The jailbreak community caused a stampede of sorts as the news of a new app store for jailbreak tweaks broke. Called “iMod”, the devs behind the upcoming app store shared some screenshots and thoughts over Reddit’s r/jailbreak.
iMod has had a ton of backlash already: some very nasty and some very level-headed. The furor caused over the evening has even led Saurik (Jay Freeman, Cydia) to post what looks like a treatise on Cydia alternatives, competition, the jailbreak community and more.
Interface-wise, iMod looks kickass. That’s one of the reasons why we’re writing about it.
Folks in the community have almost always talked about Cydia’s dated interface and the lack of a more user-friendly approach to package management. But having said that, I realize that we owe an awful lot to Saurik and the folks behind Cydia, the repos (ModMyi, BigBoss, ZodTTD and MacCiti) and many developers. We owe so much that it’s “un-repayable”.
While most of the community has force-assumed that iMod is an alternative to Cydia, the developers themselves are trying hard to highlight that it’s not an alternative or a replacement. The standing tagline, at the moment, is that iMod is for a different set of jailbreak users: the newbies who are going to be new to the community in the times of iOS 8 and later. That argument does hold some water: despite several revisions to Cydia and the interface, people who are totally new to jailbreaking and tweaks find Cydia to be a long learning curve before they get the hang of it. I’m not saying this is Cydia’s fault or something. It’s just built that way and while most jailbreakers are not your regular users, the new crowd is increasingly just that.
Nevertheless, “alternative to Cydia” is how iMod will be looked at. The functions are pretty much the same no matter how you alter the core or change the clothing. If and when it releases, both iMod and Cydia will be a place for users to find and install tweaks. The major difference would lie in the interface and the philosophy behind each.
iMod has many curious features that – let’s accept it – seemed to be destined to go against the general theme of jailbreaking: freedom.
To begin with, iMod will not be like Cydia in the sense that there would be no multiple repos. iMod will have it’s own hosting solution for all the tweaks that are put on it. That’s a controlling attitude which the developers justify as wanting to control/end piracy. Intentions are good, implementation seems flawed (in spirit).
Secondly, since tweaks hosted on other repos can’t be hosted on iMod, that seems to be going in a direction that is not good for the devs of iMod. iMod being the new guy, most devs will pick BigBoss or ModMyi to host their tweaks. Also, the jailbreak community at the moment is so dangerously close to being a close-knit family that won’t let other players in, which is bad news for folks like the iMod devs. The harshness of treatment is painful to watch.
Thirdly, there is no interplay between Cydia and iMod (or that’s how it seems right now). When you purchase apps from Cydia, iMod won’t even recognize them or their existence on your device. Which is kind of bad because if you download a tweak that requires Activator (depedencies), iMod will download and install Activator even if you have it installed through Cydia already.
Given all these reasons, the backlash against iMod is kind of obvious. But it’s one heck of a backlash that I think shows the general trend of the jailbreak community these days. There seems to be no tolerance, no encouragement unless it’s for “my own good”, and absolutely no camaraderie.