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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. hfelsh's Avatar
      hfelsh -
      Quote Originally Posted by garbs View Post
      I don't use Rock, but this is kind of disappointing. Competition is a good thing, and saurik hasn't exactly been speedy with the updates lately as it is. We still don't even have a Cydia icon that's made for the retina display...
      What are you talking about? I just looked in the Cydia.app folder, and ALL the Retina icons (icon-72.png & [email protected]) are there. Maybe you should look before you make comments like that.

      I, too, totally did not see this coming. It certainly looks like Cydia is becoming a full-fledged "company", and this merger/acquisition is huge. I'd REALLY love to know the financial details behind it. (Too bad the FCC doesn't regulate it, whereas if they did, they'd have to publish the details, get the FCC approval so they don't become "too big a conglomerate", and there would still be competition. )

      Rock Your Apps

      This should prove very interesting. I noticed today, for the first time (although granted I don't normally look) that the main Cydia page had changed, and was promoting apps like MyWi and My3G.

      Very, very interesting news for the jailbreak community.

      (Oh, and if Saurik is reading this, I want to become an employee! LOL)
    1. nickab's Avatar
      nickab -
      I only ever used Rock to purchase applications because I liked that I didn't have to do anything special to backup those purchases. Does this acquisition mean I'm going to have to repurchase my apps like MyWi, My3G, and Tlert? If not, do I have to do anything to back them up? Currently they're associated with my Rock.app login. If I lose my licenses because of this I am going to abandon my jailbreak and update to 4.1 and never look to the jailbreak community again. I appreciate the hard work that goes into it, but when you start charging money for the services you provide you need to back it up with customer service and user-friendliness. We're all Apple users after all! LOL.
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      People, before commenting on the general speed of Rock vs Cydia, please read @saurik's reply to it on page 1 or 2.

      I swear, if someone says it one more time, k.nitsua is gonna have to choke a b*tch.
    1. hfelsh's Avatar
      hfelsh -
      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.

      I swear, if someone says it one more time, k.nitsua is gonna have to choke a b*tch.
      I just read every post in the entire thread, and I have to say, I completely agree with ya brother.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Wow! didn't see this coming. I thought Rock had finaly got it right when they removed Rock Extentions.
      In other words I feel so proud to be one of the only 124 devs in Rock
    1. sadsamurai's Avatar
      sadsamurai -
      Quote Originally Posted by BlackHoleSlam1994 View Post
      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
      There is a package for that called NoCyfresh in the modyouri.com repo. I installed it and now it doesn't automatically refresh every time I connect to Cydia. I can manually refresh whenever I want. However it doesn't work on iPhone 4.
    1. Red Five's Avatar
      Red Five -
      Horrible news for a lot of developers. My Rock sales are much higher than my Cydia sales. Partly due to Rock's web interface I'm sure.
    1. closetmonster3's Avatar
      closetmonster3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nickab View Post
      I only ever used Rock to purchase applications because I liked that I didn't have to do anything special to backup those purchases. Does this acquisition mean I'm going to have to repurchase my apps like MyWi, My3G, and Tlert? If not, do I have to do anything to back them up? Currently they're associated with my Rock.app login. If I lose my licenses because of this I am going to abandon my jailbreak and update to 4.1 and never look to the jailbreak community again. I appreciate the hard work that goes into it, but when you start charging money for the services you provide you need to back it up with customer service and user-friendliness. We're all Apple users after all! LOL.
      Earlier posts mention that it will all be transferred to Cydia as well as backups. I highly doubt (in fact doubt) that you will be charged again for apps when the merger happens. Everyone would flip, so theres no reason to be concerned.

      I dont think many on this forum consider themselves to be an "apple user" (in a fanboy way); more like they bought a phone from apple and made it their own. Sort of like leaving the nest at a VERY early age. At least I dont see myself as being an apple 'loyal'. I hate when people are controlling *cough* *Jobs*. Thats what steers me to the jailbreak community. Believe me, you dont want to go to stock 4.1 - you would regret it.

      Im sure everyone will be more or less happy with the end result. Saurik isnt gonna leave Cydia in disarray like many are suggesting. Theres always improvement to be made.

      After reading the posts, I now understand why my phone comes up with the unhappy apple computer picture after a springboard crash. Now I know why my phone would freeze at the apple logo and I would have to fenagle with the sleep and home button combination just to get back to the homescreen. Thanks Rock.

      Looking forward to it all being said and done! Hopefully I can jailbreak 4.1 and get the merger at the same time. Then I can start fresh with Cydia and know my phone wont crash from old, corrupt Rock files.

      On a side note, Id love to see a setting in Cydia developed that allows me to choose which phone I use (iphone 4) and Cydia would only show me proven compatible apps and themes so I dont have to hunt for gems out there. Sorting by app reviews is also very much desired, and of course, the ability to give app reviews!

      One very much desired feature request from Saurik:
      I would LOVE to be able to make my custom icons and put them in an icon folder, and thats it. Id like to see if the Next Winterboard would have the logic to associate these icons to the premade folder requirements and 2x name convension required by iphone 4. As of now, it seems tedious for every theme maker to create all of these folders and rename icons. I would love to see that google docs repository that has all of the known folder naming convensions somehow integrated in Winterboard so it would be all set and done so the user can just add icon easily and they would match with the app. Then the community could continue to add to the google docs repository for new apps that come along. A lot of worked saved if this can be done!!! A big THANKS to all hard at work!!!!
    1. kwickone's Avatar
      kwickone -
      Huge news indeed! I was a Rock fan, but it did come with occasional "challenges"

      I look forward to seeing what happens next...and I think it is GREAT that Saurik took the time to reply so some of the "critics". Thanks for helpin the community S-man
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Thank goodness! I can't stress how annoying it was when people contacted me through Rock. It would send a giant list of their installed programs, and even their installed repos. It was not mobile-device friendly.
    1. topless1967stang's Avatar
      topless1967stang -
      Good, fire all the Rock guys. I hate when companies go from mostly free to mostly paid apps. Hopefully someday the great people making the free Jailbreaks and unlocks don't go making making it required to pay.
    1. that_girl's Avatar
      that_girl -
      Aww, no. Rock never gave my phone any problems. Quite sad that all of the sister jailbreak app stores are gone now. I never got to use Icy, Installer, nor Kate. Al least everything will be in one place.
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by desepticon View Post
      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?
      Original iPhone? Really? That things a dinosaur man.
    1. iDom's Avatar
      iDom -
      Quote Originally Posted by saurik View Post
      Actually, the Cydia bootstrap that came with the iPhone 4 jailbreak contained an iPhone 4 Retina icon. Here is a screenshot from the the day jailbreak launched:

      http://modmyi.com/images/jbip4.jpg

      If you do not have that icon it is bceause comex's jailbreak got broken at some point and he stopped installing it. This will be fixed in the next Cydia update (I've been avoiding updates to the ecosystem while we finish working out this merging of interests, so chpwn has had time to start helping with the Cydia codebase, which is awesome).

      Rock's backup feature will be coming to Cydia. Rock only had faster loading because it did not honor APT correctly, so there were numerous buggy situations where you got screwed: there was even a recent time when Rock was screwing up an installation so core that everyone had to restore... Rock's speed was just because it was sloppy.


      So, OK we, Rock users are totally stupid: Rock was far snappier only because it was in fact terribly buggy. Using it over Cydia since day one, I have never experienced a single bug or crash, though, but I guess I must be a singularity?
      Rock was so utterly sloppy, that’s why so many people used it and loved it. People love sloppy, buggy things, everyone knows that.

      Now, to be honest, I have used Cydia on different occasions — for about an hour total, at most. It’s always been slow, buggy and absolutely horrible in terms of both design and user-friendly experience.

      As pointed here in several other posts, certain Rock’s features were truly awesome, like the automatic backup of installed apps, for example.
      Of course, the same can be achieved with Cydia apparently, there’s an app for that! Duh! *yawn*

      All in all, as much as change is (most of the time, not always) a rather good thing, as much walking backwards just really sucks. Big time! A bit like craving to go back to the Dark Ages in the Land of Freedom, you know..? But, back to subject.

      To sum my feeling about it, 2 things:

      1) I agree with some people here that competition is always far much better than monopole. This, is valid in everything. Doesn’t take many firing synapses.

      2) If only for the interface, this merging is like a big announcement by Microsoft that they bought Apple and that, from now on, Snow Leopard and future releases will look and feel just like the old OS 7.0 (a major improvement from Vista) — YaY!
      NOT!

      It pretty much comes down to the old PC vs. Mac thing, I guess, where on the one hand we have countless cables and blinking lights (yay! Christmas Tree!), hordes of viruses — but as many hordes of anti-viruses, because, hey, we’ve got ba||$ and we’re gonna fight the (beep)!!! even though it often bugs our system — etc, while on the other hand we have a gorgeous, intuitive and ultra-smooth experience.
      It reminds me of that guy who bought a G5 Mac only to open it, take out all of its content, and stuff it with his PC motherboard, RAM and disks.

      Unless Cydia gets seriously revamped and adds all of Rock’s cool features, this is going to suck donkey ∂|cK.

    1. hellomoto4's Avatar
      hellomoto4 -
      For all those complaining about Hi-res Cydia icon...

      Cydia Icon - High Res - drp.ly Link

      SSH to /var/stash/Applications/Cydia.app/[email protected]

      Long live Cydia - it was always 100x better than Rock IMO !
    1. Retrolock's Avatar
      Retrolock -
      Yeah, I like Cydia. Rock's speed is too good to be through, and reading saurik's post set my mind to rest. I mean, Cydia is the devs' baby, why would it function like that if it wasn't beneficial to us?

      Anyways, I'm just repeating posts and postpadding whatever.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Well, technically, SaurikIT, LLC is acquiring Rock Your Phone, Inc (let's use correct business names here).
      LOL...... Maybe for the newbies. For anyone who was here around the iphone launch until now it's just Jay's scruffy azz and a few more bucks than he had in '07. LOL..... However yes, congrats.
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Quote Originally Posted by closetmonster3 View Post
      One very much desired feature request from Saurik:
      I would LOVE to be able to make my custom icons and put them in an icon folder, and thats it. Id like to see if the Next Winterboard would have the logic to associate these icons to the premade folder requirements and 2x name convension required by iphone 4. As of now, it seems tedious for every theme maker to create all of these folders and rename icons. I would love to see that google docs repository that has all of the known folder naming convensions somehow integrated in Winterboard so it would be all set and done so the user can just add icon easily and they would match with the app. Then the community could continue to add to the google docs repository for new apps that come along. A lot of worked saved if this can be done!!! A big THANKS to all hard at work!!!!
      Saurik was nice enough to leave the Summerboard implementation for us for as long as he did. Using bundles and folders allows WinterBoard to run at a more optimal level. I don't think he will update the icons folder for retina display use - and I honestly agree with him. With the use of auto-create UI icons, bundles shouldn't be that much of hassle unless you're making all new custom icons.

      --------

      Also, head's up guys, Saurik updated Cydia's homepage with a really good Q&A that will answer a lot of questions you guys may have.

      - Backup Restore system is in the works
      - Comments and Ratings are on their way
      - Licenses will transfer over with ease
      - Cydia will improve its overall speed since it can now focus on it (instead of focus on competition)
      - Cydia will receive a much needed update thanks to developers such as chpwn

      Earlier in this thread, @saurik also mentioned that he will look into updating WinterBoard.

      - Return per-page wallpapers

      So things are looking pretty bright in the future for the jailbreak community. I will miss RockApp and Mario, though. So far, a majority of legitimate themers and a number of developers are sad to see RockApp go as their support and promotional exposure was something that was of great benefit to us.
    1. cheet0's Avatar
      cheet0 -
      I have no problem with this as I have always felt Cydia was a more solid platform than Rock. Although I have Rock installed I always use Cydia to install and update my apps.
    1. jlowry's Avatar
      jlowry -
      This is great news. I almost installed Rock the other day because I had a few apps that I bought a while back. Now I can install them via Cydia without screwing my phone up