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Underground App Store Courts the Jailbroken 295

Posted by kdawson
from the bring-down-the-towers dept.
PainMeds writes "Apple's stepped-up and controversial rejections are helping to foster competition in the app store marketplace. According to an article by Wired, developers aren't taking AppStore rejection lying down, but are turning to the hacking community's repository system for the iPhone to launch an app store of their own. The 4-month-old Cydia store is yielding notably higher sales for a few application developers than Apple's AppStore, and is reportedly running on over 4 million Apple iPhone devices, with perhaps 350,000 connected at any one time. In this store, developers are distributing applications they've written that push the limits of Apple's normal AppStore policies, with software to add file downloads to Safari, trick applications into thinking they're on Wi-Fi (for VoIP), and enhance other types functionality. You'll also find the popular Google Voice application, which was recently rejected by Apple. Third party application development has been around since 2007, when the iPhone was originally introduced, and became so popular that O'Reilly Media published a book geared toward writing applications before an SDK was available. The Cydia store acts as both a free package repository and commercial storefront to third-party developers."
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Underground App Store Courts the Jailbroken

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  • Correction... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:56AM (#28986121)

    It amazes me how often the details in these stories are completely wrong...

    "You'll also find the popular Google Voice application, which was recently rejected by Apple."

    You won't find the Google Voice app which was recently rejected ANYWHERE in Cydia. Do you honestly think Google, who are practically partners on the iPhone considering the Apple/Google relationship as well as the phone coming with Google Maps and Youtube baked in, would turn to releasing software in Cydia?

    What you WILL find in Cydia is the GV Mobile app which was approved and added to the App Store and later pulled. This IS NOT the Google Voice app that was recently rejected, it's a completely different app that was written by a 3rd party.

    I don't think it's too much to ask for a technology site to not get huge details wrong in their writeups. :-/

  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:59AM (#28986155)
    I jailbroke my iPod touch with fewer than 5 clicks. iPhones/iPods are probably the easiest phones in history (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not) to jailbreak, due to their popularity.
  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:03AM (#28986209) Homepage

    I like the idea of free choice when it comes to what I run on my phone. And I'm in serious need of adblock on the phone (c'mon apple, the 3G pipe is small, I don't want to waste time downloading that crap). But the thing that keeps me from jailbraking my phone is:

    1) primarily it's a phone and it's got to be reliable. I'm not going to do anything to reduce the already marginal reliability of the cell network.

    2) Once jailbroken it's a constant game of cat and mouse when it comes to updates. I don't want to have to research every system patch and update to see when it's ok to use it and how. This goes back to point 1, it's an appliance for me, with extra functionality I can strap on. It's not a cutting edge geeky plaything because that would hose up the core functionality that I need (the phone part)

    So in this regard, I look at android and think that the grass is a bit greener over there. But there's a lot of reasons to stay with the iPhone if you aren't butthurt over someone else telling you what you can do with the shiny.

    Sheldon

  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:23AM (#28986395)

    You are confusing Jailbreaking (ability to install non-Apple blessed software) with Unlocking (ability to run on a different carrier's network). The 3rd party apps require only Jailbreaking.

  • by grahamsaa (1287732) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:28AM (#28986475)
    The Google Voice app is NOT available on Cydia. GV Mobile (not a Google product) is available, but it doesn't integrate well with the iPhone's contact list. GV mobile is a far cry from any native app that Google would have released for the iPhone.
  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:34AM (#28986545)
    http://thebigboss.org/why-jailbreak-iphone/ [thebigboss.org]

    The apps interfaces are so amazing compared to the boring vanilla apps. check qtwitter or sbsettings for examples.
  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:36AM (#28986563)

    Apple seems pretty lax, especially compared to other companies, with the OSX86 AND Jailbreaking communities.

    They really only went after Pystar when they tried selling OS X clones. The Hackintosh community is doing pretty well just like the Jailbreaking community. Worst I've seen is a takedown letter for some files, but instructions for OS X on the Mini 9 are still out there.

    Apple seems to be making it 'reasonably' difficult to keep the interested parties (RIAA/MPAA/AT&T) happy, but they really don't make it impossible to do stuff. OS X Client still doesn't have a 16 digit code to enter to install it. They sell a Family pack of 5 licenses for relatively cheap, even though there's no way to actually hard lock it to JUST 5 computers.

  • Re:The Obvious Truth (Score:5, Informative)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:40AM (#28986625)

    Not entirely true. Ask the recent defendant who now has to cough up close to $700,000 for his piracy. While being a nice customer might not pay, breaking the law might cost a lot more. Yes, yes, the law might be stupid, but it's still the law.

    To date, I have never been able to get out of a speeding ticket by telling the magistrate that the speed limit should be 65 instead of 55 on that highway.

    In the US that's actually one of the easiest ways to get out of a speeding ticket (a family member of mine just did it, and has done it before). If you can prove that the speed limit on a non-highway should be higher than it is (based on state guidelines for deciding speed limits) and a review of that speed limit hasn't been done in X years (X= 2 or 3, I think), you can get out of the ticket and force the police to collect data on driving habits on that road in order to define a new speed limit.

  • by Cybershark302 (251658) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:05PM (#28986921)

    Sorry, but how does it not integrate well? I just installed GV mobile last night and when I go to the keypad and hit the contacts button I see only my iPhone contact list...I can dial just like I do with phone.app

    If anything the seamless integration of the iPhone contact list is the thing that GV mobile does best...

  • by stokessd (89903) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:49PM (#28987483) Homepage

    From and end user perspective 3G (at least here in the midwest) seems slow compared to home. Using some speedtest app, it appears that the 3G network has big latencies, not as bad as edge was, but still was laggy compared to cable modem and wifi. Plus there's the lower processing power of the phone. It all combines to make page loading feel slower and more studdery. Anything I can do to limit the extra crap loading (via adblock) is a good thing (tm) in my option.

  • by DaFallus (805248) on Friday August 07, 2009 @01:59PM (#28988341)
    It isn't too difficult. This is my routine whenever a new update comes out:
    1. Download AptBackup and Chronus through Cydia. AptBackup makes a list of all the packages you've installed through Cydia and Chronus can be used to backup things like your SMS messages, program settings, and documents. Set these up how you like and choose what you would like to back up
    2. (Optional) Download and install SharePod to ensure that all the music on your phone is also backed up on your computer
    3. Backup your phone through iTunes. This will backup your package list created by AptBackup as well as a number of other settings and your contact list
    4. Install the update (which will remove your jailbroken programs and data)
    5. Re-jailbreak
    6. Restore from iTunes backup.
    7. Download AptBackup/Chronus again and restore

    Maybe not the simplest or quickest solution, but this has worked pretty well for me. I find the actual update installation and jailbreak to be the most time consuming steps.

  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jon.Laslow (809215) on Friday August 07, 2009 @02:20PM (#28988655) Homepage Journal
    Read the comments on the Dev Team's website (latest thread here: http://blog.iphone-dev.org/post/153409604/recycling-goodness [iphone-dev.org]) - now tell me that the average Joe doesn't actively seek out how to jailbreak/unlock.

    Now my head hurts from reading pure stupid.
  • by ernst_mulder (166761) on Friday August 07, 2009 @02:30PM (#28988785) Homepage

    If you install a lot of non-Apple stuff you have to know how to use ssh/scp/rsync if you want to keep all your non-Apple-application data over upgrades. I usually make a rsync backup of my phone before I upgrade so that I can rsync stuff back afterwards. Keeping your packages is reatively easy, just list the ones you installed before upgrading (dbkg -l) and use apt-get to re-install them after upgrading. With the latest Cydia incarnation you have to use Cydia's GUI app to install apt-get after you upgrade. The average user would probably just use Cydia's GUI to install the three or so Cydia apps that got lost during the upgrade. And please change your ssh password (default = well known = alpine) if you leave ssh on. For both users (mobile, root).

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