HOW TO: Hide the Lock Screen Slideshow Icon
Okay, I admit it, I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to order and neatness on my iPad. Things have to be "just so" and I always have to have symmetry.
As a result, it annoyed me to no end to have that flower icon on the lock screen to access the iPad slide show. You know, the one that looks like this (an oh-so-cute flower):
There's no balance! And, I didn't want to use the Passcode feature, which is the only way Apple lets you hide it by default.
So, I created a Winterboard theme to cover it up. If you've created themes before, just skip to the part where I give you the png files and the folder names. Else, please follow along to see how I did it - and how you can too.
Materials & Preparation:
Skipping over the obvious (that your iPad must be jail broken), you'll first need access to your iPad's file system. I have a Windows machine, so I used the Cydia tweak PC Networking ($7.35, USD), but you can also use OpenSSH (available from Cydia for free) and a windows FTP/SFTP client such as WinSCP (available as a free download from the internet). A lot of people swear by the Cydia tweak iFile to access their iPad's file system, but for adding folders to the iPad, I find it a bit cumbersome.
Note: I am going to assume you know how to access your iPad's file system. For a refresher on both (access and the tools), please see these threads:
Second, you will need the tweak Winterboard, which is free from Cydia.
(1) Create an empty folder on your desktop titled: WhatEverYouWantToNameIt.theme
* The only important part of this folder is that the name must end in .theme (include the dot). So, name it whatever you wish (mine is called HideSlideshowIcon.theme)
(2) Open that folder and create another folder titled: Bundles
(3) Open the folder Bundles and create another folder titled: com.apple.springboard
* Names and case sensitivity are very important. Triple-check these two folder's name, else the iPad will not recognize the folders or png files (and your theme won't work)
(4) Open the folder com.apple.springboard
(5) Third, you'll need to download these three transparent png files (SlideshowBkgnd.png, SlideshowLandscape.png and SlideshowPortrait.png):
SlideshowBkgnd.png>http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/...eshowBkgnd.png|| SlideshowLandscape.png>http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/...wLandscape.png|| SlideshowPortrait.png>http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/...owPortrait.png||
* Trust me, they are there, just right click after the > symbol for each icon and select "Save Image As" to save them into the com.apple.springboard folder
* If you want to make, or already have transparent png files of your own, make sure SlideshowBkgnd.png is 52 x 52 pixels, SlideshowLandscape.png is 30 x 27 pixels and SlideshowPortrait.png is 26 x 31 in size. If you download them, ensure they are this size after you've saved them…
Note that if you aren't careful and have proper sizes and names, the theme won't work. In some cases, having inaccurate sizes and naming will mess up your iPad bad enough that you will need to do a restore. Please don't ask me how I know this…
UPDATE (16 Nov 2011): Apple changed the names of these files in iOS 5. They all now end in "~ipad." So, if you are using this tweak with iOS 5.x, please change the three file names to (1) SlideshowBkgnd~ipad.png, (2) SlideshowLandscape~ipad.png and (3) SlideshowPortrait~ipad.png. Everything else here remains the same (i.e. folder names, locations, sizes etc.)
UPDATE (16 Mar 2012): Apple has changed the names again for the iPad3. And, this time, they've also changed the size of the PNG image. So, to use this theme on an iPad3 on iOS 5.1.1, please change the three file names (and the sizes, which are in parenthesis) to: (1) SlideshowBkgnd@2x~ipad.png (104 x104), (2) SlideshowLandscape@2x~ipad.png (60 x 54) and (3) SlideshowPortrait@2x~ipad.png (52 x 62). With the exception of the names and sizes, everything else remains the same.
You now have a themes folder that is ready to be installed onto your iPad. It should look like this:
(6) Using PC Networking or the combination of OpenSSH & WinSCP, go to this address on your iPad:
* The letter/numbers after Themes. is an iPad-specific reference; yours will be different from mine…
(7) Copy and then paste the theme folder you just made into this address/level
Here is what it'll look like if you're using PC Networking:
And here is what it'll look like if you're using OpenSSH/WinSCP
(8) Exit out of the iPad and respring it
(9) Now, it's just like activating any other theme - open Winterboard (either via its icon or through the Settings app) and "Select Themes"
(10) Press your new theme to create a check mark. Ensure it is set higher than any theme you may already have activated (do so by holding the three lines on the right side of the theme's line and, while holding, move the theme up)
(11) Respring the iPad
(12) Enjoy your symmetrical lock screen…
What's cool about this is that the icon, while transparent, still works. You'll have to search for it to work it, but it's there. However, I just find it easier to start the slideshow from within the Photo app (not that I've ever actually run the slideshow … has anyone?).
The good thing about making the icon disappear via Winterboard theming is that you are not actually messing about with the iPad's stock system. Winterboard allows you to create overlay theming, which "tricks" the iPad into using the themes and pictures you choose. So, if you mess up a theme, you've not harmed your iPad - the theme just won't work.
So, go ahead. Try it. But be warned, once you get to tweaking and theming … you can't stop! :D
P.S. While you are creating a new folder in this case, still remember/follow the two Golden Rules when accessing/tweaking your iPad's filesystem:
1. Backup iPad - Always have a recent backup of your iPad in iTunes so that if you mess something up by accident, you will be able to restore to a recent backup
2. Backup Copy - Before you mess with a file, take a quick copy of it (it's easy thanks to SSH). There are many files on your iPad where if you mess with them and make a mistake, a restore will be your only option unless you can restore a copy...
And, if you haven't already, ensure you change your root and mobile passwords from the default (especially if you've downloaded OpenSSH…). See the first thread above for steps in doing that…