already achieved this feature through a jailbreak tweak called VideoPane.

    Granted the tweak is a couple of years old now, its principles still apply. It allowed you to watch a video anywhere in iOS while doing other things. And that's exactly what users can now do with iOS 9 on the iPad out of the box. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Apple is going to let you do this on the iPhone like VideoPane would.

    So... Petrich 1, Apple 0.


    4. Music Controls While Plugging in Headphones

    Another new feature in iOS 9 is that when you plug in headphones or speakers using the 3.5mm headphone jack, the iOS device will automatically show the music controls so you can get to listening to your music faster. A similar feature was also implemented by user request in the jailbreak community and was called Plugication.

    Plugication worked a little differently than Apple's iOS 9 solution in that it would play music automatically when headphones were connected rather than just showing the music controls when the headphones were connected like Apple's implementation would.

    In this scenario, we think Apple's solution might be a little more cleanly implemented in that you won't have high-volume music blasting in your ears the second you plug your headphones into your device, but it's still an idea derived from the jailbreak community nonetheless.


    5. Better Text Formatting in the Notes App

    If you watched the WWDC 2015 Keynote, then you remember Apple demonstrating the awesome new editing features that are available in the Notes application in iOS 9. But who's idea was it to do that?

    As it turns out, the jailbreak community thought it up first, by implementing a tweak called NotesEnhancer. This tweak allowed you to format the text in the notes application with custom fonts, custom colors, custom text sizes, and more.

    Now we do have to give Apple credit because their implementation for improving the Notes application goes a lot more in-depth with features like previews for files and Web links, and even improvements like bulleted lists and checklists, but it definitely wasn't Apple's idea in the first place to add all these features to the stock Notes application and the publish dates prove that the jailbreak community had implemented a way to make the Notes application better first.


    6. Recommended Apps On the Home Screen

    Just to the left of the Home Screen in iOS 9 is a new integrated interface with everything you could ever ask for in one place. This includes your recommended contacts, recommended applications, a search bar, a shortcut to Siri, News, and much more.

    We would have to say that this entire idea is probably stemmed through the slew of widgets available in the jailbreak community, but the one idea that stood out to us the most was that the recommended applications list is very similar to that of a jailbreak tweak called Popular, which would populate the top row of your App Switcher with recommended applications based on what you used the most.

    The only real difference here is that Apple is putting the recommended list somewhere different than the Popular tweak did, but the idea behind it is still reasonably the same.


    7. Power Conservation Mode

    iOS 9 will not only improve battery life by one hour, but when you feel like you're getting too low to continue on the course you're going, iOS 9 will include a feature similar to low power mode on the Apple Watch that will conserve battery life and stretch your battery another three hours.

    You've probably already heard of such features existing on Android phones, and it's also not new to iOS devices that have been jailbroken. There are a lot of tweaks in Cydia that claim to be able to improve your battery life, but one of the most popular is BattSaver, which gives the user intelligent control over his or her own wireless radios and various other features so that they get the most out of their batteries.

    Since this feature has been around for eons on Android devices, we can't fully credit the jailbreak community here. But it is still fair to say that the jailbreak community had it before Apple did.


    8. Third-Party Ad-Blockers for Mobile Safari

    As you might have heard, iOS 9 also allows application developers to make ad-blockers and other content blockers for Mobile Safari. Although late to the party, this is a feature that users have demanded for a long time.

    But if you thought this was pioneering at its greatest, think again, because the jailbreak community has had ad-blockers for iOS for a super long time (such as the tweak AdBlocker), and before jailbreaking, they've existed on desktop computers for ages.

    Developers won't only be creating ad-blockers, they'll also likely make pop-up blockers, malicious Website blockers, and other forms of content blocking based on what the user wants. It'll be interesting to see how this one trails out, but jailbreakers still had it before Apple did.


    9. Showing Your Favorite News and Sites On the Home Screen

    Right under your favorite applications on the Home Screen on the page left of your application icons in iOS 9 is a place where you can see all of your favorite News sites and suggested Websites.

    Many jailbreak tweaks have provided you with article suggestions based on your favorite RSS feeds in the past, such as IntelliScreenX. The only real differences are that your curated content comes from RSS feeds rather than suggested content and appears on your Lock Screen or Notification Center instead of on the Home Screen, but nonetheless, it's still a shortcut to Web information right from an easy-to-access location.

    The jailbreak community has pioneered access to your favorite Web content on the iOS platform and Apple is making this possible in iOS 9 right out of the box. They've got only one community to thank for this feature.



    This isn't the first time Apple has borrowed from the jailbreak community and it definitely isn't the last time. Apple really wants to make it difficult for jailbreaks to exist on their platform, but without this community, there is no way Apple could make iOS as great as it is.

    Stay tuned for more posts like this one right here on ModMyi!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Here Are Nine Things That iOS 9 Borrowed From the Jailbreak Community started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Sounds like they borrowed many of these features from android as well if you asked me.
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      I have a legitimate question. Since this happened in the past where apple took the exact idea of developers. Do these devs have any form of recourse or intellectual property protection? Not saying to stop apple but to get royalties on their ideas. Any comments?
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Now if apple would put date and time in the status bar. Or allow customization of the status bar.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      Now if apple would put date and time in the status bar. Or allow customization of the status bar.
      Agreed!!! I HAVE to have the date in my status bar! One of the first tweaks I install is Cloaky or HideMe8 for that exact reason. VirtualHone is my first tweak above everything else, though.

      BTW, IntelliscreenX displays the feeds in Notification Center, not the just Lockscreen. It can be accessed anywhere at anytime.
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      Quote Originally Posted by rolandgabor View Post
      I have a legitimate question. Since this happened in the past where apple took the exact idea of developers. Do these devs have any form of recourse or intellectual property protection? Not saying to stop apple but to get royalties on their ideas. Any comments?
      Most of these ideas were thought of way before iOS even existed. Most of the jailbreaks I saw were just"borrowed" from others...
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      You forgot searchsettings! Rpetrich: 2
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Wish Apple made it easier to organize my icons. Hate having to drag apps several windows down just to put them in a folder.
    1. jetsetjoey's Avatar
      jetsetjoey -
      "Borrowed"??? Ahem... STOLE!!!
    1. X-Men's Avatar
      X-Men -
      When it comes to Android, Apple fans use the term "stolen" but when it comes to Apple they call it "burrowed" lol
    1. X-Men's Avatar
      X-Men -
      When it comes to Android, Apple fans use the term "stolen" but when it comes to Apple they call it "burrowed" lol
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Let's focus on end result....IOS is getting better and better, right?
    1. XweAponX's Avatar
      XweAponX -
      Quote Originally Posted by X-Men View Post
      When it comes to Android, Apple fans use the term "stolen" but when it comes to Apple they call it "burrowed" lol
      That's because android devices are cheap knockoffs of iPhones in the first place. The first droid phones looked exactly like iPhones. So words like "Theft" are appropro.
    1. Eonhpi's Avatar
      Eonhpi -
      Everything is borrowed now adays no inventive ideas or any real new.
    1. Gcruz's Avatar
      Gcruz -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      Now if apple would put date and time in the status bar. Or allow customization of the status bar.
      "Date in status bar" tweet
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
      That's because android devices are cheap knockoffs of iPhones in the first place. The first droid phones looked exactly like iPhones. So words like "Theft" are appropro.
      No they didnít. Seems you donít know about the evidence that Apple managed to have barred from the court which showed Samsung design prototypes before the iPhone release.
    1. TylerAllen86's Avatar
      TylerAllen86 -
      Actually its android who borrowed from the jailbreak community on a large majority of features android users claim to be first at.
    1. TylerAllen86's Avatar
      TylerAllen86 -
      again, a LARGE majority of these so called android features were part of the jailbreak community before they were on android. The order usually goes Jailbroken iOS, then Android, then mainstream iOS.
      At the end of the day it really doesn't matter because BSD > Linux
    1. Padgoi's Avatar
      Padgoi -
      Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
      That's because android devices are cheap knockoffs of iPhones in the first place. The first droid phones looked exactly like iPhones. So words like "Theft" are appropro.
      I think the word you were looking for is apropos.
    1. TylerAllen86's Avatar
      TylerAllen86 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      No they didnít. Seems you donít know about the evidence that Apple managed to have barred from the court which showed Samsung design prototypes before the iPhone release.
      The iPhone 1 came out in 07' and the first Android phone the "HTC Dream" came out in 08'. In December 2006, the earliest android prototype was codenamed "Sooner" & had a closer resemblance to a BlackBerry phone, with no touchscreen, and a physical, QWERTY keyboard. Android was later re-engineered to support a touchscreen, to compete with the iPhone 1. A decision made by Eric Schmidt, who was Google's CEO at the time in question & also on Apple's board. Schmidt later being forced out of Apple by Jobs because of what Jobs described as a betrayal.
      BSD > Linux
    1. Jon G's Avatar
      Jon G -
      Cherry Pepsi stole from Cherry Coke I guess. Playstation from Nintendo from Atari. Nike, Reebok & a million others from whoever the heck invented sneakers. It's just standard business in every industry to take existing products / ideas & try to emulate and/or improve them. If this didn't happen we'd have worse technology, far fewer options, & a much worse global economy. It's obviously a good thing. Just strange to me how when it comes to phones people become so defensive of their preferred brand & hateful of it's competition. The more I think of it, whatever the psychological reasons for this is probably pretty interesting. I'm not being critical of anyone or their views here, just stating my observations on the subject