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Jailbreak Hack Puts 'Chat Heads' on iPhone the Way Facebook Intended

The Verge reports on a new jailbreak hack for the iPhone that puts Facebook's new 'Chat Heads' feature above all other content on the device, similar to how Facebook Home works on Android.

On Android, Facebook's Chat Heads float above all other content so users can quickly jump in and out of conversations while they continue to use their phone for other tasks. On the iPhone, Chat Heads are normally only active when users are actually using the Facebook app.

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The trick, according to [developer Adam Bell], was isolating the Facebook app from the Chat Heads living inside it. Chat Heads inhabit a separate layer inside the Facebook app, so it was just a matter of finding that layer and making the rest of the app transparent. "The hardest part was getting this all to render on top of everything else," Bell says, which means Facebook is always running on your phone. Apparently, Bell's tweak doesn't take much of a toll on battery life. "It doesn't seem very resource intensive," he says. "Only when you move the Chat Head is it actually doing anything."

The hack will be released on jailbreak app store Cydia and Github in the next few days.

Facebook executives were asked at a recent conference if they had spoken with Apple about bringing the full Chat Heads experience to the iPhone, but they demurred.

Top Rated Comments

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22 months ago
The real question is... Why would you want this?! :rolleyes:
Rating: 70 Votes
22 months ago

The real question is... Why would you want this?! :rolleyes:


It would be nice for iMessage, but I don't even like Facebook chat while in Facebook, much less outside of it.
Rating: 19 Votes
22 months ago

The real question is... Why would you want this?! :rolleyes:

Because... some people would want this... hence why 24 hours was spent hacking away to get it to work like this... so at least one person wanted it... and if you're jailbroken... you have that choice.

I personally like this feature. Maybe I'm crazy.
Rating: 17 Votes
22 months ago
I find it amazing that on almost every video presentation of something on iPhone there will be a ridiculous number of unanswered calls, unread text messages or unread emails. Do these guys use the phone?
Rating: 14 Votes
22 months ago

Because... some people would want this... hence why 24 hours was spent hacking away to get it to work like this... so at least one person wanted it... and if you're jailbroken... you have that choice.

I personally like this feature. Maybe I'm crazy.


To each his/her own... I accidentally ran into this feature in the new iOS Facebook app, and it annoyed me. It was just like pop-up ads. All it really did was block content.
Rating: 13 Votes
22 months ago
I jailbreak for many reasons...

This, is not one of them. :cool:
Rating: 12 Votes
22 months ago
So much bitching about something you're not even forced to install.
Rating: 12 Votes
22 months ago
I actually LIKE the chatheads. The only problem is, I don't really Facebook chat much, so it's not much use for me.

But as a design it's quite amazing. If Apple stole this idea for iMessage it would be something I'd praise.

So,

Design = Very nice, Facebook
Facebook Messages themselves = meh
Rating: 11 Votes
22 months ago
My comment the other day in the Facebook update thread:

Chat heads outside the app is a lot cooler; looks great on my Nexus. Maybe someone can do a jailbreak app for it.

;) By reading the comments on other iOS blogs, it seems like a lot of people like the Chat Heads idea.

Thanks, devs!
Rating: 10 Votes
22 months ago

…when they cover your app's controls?


You move them somewhere else.

They're not intended to be there 100% of the time...only when you're deep in a conversation with someone. Whatever annoyance a floating ball gives you, it's MUCH less annoying than switching between entire apps every 5 seconds.

It's a solution for a particular situation, and it's perfect at that specific job.
Rating: 10 Votes

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