Hack Frees Facebook’s Chat Heads From Apple’s Confines on Jailbroken iPhones

Facebook’s new messaging platform, Chat Heads was launched yesterday for iOS, and lacked a certain something, well, quite a few things actually. It took no time for a developer  named Adam Bell to remedy the problem, creating a workaround that provides an Android-like Chat Heads experience for those who have jailbroken iPhones.

Chat Heads unifies multiple messaging clients and displays a floating chat bubble on the screen, no matter what app one is using, allowing users to have quick access to their chats while surfing the web or checking an e-mail. The feature runs great on Android devices, thanks to the OS’s penchant for running multiple apps concurrently. But because of Apple’s insistence on running only one app at a time on the iPhone, the chat heads feature was reduced to a floating Chat Head inside of the Facebook Messenger app.

Developer Adam Bell spared no time in creating a solution for this, and in hours had created a way to have hat Heads run “on top” of iOS as it does on Android. Bell achieved this by isolating the Facebook app that resides in Chat Heads, taking the remote view feature and making that part of the app transparent. The Facebook app must run while this tweak is in effect, but Bell reports that it doesn’t really affect the battery life as one would expect.

According to The Verge, who has gotten the tweak running on a jailbroken iPhone 5, the app runs the same as it does on Android devices, but is not perfect. Sometimes Bell’s version of Chat Heads freezes, a problem Bell blames on the iPhone’s restrictions on how long an app can run in the background. The app also does not integrate iMessage messages or SMS, but he is working on a version that will do just that. Bell will be launching the project for free on the jailbreak app store Cydia and Github in a few days time.

[Via: The Verge]

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