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Enchant upgrades notification aesthetics on jailbroken iPhones

One of my favorite things to do with a jailbroken iPhone or iPad is customize the native user interface — something that Apple doesn’t generally let you do out of the box because they feel that their team of designers know best, and shame on you for even thinking that you might be able to make something look better. But I digress…

Enchant is a newly released jailbreak tweak by iOS developer P2KDev that lets you customize the appearance of your pwned handset’s incoming notifications. With it, you can achieve a wide variety of aesthetics ranging from nearly stock to polarizingly different; whichever floats your boat.

In the screenshot examples below, you’ll see just a few of the different things you can do with Enchant:

Among some of the highlights are:

  • A redesigned banner notification aesthetic
  • Shrinking the content size of the notifications to squeeze more of them into a confined space
  • Prominently displaying a notification’s app icon and replacing it with a content thumbnail when relevant
  • Adjusting the transparency of notification banners
  • Adjusting the corner radius of notification banners

Once installed, Enchant adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure the tweak to their standards:

Here, you can:

  • Enter your preferred notification banner corner radius amount
  • Enter your preferred app icon corner radius amount
  • Toggle reduced transparency on or off for notification banners
  • Toggle reduced transparency on or off for the Lock Screen’s Now Playing widget
  • Respring your device to save any changes you’ve made

Right out of the box, Enchant makes any jailbroken iPhone’s notification badges look sleeker and more modern than they otherwise would on a stock installation of iOS. The additional configurations allow the user to get their hands dirty with custom settings, and according to the developer, more options will be coming in future updates to the tweak.

Those interested in giving Enchant a try can purchase it for $1.99 from the Packix repository via their favorite package manager. The tweak supports jailbroken iOS 13 and 14 devices.

Will you be upgrading your handset’s notification experience with the Enchant tweak? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Activator doesn’t yet support iOS 14, but this tweak offers temporary refuge

Now that the unc0ver jailbreak supports up to and including iOS & iPadOS 14.3, we’re seeing a huge influx of new jailbreakers who are wanting to take better advantage of their owned handset(s).

Unfortunately, Ryan Petrich’s venerable Activator tweak, which allows users to map various actions to custom gestures, isn’t yet compatible with iOS or iPadOS 14, and many jailbreakers are looking for alternatives for the time being.

One possible refuge is a newly released and free jailbreak tweak dubbed ShakeItOff by iOS developer ETHN, which allows users to invoke actions of their choosing by merely giving their handset a good shake.

As many Activator users will know, the extension’s included Shake n’ Bake action behaves pretty much the same way. So if you ever relied on this gesture previously, but couldn’t use it until Activator gets official iOS & iPadOS 14 support, then this tweak is for you.

Once installed, the tweak adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app, pictured above, where users can configure the tweak to their liking. Options include:

  • Toggle ShakeItOff on or off on demand
  • Choose what happens when you shake your device:
    • Flashlight
    • Respring
    • Safe Mode
    • Dark Mode
    • Low Power Mode
    • Sound
    • Lock Screen
    • Previous Song
    • Play or Pause Song
    • Next Song
    • Reachability
    • Open Now Playing App
    • Take Screenshot
    • Airplane Mode
    • Control Center
    • Wi-Fi

While the list of available options isn’t as extensive as what you’d find with Activator, it covers most of the core functions that people typically assign to custom gestures.

ShakeItOff couldn’t have been released at a better time, so if you’re waiting for Activator to pick up iOS & iPadOS 14 support and want some temporary relief in the meantime, then you can download the tweak for free from ETHN’s repository via your favorite package manager. ShakeItOff supports jailbroken iOS 13 and 14 devices.

If you aren’t already using ETHN’s repository, then you can add it to your package manager of choice with the following URL:

https://nahtedetihw.github.io/

Will you be giving ShakeItOff a try on your newly jailbroken iOS 14 device? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Jailbreakers can customize the Now Playing widget with aquarius

If you’re jailbroken and listen to lots of music, then chances are you interface with the Lock Screen’s Now Playing widget rather often and might take an interest in customizing it.

iOS developer Nico Carbone has just released a new and free jailbreak tweak called aquarius that permits jailbreakers to personalize the Now Playing widget with minimal effort.

You’ll see from our screenshot example that aquarius not only shrinks the bloated size of the Now Playing widget to something more manageable, but it can also be used to colorize the button controls and hide superfluous objects from the widget.

Once installed, aquarius adds a dedicated preference pane to the Settings app where users can configure the tweak to their liking:

Options here include:

  • Toggling aquarius on or off on demand
  • Choosing a preferred layout style:
    • Default
    • Show the progress bar
    • Show the volume bar
    • Skinny with minimal UI
  • Customizing color:
    • Left music control button
    • Middle music control button
    • Right music control button
  • Adjusting the opacity of the music player
  • Applying any changes you make (respring)

There’s been no shortage of Now Playing widget-centric tweak releases recently, so jailbreakers will need to weigh the pros and cons of each for the best possible outcome on their device. In this case, we like that you can reduce the widget’s overall size footprint while still customizing colors and opacity.

Those interested in giving the new aquarius tweak a try can download it for free from the Twickd repository via their favorite package manager. The tweak supports jailbroken iOS 13 & 14 devices.

Will you be giving the new aquarius tweak a shot, or are you happy with what the Now Playing widget looks like out of the box? Let us know in the comment section down below.

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Get a free leather AirPods case from Nomad

Heads up, our friends over at Nomad are running an exclusive deal for iDB readers. For a limited time, you can snag one of their leather Rugged AirPods cases for free—you just have to pay for shipping.

What you need to know:

  • This two-piece case is built with genuine, vegetable-tanned leather
  • Available in both black and rustic brown
  • Designed to work with original AirPods and AirPods with wireless charging case
  • Shipping is either $6.95 for USPS or $9.95 for FedEx
  • Case can be ordered standalone or with other items
  • Be sure to enter promo code iDOWNLOADFREE at checkout

Get your free AirPods case in brown or in black

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‘Wolfwalkers’ and ‘Stillwater’ help Apple TV+ to 11 Annie Award nominations

Today, the nominations for this year’s annual Annie Awards were revealed. Apple TV+ earned itself quite a few nods thanks to two animated projects.

Which makes sense, because the Annie Awards are designed to promote the best in animation every year. The nominations were announced by the ASIFA-Hollywood, and Apple earned 11 nominations in total. The majority of those went to Wolfwalkers, which was co-directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart and developed by production studios Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions.

The film actually earned a Golden Globe nomination for best animated film earlier this year, too.

In total, Wolfwalkers earned 10 nominations. Here they are:

Wolfwalkers nominations

  • Best Animated Feature – Independent
  • Best FX – Feature
  • Best Character Design – Feature
  • Best Character Animation – Feature
  • Best Direction – Feature
  • Best Music – Feature
  • Best Writing – Feature
  • Best Voice Acting – Feature
  • Best Storyboarding – Feature
  • Best Production Design – Feature

Meanwhile, Stillwater, an animated series designed for young children, earned itself one nomination.

Stillwater nomination

  • Best Preschool Series

So, 11 nominations in total. Quite the haul for Apple TV+. Which is certainly starting to stack up. As Apple notes in today’s announcement, Apple Original series and films have won 74 awards in total, and have earned almost 300 nominations.

Have you checked out Wolfwalkers yet? In related news, the co-directors of that feature film confirmed recently that Cartoon Saloon is working on something “epic” for Apple TV+.

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Apple TV+ orders sci-fi thriller ‘Dr. Brain’ based on the popular Korean webtoon

Another day, another project secured for Apple’s original video streaming service, Apple TV+. Today, the company officially announced a new sci-fi thriller is heading to the platform, expanding the company’s international offerings.

Apple TV+ announced it has ordered the sci-fi thriller Dr. Brain for the streaming service. This is based on the popular South Korean webtoon of the same name, and Apple’s series will be a live-action version. The upcoming series will be directed by Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two SistersI Saw the Devil), and star Lee Sun-Kyun (Parasite). This will be the first Korean-language project for Apple TV+ to date.

From the announcement today:

Now in production in South Korea and set to debut later this year, “Dr. Brain” is an emotional journey that follows a brain scientist who is obsessive about figuring out new technologies to access the consciousness and memories of the brain. His life goes sideways when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident, and  he uses his skills to access memories from his wife’s brain to piece together the mystery of what actually happened to his family and why.

Dr. Brain is being produced by the Korean company Bound Entertainment for Apple TV+. In addition to that, Kakao Entertainment, Studioplex, and Dark Circle Pictures are also producing the upcoming series.

While it’s in production now, there’s no word quite yet when it will be completed and ready to start streaming. But as soon as we have more to share, including a trailer, we will be sure to pass that along!

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Apple says that missed Apple Card payments don’t impact Apple ID

Things got a little interesting yesterday regarding the Apple Card. A customer of Apple’s credit card raised concerns over a missed payment and, potentially, having their Apple ID essentially locked down as a result. But, it turns out that’s not exactly the case.

Dustin Curtis is a designer, and, yesterday, he shared a story about how Apple locked him out of his Apple ID. The initial premise of the story started with a series of events in why Curtis missed an Apple Card payment. According to the designer, Apple froze his Apple ID due to the missed payment.

That, unsurprisingly, led to some confusion. A lot of speculation that missing an Apple Card payment could lead to the company freezing an Apple ID altogether, blocking access to basically everything attached to it. Including iCloud and even services like Apple Music.

But, it turns out that isn’t the case. According to Apple, the Apple Card and an Apple ID aren’t linked in such a way where missing an Apple Card payment could even lead to the Apple ID being disabled or inaccessible. What led to the problem with Curtis? Well, it stems from a trade-in process that didn’t get completed.

It turns out Curtis traded in an old MacBook in an effort to buy a new M1 Mac. Apple offered an instant discount on the new machine, as it does, and offered a discount on the new machine. Turns out Apple didn’t send the box for Curtis to trade in the old machine, and, over time, he forgot about it. As a result the 14-day window passed and Apple felt obliged to act on the missed trade-in.

The only time Curtis looked into the issue is when Apple locked his Apple ID. He apparently missed emails from Apple before that two-week window, too. The next part is where the Apple Card comes in: apparently Curtis used the Apple Card as the primary payment source for the trade-in/new purchase. However, when Apple couldn’t charge that card for the missed trade-in (basically the full amount for the new M1 Mac), that led to the Apple ID freeze.

So, a lot of things happened to lead to the issue. However, it was not a missed Apple Card payment that brought on the Apple ID freeze.

Here’s Apple’s statement on the matter, sent over to 9to5Mac:

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience we may have caused for this customer. The issue in question involved a restriction on the customer’s ‌Apple ID‌ that disabled App Store and iTunes purchases and subscription services, excluding iCloud. Apple provided an instant credit for the purchase of a new MacBook Pro, and as part of that agreement, the customer was to return their current unit to us. No matter what payment method was used, the ability to transact on the associated ‌Apple ID‌ was disabled because Apple could not collect funds. This is entirely unrelated to ‌Apple Card‌.

So, hopefully that clears this up.

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Apple TV+ reportedly scores another win with the Billie Eilish documentary

Apple doesn’t go out of its way to release streaming numbers for Apple TV+. But, sometimes, we get a glimpse behind the curtain. Especially when things appear to be going well.

For example, the latest report from Deadline that tells us Apple TV+ did pretty well for itself when it launched its newest documentary. According to the publication, Apple TV+ saw a huge uptick in new viewers thanks to Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, the documentary that launched in late February.

The win comes in a certain demographic, something that Apple TV+ has apparently not done so well with since its launch. According to Deadline, the new documentary was a big success for the young adult audience. It was so successful, apparently, that the streaming service saw a 33% increase in new viewers.

The documentary started streaming on February 25 in the United States and across the globe where Apple TV+ is available. Apparently nearly half of all viewers came from outside the United States, with the documentary being number one for young adults in Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and more.

Per the report:

The streamer would not divulge specific numbers — they never do — but I can report that the film became the biggest hit title for young adult audiences that Apple has had so far across its slate of films and TV series. The movie drew a record-breaking 33% new viewers to the service, with young adult audiences fueling the momentum from the moment the film premiered on Thursday, February 25.

While nothing is officially official in this regard, if it is right then Apple has had a pretty successful couple of months. On February 1, it was reported that Apple TV+ had seen its “most-watched weekend” thanks in part to the premiere of the Justin Timberlake-starring Palmer.

Apple TV+ saw a bit of a hit with the Russo Brothers film Cherry, with reviews for the drama not being so hot. But it sounds like the YA audience was pretty happy with the latest documentary.

Did you check out the documentary? If so, what did you think of it?

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Apple launches a service to transfer your iCloud Photos collection to Google Photos

If you were hoping Apple would launch a dedicated service to transfer your iCloud Photos collection to a third-party service, well, the wait is over.

Apple has launched a new service (via MacRumors) that will transfer a copy of your iCloud Photos collection to another service. In this case, a copy to Google Photos. The company’s official support document on the new service says that it can copy both photos and videos to the alternative cloud storage option. As long as the content is appropriately stored in iCloud and attached to a valid Apple ID.

You actually have to request the copy and transfer. The company says that the transfer doesn’t alter or remove the photos stored in iCloud. Just transfers them over to the other service.

Apple also notes in the support document that the whole process can take between three and seven business days. The company says this time is spent confirming that the owner of the Apple ID is making the request, and then for the transfer itself.

From the support document, a few other things to be aware of:

Some data and formats available in iCloud Photos—such as Smart Albums, Live Photos, or some RAW files—may not be available when you transfer your content to another service. More information about what data is transferred is listed below.

The company also has an important note in the document:

If you add more photos or videos to iCloud Photos before your data transfer starts, you’ll need additional space in your Google account to complete it. If your Google account runs out of space during the transfer, not all of your items will be transferred. If you add, update, or delete content after the transfer starts, or if your images and videos are still uploading, these changes or additions might not be included in the transfer.

To start the transfer request, you’ll need to go to privacy.apple.com and sign in. There is an option to “Transfer a copy of your data”, which you should select. There will be onscreen prompts, which the user needs to select to finish the process.

The user will receive an email confirming the transfer request. Apple will send another email when the transfer is  complete.

The support document says that only photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos will be transferred. In most cases, the original format will be used for the transfer. However, in some cases the transfer can transition to industry-standard formats.

And then here’s the rest:

  • The transfer includes copies of photos and videos that you store in iCloud Photos, associated with your Apple ID. Formats include: .jpg, .png, .webp, .gif, some RAW files, .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
  • Only the most recent edit of the photo is transferred and not the original version. Duplicates appear as just one photo.
  • Whenever possible, photos are transferred with their albums. Videos are transferred separately, without their albums.
  • Once transferred to Google, the filenames of albums and videos start with “Copy of.”
  • Some content—including shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, live photos, some metadata, and photos and videos stored in other folders or locations—is not transferred at all.

The new transfer tool is available now in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.

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How to restore your deleted Instagram posts and stories

With social media, there are times when we post something, change our minds, and delete the post. But have you ever done this and then changed your mind again, wishing you could put the post back?

Instagram gives you a way to see and restore your deleted posts and stories. You have 30 days from the time you delete the item to restore it. After that, it’s gone for good.

So if you want to restore a post or story on Instagram and time hasn’t run out yet, here’s how to do it.

View recently deleted items on Instagram

You can see posts and stories that you delete on Instagram by navigating to the Settings area of the app. So open Instagram on your iPhone and do the following.

1) Head to your profile and tap the Menu button on the top right.

2) Select Settings.

3) Choose Account.

4) Toward the bottom, pick Recently Deleted.

View Recently Deleted Instagram Post

You can switch between the Posts and Stories tabs at the top to view your deleted items.

Restore a deleted post or story on Instagram

Once you get to the Recently Deleted section described above, you’ll see the number of days remaining on each post and story. This is how many days left you have to restore the item before it’s permanently deleted. Here’s how to restore an item.

1) Select the post or story to view it.

2) Tap the three dots on the top right of the item.

3) Pick Restore and confirm by tapping Restore once more.

Restore Recently Deleted Instagram Posts

4) You may be asked to confirm that you want to restore the item. If so, follow the prompts to send the email to your account and enter the security code to verify you are authorized. Then, follow the steps above to restore the post or story.

Wrapping it up

Maybe you posted a photo or video that you didn’t think your Instagram followers would be interested in. You deleted it only to change your mind and share it with your fans anyway. If this happens today, tomorrow, or down the road, just know that you can put the post or story right back where it was. But keep that 30-day time limit in mind.

Have you ever gone through this and are now happy to know you can restore recently deleted items on Instagram? Let us know your thoughts on this feature!