If you’re sick of looking at Newsstand on your home screen, you may be excited to hear that you can finally get rid of it. The native iOS app is meant to be a newspaper and magazine reader, but I haven’t used it once since its debut on iOS 5 and I know I’m not alone.
There used to be a trick to hide Newsstand in iOS 5, but Apple patched the glitch and since then it’s been stuck on the home screen.
StifleStand is a new Mac application that allows you to put Newsstand in a folder with the click of a button. Ironically the application was created by jailbreak developer Filippo Bigarella, but it doesn’t require you to modify or jailbreak your device.
Check out our video overview of StifleStand below:
If you can’t see the above video, please click this link.
Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Filippo and he explained how the application works:
I’m telling the device to set an icon state that I send it (in form of XML data) using the MobileDevice framework, which is the same framework used by iTunes (and Xcode) to communicate with iOS devices over USB.
Many different protocols and services are implemented in the framework to let iTunes/Xcode performs different operations on the device, such as copying files, installing apps, reading the system log, sync the device, etc. The service I’m using is the one that allows us to communicate with the SpringBoard (the interface manager on iOS) through a separate process, called “springboardservicesrelay”.
What StifleStand does is getting the current icon state, finds the Newsstand icon and replaces it with a folder containing that icon. After that, it sends the modified icon state back to the device and tell it to apply and reload icons.
If you’d like to put Newsstand in a folder, you can download StifleStand using this link.
To hide Newsstand with StifleStand, download and open the application, plug in your device, and click on “Hide Newsstand.” Once you’ve clicked this button, Newsstand will immediately be put into a folder. If you attempt to launch Newsstand from within the folder, your device will restart (re-spring) its home screen.
Note: If this application isn’t working for you, the developer said to reboot your Mac and iPhone, then try again.
Currently StifleStand is only available as a Mac application, but Filippo said it may be available for Windows soon. He also plans to make the code open source in the near future.
Update: Filippo recently tweeted about the hit or miss functionality of StifleStand, noting that it could be an issue for those with a lot of icons on their home screen.
So, lockdownd doesn’t like big messages (translated: the reason StifleStand is not working for some people is that they have a lot of icons)
— Filippo Bigarella (@FilippoBiga) October 9, 2012