ProSwitcher for Jailbreak Brings Safari Pages, webOS Cards-style Multitasking UI to iPhone

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If you're Jailbroken yet still frustrated that you can't move between iPhone apps as easily as you can web pages in Safari (or Palm webOS users can in card view), ProSwitcher [Free beta - Cydia] is something to consider.

A front end to Backgrounder, which enables multitasking on a Jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch, duplicates the "Pages" metaphor in MobileSafari, including swipe-able switching and X-icon closing, and for good measure adds in the swipe-up-to-close gesture from Palm's webOS "Cards" interface.

ProSwitcher is currently in free beta and available via Cydia at http://booleanmagic.com/repo. If you try it out, let us know how it works for you, and how badly you think Apple better add this in to iPhone 4.0!

Footnote: 
[via JNGold in the TiPb Forums, RedmondPie, and thanks Taimur for the pic!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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ProSwitcher for Jailbreak Brings Safari Pages, webOS Cards-style Multitasking UI to iPhone

100 Comments

This is SICK. freaking awesome app, really clean, looks like apple should have implemented it themselves. Combined with backgrounder you can seamlessly open any running app, whether it be 3rd party or not. I am very impressed and will be using it regularly. May be EXTREMELY useful for those that have large numbers of apps, to quickly navigate and launch frequently used apps. SWEET.

It's works. No bugs, it is activated very similar to starting an app in the springboard. Problem is you have to navigate to the page or have it on your main dock. I wouldn't like to add it to my doc and I wouldn't like like to add backgrounder because it drains my battery even when backgrounder is dis activated. My if we add the swipe gesture similar to sbsetting but not to replace sbsettings. How about a swipe down gesture and a fix for backgrounder when it's not being used.

I just downloaded it a couple minutes before read this. So far it's pretty sweet. And yeah Apple, I hope y'all are seeing this :)

Backgrounder used to crash the apps (that were backgrounded) in the background... Does it still crash lime ALL the time or is it finally usable?
What about Battery? Music lag? It's a good idea in theory, but I don't think the iPhone is powerful enough for it to be usable.

@Eric
nothing is wrong w backgrounder. On 2g and 3g there was not enough memory to make backgrounding useful. Pandora was all i could background w/o crashing. Wen i got 3gs, i can smoothly background 6 apps, depending on size smoothly. The pre has similar processor and ram specs so i cant see how the iphone could run this. Im not gonna add this cause all i background are games and pandora.

Been using this all day, and I have to say its pretty damn good. Way better than multifl0w in Cydia, and that costs like $5. It's nearly perfect, the transition animations when switching apps could do with a bit of work. Other than that, great! Apple seriously, seriously need to take a look at this and bring this in 4.0!!!!!!

How exactly do you download this to try it? Went to the site but didn't know what to do. Thanks. I have a 3g jb phone but don't know if it will crash or not without all the memory the 3gs has.

@ tommy d. U have to add the repo address given the the post as a source in cydia and then u will c the proswitcher package. Btw this is an incredible app

This is a great alternative to multifl0w, but with multifl0w it gives you the ability to have way more than 3 apps open at a time and it will have the swipe up gesture to close apps in an update. ProSwitcher does more than 3 apps open, but only the 3 are visible until you close out one or two then the others become visible. If they update it to allow more than three cards to be visible than we could have a very good app here.

@ rebo
You're a lifesaver! The only problem I had with this app was that the only way to use it was with an icon. I was racking my brain trying to figure something out, and then I read your comment!

Wow. Great app, and it's free. Much better option for us penny pinchers than karikae. Very polished app!

Tried this for a few minutes, I still like Kirikae more.
The UI on Proswitcher is very intuitive, it's very nice. But for some reason, it's not showing all backgrounded apps. I had Slingplayer backgrounded, and Proswitcher didn't show me a card for it. I wonder if that's because I have Slingbox in a "categories" folder? I've gone back to Kirikae for now.

This thing is awesome once you finally figure out how to get it... took me a while. I dumped my Palm Pre for an iPhone about two months ago and I really missed the multitasking. This is a winner! Its just as smooth and intuitive as the WebOS. APPLE... PAY ATTENTION. PLEASE BE SURE TO INCLUDE THIS IN 4.0!!!

Awesome! I didn't think I use backgrounder enough to really need this, but I'm sold!
Much, much better than Multiflow, IMO.
When you activate it while in an app, that app is automatically backgrounded, pretty slick.
Double-tap Status bar to activate works perfectly and doesn't seem to conflict with sbsettings, though it doesn't work during a phone call. Fortunately there are many activation methods available and you can have more than one.
No problems here using hidden or categorized apps.
You have to manually add the booleanmagic repository under sources in cydia.

@ tys
Thanks for the tip about activating it while in an app to put that app into the background! I didn't know about that! I guess I need to play around with this a lot more!

Even if you don't use backgrounder, this is worth it just for the ease of jumping back and forth between safari and mail!
@Jeremy,
in cydia choose manage, then sources. Tap "edit", then "add". Enter http://booleanmagic.com/repo when prompted.
The new packages will now show up as usual in cydia.

This is actually VERY smooth and native Apple-like. As someone already said, the double tap on status bar seems to be the best activation method and doesn't conflict at all with SBSettings.
I've uninstalled Kirikae... never liked it to begin with.
Thanks again, TiPb community!

I'm not a big fan of paying for apps, even the .99 cent ones... i'm just kind of a tight wad... i'd pay for this app. this is unreal! i now wish i had an iphone 3gs but i think i'll hold out and use my 1 year upgrade for the iphone 4.0

Hmm nice app however only two are showing. Phone and mail. When I open SMS and double tap on the status bar SMS goes away and mail and phone only showing.

i'm a pre user, and although it's not as nice as the pre's card system, it's definitely one hell of a start. I am an iPhone lover, but am not ready to compromise on my excellent service. So Apple, please end exclusivity with AT&T, sprint or verizon please! I would love to have this phone!

@Hank:
Yes. With Backgrounder installed, you hold the Home Button down within apps until you see the "Background Enabled". Also, you have to choose 'Status Bar Double Tap' under "Activation Methods" in the ProSwitcher's settings.
Mail and Phone will always show as running.

You can turn off mail and phone as always showing by turning "Show Default Apps" to off in ProSwitcher Settings.

Another great app that's also free and allows you to launch apps (and automatically backround them) is Kirikae. It's not as pretty, but it seems to work pretty well and not too buggy.

And you know whats even better? it says it's limited to 3 cards but I just tried it with 6 and they all worked fine!!

I am now officially jealous of of Jailbreakers. I am dying for some sort of card system. ahem APPLE APPLE APPLE APPLE APPLE ahem Sorry about my coughing fir there? What was I saying? :)

@Sam:
It's only limited to SHOWING three cards at a time (a little bit of the left and right ones, as well as the middle one) as pictured above, or showing only the middle one.

Ok I'm impressed with this. Very smooth for beta Lets see how this turns out. It's already a gtreat app.

This is cool, no longer using multiflow. But how fo I bring up the cards without hitting the app?

works great on my 3g.
love all the options to customize. I dont even know how this could be improved.

To any Pre owners:
I was wondering if the cards behave like widgets and remain updated as you swipe through them, or if they're merely snapshots like this ProSwitcher's are. In other words, the iPhone's "timer" in the Clock app remains frozen in card view until enlarged (as all other apps do).
Just wondering how, or if, the Pre differs.

@ernest go to the iPhone settings under pro switcher pick your preferred method to activate I use double tap status bar because my sbsettings is swipe down

@Fastlane,
Nah, the Pre cards are live. If your listening to the music, you'll see the album art change when it switches to the new song, web pages will rotate when you change to landscape and back, etc.

Absolutely love it. Very smooth and something that better be included in 4.0! Steve you better have TiPB in your RSS feeds...

Tried backgrounding a bunch of apps. Most of them showed up as cards, but a few just created empty spaces.

Just to clarify: the number of cards describes how many open apps you can see on the screen at one time. 1 means you can just see one app, 3 means you can catch the glimpse of two other apps, one on each side of the main app in the center. It doesn't have anything to do with a maximum of open apps, because there are none.

This app is fantastic! Apple would be stupid not to add this to their next iPhone. Thank you Ryan Petrich!

This app is AWESOME. Just installed on my 3GS and it is flying, quick, responsive and glitch free. A+++++ to the dev!

This just reminds why I love the iPhone. Couldn't ask for more on Christmas. Best app/addon of the year for me.

Installed last night, along with Backgrounder, and really loving its quick connectivity! Seems to be seamless so far. A++!!

It allows me to backround as many apps as I want (combined with backrounder) but within minutes it forgets all of them and I get "no apps running". So this looks good in theroy.

This is badass. I have it on my dock now. I wish apple and att would read this forum more. They would probably get off the fence about decisions like this.

Works fairly well for me. I have noticed that apps that seem to run on the internet (Bank of America, etc). will not show up as a card; there is only a blank space where their card should be...

Most Jailbreak apps are a bit crappish in execution. Not so ProSwitcher. Check Settings to configure and fall in love.
I might just keep my Jailbreak this time.

ProSwitcher - The way iPhone should work. If iPhone OS 4.0 could only do this, then maybe I wouldn't need to Jailbreak. Wait, I still use "LockInfo"; SmartScreen; OverBoard and many other Jailbreak only features. Damn you Apple for not hiring these Jailbreak Devs for your own in house projects. I predict that by 2015 the iPhone will finally be right, but by then I'll probably have an Android Phone (fail)...

Anyone know if ther is a way to have phone and mail not showing but have other default apps ( particularly safari) stay showing.
Dont like mail and phone always there but if you deactivate default apps then this means safari too....

This app is amazing! At first I didn't like it because I thought you can only activate it with an icon. But once i found out it can activate multiple ways (ie. Double tap home), it's game over! This is awesome. Love the card style interface. This is definitely a reason to jailbreak.

I know a lot of people were saying that it does not swipe up to close. If you hold your finger on the card for a second then swipe up it will close the program

Will our beta version expire once the real version is released ? I'm ready to give the dev of this app 5 bucks for doin. Such a great job with this.
Thank you tipb! I wouldn't be using this today if it wasn't for this article!
You jailbreak guys make sure to download BiteSMS and Music Controls :)

Downloaded it.. Works great.. I have the app icon hidden and i use the double tap status bar to activate feature.. I love it and it works and looks great..

It was perfect, then like an idiot I updated to the new version released today and now it keeps crashing and sending my iPhone into safe mode.
Don't update if you aren't having problems!
I wish Cydia (and the App Store) had a way to revert to prior versions if things go wrong like this. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

i cant see that apple could add this to 4.0
i think that if they did, they would be opening up a whole can of patent problems with palm.
it is a fancy idea though. but it is an idea that PALM HAD FIRST... and after apple's "ill sue you" attitude towards the pre, wouldnt it be funny if they were to be able to turn around and tell apple that they will see them in court for taking their task switcher idea?
thats just my two cents on it. i cant see that apple would use it.
maybe they have something more elegant for us. like an expose for iphone? that is their os x technology so its already working there. why not on iphone?

Not so sure Palm had the idea first. What if I said this wasn't ripping off Palm's multitasking UI, but rather an extension of Safari's pages UI? What if I said Palm was ripping off the iPhone's Safari?

Absolutely amazing...would pay for this app any day! Be nice if it ran that little bit smoother on my 3G but hey I got multi tasking switching now!!! Thanks Dev, amazing xmas prez!! :D
To confirm, the repo is still up!

I tried adding the repo and cydia keeps giving me a bunch of errors and then the repo doesnt show pro switcher. Anyone else experiencing this?

@jake
i had some problems with Cydia before and got it to work after I did this: SSH into iPhone, go to
/private/var/lib/apt/lists
Delete everything except the folder "partial"
Restart Cydia, go to changes, press Refresh, that's it. Try this and look for Proswitcher again.
BTW this app is great. A

At first it was awsome with not having to close all the apps I was using, but after a while, my phone "froze" a couple of times, it would not switch on sometimes. Now it's more and more "slow" when using it. It may look like my phone is bugged! Help, anyone?

I am very impressed with ProSwitcher. However after trying it for a month I must say that the pretty interface does not make it better than Kirikae. Kirikae is just plain better. Uses Les resources, works much faster, has no bugs, has favorites and is just a better way to multi-task.

ProSwitcher doesn't work for me.
I thinks the problem lies withing Backgrounder.
Backgrounder does not work with my phone 3GS.
I work with many 3GS owners and "I SEEM TO BE THE ONLY ONE THAT IT DOESN'T WORK FOR". JUST MY LUCK.
ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS.
HELP....LOL

Is anyone having problems with proswitcher and 3gs? Apple apps will run fine, but I can't even get a 3rd party app to run period (not in background)

im having problems with ProSwitcher... Programs won't stay open with ProSwitcher. when i open a program and put it in the background when i go back to it on ProSwitcher later on the program disappears and closes. i can't seem to keep more than one program open with ProSwitcher, when i open one the other will close. can somebody please HELP me....
thank you

I've done! This works pretty well too during a call. I just set the home button to "double press" at "anytime" in Settings > Activator (this is installed in Settings at the same time that Proswitcher) to launch ProSwitcher and when I receive a call I just press home button twice and then I answer it. This make the last app opened stay in background. ProSwitcher is really useful when you figure out how it works, just try changing its
settings

This runs perfectly on my 3GS and looks great too. I launch it with a long press on the lock button so I can reserve home double-click for the iPod. But you can set it to launch from any button you like. I think you have to be reasonable about how many apps you have running at the same time. I primarily use it for Slacker style music apps and things like maps and GPSx. There's no reason to have a dozen apps running! That said, the 3GS handles everything I've asked of it with no problem.

This app rocks. Just jailbroken my 2G iPhone and installed this and backgrounder first. All of a sudden it's like having a new phone.

Causes my jailbroken iphone 4 with 4.0.1 to crash the springboard. It starts in safe mode. I have a feeling it is backgrounder conflicting with the existing multitasking of the iOS. I uninstalled both backgrounder and proswitcher and it no longer crashes.