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  • RockApp Store Projects $2Mil/Year


    With the increasing dissatisfaction with Apple's long approval process and seemingly arbitrary rejections, iPhone developers have been looking to alternatives to the App Store. The "gatekeeper" approach has been a boon to the jailbreaking community, as new marketplaces come up to offer healthy competition and user choice. We recently highlighted one independent App Store, Rock Your Phone, when they released their 2.0 version. The founder announced today that they're headed for $2 million US in revenue in the coming year.

    As the source for popular, powerful apps like MyWi and My3G, RockYourPhone delivers the functionality that power users need but aren't getting from Apple and AT&T. In a press release today, RockYourPhone shared some of the kudos they're getting from happy users.

    With a whole bunch of new technology coming out today, and the competition around the "smart phones", this is the kind of stuff that makes the iPhone stick out.
    I wanted to view my email, text messages, and calendar at a glance. Apple doesn't sell an app like this and my blackberry had it out of box. It's essential for my work - $10 is a no-brainer for the productivity it provides.
    Mario Ciabarra, Chief Technical Officer and company founder, noted that the independent marketplace was filling an obvious need as indicated by rising sales. "We're on target for $2+ million in revenue over the next 12 months" Tom Cross, the CEO, says that RockYourPhone is "receiving about 10-20 developer applications a day - some defecting from Apple's restrictive control."

    The company related the experience of a developer, named ZodTTD, who is selling his app exclusively on Rock Your Phone and is on track for $30K in the first month. The developer found he had a greatly improved ability to both market and track his sales with RockYourPhone.
    I get fast updates with instant feedback via a review system, quickly updated statistics of sales and downloads, and none of Apple's bureaucracy. While this sort of application can get 50,000 downloads on Android Marketplace over the course of months, I reach those numbers in a matter of days.
    RockYourPhone is not just for paid apps: they are working to be a complete jailbroken package management solution, incorporating paid to free packages. They list all packages from all default Cydia sources as well as their own paid apps, and maintain an updated list of packages from ModMyi, BigBoss, Saurik, Ste, ZodTTD, and iSpazio repositories on their own RockCentral server, and only changes are downloaded to Rock App users, which results in faster, more accurate listings.

    More information on RockYourPhone is available on their site.

    image via RockYourPhone
    This article was originally published in forum thread: RockApp Store Projects $2Mil/Year started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 60 Comments
    1. Coral11's Avatar
      Coral11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kwickone View Post
      Nice. So basically you are standing up and saying "I would be a thief".

      Keep up the good morals there.
      No basically I'm expressing my opinion, and you are reading in to it which is you right. There are two camps in the JB world, just like Pro Choice and Pro Life, I do not care if you are righteous or not we all have choices.
    1. kwickone's Avatar
      kwickone -
      Whether you are pro choice or pro life, it is still wrong to steal. These developers spend countless hours working on these apps, and deserve to make a living and support their families.

      Anyway, I am moving on.
    1. Coral11's Avatar
      Coral11 -
      Peace
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post
      szr: We don't have a nanny system. All the licenses are stored locally on your phone (ie, disconnect from the internet - all your apps work!). If you restore your phone, your licenses will be gone again and they will be downloaded for you upon installing and opening the rockapp or any of the licensed applications.
      I can't believe that you completely disregarded the entire concern of szr's post.

      This is the problem I've had with Rock in the past. If there is a response, it's always just spin tactics trying to make them look better instead of actually resolving the issue.

      A concern that people have is the fact that they purchase an application and there is no way for them to install said application without the Rock frontend loaded on the phone. What happens if Rock goes under? You then lose the ability to install any of those applications again because of the authentication steps in place to prevent pirating.

      While I can agree that pirating can be frustrating from any developers point of view, creating more security layers for the people who DO purchase the applications will have to make a decision going forward.

      1. They allow all of this ****** bloatware to be installed on their phones when they want a single application.

      2. They live without the app.


      Personally I fall into camp #2. I don't need extra **** on my devices. I don't like the thought of purchasing an application and having no way to make sure I can install it at a later date in case Rock's servers are down.

      I'm also of the camp that will speak loudly against developers who want to try to install nanny type software and information gathering software on phones.

      While I can say that I wish them the best, I'm also going to note that I will continue to tell every person who will listen about my bad experiences with Rock on my devices and make sure that any of my friends who come to me for advice on jailbreaking their ipods/iphones never install Rock's applications. Sure it's only 20-30 people that I do this for, but I've made sure they never install those apps and I know many of them are parroting my disdain for this company.
    1. skeels's Avatar
      skeels -
      TooSlo: I understand your concerns and you may just be misinformed. If you stand back and look, Cydia and Rock install the same components upon install (a unix subsystem). Within our apps, we have extra licensing code. This is typical of pretty much any software you buy on the market these days. If you're afraid of us going out of business, we offer a desktop client which keeps a copy of the app and your licenses and can get apps/licenses installed onto your iPhone. We do not gather any more/less information then Cydia does - its information to get the proper software onto your iPhone and download licenses associated with your account. Honestly, and I would never call some one out unless i felt compelled, your post is actually simply continuing to spread mis-information from "bloatware" to "information gathering", to "no way to install if we go under". You would be describing Cydia in the same light as all these items apply in the same way.

      Coral11: How does Rock work that you have issues with? Please read above. You may simply have been misinformed.

      Kwickone: Thanks

      SouthFrisco: I see now Applications for developers and developer applications can be confusing. Tom was talking about signing up to be a developer - which is why the "some defecting from Apple..." refers to the developer's signup - not a specific application (sorry for the confusion). Regarding financials - yes we were talking about actual sales of course. If all our applications were as successful as ZodTTD's, then we would have $10 million in annual sales at the current point in time. Of course, there are successful apps, and not-so-successful apps, thus why we're closer to $2 million (in fact, we're actually closing in in on the $2.5 million annually mark . We used ZodTTD as an example, because he is well known and you can verify his statistics independently from us. This goes back to the question what if Rock goes under? We hope our financials show we are very strong and wouldn't want to walk away . Yes - most of our apps our trials, because we believe it's unimaginable to be forced to buy an app for the jailbroken community without trialing. With the vast array of apps manipulating the OS, there's always bound to be a conflict no matter how hard devs work, and it's better to know before you buy then after (there are also conflicts with just Cydia Store apps, see Music Controls and Orbit for example).

      Obviously, from the amount of writing here - there are some strong opinions. I hope you can see from our replies that we are dedicated on keeping you more informed and having a very happy user experience . Enjoy!

      And to those who can't seem to like Rock: Sometimes the forbidden fruit is just too tempting Thanks for your help (see sales note above
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Yeah so I have to unlock my phone that i use on AT&T? To get a reliable carrier feedback?
      Your phone being unlocked is a side effect of the carrier logo fix, yes.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post
      [COLOR="Navy"]szr: We don't have a nanny system. All the licenses are stored locally on your phone (ie, disconnect from the internet - all your apps work!). If you restore your phone, your licenses will be gone again and they will be downloaded for you upon installing and opening the rockapp or any of the licensed applications.

      confucious says, "Keep an open mind"
      I honestly have no problem having any open mind, and thank you for correcting me.

      It's nice that you don't have to be constantly logged in a la Steam, but the basic problem still remains: you're still dependant in some way on a central service, whether it's to run it each time (like Steam), or having to essentailly "ask permission" in order to reinstall it (like Windows Activation.) What happens if RYP's servers cannot be reached? They could be down, or you just might not have an Internet connection (you don't need one in order to restore a phone.) One shouldn't need to ask permission to reinstall nor use something they have already purchased.

      This is exactly the same sort of problem some people still have with Steam. Sometimes their server DO go down and you are unable to use what you have purchased. Just two months ago about three quarters of my games on Steam disappeared and Valve, their creartor, has been completely unhelpful. They basically told me to repurchase everything I lost. NOW I know RYP is not Valve, I'm not saying they would do the same, but I hope you see the point that having this much control IS dangerous no matter how you slice it.
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      There's always an oportunity for "tangents" to occur in this universe. If a meteor crashes against our planet we won't be able to log on to any servers either. ANY company selling products that require registering a license gathers similar information from the user and when corruption occurs on preference files, they require the license to be re-validated. Just so happens that while most companies only give you the option to log on to a server, RYP ALSO gives you the option to have the desktop client which can validate the license or re-install as well. By making a reference to a few other companies you are having this issue with you also accept this is the way business is. Anyways...
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      @metaserph:

      Ok, I understand RYP allows you to keep your license files on your desktop, but doesn't this come down to the exact same issue that plauged music until recent years where such DRM has been in a massive decline?

      Also, what happens if my device dies and I have to get a replacement, which would have a different ECID (which RYP ties it's license to, right) ?

      I had to replace my iPhone in august and I was able to reload all the save JB stuff I had saved from my old phone. I didn't have to ask anyones permission to do so. I didn't need to make sure I hadn't lost some license file or what not. No hassle or fuss.

      So why would I want to suddenly change to a system where, no matter how it's spinned, theres always more hoops to jump through, no matter how polishe, compared to the more straight forward path.

      I can understand license files and the lieks for larger apps - I have one for things like VM Ware, for example - but we are talking such simplistic "apps" in comparison and people trying to protect them as if they were professional level desktop applications.
    1. dr.stevil's Avatar
      dr.stevil -
      you couldn't pay me to use rockapp... Tried it twice and both times gave me major issues (3gs).

      It might be faster and look a little prettier, but I'll stick with cydia. No offense to the developers, but I lost a lot of contacts, photos, etc when I tried it and it locked my phone up (wouldn't boot past a black screen)
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      I really don't understand those who claim that Rock has hosed their phone. I have never had any issue with it at all, and it's not like I don't have a ton of things installed - over 200+ apps. I have to wonder what creative hacking has been done that compromises the iPhone to where Rock, or any other app for that matter, makes things crash.
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post
      TooSlo: I understand your concerns and you may just be misinformed. If you stand back and look, Cydia and Rock install the same components upon install (a unix subsystem). Within our apps, we have extra licensing code. This is typical of pretty much any software you buy on the market these days. If you're afraid of us going out of business, we offer a desktop client which keeps a copy of the app and your licenses and can get apps/licenses installed onto your iPhone. We do not gather any more/less information then Cydia does - its information to get the proper software onto your iPhone and download licenses associated with your account. Honestly, and I would never call some one out unless i felt compelled, your post is actually simply continuing to spread mis-information from "bloatware" to "information gathering", to "no way to install if we go under". You would be describing Cydia in the same light as all these items apply in the same way.
      I'll bite here, as hopefully I am misinformed and want to spur debate on this topic.

      I'll start with the comment of having the RYP app installed on the desktop. I'd had an absolutely terrible experience with this in the past. Even loading it on a fresh VMware image it's still an awful experience. If other people are happy with it, I'm sure you've hit the mark with some users.

      I do notice that the application uses some type of user authentication and will not allow you to proceed any further without entering that information. If all of this user licensing is stored on the local machine, why can't the applications be installed while offline? How can the end user be guaranteed that they will be able to install this application when a call home check is made just to use the desktop application?

      While I won't post any links, there are certain nefarious websites that provide some of the Rock applications that are hacked so that the Rock installer doesn't have to be on an iphone. While I claim no responsibility for these sites, nor do I condone their usage, the anti-pirating code shows some kind of call-home functionality. Knowing this, if Rock were to shut it's doors, there is no way that I can see in which someone who has purchased the application to be able to successfully reinstall without these authentication servers.

      How can you speak to this while assuring the end users that they will be able to always install an application that they use? Will your company provide .deb files to install the applications if you were to shut your doors?
    1. gmj's Avatar
      gmj -
      While I've been happy using cydia since the days when it was the new kid on the block, I have Rock on my iPhone along with cydia. I was sad to see icy go, and although I had used it very little, an additional, easy method of installing debian packages on the iPhone. Having a single gatekeeper (as Apple has clearly demonstrated with its AppStore) leads to trouble.
      Since the launch of the cydia store, which I happily support by purchasing many of the packages, an alternative to cydia is even more important. If there were no alternative, it might appear that the fine people bringing us the free tools used to jailbreak the iPhone were working for cydia. I understand this is not and never was the case. With more than one app being offered as an installer by the jailbreak tool, there is more than one developer or company which will profit from use of the tool.
    1. skeels's Avatar
      skeels -
      TooSlo: What terrible experience re the desktop? (Love details - as it has been pretty "rock" solid - foregoing missing a jailbreak for 3.1+). We have had temporary compatibile issues as Apple has released new iTunes and OS's, but this is expected with any product as APIs are changed. RE: Rock Servers: Even with Rock servers down and out - the desktop client will install apps/licenses onto your phone. It only "calls" home to check and see if you have new licenses (provides seamless integration of our desktop/phone app/website). Re not installing the Rock App but using rock apps - I'm not sure what you mean by call home functionality and anti-pirating code. Rock doesn't embed any call-home functionaliy in our licensing software inside each app. If developers add their own level of a protection, that's up to them (there have been one or 2 out of the couple dozen of apps - but this has nothing to do with Rock and the Cydia store versions of those apps have the same). Maybe, given the lack of ethics of those pirating apps, we should avoid believing what ye pirates have to say all together . And finally, re shutting our doors, the developers of those apps would obviously make provisions to support their paying customers (but - again see our remarks previously. One of the reasons to broadcast our sales is to build confidence that we'll be around for a long time . I do appreciate your comments - as you obviously are willing to ask questions about some of the information you have heard. As I said, there has been a lot of misinformation out there by those who are bent against competition. I'll say it again too (because I like too) - sales really back our story of our commitment to customer satisfaction.

      gmj: I agree - without competition - how can we expect innovation and improvements? Folks that don't give rock a chance - you can only wonder why they would want to prevent the community from growing . (Apple Competition: YES Community Apps: NO doesn't make much sense .
    1. Fewzz's Avatar
      Fewzz -
      Me and my Friends must be doing something wrong , if we ever install Rock it ends up crashing our phones , tried a few times but after last restore ill avoid ROCK for ever. It doesnt seem compatable with Cydia either and conflicts alot and i am not uninstalling Cydia.

      Sometimes you can get rock installed and think you have no problems for awhile , then youll download something and boom there goes Rock throwing a tantrum and clashing , if it happens , uninstall rock and not the new app quickly or your be looking at a restore.
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      I prefer rock I've used cydia for about 3 years and rock for a couple of months and I already know that rocknis my primary store. With fast loading times and package backups there's no way I'm going back to cydia except for the xsellize repo which currently doesn't work for rock but other than that cydia is so outdated
    1. admrich's Avatar
      admrich -
      I've had Cydia, Icy & RockApp now for a while. Had to install Icy & then RockApp because Cydia's data had corrupted somehow. Eventually worked how to fix said corruption & Still use Cydia & RockApp. Most my issues can & are isolated back to dodgy/faulty Apps & dodgy/faulty repositories. When these occur I've had to re JB - subsequent retried at reinstalling thes 'culprit' apps have rebroke phone

      Ps forgot to say don't be so keen to blame Cydia or RYP & be sure 1st that it is not a particular app or repository causing your grief
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by admrich View Post
      ...don't be so keen to blame Cydia or RYP & be sure 1st that it is not a particular app or repository causing your grief
      That is what most people's problem is. They have an app with poor code, or a bad repository, causing problems, and then they want to rush to blame the most popular scapegoat, which in this thread, is Rock.
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Quote Originally Posted by TooSlo View Post
      I despised how intrusive RYP was originally, and the problems that it caused on both my desktop as well as my iphone, which ended up making me reload my FW.

      Since then, the creators of Rock have done nothing to earn back people's trust, instead trying to place blame on anyone aside themselves for the large groups of people who have had negative experiences with their applications.

      Currently, the attitude that comes from anyone speaking on behalf of Rock is condescending and insulting. If a company that is trying to claw to the top of this community, they should attempt to treat their customer base with a bit of respect.

      While I could see them treating people like garbage if their applications are free, they're spitting in the face of end users who purchase applications and then have no recourse if they experience troubles with a product. With the past behavior of plugging their ears and saying "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when people have troubles, I can only hope that the negative press will end up having an effect on business.

      There is a saying that a happy customer may tell one person about their experiences, where a customer with a bad experience will tell the world. If you walk all over customers and ignore them when these horrible experiences happen, they may see that group of unhappy past customers loudly voice their unhappiness with Rock's business practices.
      I agree with TOOSLO.
      I installed Pkgbackup which worked great.
      I installed RockYourPhone and then when I tried to use Pkgbackup the program would ask me for my root password?
      The developer for Pkgbackup emailed me directly and told me that RockYourPhone and Pkgbackup won't work together, not in the version I was running, (3.0.8). This continued to be non-functional until version 3.0.11. So I removed RYP.
      (see below)

      Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 12:23:55 -0400
      Subject: Re: FW: Cydia/APT(M): PkgBackup (3.0.8)
      From: [email protected]
      To: [email protected]

      Do you have Rock app installed?
      Rock is a problem ...
      I'll have a fix for it on the next iteration...
      In the meantime, remove it
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by thevmax View Post
      I agree with TOOSLO.
      I installed Pkgbackup which worked great.
      I installed RockYourPhone and then when I tried to use Pkgbackup the program would ask me for my root password?
      The developer for Pkgbackup emailed me directly and told me that RockYourPhone and Pkgbackup won't work together, not in the version I was running, (3.0.8). This continued to be non-functional until version 3.0.11. So I removed RYP.
      (see below)

      Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 12:23:55 -0400
      Subject: Re: FW: Cydia/APT(M): PkgBackup (3.0.8)
      From: [email protected]
      To: [email protected]

      Do you have Rock app installed?
      Rock is a problem ...
      I'll have a fix for it on the next iteration...
      In the meantime, remove it
      So, the creator of Pkgbackup says that Rock has a problem. Maybe a problem with his app. Otherwise, why would he say that he would fix it in his next version? The only "problem" he can fix is a problem in the app he created.

      As has been said before, anytime there are multiple apps created by independent developers, some of which attempt to access the same areas of the iPhone code, there are bound to be conflicts. If you don't ever want any conflicts, then perhaps you might want stay with only apps from Apple's appstore - they are "supposed" to make sure that all their apps play well together.