Earlier this week, The Verge reported on a new iPhone jailbreak hack that allows for users of iOS devices to integrate Facebook’s new ‘Chat Heads’ feature directly into the operating system. Currently, Chat Heads is only available to iOS users through the iOS app, while Android users have the feature directly integrated on their devices. This allows them to continue conversations on Facebook from anywhere in the operating system via a hovering bubble that when clicked, opens into a full fledged messaging window.
The trick, according to [developer Adam Bell], was isolating the Facebook app from the Chat Heads living inside it. Chat Heads inhabit a separate layer inside the Facebook app, so it was just a matter of finding that layer and making the rest of the app transparent. “The hardest part was getting this all to render on top of everything else,” Bell says, which means Facebook is always running on your phone. Apparently, Bell’s tweak doesn’t take much of a toll on battery life. “It doesn’t seem very resource intensive,” he says. “Only when you move the Chat Head is it actually doing anything.”
Earlier in the week, Facebook was reported to be in talks with Apple to bring the Home feature to the iPhone. However, no solid details have yet emerged on the deal or if Apple will agree to a social network taking over the face of iOS. However, until Facebook and Apple do reach a deal, users will have this hack as an option, which will be available on jailbreak app stores Cydia and Github, likely in the next few days. A video of the jailbreak from The Verge outlined how the feature functions on iOS, with the chat bubble clearly shown hovering above apps on the iPhone: