How to set up custom gestures with Activator for iPhone and iPad [Jailbreak]

Activator allows you to launch apps or utilities on your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a quick swipe, tap, or button press. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to quick compose a text, double tap the status bar to bring up SBSettings, or shake your device to take a screenshot. Setting up an Activator gesture takes just a few seconds and the possibilities are endless.

Install Activator

How to install Activator

Activator can be found in your Settings app. If you're jailbroken, chances are you already have Activator installed whether you know it or not. Many utilities and applications in Cydia, the jailbreak app store, support it, and will install it as a pre-requisite to using the app. SBSettings, which lets you quickly toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplane mode, among other things, is an example.

If you don't see an Activator your Settings app, you can install it for free via Cydia.

  1. Launch Cydia and tap on the **Search** tab.
  2. Type in **Activator**
  3. Tap on **Activator**
  4. Tap the **Install** button in the upper right hand corner.

Your device will require you to re-spring (restart the Springboard, or Home screen app) after installation. Then you're good to go.

How to configure a gesture in Activator

How to set a gesture with Activator

  1. Launch the **Settings** app.
  2. Tap **Activator**.
  3. Choose how you want to trigger an actions.
  4. Choose what you want the action to do.
  5. One the supported apps show up, choose the one you want.

We typically recommend you allow Activator gestures to work from anywhere. However, you may not want this if you're setting a gesture that slides in from the bottom or top of the screen as it can conflict with the controls of some games. There's nothing like trying to slice in Fruit Ninja only to suddenly find yourself in a different app!

There are plenty of action options to choose from. For example, you can set up double tap on the status bar to bring up quick reply for Messages+.

Once you're done, you'll be able to perform any gesture you've specified, or call up any supported app or command on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Under iOS 5 you can even set up Twitter gestures and other system gestures like activating Siri.

If you have any favorite or especially cool Activator gestures set ups you'd like to share, let us know in the iMore apps, hacks, and themes forum.

Additional jailbreak resources:

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • New to the iPhone and not jailbroken yet, but, coming from webOS, improved gestures might get me off the fence. A video of the gestures in action would be helpful--is there another location that shows them?
    Also, what's up with the advertisement at the bottom of your screen? Is that the price to pay for jailbreaking?
  • The advertising is not a jailbroken thing. The developer of activator has decided to give it away for free so they threw in ads to make up for the cost.
  • ^ This.
    You will almost never see advertisements in paid jailbreak apps just like app store apps. (I've never seen any.) Actually most free ones don't even have advertisements but the good ones may. The only place you see those ads are in the settings for Activator, which you almost never use once you have your gestures configured. So they don't affect your experience and aren't cumbersome when it comes to actually using activator and your device.
  • Thanks for responding! Might have to take a closer look at jailbreaking (when I get some extra time--anyone have any?!).
  • Sorry, jailbrealing helps with many things, but no Add-Time app was developet YET... :)
  • I love Activator. I have a menu that has "Home, Sleep, Respring, Reboot, Phone, & Text", that appears from the slide of the finger from the bottom of the screen.
    The only thing I cannot figure out, is "Shake To Unlock" feature. I have the Shake feature set to "Unlock Button", it locks, but doesn't unlock.
    Any ideas what might need to be tweaked to make it work? I do not like pressing my Power/Sleep button, as I've had worn out Power/Sleep buttons in the past.
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