Editorial: The Quality of Cydia

Many lauded the inception of the Cydia Store as a bright new era in the world of jailbreaking, giving developers incentive to have riskier ideas and produce inventive, higher quality applications. We’ve seen some of this, with inventive SpringBoard extensions like Orbit, PogoPlank, and OverBoard popping up right and left. More and more developers have begun charging for their applications, most notably ZodTTD, who has produced remarkable pieces of work like n64iphone, where others have failed.

However, despite this much publicized advancement, Cydia is still unpleasant to scroll through. When people respond to Chronic Dev’s disappointment on piracy with things like, “What did u think ppl used it for? Crappy themes that sucks the life out of the battery? Hahaha,” it frankly pisses me off because it’s true.

Most of the themes on Cydia are clip art based copy and paste jobs and a far cry from a year or two ago. There are still nice themes floating around on places like MacThemes, BlackCursor, and Macristocracy, but the sad truth is most jailbreakers don’t know the difference between SFTP and Windows Explorer.

Many of the applications on Cydia are extremely low quality tab bar webviews, pioneered by AppStoreMod, who somehow seems proud of this horrendous accomplishment. For those that are somehow not familiar with these applications, they are usually 3-5 tabs with a browser instance in each tab, leading to their free wordpress blog, twitter page, and YouTube channel. There you can see advertisements for teeth whitening, Lockerz invite spam, plagiarized news, “programming tutorials,” and badly constructed video reviews.

Others have sunk to even farther depths, throwing out slightly modified stolen source code or code samples and releasing them with AdMob advertisements to give the developer revenue off of someone else’s hard work. Most recently we have seen AppStoreMod release EmojiEnabler onto Cydia, which seems remarkably similar to¬†kballard’s source code. On closer inspection with a hex editor, the method names are the same and all he’s done is change the background and add an advertisement. Perennial offender Anthony Geranio released Spheres onto Cydia, which is virtually identical to NWorksDev’s Roller Baller (on the App Store), and even has the same binary name. Coincidence? I think not.

iPod touch Fans member David Justice (BigDaveyJ) has also noticed a considerable decline in the quality in the content on Cydia noting on his twitter feed, “does anyone know the shit to not shit on cydia ratio? it has to be like 3383838/1.” While amusing, it’s sadly true. Justice also proposes some kind of quality standard for the big community sources like BigBoss so there aren’t as many fart, soundboard, and tab-bar/webview applications.

What’s your take on this issue?

The above editorial does not necessarily reflect the view of iPod touch Fans, Vigorous Media LLC, or iPod touch Fans staff members.

Post a response / What do you think?