Activator is a tweak that comes preloaded with every successful jailbreak and Cydia install. It’s a powerhouse of a tweak. Using Activator you can launch apps or actions by clicking hardware buttons or pre-configured software areas.
Here’s an example: Tap the home button three times to launch a camera app or swipe along the status bar to turn the screen off. And that’s not even scratching the surface.
How To Use Activator
After launching the app you’ll see options for different states. This include Anywhere, At Homescreen, In Application and At Lockscreen. An action assigned to work In Application will not work when the phone is off or the screen is locked. Defining it Anywhere will.
Tap on any one of them and you’ll see a long list of triggers for the specific state. There’s frankly too much stuff to go in detail here about but you should spend some time exploring all the options.
Here’s a quick overview of the triggers: home button, lockscreen, motion (shake device), multi-touch gestures (one finger swipe/tap to five finger), network and power status, sleep button, slide along, out or in from the edges (top, bottom, left or right), status bar, volume button and wired headset.
And for each of the trigger listed above, you’ll find sub triggers and a lot of actions you can assign to each of them.
Here’s a list of the top 8 recommended actions. These are setup in the way that makes the most sense for me. You can of course just take them as inspiration and customize them to suit your needs.
1. Short Hold Volume Buttons Changes Songs
Anywhere -> Volume Buttons -> Up Short Hold -> (Audio) Next Track.
Anywhere -> Volume Buttons -> Down Short Hold -> (Audio) Previous Track.
There are options for starting playback, play/pause and a lot more music related stuff. You can assign different combinations of volume buttons for each task and forget about fiddling with the Music app.
2. Swipe Across The Status Bar To Lock
If you don’t want to wear down your power button (they are notorious at breaking down), use this gesture for locking the device just by swiping on the status bar.
Anywhere -> Status Bar -> Swipe Right -> (Lockscreen) Lock Device.
3. Connect To Data When Wi-Fi Is Turned Off And Vice Versa
Isn’t it annoying when you leave your house but forget to turn on data until hours later? And even then you need to go into Settings to enable it. Why not automate the process?
Anywhere -> Network Status -> Left Wi-Fi -> (Switches) Cellular Data. (You can add a switch for 3G here as well)
You can do the reverse as well. And this is going to be great for battery saving. When you connect to Wi-Fi, cellular data will be automatically disabled.
Anywhere -> Network Status -> Joined Wi-Fi -> (Switches) Cellular Data.
Instead of using the Switches action that toggles the current state, you can use Switches (Activate) or Switches (Deactivate) for firm action.
4. Toggle Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, Bluetooth, GPS At Once
When I’m heading out for cycling, I need to disable my Wi-Fi, turn on data, Bluetooth (for headsets), GPS and not to mention launch MapMyRide.
I use the both volume buttons press gesture to do all of that at once but again, you can use anything you like.
Anywhere -> Volume Buttons -> Both Press -> (Switches) Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, Location Services, Bluetooth. On the same page, swipe down till you see User Applications and select the fitness app that you use.
5. Launch Your Favorite Music App By Plugging In Headphones
Anywhere -> Wired Headset -> Connected -> User Applications -> Select your app.
If you use more than one app, you can invoke a menu as well. Go back to the Activator homescreen, tap on Menus, create a menu by picking the individual apps (you can only pick one app at a time here).
Then go back and instead of selecting one app to invoke, select the menu you just created.
6. Extreme Battery Saving
If you constantly find yourself running out of juice, or you’re in a situation where you need mobile internet on demand but not always, try using a gesture where all the networks turn off as the screen does.
iOS 7 took down the Twitter and Facebook sharing widget from the Notification Center. If you share a lot on social media, you know how good it was to have those shortcuts. You can assign any trigger to launch share boxes for Twitter and Facebook.
I use double tap/hold on status bar because that’s what works best for me.
Anywhere -> Status Bar -> Double Tap -> Sharing -> Compose Tweet/Facebook Post.
The Dos And The Donts
The actions and gestures listed above are tried and tested, so go ahead and apply them, the activation or application won’t be of any problem.
But the thing about Activator is that it allows you to do a lot of crazy things. A five-finger swipe gesture for example doesn’t work on the iPhone’s teeny display but is great for the iPad. The swipe down the edge gesture sounds great in theory but it just doesn’t work well.
The best way to learn is to try things out. Go crazy kids!