One of the latest packages to land in Cydia is Virtual Home; an extensions that uses the iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor for more than just authentication and device unlocking.
Virtual Home has been released by moeseth, someone who can be thought of as a veteran in the jailbreak world. The package essentially exists to extend the functionality of the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s. It isn’t beyond the realms of realism to assume that Apple themselves have larger plans in the future for Touch ID in terms of integrating it into different areas of iOS. However, the jailbreak world doesn’t like to wait. Virtual Home aims to alleviate the strain and stresses placed upon the hardware based home button in the iPhone 5s by allowing the same functionality to be invoked through biometric detection of a registered fingerprint.
Usage of the tweak has been kept relatively simple and mimics the actual pressing of the button to keep things familiar to the user. A simple virtual one tap of the home button quits the current app and takes the user directly back to the home screen. A double virtual tap of the button invokes the iOS multitasking functionality and allows applications running in the background to be accessed as normal. The developer has also extended the package further by enabling unlocking of the device without the need to bring the screen to life by pressing the home or lock buttons.
This particular package may be a relatively simple example of things that can be done with Touch ID, but it’s definitely a valid and useful one. Touch ID makes it relatively simple to integrate additional security onto the device so it’s only a matter of time until we start to see more complex and powerful packages land in Cydia. Until then, give Virtual Home a try.
Virtual Home is available as a free-of-charge download from the BigBoss repository and requires a jailbroken iPhone 5s running iOS 7.0 or higher. Due to the hardware requirements of this package it is only useful to those with the iPhone 5s.