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This week has been one exciting week in the jailbreaking community and what better way to finish off the week than by comparing two of the greatest 3rd party software installers. It is no doubt that for years Cydia has been at the top of the food chain for 3rd party software installers, and it isn’t until recently that any real competition has popped up. We have seen several installers over the past few years; including the original 3rd party software manager – Installer, and also Icy and Kryptes were in circulation for awhile. However these installers have had their days and are now left unsupported in the jailbreaking community. The community now has two main installers to choose from and they are Cydia and the Rock App. Let the competition begin!
Cydia has been around for a long time and it has lots to show for it. Back in the 1xx days when installer was number 1, Cydia was started and when the jump to the 2xx firmware generation came about Cydia quickly reigned supreme. Why did Cydia reign supreme over the original 3rd party software manager installer? Well Cydia was linux based which made it extremely more desirable than Installer and it also came with many improvements. Cydia improved on Installer in just about every way possible to be precise, faster repository access, easier package installation, more user content, and the availability of developer apps at very low cost to the consumer with Paypal options for purchase. Cydia has been the default installed for almost 3 years now and is the most stable installer to date. The only real problem is it memory-footprint and large loading times. While this may not be a problem for newer devices such as the iPhone 3gs this poses a real inconvenience to older devices who have to wait 5 minutes just for their data to reload.
Pros of Cydia
- Very Stable and “Bug Free”
- Easy to Navigate GUI (Graphical User Interface)
- Informative Download and Install Information: Shows how large the file is, how much space it will take up, detailed installation data…
- Can Resume Downloads If Interrupted
Cons of Cydia
- Long Loading times for older devices and a lot of useless reloading of data
- More developer Orientated installation process (Slightly more Advanced)
- A lot of Useless apps and theme’s in default repositories
RockApp has appeared just over a year ago and is already one impressive 3rd party installer. The RockApp has take a completely different approach to a 3rd party installer and features many differences to that of Cydia. The app is almost like the AppStore and possesses almost all the features that the AppStore has. To name a few they have features like Whats Hot, Whats New tab similar to AppStore and they also have categories and a search tab just like one in the AppStore. The installation process is also very different to that of Cydia as it offers pop-up installation menus. The RockApp also has the fastest repository and load times in any 3rd party installer to date. The RockApp itself is the fastest installer in the jailbreaking community and handles the updating of applications automatically. While RockApp is better in a lot of ways compared to Cydia, it is also not as Stable and has many more bugs to it because it is a new installer. The creators of the RockApp also control which repositories you can add to Rock, limiting your selection of applications/themes available to download. If you wish to try the RockApp out for yourself go into Cydia and type “rockapp”, once you see it on the search results click it and install it.
Pros of RockApp
- Extremely fast load times and installation times.
- Very user friendly GUI
- Better category system which makes finding apps/themes a lot easier
- Automatic updates
- 10 day Trail period on Premium apps
Cons of RockApp
- Not as Stable and Bug Free as Cydia (More crashes, loss of data etc…)
- Features a lot more Paid content than Cydia
- Restriction on which repositories you can add
The Final Conclusion
It is a hard choice between these two great installers and if you have tried them both out you would agree. With Cydia you a get a solid installer (no bugs,crashes etc..) and no restrictions to what content you can access; however the loading times often become overwhelming. While with the RockApp you get an extremely fast installer with little to none loading time, but it is not as stable or as open source as Cydia is. Both these installers are here to serve a purpose; Cydia being open source/developer friendly and the RockApp being more like a 3rd party AppStore. I don’t think you can really say one of the two installers are better than the other. I personally use Cydia because I feel that even though loading times can get ridiculous it is better than have a buggy installer and call me old fashion, but I prefer it. I am going to let you have the final say in this… What is Better Cydia or RockApp?