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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. Apple.'s Avatar
      Apple. -
      for those of you complaining about the User interface..

      id rather have a excellently coded package manager that looks simple
      than have a very sloppy, buggy juiced up looking packing manager

      Rock has always caused problems, cydia has been my #1 app since it has came out.

      Dont judge a book by its cover.
    1. Macusercom's Avatar
      Macusercom -
      What will happen to the reviews? Will there be something like this in Cydia?
    1. DHowett's Avatar
      DHowett -
      I shall tackle these one-by-one, because they're patently insane.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      1. Bad support.
      Bad support from whom? Bad support from developers? That's not Jay's fault, nor is it Cydia's. Bad support from Jay? If you need support directly from him, you might be doing it wrong. There's an entire community of vendors who could probably help.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      2. Slow response times on developers questions.
      This is kinda the same as the second interpretation of number one, so falls under the same advisory reply.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      3. No way of managing your apps.
      Again, as a developer or as a user? Manage? In what way?
      A lot of the management of packages is handled by a repository owner. In fact, all of it is.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      4. Takes more then a week to add a new application.
      The bulk of the work here takes less than five seconds. The problem is simply one of coordination - and, of course, your repository host. You dreamt up packages and they were immediately available on Rock immediately? I don't think Jay practices telepathy.
      You don't just finish an entire project without a single inkling that you might be interested in selling it, and then complain about all this extra time lost. You're simply not being proactive if you think that you have any reason to sit back and wait for everybody to coordinate everything for you. Maybe reaching out with a forewarning or a bit of information to your friendly repository hosts would help streamline that process for you.

      It's a little selfish.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      5. Bad payments/downloads statistics.
      There are many API endpoints available to Cydia Store developers, that return just this sort of information.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      6. Only 1-2 person handling more then 400 developers.
      I can't argue this one except to reinforce the "there's an entire community of vendors" point. Most of us don't bite.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      7. Has no way of "pushing" certain/new apps for customers.
      ... What? Pushing? Like, forced-install? Advertisement (BigBoss sells advertising, as do other repository hosts, to developers.)?
      You simply expect the store to do all the marketing for you? I just don't understand what point #7 is trying to make.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      8. No promotion codes.
      Unless you implement it yourself or find some other implementation, right now, but that is being worked on.

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      9. Slow as hell !!
      I challenge you to write a functional, perfectly APT-compliant package manager, and not complain when you lose all your sanity and possibly your hair. You "are a developer", after all. Cydia's source is open - as is APT's - if you're a developer, why not HELP the situation instead of ******** about it?

      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      (and i have more then 5 apps on sell on both Cydia & Rock. so i know what i'm talking about !).
      Such as? I'm genuinely curious.
    1. R333's Avatar
      R333 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Apple. View Post
      for those of you complaining about the User interface..

      id rather have a excellently coded package manager that looks simple
      than have a very sloppy, buggy juiced up looking packing manager.
      Before, we had both.

      Also, Rock had more than just "looks" and speed going for it.
    1. TCcentex's Avatar
      TCcentex -
      This is awesome news, but for a new theme creator like myself I'm going to be very sad to see Rock go. They have an amazing dev portal that allows you to keep track of all your sales essentially in real-time, and the newer themers like myself got some major exposure to the community thanks to their constantly-updating version of their front-page "featured themes"-type section, which seemed to keep a constant rotation of the most popular themes being downloaded. Hell, even brand-new themers like free-apple and his very popular freshman theme Afterhours got some good exposure. The featured themes section on cydia seems like it hasn't been updated in quite a while, so not-as-well-known theme creators like myself that have a product that is on-par if not better than half of the Cydia-featured themes have a pretty good chance of falling back into obscurity. Don't get me wrong - I see the major benefit this will be to the entire community, and the pioneer of the jailbreak experience will surely keep us all going In the right direction, but I'm going to miss Rock

      also, to clarify on the iPhone 4 theming issues mentioned earler, currently NOTHING in the UIimages folder (all status bar images, progress loaders, etc) is theming at hi-resolution, even with the appropriate @2x image in the folder - only the low-res, standard versions display on the iP4 from that specific folder. Also, the "Icons" folder in the main theme file is no longer functional (we're having to theme native apps and cydia icons by manually creating a "bundles" or "folders" file for each, ie to customize the Winterboard icon we used to drop a customized icon in the "Icons" folder, now we have to create a bundles file "com.saurik.winterboard" with an [email protected] inside... this for every cydia app), and the Wallpaper and Lockscreen (presumably [email protected] & [email protected]) when placed in the main theme folder like the last platform are not theming either. We've found a work-around with those images by adding hi-res "pictures" of these in the user's camera-roll that can then be utilized as wallpapers directly from their device's "Set as Wallpaper" function.
    1. Macusercom's Avatar
      Macusercom -
      6 months ago I thought Rock is the best for licenses but it's not. I bought 20$ apps, but couldn't transfer it to Cydia, I didn't want to use Rock anymore, but I had to. But now I will be able to use Cydia for everything

      Yes Rock was faster, but mayn repository like media-phone.ch weren't updated and I saw old packages. Same with Ultrasn0w repo.
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      So some words from me:

      - I never liked Rock, dont know why, maybe because of the many issues, users mailed me daily
      - But the developer service of rock was much much better,
      they have a own developer webside where you can upload themes,
      see all your sold apps/themes, montly, daily and so on.
      - Ive sold much more themes at rock
      - Good themes and apps get totally lost in the daily cydia update
      between all this childish ringtones and stupid guys who post stolen
      wallpapers and call it a theme. I wish saurik and
      modmyi would prevent that finally.


      We are at the point where Cydia Store really should seperate the trash from the quality. And/Or modmyi, as premium side should reject themes that are no themes at all or do not have a mimimum of quality. Everyone can make a ringtone or change his wallpaper without needing a CydiaStore-theme

      So hopefully Saurik adopts the clearness of finding good themes for endusers and for developers the service.
    1. desepticon's Avatar
      desepticon -
      A big concern for me is support for original iPhone. Cydia used to work great on the 2G when it first came out but now is virtually unusable. Rock was a savior in this regard. I realize Rock was breaking some of the rules to achieve this end but there must be some optimizations that can be done?
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by hacx View Post
      Think this is a very bad move for developers .
      Cydia Store still lacks a lot of features that are A MOST in virtual store.

      1. Bad support.
      2. Slow response times on developers questions.
      3. No way of managing your apps.
      4. Takes more then a week to add a new application.
      5. Bad payments/downloads statistics.
      6. Only 1-2 person handling more then 400 developers.
      7. Has no way of "pushing" certain/new apps for customers.
      8. No promotion codes.
      9. Slow as hell !!

      (and i have more then 5 apps on sell on both Cydia & Rock. so i know what i'm talking about !).

      This is a sad day for the jailbreak-developers community.
      Or look at it as a potentially good day for you because now everyone will have access to your apps you sold on Rock. If they were still rock exclusive then I, and probably a lot of other members, would never know of it because I refuse to use Rock for anything. So much so in fact that I went as far as buying mywi off of it and then deleting it and rock and installing a bootleg version of it just so that I wouldn't have Rock taking up space.

      Also, what apps are they?

      Quote Originally Posted by Bluemetal View Post
      We are at the point where Cydia Store really should seperate the trash from the quality themes and apps. And modmyi should reject themes that are not themes. Everyone can make a ringtone or change his wallpaper without needing a CydiaStore-theme

      So hopefully Saurik adopts the clearness of finding good themes for endusers and for developers the service.[/B]
      I think they're actually working on this (albeit, slowly).
    1. Bunniesandsheep's Avatar
      Bunniesandsheep -
      Rock has f*cked over my device numerous times. I'm
      Glad it's gone
    1. Patato22's Avatar
      Patato22 -
      This is a good news i always love rock & Cydia. Cool the jailbroken community is gething strong!
    1. zareeba's Avatar
      zareeba -
      Sincerely hope that Cydia will dramatically inproved their speed and UI with this acquisition. Cydia is way too slow and an ugly UI. Rock's UI is much much better in this regard. We'll wait and see....
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by zareeba View Post
      Sincerely hope that Cydia will dramatically inproved their speed and UI with this acquisition. Cydia is way too slow and an ugly UI. Rock's UI is much much better in this regard. We'll wait and see....
      I guess you didn't bother reading Saurik's posts in this thread.
    1. kp10708's Avatar
      kp10708 -
      Now I'm just hoping the user interface of cydia changes to be more user friendly lol
    1. Pherball66's Avatar
      Pherball66 -
      Saurik rocks but there are no reviews in Cydia which sucks. This will make me buy less because you can't filter out the bad apps from the good and I will be A LOT more frugal on what I purchase.
    1. byrd20's Avatar
      byrd20 -
      Man I will miss Rock Your Phone. I hate waiting for the Cydia Store to constantly reload. Never had a single issue with Rock, but have had tons of issues with Cydia. I hope that Cydia will inherit some of Rock's speed & UI. No offense Saurik. I have deepest respect and admiration of your work & love the (make my life easier) feature of Cydia.
    1. Aleckloss's Avatar
      Aleckloss -
      So my packages will be all moved to cydia with my same login name I use for rock?
    1. BlackHoleSlam1994's Avatar
      BlackHoleSlam1994 -
      This is very stupid my iphone 3g makes my cydia run very slow taking at least 5 minutes to reload everything n it often crashes i loved rock n now we have to go back to crappy cydia awesome just awesome >


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. tjb5099's Avatar
      tjb5099 -
      NOooooo Rock was so much better than cydia because rock was actually fast and we all know how stupidly slow cydia is...

      ~Tim
    1. Avalanchenut's Avatar
      Avalanchenut -
      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 would also like to see winterboard get an update. I use to be able to theme the webclip icons but now am unable to and the user wallpapre and lockbackground don't work either. There is an update that someone else made to add the function but I was hoping for a major overhaul of winterboard and maybe it is still to come.