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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. Adplaya's Avatar
      Adplaya -
      Some repos don't seem to work..
    1. xgus69's Avatar
      xgus69 -
      I actually tried it out all day today.. its pretty sweet.
      a lot faster than cydia.. only thing is saurik files arent downloadable...
      Best thing about it the app backups !!!
    1. black_orchid's Avatar
      black_orchid -
      I was surprised that I liked it!! Downloads faster and removes unwanted apps with a lot more ease. So far no problems.
    1. Spydertech's Avatar
      Spydertech -
      One strange thing. I updated RockApp last night. Then update the Rock Extensions. Went into Cydia, and Cydia complained thatI had half installed packages (Intelliscreen, Rock App, Rock Extensions, etc.). Cydia wanted to uninstall the packages....

      Not sure what this is about, but I don't like it.
    1. silent1643's Avatar
      silent1643 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Spydertech View Post
      One strange thing. I updated RockApp last night. Then update the Rock Extensions. Went into Cydia, and Cydia complained thatI had half installed packages (Intelliscreen, Rock App, Rock Extensions, etc.). Cydia wanted to uninstall the packages....

      Not sure what this is about, but I don't like it.
      send your log file (under rockapp settings) into support along with your issue - i have had no major problems to report
    1. mombopete's Avatar
      mombopete -
      I have been using the Rock app since 3.0 came out. It's actually pretty good. The only thing that happens every once in a while is the Springboard crashes because of conflict with Mobile Substrate. Hasn't happened on 2.0.
    1. Spydertech's Avatar
      Spydertech -
      Quote Originally Posted by silent1643 View Post
      send your log file (under rockapp settings) into support along with your issue - i have had no major problems to report
      Will do.
      Hmm - "Unable to GZip log file"
      It has been "Attaching Log File" for over a minute. I'll wait a little longer.

      Thing is, Rock App isn't telling me the packages are half-installed, Cydia is... And Cydia never complained before I updated Rock App.

      Maybe it is time for a restore - luckily, I'm on a 3G, and have not update to 3.1....

      thanks!
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      I installed this , it crashed. I restarted and it wanted to reinstall all my apps. I uninstalled it. This may be great eye candy but I'll stick with Cydia. It just works.
    1. Urrl's Avatar
      Urrl -
      Fortunately I never jailbroke. I simply installed the desktop Rock app onto my desktop and downloaded MyWi onto my iPhone 3GS. Still I longed for those jailbreak apps like MxTube, but I noticed recently my iPhone ROCK app indicated an update. I was surprised to be able to download all of these Cydia apps thru Rock Your Phone, but so far I have only downloaded a few of my favorites. Glad there are no conflicts with Cydia since I installed it thru the Rock app and not a previous jailbreak. Too bad some jailbreak users are disappointed, but from my experience the Rock app is trouble free and faster. Glad I never jailbroke. I did jailbreak on my old iPhone 3g, which I sold to get the 3GS, but now that I have Rock Your Phone on the 3GS I will NEVER go back; no way. My 2 cents.
    1. Simtech's Avatar
      Simtech -
      Quote Originally Posted by LGgeek View Post
      I installed this , it crashed. I restarted and it wanted to reinstall all my apps. I uninstalled it. This may be great eye candy but I'll stick with Cydia. It just works.
      So all these people have no issues and love it, yours don't work and It's the software's problem? Think again.......
    1. Shinner23's Avatar
      Shinner23 -
      This thing is awesome. I'm VERY impressed. I've been an Intelliscreen user for awhile now, so I'm not suprised theses guys/gals came up with this. Hats off.
    1. sayam's Avatar
      sayam -
      Last time ModMyi reviewed something like this, it was Cydia.. Does Rock has the same destiny? xD
    1. Papahug's Avatar
      Papahug -
      Like all the detail. May have to try Rock again...especially for the backup capabilities.
    1. simba1's Avatar
      simba1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Adplaya View Post
      Some repos don't seem to work..
      I have the same problem. I started using it and I was quite happy with the looks and features. When I added all my Cydia repos however I found out that some of them don't seem to work.
      The ones that are build in seem to work, but the one's that you add yourself (user Entered) don't work in my case. I tried adding the hackulo.us repo and can't find any program from it, I tried adding the xsellise repo and can't find anything from it either..

      I also get a long list underneath 'Installed via Package'. I don't know what it means or what I can do with it. It just said things like 'cydia 8 packages'. No other explanation or something else. You can turn it on or off

      I tried all kind of things to solve the repo problem, but i'm unable to solve it. Is there somebody that managed to get it working with other repo's? Is it a bug or am I doing something wrong?

      If the repo problem can not be solved the program is useless for me....
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Hmm, I don't seem to see a way to browse a repository the way I can with Cydia.
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      I installed the new RockApp on my 3GS and it's working fine. Last night I wanted to test the backup feature built into the new version, so I put it on my 2G iPhone and restored to 3.0.1 after saving a backup (I tried restoring to 3.1 and jailbreaking with redsn0w, but it doesn't work, I had to try right?). After jailbreaking, I installed RockApp and restored my jailbreak apps from the backup and it worked very well.

      My only complaint is that it didn't install the sources that I had added manually or the packages from those sources. I wonder if I had added those sources myself prior to doing the restore on RockApp if they would have installed. Either way, this is great to have for when I update my 3GS.
    1. Simtech's Avatar
      Simtech -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blowfish64 View Post
      Hmm, I don't seem to see a way to browse a repository the way I can with Cydia.
      The buttons on the bottom... "What's New" is like Cydia's "Changes", then you have Categories (Sections), Search and Manage, just like Cydia.
    1. knexlegend's Avatar
      knexlegend -
      RockApp crashes sometimes while installing things.
    1. theplague's Avatar
      theplague -
      Psuskeels:
      What are your comments on this?:
      RockYourPhone 2 - Hold Off 3GS Users | iPhone News, Help and Guides
    1. silent1643's Avatar
      silent1643 -
      Rock app reviews don't seem to post - bigboss repo app reviews post fine however