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  • Cydia Acquires Rock.app


    It's been a year and a half since Rock Your Phone first made live their Rock.app store for 3rd party iPhone apps. Over the past few months, the folks who own both stores (Jay Freeman and Mario Ciabarra) have been working through a huge deal, which has come to public fruition tonight - Cydia is acquiring Rock. Well, technically, SaurikIT, LLC is acquiring Rock Your Phone, Inc (let's use correct business names here).

    Details of the acquisition have not been made public, but here's what it means to you: Rock.app will essentially dwindle away. There will be a transitional period for the next 10 days where users can purchase/download apps and licenses in Rock. After that, users will use their Cydia Store login to retrieve their purchased apps. The large majority of themes/apps from Rock will be moved over to Cydia (most are already there right now). Rock will have a notice on it's first page, and APT updates will discontinue in the near future (so Rock would be useless even if you had it). I chatted with Mario Ciabarra (CEO and founder of Rock Your Phone) and he had this to say about the acquisition:

    It's been a fun ride. We set out to change the landscape and I think we were very successful. I think we contributed to attracting more business professionals to the iPhone jailbreak community, and added some great functionality to the platform. The current transaction with Cydia is a great opportunity for us. We're going to miss some of the excitement, but no reason for anyone to worry. I, personally, will be spending even more time in Intelliborn apps development (both existing and exciting new projects). A few months ago, Jay and I sat down together and we realized, I enjoyed making apps more (and was better at it), while Jay enjoys providing platform functionality. It was a win-win for both groups and we're excited about the transition.
    Ciabarra, aka psuskeels, has been making jailbreak apps since very early on in the scene (Intelliscreen came out in May of 2008) - just a couple months after Cydia's February 2008 release. And while Intelliborn will still be a big player in the iPhone 3rd party apps scene, Rock will not. All the Intelliborn apps, like MyWi, Tlert, MyProfiles, My3G, Intelliscreen, etc will all remain available and development will be continued on them. They will all be available solely in Cydia now. In fact, this move means a total of over 21,000 iPhone extensions, apps, and themes are now in Cydia which are not available in the Apple AppStore.

    There's been a fierce undercurrent in many communities this past 18 months of "loyalty" to one of the two major jailbreak AppStores, with conversations in high gear lauding one or the other, bringing up this point or that point, etc. Many had both installed, and everyone had a preference. One thing can be said - it was a good run. You can't argue that Cydia isn't a more technically thorough solution, but the user experience of Rock.app was preferred by many. And the numbers are impressive - check these out from the Rock Your Phone news post about the acquisition:
    • Number of Developers with apps listed in the Rock Store: 124 (from 19 countries)
    • Unique iOS devices that installed Rock: 4.6 million (from 220 countries/territories) - Wow that is a lot of places!
    • Registered Rock Users: 2+ million
    • Number of App licenses sold: 500,000
    • Users of who took the plunge and bought something: 280,000 (from 185 countries)
    • Total Rock Your Phone Store revenue (March 12th, 2009 - September 2010): $3.3+ million
    • Number of Rock Employees (we are using the word employee loosely here but, hey, it is our company): 9

    After jailbreaking was officially declared legal in late July, there's been an even larger focus on the jailbreak community, or 3rd party iPhone developers. This acquisition makes Cydia and Cydia Store the clear leader in iPhone 3rd party package management. Exciting times ahead...

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cydia Acquires Rock.app started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 474 Comments
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      This will change everything in Cydia...
    1. Raptors's Avatar
      Raptors -
      ..I was going to write how I'm not too happy about this..

      But ToyVan said it all, very nicely said, this is a good step except for themers
    1. Snide's Avatar
      Snide -
      Quote Originally Posted by Avalanchenut View Post
      I have to say I like cydia a lot more then I ever liked rock. With that said I would agree that the reponse time from Saurik is a little slow. I have emailed him several times about an app that I purchased on my old 3gs that should have been transfered to my iphone4 but have received no resposne. I even emailed the dev and he tried to help me with getting in contact with saurik with no success.
      I have the same problem. I purchased several apps from Cydia for my 3GS and there's no record of such.
      Re-liscensing My-Wi via Rock was a piece of cake, so I have since avoided purchasing anything from Cydia
      unless absolutely necessary. Here's to hoping things improve with this acquisition / merger...

      Quote Originally Posted by k.nitsua View Post
      People, before commenting on the general speed of Rock vs Cydia, please read @saurik's reply to it on page 1 or 2.
      It's really incredible how many people will post without reading even the first 2 pages of the thread.
    1. neodude237's Avatar
      neodude237 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SnR View Post
      Cydia > Rock
      It's always been like that. Glad to see Cydia is now the only installer now.
      Yes, monopolies are always the way to go.
    1. JoeStorm's Avatar
      JoeStorm -
      I don't care about startup time. What slowness I hate with Cydia is the slow slow slow ad load times. And not only slow ads but HUGE ads. So I have to wait for the huge slow ads to finish loading then I have to scroll and then figure out which option shows the screenshots then I have to wait for the screenshots to load.

      As for reducing the ungodly number of scrappy "wallpaper + 3 icons" themes that show up every day, sure those can be edited. But the font used in the list is too big so the listings are (Themes (pog...) Themes (Sys...), Themes (Loc...) and so on. Plus there doesn't seem to be segregation between the ****** wallpaper+3 icons and the high quality professional themes.

      I like Cydia and I am grateful that Cydia is avialable and I can purchase software for my JB app. But Cydia's interface needs work. Especially those slow ad load times and maybe make the ads smaller?
    1. The_Durben's Avatar
      The_Durben -
      @toyvan
      Sorry to hear that you have had a less than desirable relationship with Saurik when it came to questions going unanswered. I can see where you are coming from and IMO you should get the support. Hopefully this will be a start of something better for Cydia and support for developers will be a pain free experience.
      I use your theme btw GOC HD, love it. Thank you.

      I have used both Rock and Cydia for a while. Rock mainly for searching/previewing apps and themes and the backup feature but use Cydia to install. Thankfully the backup feature will be integrated into Cydia.
      I won't argue any points about which is better, there has been enough said here already with supporters for both chiming in. I'll miss the choice most of all I think but hopefully this acquisition will be the start of great new things for the jailbreak community and support given to the devs who make all the great things I enjoy on my i4. From the sound of what Jay has posted and the already new look of Cydia it seems as if things are in forward motion. Can't wait to see where this goes.
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      Well said Durben. Well said.
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      very nice.
    1. nickab's Avatar
      nickab -
      Quote Originally Posted by paganizonda83 View Post
      Aside from K.nits and a handful of others, the past 50 - 75 posts make me sick. The level of ignorant entitlement displayed by members of this site is pathetic. Want, want, want! If you bothered to pull your head out of your tail and read, you would notice that Saurik himself has posted on here and addressed, if not disproven, basically every single issue that y'all have whined about. iPhone 3G users complaining about speed! Now that is just funny.




      First off, read the previous posts.

      Secondly, you're logic is flawed is you thing anyone views you swearing to leave the jailbreak community as a threat. Please don't wait, go ahead and leave now; the community needs less of you arrogant and incompetent members.



      ******

      On a different note, I'm glad the review and ratings are coming to Cydia, that's about the only complaint that was reasonable. Personally, I like Cydia's ui much more than Rock's. Rock was over the top IMHO; trying to fit way too much "flash" in a relatively compact space.

      Saurik, if you're still reading this, do you think that you could post some of the stats for Cydia that Mario posted for Rock? I'm quite curious to see how they compare. Thanks again for all of your hard work.
      First of all, I did read all the posts up to the point where I posted and it wasn't clear to me that licenses would transfer and/or if they did, whether anything had to be done from the user's point of view to back them up.

      Secondly, I made no "threat" to leave the jailbreak community. If you would've read my post that you quoted you'd see that I "appreciate the hard work of the jailbreak community." That is hardly a post of arrogance. Ignorance, maybe. I'm just a customer who paid money for apps that add features Apple or AT&T are too slow or stubborn to support (like better notifications, wi-fi tethering, custom SMS sounds, etc). I don't want to be bothered with the technical how-tos of backing up my purchased apps and reinstalling them.

      My post wasn't meant to be insulting to anyone, I was just trying to be a voice for the non-developer types among us (probably the bulk of the people who paid for apps and/or used Rock.app).
    1. sassvideo's Avatar
      sassvideo -
      Please, please, please tell me that the new company will have the functionality and speed closer to that of Rock than Cydia. Don't get me wrong I fully appreciate everything Cydia has been responsible for over the last couple of years, but can anybody with a straight face say that the functionality/speed of Cydia is better than Rock?

      Daniel
    1. rayzah_blade's Avatar
      rayzah_blade -
      ugh. Rock is soooo much faster. I really hope that Jay is working on a new UI for cydia, über slow and splotchy.
    1. TCcentex's Avatar
      TCcentex -
      Quote Originally Posted by toyvan View Post
      OK, so I have read EVERY post in this thread(this morning in bed on my iPad ) - This may seem like a "selfish" post, but I'm sure there are more than a few others that share the same concerns.

      I have been a Rock supporter, customer, and developer since day one. I even designed all the icons for the different categories(bet nobody knew that )I believe competition is healthy and it makes people think "outside-of-the-box" to better their products and service. So I was clearly excited when Rock came on the scene.

      Now, as a theme creator/developer Rock has been simply incredible! Here are just a few of MY reasons, as a developer, not an average user who just cares about the UI and loading speed.

      1. Developer support. I can email Mario, Glenn or Tom directly and get a response within 24 hours, sometimes sooner! I have emailed, sent texts, got on IRC chat, twittered, facebooked, and even called Saurik NUMEROUS times over the last 18 months, with not even one single reply!(btw, his phone# is publicly posted on his website, I didn't call the FBI). I have literally felt like a stalker! lol!(maybe he called the FBI??!?) My point is, if this is the kind of support and communication I have to look forward to>>>>>>>!! And to top it off Saurik replies to someone on here in less thasn 10 minutes?!?!?!?! ..nuff said.

      2. The developer portal is a MUST have. The ability to check sales stats 24/7, great! I can give out promotional licenses to anyone I choose..perfect! Monthly statements..word! Customer database..woohoo! This has been an invaluable tool for me and I don't see how I can run my "business" without it!

      3. Theme promotion. Let's face it, theme's get no love in Cydia! Don't get me wrong, there are GREAT themes available on Cydia, however it is littered with a bunch of crap that is crappier than crap! The theme section in Cydia hasn't been updated for over a year!!(is it that obvious I'm a theme creator? ). Yes, I may be bias on this because my themes have done VERY well on Rock, and have had a lot of publicity on their home page, but from what I've read on here, I'm not the only one. I am willing to bet that the "average" user who jailbreaks, does it so they can theme their device! NOBODY WANTS THEIR IPHONE TO LOOK LIKE IT DOES OTB!!!! And if their is someone out there who does, you're a screwdriver short of a tool-box!

      There are probably more things I could add to this list, but that will suffice for now. Rock has been very good to me and I will miss the relationship I have had with Mario and crew. I just hope that Jay, will be more pro-active in his relationships with developers, or hire someone who will(**raises his hand**). I told you this would be a somewhat "selfish" post, so if you desire to respond, please choose your words wisely...Cheers!

      -ToyVan
      ditto, ditto, and mother-****ing ditto ToyVan... I think you addressed every themers concerns who's names don't rhyme with marsoldercleats
    1. Kolder's Avatar
      Kolder -
      Maybe I'm in the minority but I always experienced far more bugs and errors in Cydia than I ever did with rock. I'll miss the UI of rock the most.
    1. kevin.e.white's Avatar
      kevin.e.white -
      very interesting and excited about the possibilities .
      thank you rock team and good luck.
      and im glad to read (first page) that saurik is still working hard with cydia.
      cant wait to see how it'll all look and work in the comming weeks/months.
    1. Jmataska's Avatar
      Jmataska -
      Quote Originally Posted by sassvideo View Post
      Please, please, please tell me that the new company will have the functionality and speed closer to that of Rock than Cydia. Don't get me wrong I fully appreciate everything Cydia has been responsible for over the last couple of years, but can anybody with a straight face say that the functionality/speed of Cydia is better than Rock?

      Daniel
      Supposedly they will be working on this issue. And i agree, the speed and interface for Rock was great, but Cydia cant be beat when it comes down to it. Never once did my phone crash because of Cydia. But Rock is responsible for a few IMO
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Very Excited
    1. XavierAlucard's Avatar
      XavierAlucard -
      There a few things I hope this merger brings to the table:

      Less Ads or better Ad Management
      Easier License Management in Cydia (a main reason I moved as many purchases to Rock)
      Backups (already confirmed)
      Better Interface ala Rock (this is just my personal preference)
      Web Interface - From an email I sent to Saurik on 05/13/2009

      Cydia Suggestion:

      Profile based management via Web Interface
      This would allow End Users to login to their Cydia profile and Add/Remove Applications, make purchases, and Add/Remove sources.

      For the End User to see the changes on their phone they would launch Cydia (on the phone) and login with their UID and Password.

      This would also allow for quick configurations on End User’s iPhone’s.

      *Note: Purchases may have to be restricted to IMEI # due to abuse

      I would like to talk some more if you like this suggestion but I have to run off to work now.

      Best Wishes,

      [redacted]
      --------------------------------------

      ~X
    1. rest_easy's Avatar
      rest_easy -
      great stuff, I personally hated rock. I thought their practice was deplorable the way there was NO option but to install rock for certain apps. That's like when a yahoo toolbar gets piggybacked with an install. Garbage.
      I like and agree with saurik's vision. Keep it open, keep it running correctly without taking shortcuts and keep the scene a sharing community.

      I don't believe the nonsense people are saying about competition. I think they are looking at it all wrong. It was never suppose to be cydia vs rock it is app vs app. There will still be plenty of competition (pdanet vs mywi, intelliscreen vs lockinfo, 3gunrestrictor vs my3g etc. etc.) that kind of thing will not disappear.
    1. TCcentex's Avatar
      TCcentex -
      Quote Originally Posted by rest_easy View Post
      great stuff, I personally hated rock. I thought their practice was deplorable the way there was NO option but to install rock for certain apps. That's like when a yahoo toolbar gets piggybacked with an install. Garbage.
      I like and agree with saurik's vision. Keep it open, keep it running correctly without taking shortcuts and keep the scene a sharing community.
      There is a large level of sharing in the community, but don't think for a second that this "sharing community" would exist unless there was a steady flow of green funneling in from somewhere. Rock was at least run like a business, and run pretty damn well at that. It was buggy in some places? Show me any software or anything man-made for that matter that doesn't have issues, especially when TENS OF THOUSANDS of people are tugging on it every day. All a "sharing community" tends to produce are the thousands upon thousands of stinks-to-high-heaven junk like useless horrible ringtones, stolen one-page wallpapers and the like. You never found anything like that on Rock.

      OH YEAH -- anybody forgot that it was the owner or Rock who put a Lawyer on HIS DIME (yes, the EFF spearheaded it, but Mario certainly didn't have to waste a bit of time or money) and helped to get jailbreaking legalized for all of us? The sense of entitlement I've heard a lot here is pretty frustrating.

      I TRULY hope that Saurik adopts a lot of Rock's business model in this new venture. I would have to think so -- Rock was an overwhelming success IMHO when it came to customer service and the quality of delivery. So it was a little buggy, get over it.
    1. neodude237's Avatar
      neodude237 -
      Good post, but I do have to agree in part with rest_easy, I hated that it was installed like the yahoo toolbar. If I really wanted it, I'd install it manually off Cydia or ssh it in.