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Review: IntelliScreen

August 29, 2008
IntelliScreen v2.02 | Published by Intelliborn | Via Cydia | $4.99-$49.99 | Released: 8-19-08


9/04/08 - IntelliScreen v2.1 released.


At first glance you might wonder why IntelliScreen even exists. After using it for a while, you'll discover you can't live without it. It puts everything from your calendar, new mail, news feeds, and weather on your iPhone home screen for quick viewing.


IntelliScreen installs from Cydia (yes, you'll need a jailbroken iPhone) and just its name makes me feel smarter. I'm an IntelliScreen user... Oooo. Say it again. However, its name perhaps understates all that it does for the iPhone user. It is such a full-featured app that I think it could be customized to any desired user experience. What it does is place what you want on your homescreen for quick glance viewing. No longer do you have to wake up your iPhone with a swipe, exit whatever program you left running and launch another app to get your information. You wake up your iPhone - either with the home button or the power button, and IntelliScreen is just there. Ready to serve. Upon first launch of the app, you'll be brought to the preference window where you indicate what you'd like to have on your screen. It gives you the option of calendars, mail, SMS, weather, news and RSS feeds, and sports feeds. It also allows the creation of 2 different screens. You choose what you want on each screen, the size of each module's display (I have my calendar bigger than my email), and which screen - 1 or 2 - you want each module to display on. In use, after you wake up your iPhone, a simple double tap on the time bar flips the screen (much like fast user switching on the Mac) to the second IntelliScreen.

IntelliScreen is so full-featured that it is one of the only apps I'm aware of to date that has three different price structures: $4.99, $19.99, and $49.99. You can review their website for what features are offered with each price. IntelliScreen in its basic version ($4.99) provides these features:

  • View Calendar, Email, SMS Messages, News, Sports, and Weather from your "Slide To Unlock" screen
  • Weather for 1 Location
  • Email for 1 Account
  • Tap To Refresh Email
  • "Swipe Launch"
  • News Feeds include Yahoo!, CNN, BBC Fox News, and Reuters
  • Sports Feeds
  • Customizing your IntelliScreen™ is easy! Choose which content you want to view and where
  • Mail and Text Messages can be shown only if new items are available
  • Taskbar Icons for Missed Email, SMS, and Phone calls
  • Upgrades through version 2.x (bug fixes - no new functionality)
What the basic version doesn't include is an amazing little sub-feature called IntelliDial. Essentially, it takes your favorites from your phone list, puts the contacts picture with it, and gives you an app-flow like contact list that allows you to press the contact's picture for dialing.

Another amazing feature is IntelliAlert. It brings some fantastic preferences, including custom ringtones, to your alert. From its preference pane, you can set taskbar icons on or off, decide which alert reminders you want for missed SMS, missed calls, new mail, and repeat calendar alerts. You designate how often you want the app to pester you for these reminders. You can also set an "alert quiet time" which means that during the hours you set, your iPhone won't be nagging you to return someone's call. Nice. Wish I could apply IntelliAlert to some of my friends...


I'll be completely honest here... IntelliScreen was one of the main reasons that I jailbroke 2.0 on my iPhone. Intelliborn announced early on that it would not be offering their app through the App Store because it "does not conform to the restrictive terms of Apple's SDK." I love the ability to see my calendar, weather, recent mail, etc. at a glance. Sometimes that all I need - just let me know what's next and what's in my inbox. It has an amazing feature that allows you to scroll through its modules on your lock screen that makes me feel un-IntelliScreen. How did they do that? Too cool. The ability to resize and drag your modules into position is fantastic, although the implementation is still a little clunky and hit-or-miss. After multiple tries, I finally got things like I want them. And I haven't yet gotten into the habit of using IntelliDial. It really requires you to remember... "Oh yeah, just hit the home button from the lock screen," and there's my favorites in an iTunes-like cover art flow. Overall, I simply love the app. As far as paying $49.99 just for "premium features with 6 months support" (the other options offer no support), I have one word - NOT. That's ridiculous. Since when do you purchase anything and not get any level of support? If the app wasn't so good, I'd be tempted to boycott it just for the attitude represented by Intelliborn with this price structure and business philosophy. It's rather snarky. For that matter, I think the app price structure should be $4.99 and $9.99, but they never asked me. One major con for me is that every single change to your preferences is like pulling teeth. It sends the iPhone into a black screen with the spinning wheel of progress. This usually takes 20-25 seconds. Doesn't sound like much, but it gets rather annoying... really quick.


What are you waiting for? Jailbreak your iPhone and download this app immediately. You get a 10-day trial before you have to decide between $4.99 and $19.99. No one in their right mind should pay the $49.99. The app is great for quick viewing and creating shortcuts on your iPhone. It will save you loads of clicking time, especially when all you want is a quick update from your calendar, email, or texts. Its ability to do quick-calling through IntelliDial and reminders is just icing on the cake. Update: After completing this review, I received a note from Intelliborn in response to an email. Their release of a 2.1 upgrade for IntelliScreen is imminent, and they have provided with a beta. I will post an update to this review after testing it. Usability: 4 / 5 Value: 4 / 5 (for $4.99) • 3 / 5 (for $19.99) • 1 / 5 (for $49.99) Utility: 4 / 5 Aesthetics: 3 / 5

Overall Rating: 3.75 / 5 ($4.99 version)

Overall Rating: 3.50 / 5 ($19.99 version)

Overall Rating: 3.00 / 5 ($49.99 version)

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