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  • RockApp Launches 2.0

    We wrote about Rock Your Phone back in March when they launched, as an alternative/jailbroken AppStore. Yesterday they launched 2.0, and it comes packed with a host of new features and improvements. They're positioning themselves as a complete jailbroken package management solution, from paid to free packages. They actually list all packages from all default Cydia sources now (with depiction pages intact, which is something Icy never did which ticked off Cydia repo maintainers like us and BigBoss).

    Opening up the main screen of RockApp shows (among other things) a "Rock compared to Cydia/Icy" screen, which lists some of its big differences with the two other players in the jailbreak package management arena. Speed-wise, RockApp has done some interesting things to increase performance. One such item you'll see is their Rock Central tech.

    Rock Central basically means the Rock servers watch the default repositories Packages files (those repos being ModMyi, BigBoss, Saurik, Ste, ZodTTD, and iSpazio), and keep a current combined list at all times. Then, when you open RockApp to check for updates, instead of querying each repo's Packages file for updates, Rock Central is checked to see what updates are new since the last time you updated, and only those changes are downloaded to your device. This results in faster load times for updates. You can of course add custom repo’s which are not listed by default. Initially the RockApp will query that repo directly but if enough users add it to their list it will be added to Rock Central to improve performance.

    They put together a comparison of performance for some of the major functions. Their numbers seem a tad off, I will admit - "Updates Loading" for Icy shows at 5.7 seconds, but it takes me over a minute. It's also important to point out Cydia is searching names, descriptions, and ID's (as does RockApp)- Icy only searches names.

    One thing I like (now don’t get me wrong I love my themes) is the ability to customize the view a bit. One of the most common places to go in Cydia is the What’s New tab to see what new apps and updates have been released. The problem is there are so many themes the apps get lost in the list. In settings for RockApp you have 3 options, show Apps Only, All Packages or add a toggle to the bottom of the What’s New window so you can choose on the fly. Along those lines you can also “edit” the Categories tab and hide categories you don’t care to see, similar to Cydia. Additionally, the RockApp sorts the lists by sections, Apps, Themes, Ringtones, Apps AddOns, Repositories, and Other. As this could get confusing when trying to find a specific category, you can “pull” down the categories list (like in the Mail App) to discover the search bar. Finally there is a “Compact Cells” mode (the default) which lists many more packages per screen. If you like the descriptions larger than just turn it off in Settings. In all, the RockApp presents the apps in a pretty logical way according to typical use for installers.

    Another welcome feature coming to Rock Your Phone in 2.0 is Rock Backups. This only works if you have an actual Rock ID (not required to use RockApp, but required for purchasing - like Cydia requires either PayPal or Amazon info). The service essentially takes a snapshot of all the apps you've installed, and associates it with your Rock ID. Then, if you get a new device, or have to restore your iDevice, etc - you reinstall Rock, put in your Rock ID, and simply restore from Backup - it will download all the packages you had before, with the option to deselect packages you'd not like reinstalled. You can keep up to 5 separate backups, and lock them if you'd like one to not be overwritten (default is new backups overwrite old ones on the same day, and after backups have reached 5 total).

    Because RockApp is connecting to the default Cydia sources (the major sources of jailbroken packages), you'll see a wide variety of apps/themes in RockApp now, mostly what you're seeing now in Cydia, with the addition of a little over a dozen apps which are unique to RockApp. Presented a bit differently, the name, rating, and "Install" button (uninstall/update/reinstall if its already installed on your device) are always on top, and the packages depiction is below and scrollable. Interestingly, Cydia Store packages ARE included, but of course don't work - they bring up a clever error message asking you to email the author of the package and ask them to put it in the Rock Store.

    A nice thing - when you install a package, you can simply minimize the installation window (which itself is "prettier" than the Cydia installation screen - you can also see the log output like Cydia normally shows in this screen’s “Log Detail”). Additionally, when installing apps that require a restart, the Rock App will prompt you for a restart. If you choose not to, it’ll restart on exit (allowing you to install and uninstall multiple apps without having to keep respringing – this really cuts down on time managing your apps).

    The package display is nice - a little more AppStore-esque than Cydia's light-weight Googleish results, with ratings being a noticeable difference. RockApp is missing the repository source in the package listings as well. Reviews are also tied to your Rock ID, so users cannot easily spam the service. You're allowed to also sort by Top Rated, which will be more useful as the user base grows.

    Cydia has been slated to get a comments/ratings system for a while now, but is on hold while saurik designs a solid and secure identification method - anonymous comments and ratings are nothing but trouble. Rock solves this issue with their Rock ID, unique per iDevice.

    All in all, RockApp is getting a healthy dose of TLC from its developers, and the results are impressive.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: RockApp Launches 2.0 started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 115 Comments
    1. VenomousSVT's Avatar
      VenomousSVT -
      i have no real com,plaints about rockapp yet.. i was a cydia user from way back and actually had a hard time switching from installer to cydia. I didnt want to use rock after jailbreaking my 3gs at first but after using it here and there i find its the first place i got now and skip right over cydia.
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      Nice..but not for me..cyida is what I roll with..
    1. Franchised1's Avatar
      Franchised1 -
      does rock work with 3.1.2
    1. xxhorseriderxxx's Avatar
      xxhorseriderxxx -
      I'd consider installin' RockApp on my test iPod, but since everythin' is a paid app, I don't even bother.
    1. grmiller's Avatar
      grmiller -
      Yes rock works with 3.1.2! I have even used it on my iphone 3GS 32Gb with 3.1.2 and MyWi also works with it, Tethering 100%!
    1. mrnatas18's Avatar
      mrnatas18 -
      Um, Rock is amazing. So much faster than Cydia. I used the backup function and restore functions when i upgraded from 3.0 to 3.1.2 and it worked really well. My ipod looks the exact same as before, and i had it pretty modded. The UI is great and it runs very smoothly. Great work. I don't use cydia at all now.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i tried the new rock and it rocks! it cannot do everything cydia can but what it does it does better
    1. steve51184's Avatar
      steve51184 -
      so are we going to get any help or an update so we can use any cydia sources as i'm sure this is stopping a lot of users using the rockapp
    1. Heelfan71's Avatar
      Heelfan71 -
      I prefer rock too. Looks better, runs better. Nice to be able to browse while downloading something. Very clean. Cydia needs to spruce it up a bit and speed it up.
    1. kwickone's Avatar
      kwickone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Franchised1 View Post
      does rock work with 3.1.2
    1. pargoff's Avatar
      pargoff -
      i have a few questions.

      can rockapp co-exist with cydia without issues on the same device?
      can rockapp be easily uninstalled?
      does rockapp backup apps, settings, etc so easy upgrade when necessary?

    1. qwiksilvera4's Avatar
      qwiksilvera4 -
      ok i just used it everything was fine, and the next thing i know all my iphone STANDARD apps are gone, like phone, contacts, standard stuff there. i couldnt even back up my contacts. what do i do ?
    1. Heelfan71's Avatar
      Heelfan71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pargoff View Post
      i have a few questions.

      can rockapp co-exist with cydia without issues on the same device?
      can rockapp be easily uninstalled?
      does rockapp backup apps, settings, etc so easy upgrade when necessary?

      yes, it works fine with Cydia. Not sure about how easy it is to uninstall, but I would assume you can just uninstall it in Cydia since that is where you download it from...........It does backups too.
    1. hulbhen's Avatar
      hulbhen -
      Rock has defiantly taken the place of cydia for me, no doubt about it. All you cydia users who know what I'm talking about when cydia is too 'IN YOUR FACE.' When opening up after you've set it up, it goes through prep, gives you annoying pop-up errors and stops you from doing anything while it re-loads all it's data. This is especially for those of your who download/install a lot of packages from cydia. With rock this isn't a problem, initial opening of rock has a progress bar in the bottom left of the screen, and it allows full navigation during data re-load.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      Now if it could just put your ECID SHSH on file then I would dump Cydia.