The one good thing is that they don't appear to be stopping developers from implementing their own versions. Unfortunately, this means it only works when you're in the specific app. When you're watching a YouTube video, Google has made sure that you aren't presented with the atrocious HUD to block your cat video time.
SmartVolumeControl is a tweak by the developer midkin, that lets you customize the volume HUD beyond anything that we have seen on Cydia yet. Instead of just replacing it with a different view, it lets the user choose between several customizable options. At its heart, it seeks to reduce the impact the volume HUD has on the user's experience. After achieving that, in true jailbreaker spirit, it hands the reigns over to the user.
Finally, the coup de grâce is the ability to easily set different levels for your device's audio/video volume, ringtone volume, and the in-call volume when you're on a phone call. On stock iOS, this is only possible contextually. Meaning, when you're in a phone call, and you press the volume buttons it will adjust the in-call volume, or when you're playing media and press them and so forth.
It's Apple's way to make a lot of things easier for the common denominator, but this isn't always conducive to power users, this is why we jailbreak.
Taking a look at SmartVolumeControl's preferences
After heading into the preference pane you'll be pleasantly surprised with a lot of options, like almost all tweaks you're able to enable or disable it globally. Next, you're able to select which 'view style' to replace your volume HUD with. Since the tweaks inception, he has added a lot of different views. Each view has its own set of options for customization. With so many settings, a tweak like this can be daunting to dig into, but there is almost certainly something for everyone.
There are now nine views choose from:
- Smart Minimal View
- Smart Minimal Line
- Smart Bar
- Smart Slider
- Status Bar
- Nougat-Like View
- YouTube-Like View
- WA StatusVolume
- CC-Like VolmeMixer
Below, in the next section under the heading 'General Settings', you have options to present the volume HUD on the Lock Screen and automatically hide the Status Bar if your selected view is presented to overlay it. Normally, when you press the volume buttons while on the Lock Screen the volume will change, but you're not able to see it. With 'LockScreen Volume' enabled, you'll see your selected view.
Also, if you don't enable 'AutoHide StatusBar', then it will overlay the view on top of the Status Bar. It generally looks a little cleaner when auto-hiding it.
It should be noted, that swiping on the slider in the 'CC-Like VolumeMixer' view when on the Lock Screen is troublesome at best. There are conflicting horizontal scroll-views that are fighting for user input. This might be unavoidable due to the nature of iOS and tweaks like this skating a fine line with Apple's human interface guidelines.
He's given users the ability to set the HUD's auto-dismiss delay timer. This is handy if you plan on using the 'Nougat-Like' or 'CC-Like' views, it will allow you more time to fine-tune your volume levels.
You're also able to adjust the volume step count, which is how much the volume changes each time you press one of the buttons. There is an option for configuring the shadow offset as well, you're able to change the position and colour.
To top it all off he's included Ryan Petrich's Activator integration for presenting the view. You're able to; perform a gesture, be presented with an on-screen mixer and adjust the volume to your liking, all without touching a physical button. It's only limited by Activator and your imagination.
This is all around an amazing tweak out of the box. The developer has shown that he is incredibly responsive to his user's suggestions and quick with bug fixes. Originally setting out to correct a small stock iOS annoyance, it has became a giant in its own right. It takes the crown as king of volume HUD tweaks, blowing everything else out of the water.
SmartVolumeControl can be purchased on the BigBoss repository for $2.00. You probably spent more money on coffee this week, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!
We were able to chat with midkin a little about the development process and his inspiration for the project:
What was your inspiration for starting this project?
"Well, I started developing thinking as a user first. The stock volume HUD has always been very annoying for myself and that's why one of the first tweaks I was installing after jailbreaking my device was "statusVol". So I guess this was more than an inspiration for me."
What was the most challenging thing to overcome when creating this tweak?
"SmartVolumeControl was my first serious project after "Phonie" tweak. So, this was a big challenge all the way. You can notice that since version 1.0, the tweak is constantly being changed and updated. That's really me, learning while developing, trying to fulfill all users's requests, trying to implement my thoughts."
Can you talk a little about how you overcame it?
"Every small step while developing this tweak was really a challenge, since I had no programming background. I had to study a lot, and watch objective-c tutorials, join Saurik's irc channel, ask other developers for help etc. However, nothing of these would be possible if I didn't have much (and I mean much) help from Elias Limneos(dev behind CallBar, AnsweringMachine, AudioRecorder). I consider Elias as my mentor and I seize the opportunity to say this publicly: "Thanks Elias!" :)"
"I do have plans for the future. Am also working on something at the very moment I write those lines. I love programming but for me is a hobby since I have a job, a family, and this whole thing needs time, patience, persistence."