My friend Patrick over at JAiB finally said out loud what I’ve been thinking for quite some time now. In an article titled “why does using Cydia have to suck so much”, Patrick explains his frustration about how slow Cydia can be:

Cydia is slow to load and refresh its data, so you have a wait on your hands straight away when you launch it.

When it finishes loading I generally go straight to the Changes tab, to see what’s new.  Today the Things for LockInfo plugin immediately caught my eye and I knew I wanted to take a look at it.

The plugin’s main screen said to scroll down for screenshots.  There’s another very noticeable wait period while the page loads ads before I’m able to scroll down and see the Screenshots bar.

Once I tap the screenshots bar I get … nothing useful to me at all. Instead I just get a page with a banner for the plugin’s source – modmyi – and another general ad, and no screenshots anywhere to be found (after again waiting a fair while for that page to load). I tried refreshing the page a couple times – but no screenshots showed up.

So I gave up and ended up grabbing the plugin without seeing screencaps.  Not the end of the world, but frustrating and just dumb really.

This has happened to me so many times that I can’t even count them. I got frustrated on so many occasions that I simply closed Cydia, probably missing out on some great jailbreak apps or themes.

I sometimes feel like Cydia is like a great movie that keeps being interrupted by commercials: I can take the ads for a while, but at some point I just switch to another channel.

Saurik, the creator of Cydia is is no way responsible for all these ads. He just provides a platform for the various repos and each of them display their data as they want.

How Can We Make Cydia Better?

I believe there are a couple simple things Saurik can do to improve the user experience on Cydia.

Rewrite the Way Cydia Updates

I don’t know about you but waiting 20 seconds for Cydia to “load data”, then wait another 20 seconds while “downloading release”, then another 20 seconds while “downloading packages”, and finally wait another 20 seconds while “reloading data” is just plain painful.

I’m no programmer but I’m pretty sure there are some ways to improve the loading speed.

Set Some Standards

Again, I have no idea what’s going on behind Cydia but I can’t imagine it would be too hard for Saurik to create a format that all repos would have to follow in order to show in Cydia.

For example, a proper format would include the following information in this specific order and across all repos: app name, description, screenshots, source information, more details. Just like the App Store app, I’d like to be able to get all the information about the app on one page only.

Of course it’s easier for me to be a critic than actually do something about it. After all, who am I to complain about Cydia?

Well, I am an iPhone owner with a great respect for Cydia and the amazing work Saurik has accomplished. I think he is out there with the Dev Team as one of the pillars of the jailbreak community.

This being said, having this blog is a great opportunity for me to send a message and hopefully being heard.

I know Patrick and I are not the only one out there feeling a bit frustrated with Cydia and I am confident that Saurik will know how to take this into account and maybe work on implementing some standards in a future version of Cydia.

What about you? How do you feel about Cydia?

  • Blackoteka

    I just install SBSettings AdBlock and NoCyfresh toggles & everything works better for Cydia with less ads

  • iPhone 3GS

    I feel the exact same way. Cydia needs to be standardized and kept simple. I don’t mind the ads so long as they aren’t always in the way and unavoidable.

  • Gaurav Khanna

    Cydia is standerdized, its built on top of dpkg whose package format is used through linux systems, its a common format and well implemented by cydia. Cydia is merely a GUI for dpkg. The real heft comes from Cydia having to manage so much information. The repo’s create the slow down from my experience, the lag on the page load for a description is simply the repo server responding slowly. As for reloading data, it has to parse through huge amounts of large data files to figure out the changes since the repos simply give a list of the current packages they host which is huge for all of the community sources. I agree it can and should be faster, but most of the limitations are simply due to the iPhone’s processor. Don’t want to sound like a troll but really do some research before posting articles like this. All of this information is readily available at saurik.com and he clearly explains why the dpkg choice was better than an unstandardized approach which installer/apptapp brought to the table and miserably failed at.

  • Arun chaitanya

    I agree to and I now a days am really scared to even visit cydia. I have great respect for saurik too but I definitely hope someone would something to improve the performance

  • i do not like cydia either, but (actually i do not know why) i don’t like the Rockapp…

  • Irha

    I feel exactly the same way too. I have started using Rock and feel that it is slightly faster and lets you do things a little more concurrently (e.g., start searching before the updates are complete).

  • would love to see a logo or sth. similiar (;
    this would improve the blog up to 400% (i do not know how to say this in good english :/ )

  • Cydia sucks and i agree with patrick,that’s why i only use Rock your Phone App

  • anon

    i like cydia simply because its allowed me to do so many things. i kind of feel like im betraying it by agreeing, but there are some little things that annoy me about it.

    when searching, the key presses dont register straight away.
    the load times when its first started (downloading packages etc)
    how slow it can be when installing items
    random crashes.

    i dont often use cydia, unless i find out about something worth installing, so it doesnt really affect me, but when i do use it these little niggles make me dislike it- in a way.

  • tony

    I couldn’t agree more. Funny I was just thinking this morning to check some forums to see if others were havnig the same issues. And then I saw this blog. Nice.
    I’m going to try Blackoteka suggestions and see if it helps.
    I don’t mind the ads to much but I hate the lag. Just waiting for a description to populate kills me and there is no consistancy in the lag, meaning sometimes I go back to the list and reenter the theme/tool/utility and the description will popluate faster sometimes, sometimes, sometimes.
    But I can’t stand Rock so I am left with just hitting cydia every couple days instead of twice a day as I used to 🙁

  • Miles

    – I’d like more filters — for instance, I want to be able to hide all themes.
    – I used icy for a while a bit ago — it seemed much much faster.
    – It doesn’t make much sense that the reloading and downloading blocks all other aspects of the app. For instance, why does the “reloading data” session prevent browsing previously cached apps and prevent access to the manage screen?
    – Agree on the need for standard 1st page info. Today, the first page contains info that seems largely irrelevant to most — “change package setting” is the 1st info listed?!

  • dannyswrld

    I think it should be re-written, or optimized for 3.0. That being said, it’s a little too late to suggest this, since 4.0 is around the corner. So umm, when 4.0 is re-written, Saurik, for the love of all things good in this world, re-write it, optimize it, anything that will speed it up and help with Cydia crashing so much.

  • ricstr

    how do you jailbreak after you download the new apple app, didnt know it would take my cydia away if i did never would have done it

  • Waldorf

    Yea i agree cydia is fucking slow. Wat also pisses me off is in forums talkin bout steps to overcome its bugs, that and ppl explain shit that doesnt make sense to ppl wit no familiarity with ssh, scripts, etc.. Its too much shit that u shudnt hav to kno and then they laugh at ur ass for not havin a clue wtf they r talkin about and im not gona educate myself enough that i could be a fuckin developer. Very unuser friendly and saurek should make cydia usable for us folk that dont kno wtf. Again yes its fuckin slow, so slow i dnt let it finnish refuckinloading. So cydia for now is unused to me.

  • Irha

    Cydia got an update and it is much faster now… check it out.

  • 20 seconds for refresh? i’m on edge, sure, so downloading takes forever, but is the original iphone that slow that mine should be taking the full 2-3 minutes it takes (when it’s being fast)? i don’t have a lot installed and in fact i’ve removed most of the sources (why the heck can’t everyone separate their repos so that the themes are in one of their repos and the apps/tweaks/vitals are in another so that i don’t have to load all that data when i’m not changing my theme every week?)

    anyway, seriously, any ideas? i’ve just started doing everything on the computer so that i can do it quickly and have everything on there in case i want to rejailbreak, whatever.

  • Rob

    Cydia is not so bad if you think of 3,000,000 iphones already jb

    its free, dont be trolls

  • Sirajen the user loads it.

    What would really help cydia out a lot would be if it updated the package list from a shell program rather than using the GUI when the user decides to use it. A back ground update script could run twice a week and be more than sufficient to keep the users repositories all nice and fresh with the newest packages. If the usere really wants to update then they could put a little “package update” button under the “manage” tab. This would remove the package update process from the user land and make cydia, and jailbroken iPhones all together for that matter, look like less of a hack and more like a commercial product. I mean I appreciate all the great work that suariks done for this dpkg front end, but they are making some money off of it… so I think that he should address this issue because it isn’t one that’s hard to fix at all.

  • ellis

    First of all, I get so annoyed with people, like “Rob”, who complain about people critiquing, evaluating and rating something just because it’s free. Lots of things are free Rob. Tornadoes are free. Stepping in dog shit is free. Getting mugged is free. Just because something is free doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have thoughts and feelings about the experience, discuss it with others, warn other people, and try to find solutions.

    This post and these comments are not “trolling”. This is useful. People are describing their difficulties with Cydia. If it wasn’t for a page like this, I would probably continue thinking that I’d installed a corrupted version of Cydia. By reading this page I am made aware that my copy of Cydia is “working perfectly”, (ie. it’s a pain in the butt, just like everyone elses.)

    Anyhoo, I am also frustrated with Cydia. My main frustrations are:

    -the long wait for the program to become usable.
    -the touch screen is over sensitive, so instead of scrolling up or down, it will too easily click a button (for instance trying to scroll down it opened “contact developer” instead, which closed Cydia, and opened an email, which I then had to close and spend another minute waiting for Cydia to re-load so i could continue doing what I was trying to do).
    -Most of the time there are no screenshots for downloads.
    -Much of the time I can’t even get a description of what the download is, beyond the name of the thing, and i have to download it to find out.
    -Often there will be an ad and a description still downloading, but the spinning wheel won’t be moving, so i can’t tell if there is something more about to appear, or if what I’m seeing is all there is.
    -The pages showing downloads are messy and confusing to look at.
    -There is no user review or rating system for downloads (that’s “trolling system” to you Rob).
    -Cydia is buggy and crashes a lot.

    Some of this stuff may be unavoidable, as Gaurav seemed to indicate. But much of this is clearly a design issue.

  • Airwalk3r

    @ellis: not every thing is free. Those things you mentioned are not things you get for free. Those are events that just happened and that you don’t have influence over. Would you pay to step on dog shit? Would you pay for a tornado to hit your house? Would hire a guy to mugg you? Sorry, but the example you provide are stupid examples. Consumer products are not free. The keyboard your typing on even the Iphone you are using where not free. Products or things that people worked on, are most of the time not for free. Saurik provides a free service, where other companies would charge you for it.(Apple)

    I have to agree with Guarav.

  • ellis

    Okay, maybe my examples are stupid. But I still have a point, and the point I was trying to make Airwalk3r, is that it’s useful for people to critique things so that others can learn from their experience. It makes absolutely no difference whether the thing being critiqued is free or not.

    Movie critics get free passes to movies, and yet they critique the movie so other’s can benefit from their experience. Do we tell Rober Ebert, “Hey, stop complaining about the movie, you got to see it for free, you troll!” No, we don’t say that. That would be ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as Rob calling people here trolls, and just as ridiculous as you defending him.

    Being a troll means intentionally creating conflict and chaos with no purpose other than to disrupt or insult. That is very different from people discussing the pros and cons of a piece of software so that others may benefit from their knowledge.

    No, my keyboard and iphone were not free, but lots of software IS free. That’s why it’s called “freeware”. Some of that freeware is excellent (like Firefox, the world’s number one web browser). And some of that freeware is buggy and has problems (like Cydia).

    It doesn’t matter whether Cydia is free, or costs $1000; I want to know others opinions about it, and I will share my own opinions about it.

    In my opinion, it’s people like you and Rob who are acting like trolls when you disrupt an honest, open dialogue.

    cheers

  • matgeek

    Ya, no… Cydia just blows.

    As an App Developer, I’m constantly surprised at how horrible Cydia has been implemented. Sitting here for 10 seconds I was able to come up with 2 separate ways to implement the system that would required significantly less load time… and that just in a few seconds. Imagine what 2 years of development could bring if you were serious.

    I think Saurik was a very brave individual to venture into, what was at the time, a legally gray area and offer an alternative to the App Store – but now that it’s become established as a defacto standard with no legal trouble in sight – it should get some serious attention from some serious developers.

    My 2cents.

  • Me

    Yes it sucks and so do all the stupid apps that don’t work on my iPad (like terminal) you jailbreak app devs suck!

  • DKERR

    Far too slow. Recode.

  • LuckyNokia

    Cydia ist such a fu**ing dumb slow shit Program, that is unbelievable. Why has this As**ole bought Rock. Rock was such a beautiful fast App. Couldn´t it be the other way??? Cydia should be removed and Rock got to be reloaded!!!!
    Go to Hell saurik!!!!

    • I second the above comment

      • Joe

        Thirded, rock was so much better than cydia…

      • Atheist

        Fourthed! I’m now faced with a Cydia that demands on update, yet it hangs. I’m seeing what a piece of shit Cydia is.

  • kudzu

    I find this hilarious that this was written over a year ago and the article says something like hopefully saurik will fix these things or whatever also a lot of people in the comments talk about how rock is (now was) SOOOO much better than cydia but look at us now saurik is a monopoly with his piece of fucking shit cydia that almost makes me not want to jailbreak and it still sucks… he buys rock and promises features that rock had on cydia “coming soon” well its been like 6-10 months now and where are these updates? cydia is still slow as fuck, crashes all the time, and I just updated to 4.3.1 and jailbroke and guess what cydia wont work! what a surprise! so I guess all I have to say is FUCK CYDIA, FUCK SAURIK, and that the rock app was a great loss to the jailbreaking community

  • Yuri

    It is fucking slow, because an inbred redneck who created it is not a genius. He settled for less. Just have Cydia re-branded and re-written if the inbred fuck who created it thinks its a good idea to just sit there and fucking wait for spring board to reload, load, and do whatever else the fuck it does, that keeps you from being able to do anything but shut the fucking program down as you try to install apps. Fuck stupid fucking Saurik who would not re-write this fucking annoying fucking app.

  • Ellis

    I think we’re all in agreement that Cydia sucks hairy goat balls. I finally got rid of my iPhone and got a Motorola Droid 2 Global, running Google’s Android operating system. Sorry fellas, but this phone is what Cydia was trying to make my iPhone into. Except this phone mutherfucking absolutely ROCKS. Do you know that I no longer type texts or emails or search terms, etc? I speak to my phone. She understands me… Even my wife cannot manage to do this!

    Dudes… make the switch. I say this because I care….

  • I really think that cydia would be better without reloding data al the time but I think the loading part is too long. Cydia took rock and other apps

  • John

    Cydia sucks and we need better alternative. I think cydia will improve if there’s a competitor. Surik’s second name is jobs. We need to jailbreak the jailbroken phone because someone is trying to become rich. Without sinfuliphonerepo jailbreak would be rubbish.