CallBar and Apptivator [Jailbreak]

CallBar and Apptivator [Jailbreak]

CallBar and Apptivator are just two examples of the Jailbreak community being in full flurry this summer with what has been the most productive and innovative season of Jailbreak tweaks to date. At a time when people question the current value of jailbreaking with iOS 5 on the horizon, the jailbreak community have spoken up and demonstrated that they continue to advance and innovate where Apple stops short.

With a vast amount of new Cydia tweaks, thanks majorly in part to @rpetrich’s TweakWeek challenge, I will be talking about only two recent tweaks that demonstrate to any non-believer that Jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches are the way to go!

CallBar (by E. Limneos & J. Tucker)

E. Limneos has been involved with TweakWeek and when J. Tucker approached him with this dynamite idea they made an immediate knockout hit that some consider an “essential” tweak to any Jailbroken device. What CallBar does is extend the concept of the nonintrusive notification to phone calls and FaceTime alerts, integrating it into what Peter Hajas developed for iOS with MobileNotifier (also a Cydia tweak) and Apple synthesized and adopted in iOS 5's Notification Center.

Intrusive notifications have always been a weak point for iOS and have long since been taunted by the Android and webOS community. CallBar brings what iOS 5 only begins to unveil at a notification level, and that is a nonintrusive and clean way to receive phone calls – further solidifying the concept that our iDevices are small computers that happen to receive phone calls rather than phones that happen to behave like small computers. Writing an important email and a call ruins your train of thought? Not anymore. Watching the latest Harry Potter movie on your iPad and a FaceTime alert just interrupted an important scene? No longer a problem. CallBar demonstrates that Cydia tweaks are not just gimmicks and tricks, but truly useful, innovative, and downright essential to heavy iDevice users.

With a good amount of options to make any user happy, CallBar is available now in Cydia for only 3.99 USD.

Apptivator (by n00neimp0rtant)

Apptivator takes the functionality of Activator and applies it to your homescreen and icons, using a double-tap action instead of having to rely on multiple gestures.

For instance, you can set a double-tap action onto your phone icon to immediately call up the keypad or the contacts list – whichever you use most. You can also create events that allow you to double-tap an icon app to open up a related app instead – such as double-tapping the Camera app to open the Photos app. Using events currently possible in Activator, n00neimp0rtant demonstrated in his YouTube video of the tweak (see above) of double-tapping the iPod icon to start and top a current track. Better yet, you can trigger SBSetting toggles using Apptivator – such as double-tapping the MyWi icon to toggle MyWi on and off. The amount of customization this tweak brings is limitless. As powerful and innovative as Activator has been, it’s a breath of fresh air seeing Apptivator using the same principles on icons without the need to memorize gestures that are limited and can be unintuitive at times.

At first glance, this tweak reminded me a lot of the new feature in Windows Phone 7 Mango where you can now pin actions onto the homescreen – which some touted as a brilliant feature and very innovative on the part of the WP7 team. With jailbroken phones, we are able to see features from other Mobile OSes and see the concept further bloom and thrive, and Apptivator is a clear example of this.

On Twitter, @n00neimp0rtant informed me that more functionality is coming to Apptivator and I am more than excited to see what’s in store next.

Apptivator is available now in the Cydia Store for 2.00 USD.

Austin Bradley, better known as K. Nitsua, is the Jailbreak theme designer behind iNitsua Z Twilight 3volution. You can hit him up on Twitter @Kanaca_Nitsua

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


← Previously

Iterate 3: Prototypes

Next up →

iStandard Clock for i

Reader comments

CallBar and Apptivator [Jailbreak]


Huge shout out from Elias Limneos and myself! Thanks Austin for your awesome write-up on both CallBar and Apptivator: keep up your hard work!
Joshua Tucker
Concept Idea/Designer of CallBar
Twitter: @sh8kespeare

I've done a little research, and have found that this is an imitation tweak and not an extension tweak (you guys kinda explain that, granted, but I like to quadruple check EVERYTHING). My question is this: if I'm running iOS 5 beta 4 (sans jailbreak), will this tweak be compatible with the new iOS (if I were to jailbreak)? The link here ( basically says NO, but I can't tell if you guys are reporting that it DOES, in fact, work on iOS 5, now.

As far as I know, while I was on iOS5 beta, Activator didn't work. As a matter of fact, you couldn't get any options to appear in settings - so as Apptivator relies on Activator, I don't think it will work on iOS5 beta. @rpetrich as adamantly states that Activator will NOT be updated for iOS5 until the public release.

i suppose i should have been more clear, i'm sorry for that. i meant for the callbar tweak. but from what i've seen so far, it's pretty much the same story: not gonna work until iOS 5 gets released to the public.

We're unable to distribute CallBar to 5.x / iOS 5 beta users as it is against NDA. That is why you can't buy it on 5.x. It will be available for purchase on 5.x (if you haven't bought it already) when iOS 5 publicly releases.
Joshua Tucker
Concept Idea/Designer of CallBar
Twitter: @sh8kespeare

I was hoping you would reply, Mr. Tucker! Thanks for your explanation... it makes sense now that I think about it. :) And thank you for your reply, too, Austin. Great article (write-up), by the way!

I love callbar. I use to have EzDecline but this is so much better. I love how the lil' pop up comes down from the top just like the iOS5 deal. You can either silence, decline, or answer. Nice.
For some reason, activator won't work on my iPhone. Just crashes into safemode every time. Hopefully the next version will correct the issue. No SBSettings or SBRotator until then. :-(

For anyone interested, here are a few helpful links:
CallBar User Guide:
This guide is for learning how to use CallBar effectively - what does each button do, and what do the Settings in the change in terms of functionality.
CallBar Theming Guide:
If you are really into theming or just want to add a new look to CallBar, use the theming guide. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make a theme for CallBar (including locations of the .png files) and how to create a WinterBoard package for it.
Joshua Tucker
Concept Idea/Designer of CallBar
Twitter: @sh8kespeare

Both look great, purchased them at Cydia. Non-stop errors trying to install Apptivator, but hopefully will be good once I can actually download and try it out. Amazing what people are coming up with to enhance the iPhone functionality...

To those who may be having support issues with CallBar:
Send an email to with the following if possible:

  • Crash log
  • Cydia log

We will do the best we can to make sure the issue you're having is fixed.
We're already working on a ton of fixes should hopefully our next update will fix your issue without question.
Joshua Tucker
Concept Idea/Designer of CallBar
Twitter: @sh8kespeare

options are limited...
For instance. I cannot activate deactivate wifi hotspot in pdanet or others.
Hopefully in the future things get added.
I had to uninstall callbar because it invalidates the lock button to send a call to either voicemail or silence the ringer.

The problem with callbar is it blocks the top part of your screen when in a call which makes it impossible to use some apps. It is very frustrating and there is no way to minimize the bar so you can use the top buttons hiding behind the callbar.
Also I don't see an option to silence a call (not decline).