updated 11:30 pm EDT, Mon September 19, 2011
Faithfully reproduces many Lion functions
Jailbroken iPhones have long had access to a wide variety of "themes" to change the look of iOS, but a ModMyI user Timothy Elliot has upped the ante by making a high-quality, high-functionality "Lion" theme for iOS 4 called Lion Ultimatum that faithfully replicates many of the basic functions of the Mac OS X Finder and gives users the closest experience possible to "running Lion" on an iPhone. Elliot reports being overwhelmed with requests for the theme, the latest build of which is available by donation only.
The theme requires the iPhone be jailbroken, and also running Dreamboard, an advanced theming platform that builds on iOS's own Springboard. The theme doesn't just replicate the look of Lion; it offers stacks, a Dock, Launchpad, Dashboard, fully usable (custom) Finder menus, draggable and close-able windows and a customizable lock screen.
Despite the novelty of the theme, however, it actually adds a layer of abstraction -- and thus procedure -- to doing most tasks. For example, rather than having the first page of apps immediately available, users must either invoke Launchpad and then choose apps, or open the "hard drive" and "applications folder" to go to apps. Closing windows or accurately tapping close-together menu items is also challenging.
At the top of requests is a native iPad version of the theme, as the larger screen size and more precise controls (for things such as closing windows) would make the experience much more like running a desktop OS on a mobile device. Elliot says he originally assembled the theme using a Windows PC running XP, but is saving for a Mac to further refine development.
He has announced a price for both access to the latest beta as well as the final theme, though his extensive use of original Apple art assets may attract the attention of Apple's legal team. The company has of late been recruiting some of the best-known members of the iPhone jailbreaking community, possibly in an effort to erode support for jailbreaking or shore up security in iOS.