Just like in iOS 7, Apple has copied a few feature ideas from the jailbreak community for iOS 8. It might take ages before Apple acknowledges the contribution of the jailbreak developers in pushing Apple to do things it didn’t do (or even think of) to iOS (and when it does, pigs might fly on that day) but coming from a community of jailbreak enthusiasts, I’d like to thank the developers and point out some of the features that Apple has “stolen” or “gotten inspired” from (whatever fits your bill) the JB community.
I’m sure I’ve missed a few (let me know in the comments, please). But here’s a list that tells a wonderful tale.
QuickReply is a feature in iOS 8 that lets you answer notifications quickly: from the lockscreen, from the banner notifs etc. You can send a reply quickly right from the banner notification or lockscreen. You can also interact with Mail, Calendar, Reminder and many other apps (including third-party support) notifications.
But the journey actually began in Cydia tweaks. A lot of developers have tackled this feature and done it wonderfully. Apple has only scratched the surface (with respect to all the resources and accessibility it has, compared to what the JB devs had). One of the cool quick reply tweaks that I can remember off the top of my head is Anemo.
The original source of inspiration for this feature predates even Android. Feature phones had this predictive text feature that guessed the next word. Apple calls it “QuickType” and the one addition it provides to the feature is the “contextual prediction”: the predicted words are based on what context you are in and your typing habits.
Predictive Keyboard is a tweak that comes to my mind when we talk about quick type. More recently, there was a beta version of HipJot that I tested, which had the predictive feature built into it. (By the way, Hipjot is also an iPhone app).
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Developers don’t let any part of iOS go untouched. Spotlight was no exception. Arguably, no one did as much as Apple could in iOS 8. But Spotlight got smart even in the time of iOS 7 thanks to many Spotlight tweaks . There are tweaks like SpotDefine, SearchAmplius and more which add extra power to Spotlight.
Apple has the upper hand here so I feel that what developers achieved in the spotlight niche was really amazing. Apple seems to have took the cue.
Switcher Contact Shortcuts
In iOS 8, the task switcher also includes contact favorites as quickly accessible shortcuts. These are listed on top of the app cards. I don’t remember a tweak that did this exact thing but the theme of adding more power to the task switcher was already a part of the jailbreak community.
A lot of task switcher tweaks added more configurable options to the switcher. These included things like Settings toggles, arranging the switcher into a grid (as against a side-scrolling interface) etc. I’d rather say Apple actually did not steal this one properly. So much more could have been done to switcher.
SMS on Mac
This is my favorite. At the Keynote, when Craig gloriously introduced a feature where you can send and receive SMSes from your Mac (adding to the iMessage capability), there were cheers from the crowd. It’s not an innovative feature and people probably already know this. The integration is what makes Apple kind of stand out.
SMS from the Mac was solved by a cool little web-app+tweak called Remote Message. Given the limitations of iOS, this was the best the developers could do but they had a shot at it. A darned good one.
Notification Center Widgets
Apple hasn’t still gotten there. iOS 8’s Notification center lets you add “widgets” like eBay (you can bid directly from the notification center) but since iOS 6, there has been a plethora of notification center tweaks that added widgets. Surely, not as lucrative or functional as the ones iOS 8 seems to be bringing to the table but we know where the idea comes from.
Tiny feature, yes, but what took Apple so long to implement this? I don’t know.
But for sure, camera self-timer tweaks are aplenty on Cydia.