Some people hack their iPhones to steal apps or install custom themes. I don’t find either of those things appealing. I’m mostly into what are categorized as “tweaks” by the jailbreaking community. Tweaks usually take small annoyances with iOS and fix them, like DietBulletin, which constrains notifications to the size of the statusbar.
But there’s one tweak that has really changed the way I use my phone. Activator by Ryan Petrich lets you set custom actions that happen when you perform gestures or press the physical buttons on your iPhone in certain ways. I have 1Password set to open up when I hit the home button 3 times, for instance. But what’s really changed my game is setting up Drafts, one of my favorite App Store apps, to launch when I swipe up from the bottom of my phone. So now, no matter what I’m doing, I can flick up on my screen and type. This text can then be tweeted, parsed by Fantastical into a calendar entry, Googled, saved to Evernote, etc. It’s smart too — if I send to Gmail it uses the first line of text as the subject of a new email and adds the rest of the text as the body.
This has completely changed the way I capture thoughts and turn them into actionable items. It has removed a certain level of friction that I’ve always felt when getting data into apps, by allowing me to easily dump a thought somewhere useful before I figure out the final thing I want to do with it. I’ve always loved the journal app Day One, for example, but could never be bothered with the small hassle of opening it up and making regular entries. With Activator and Drafts, I have a thought, I swipe, I type, and then I decide, Do I want to tweet this? Is this something I should email someone about? Is it something I want to save as a personal Journal entry? Did just I write ‘Whip My Hair’ so that I could search it in Spotify and jam to some Willow Smith? Basically anything you can think of is available as a Drafts action.
I feel like my phone finally understands my brain.
Suddenly I want to jailbreak my phone REALLY badly.