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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. skeels's Avatar
      skeels -
      Blowfish64: Yes - it's a simple line of code to do it - just not sure how to let the user do it. Any suggestions (currently, tapping the repo enables/disables it. We could move that to the edit functionality?)
      Mastuul: The issue is as you mentioned - we restore the sources with the restores - so technically - if u hit the restore 2x (restore and then open and close)- the 2nd time - it'll find the apps it couldn't before with the restored sources and ignore the apps it already installed. A workaround yes - we're looking at fixing it in a coming release.
      Knexlegend: Please click the send log to support when this happens and just type in what happened. Thanks!
      ThePlague: I partially agree with BigBoss - from the perspective of - i wouldn't want to mess up my 3GS right now . But that pretty much applies to anything/everything in the jailbroken community. If your 3GS is happy - i would leave it alone completely. (no installs/uninstalls of anything). But that's me . Also, regarding some other comments - A) We don't install/modify system files any more then Cydia does. B) We don't replace mobilesubstrate. If you decide to uninstall Mobilesubstrate, you can manage things through Rock Extensions (they're the same essentially - with Rock Extensions having some extra code). Anyways- minor points - the jist of the article is beware of doing anything new to your 3GS right now - it's sad Apple's change with the 3GS - they could invest their time in so many other ways that would actually help the iPhone advance - instead they hold it back.
      silent1643: Sorry! It didn't allow reviews at all - and I thought we fixed this (it shows one review - but unfortunately - it's stuck on something. Will get to it early this week.

      Thanks all for the great feedback - it seems this was a hit and you can expect more features/functionality/performance tuning, etc from us in the near future ! Feel free to post any requests.
    1. Plotkin35's Avatar
      Plotkin35 -
      I loaded the Rock app from Cydia tonight. Did the update, and I don't see anything listed in the "What's New" Section. I did the Manage > Settings > Manage Display, and that didn't do anything. I also loaded the Rock Extensions from Cydia. I still don't see anything. Any help?
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Simtech View Post
      The buttons on the bottom... "What's New" is like Cydia's "Changes", then you have Categories (Sections), Search and Manage, just like Cydia.
      None of those let me browse an individual repository. Manage sources only lets me add or delete them, not browse. I'll stick with Cydia until that gets added. Unless I'm missing something.

      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post
      [COLOR="Blue"]Blowfish64: Yes - it's a simple line of code to do it - just not sure how to let the user do it. Any suggestions (currently, tapping the repo enables/disables it. We could move that to the edit functionality?)
      I think a simple way to do it would be to simply add the ubiquitous blue arrow button to the right side of the repository. Tapping it would show you the contents of it. Any down sides to that?
    1. PhoneLine's Avatar
      PhoneLine -
      Quote Originally Posted by Plotkin35 View Post
      I loaded the Rock app from Cydia tonight. Did the update, and I don't see anything listed in the "What's New" Section. I did the Manage > Settings > Manage Display, and that didn't do anything. I also loaded the Rock Extensions from Cydia. I still don't see anything. Any help?
      I've got the same issue. It was working, but I seem to have lost some stuff which was displayed. And many of the things I do have installed including all the rock apps are saying unknown repo. But my whats new is also totally empty.
    1. simba1's Avatar
      simba1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post

      Thanks all for the great feedback - it seems this was a hit and you can expect more features/functionality/performance tuning, etc from us in the near future ! Feel free to post any requests.
      psuskeels: Could you please answer my question (see previous post on page 5) about the user entered repo's that does not seem to work like hackulo.us and xsellize?
      Thanks!
    1. cpjr's Avatar
      cpjr -
      Repo's I manually enter arent showing up (listed in repos, but packages dont show)......so then I tried the "rebuild database" option in settings and now it wont show any packages for any repos
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I wonder how many people who have stopped using cydia on the 3GS will be moaning when their restore files have not been backed up because they aren't using cydia.

      I don't like the way RYP pulled their apps from cydia and force you to install other junk I don't want.

      I'll stick with cydia.
    1. silent1643's Avatar
      silent1643 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Plotkin35 View Post
      I loaded the Rock app from Cydia tonight. Did the update, and I don't see anything listed in the "What's New" Section. I did the Manage > Settings > Manage Display, and that didn't do anything. I also loaded the Rock Extensions from Cydia. I still don't see anything. Any help?
      same issue but after i restored the db - a dozen or so apps showed back up in the whats new section - i can still view all packages under the all categories section - not a huge deal considering this app is still in beta which most still dont realize
    1. shahed26's Avatar
      shahed26 -
      CYDIA all the way for me, RYP has very little to offer, and also installs some junk crap on your phone, that makes your phone crash. I installed it once to test, but my phone kept playing about. When i removed that RYP crap, my phone was fine.

      Cydia is the way to go. RYP cant compete with cydia or replace it.
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      RYP keeps crashing when checking updates. When I restart my phone it will work fine, but after a couple hours if I start RYP it will crash again. Hard-reset is the only way to fix it temporarily.
    1. skeels's Avatar
      skeels -
      Blowfish:Your request is in the latest RockApp - thanks for the advice and feedback
      Phoneline/CPJR: We had a corrupted APT db for a few hours that day and it was resolved quickly. Thanks for your patience and bug report!
      Simba1: We added additional support in RockApp 2.04 for other direct repos (not a specific repo) but it should support more. If it doesn't, contact the repo owner - they might be looking for a specific UserAgent (and you can request them to include RockAPT I believe)
      Shashed: Sorry to hear it. For every Cydia lover, we get a few dozen emails about how much people love the RockApp and have stopped using Cydia. For each, their own. That's what freedom of choice is about.
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by psuskeels View Post
      [COLOR="Blue"]Blowfish:Your request is in the latest RockApp - thanks for the advice and feedback
      Hey psuskeels,

      Looks great except for a couple of problems.
      1)The blue arrow to allow browsing only appears on the default sources. Sources that are manually added or installed via package do not allow browsing still. Additionally, the ultrasn0w repo appears to be the only default one that does not have the blue arrow.
      2)When tapping on a repo to disable/enable it, white bars appear on either side of the list. I get the impression that they're not supposed to be there.

      Anyway, if you could make browsing apply to all repos, not just the default ones then it'd be great! It's one of the last things Cydia has over this program in my opinion.

      [EDIT} Huh. I just refreshed the database and now the default repos don't show the blue arrow anymore but the installed via package ones and the manual ones do instead! Except when I try to push the button it only toggles enable/disable instead of letting me browse. I also can't browse the defaults anymore either because the button isn't there now. Something is definitely buggy with this version.

      [EDIT AGAIN] Ok, don't know what's going on, but I totally reset the phone and now it seems to work with all repos. Fingers crossed!
    1. laz305's Avatar
      laz305 -
      ok so when we install this we have to add the repos again in this app or it reads them from cydia?
    1. elr0y7's Avatar
      elr0y7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by laz305 View Post
      ok so when we install this we have to add the repos again in this app or it reads them from cydia?
      It reads the repositories that are already installed on your iphone and loads up a list of the apps and repos you have, pretty clean.

      All in all it seems to be a great replacement for Cydia in my opinion. The user interface is way beyond Cydia's and it offer more features and ways to organize apps. The only problem I see with it is the secondary "installed" sources. Some of these sources can't be read by RYP, I'm not sure if it still shows their packages in the updates list, and also the app crashes when trying to sort some installed sources' packages by their release date (possibly because these sources don't record their packages' release dates). Also what does the "Manage Package Display" option change?
      Oh yeah, you can also browse in landscape!
    1. need_help's Avatar
      need_help -
      i had problems with cydia ...iphone 3gs ..error mess..section no header..etc

      i used the ROCK..i love it
      way better than cydia.
      i just want to know how to add sources??? i don['t have cydia ..i jailbreak with ICY after had prob with cydia which (ICY) crashed my phone to safe mode when i used with winterboard..so i got the rock from icy NO cydia..now how i can add sources with no cydia in my phone??????????
    1. silent1643's Avatar
      silent1643 -
      Quote Originally Posted by need_help View Post
      i had problems with cydia ...iphone 3gs ..error mess..section no header..etc

      i used the ROCK..i love it
      way better than cydia.
      i just want to know how to add sources??? i don['t have cydia ..i jailbreak with ICY after had prob with cydia which (ICY) crashed my phone to safe mode when i used with winterboard..so i got the rock from icy NO cydia..now how i can add sources with no cydia in my phone??????????
      default sources come with the rock app
      to add new sources goto ->manage sources->edit->add
      then enter in whatever you need to add
    1. imagineThiss's Avatar
      imagineThiss -
      how can i set the rock app to just read its own sources.. i dont want to affiliate it with my other sources .. ??
    1. RockSupport's Avatar
      RockSupport -
      Quote Originally Posted by imagineThiss View Post
      how can i set the rock app to just read its own sources.. i dont want to affiliate it with my other sources .. ??
      You can go to Manage -> Manage Sources and remove any you don't want.
    1. steve51184's Avatar
      steve51184 -
      love the rockapp but i can't add any cydia sources so ATM i'm sticking with cydia witch really annoys me as rockapp is amazing
    1. vekkth's Avatar
      vekkth -
      do i understand correctly that RYP guys removed their apps from Cydia while they effectively use repo community built around Cydia to promote their app?
      no offense, just trying to get a full picture.