Your one and only option for installing jailbreak applications on your iDevice these days is Cydia. It has been the undisputed installer of choice for several years now, and even if a few others – Rock, Icy – tried to make a name for themselves, Cydia has always prevailed.

We’re so accustomed to Cydia that every time we hear about a potential new alternative, we get defensive very quickly. Change and competition are great, but the comfort of a househould name like Cydia is hard to break. But that’s exactly what the iTweak Store aims to do.

Surfaced a couple days ago, the iTweak Store presents itself as a web based alternative to Cydia. We sat down with Kyle Pierre, one of the developers behind iTweak, to learn more about what their project is all about and why we should be on the look out for them…

What’s the iTweak Store?

iTweak is a cool new Cydia alternative, which runs off in the Safari browser. It’s fast, sleek, and still as powerful as Cydia.

Can you tell us more about your team? Who they are, where they live, what they do, etc…

Our team consists of multiple people in multiple place with different hobbies that they practice in their spare time.

@mtamermahoney, or Max, who lives in Boston is my co-admin. He’s been doing all these epic things in his spare time, starting with HTML, then JS, CSS then PHP, then started doing programming. He does Minecraft and loves messing with servers.

Next, our lead Mac app developer, Rocco (@Frostbitee08), lives in Washington D.C., and like Max, does epic coding and messing with iOS devices.

Two other members of the team, Alex (@applecpugeek), and Thomas (@Wtoppenheim) help with our marketing, and also love messing with iOS devices, and messing with servers.

Eric, (@KerzX) is one of my personal friends, who is my personal harasser, and loves iDevices and making cool new web-based things every day.

Casey (@CaseyTal) is an awesome skilled coder, who maintains Siri servers and plays around with iOS a lot. He’s a great member of the team. Faiyaz (@SteelFlexInc) is one of our original members, and helps with marketing like Thomas and Alex. He loves disassembling iPhones and theming/modding his multiple iDevices.

Why did you develop the iTweak Store?

Many reasons. I had the vision of a browser-based around August of 2011, and started the framework of the store as a small idea I thought would never come to light. After seeing my final product, how good it looked, and what potential it had, I thought it would be an awesome idea to deliver to Jailbreakers worldwide. I believed that Cydia was watered down by many things, and that it needed some powerful new competition to pursue the both of us to deliver better products to the end user.

Do you have something to show or is it still a work in progress?

Right now, we’re rebuilding the main parts of iTweak. When users hear about something that’s installed through the browser (even though we use a light plugin), issues of malware and security are some of the first things that pop into their minds. To be safe, we’re rebuilding both the plugin, and the major parts of the main site. There is some things to show, but the main goodies are having a facelift at the moment.

A lot of people are skeptical about the iTweak Store, what do you have to say to these people?

Well, it exists, and it’s being worked on very hard by everyone in the team. It’s going to be very awesome, and the people who are skeptical should give it a try once we release it, it’d be a nice change from Cydia.

Why will users choose iTweak over Cydia? What sets it apart?

In the jailbreak scene, Cydia’s reign has been dominant for a couple of years. Competitors have come, and gone, and all have failed because they’ve kept their ideas inside the typical box. Users would shift to iTweak after seeing the speed, stability, and friendly environment. Cydia can be very confusing and frustrating for the typical jailbreak user who doesn’t know everything about iOS, but JB’s for a cool theme or tweak their friend shows them. iTweak is introduced as a friendlier way to tweak, and this, and all the goodies (our PC/Mac clients, developer portal, etc), plus it being web-based, sets it apart from all the rest.

What’s different about your Cydia alternative and the others we’ve seen in the past (Installer, Icy, etc.)?

Each of these applications have used the same concept ideas as each other. All of them are packages you need to sit through an install process to actually get to use, and when you do get to use them, they’re extra confusing. iTweak was thought of as looking outside of the box.  We thought, if we take a simple UI, put it on a place that’s easily accessible like the internet, and use a powerful system, we could make something magical.

How will you ensure it’s successful?

This is something we’ll have to look at as time goes on, we have a specific plan right now, that I wouldn’t want to comment on, but as time goes on, we’ll adjust our plans to fit demand.

Will iTweak be compatible with Cydia repos?

This is still something in limbo, but most likely it will.

When can we have a first glimpse at the iTweak Store?

When our little mini-facelift is done, we’re providing blogs like iDownloadBlog with the beta plugin and full access to our beta system.

What about the Windows and Mac clients?

They’re going very well, and making a lot of progress every day. Rocco has been making amazing progress on the Mac app, and @themrzmaster has been doing the same with the Windows’. Currently, the Mac app is in alpha, and the Windows app is in Beta 3. We expect it to have full package management, along with iTweak Store integration, meaning you can download your favorite Tweaks, Themes, Utilities and much more and sync them to your device with the client.

Do you have support or help from any prominent jailbreak dev?

I’ve kept this secret until Sunday, so I’ve never really talked to any prominent Jailbreak dev on it. Right now, we don’t have any, and I haven’t seen any feedback from any, would be nice to get some developer opinions on iTweak.

Anything else you’d like to clarify?

I’ve heard things questioning the legitimacy of iTweak, or if it’ll ever come to be (looking hard at you, Jeff), some people even asking if it’s just a joke to stir up discussion in the community… I’d like to say, that’s total BS, iTweak will come to see the light of day really soon, it’s definitely not a joke, it’s being developed hard everyday.

Contrary to popular belief, iTweak is not built in iWebKit, it’s written in JQTouch and being re-written soon in JQueryMobile.

We want to thank Kyle for taking the time to tell us more about his project. We sure are very excited about the iTweak Store and we can’t wait to get our hands on a beta. We’ll keep you posted.

  • Siv

    I don’t believe this guy. Just a bunch of lame ass wannabe “iPhone hackers” trying to get some Internet attention.

    All of his answers are extremely vague and generic at best.

    • You can please some of the people some of the time, lol.

      • Siv

        Hey prove me wrong. Until then, I’m with Jeff.

      • Expect a good demo video soon. This will hopefully show you that we are not “lame ass wannabes”.

    • Just like you providing pointless stupid feedback…

      If you think you can do better than them then go ahead and do it, piece of shit.

      • Siv

        Well excuse me for expressing my opinion, asshole.

  • I’ll give it a go.. Anything new in jailbreak world has to be worth a go..

  • Like to see this vision come to life, but until then i wont switch. One thing i wanna say to saurik is this could jump out of the water and bite you on the ass.

  • Can it show of you have an update, or it’s just a tweak installer?

    • Kinda a stupid question, take a look it the picture on this article and you see two tabs on iTweak: Store and Updates…

      • Anonymous

        It also shows those tweaks “inside” the app. its possible the person who posed the question was referring to an alert of some sort as the app store provides.

  • Anonymous

    “Will iTweak be compatible with Cydia repos?”
    “This is still something in limbo, but most likely it will.”

    If they wanted it to be at all successful it will, if it’s not compatible with Cydia repos, NOBODY will use it, period. I won’t use it either way.

    • Care to explain why you won’t use it either way?

      • There is one big question in my eyes will the tweaks we purchased in cydia be compatible with iTweak will our licence get transfered???
        Oh and u have to be able to add cydia repos! If not nobody is going for iTweak all the way cuz so much was already developed and avilable on cydia…
        My last cents I’m willing to wait for it little while, but DON’T i’m saying it again DON’T be giving out a unstable beta cuz everybody will think it’s buggy and be using cydia again!!!
        This is the mistake of icy, rock etc. they realsed to early a buggy version 😉

      • Anonymous

        Because Cydia has had YEARS of refinement, and no alternative this late in the game is going to provide me with any sort of reason to switch. The creators specifically said that the major difference is that their alternative is more “newb friendly.” I am in no way a newb, so there’s nothing that interests me about it.

      • Anonymous

        but this is just where the jailbreak apps are stored. if there is an app that is available
        that is a really good app (and safe) you will not use it specifically because it didn’t come from cydia?

      • At least someone gets it…

  • i actually really wanna use it, I really don’t like cydia (i cant find the tree im looking for in that woods). I think this is actually gonna make it quite far in the jailbreaking community. I’m definetly going to use it

  • Bob Nelson Corporations

    Even if it’s stable, fast and efficient, keeping **supporting Cydia repos a possibility** implies your installer does not use APT for handling packages/dependencies/etc.

    That is, first of all, you’ll start off being rejected by most developers at the jailbreak scene, for doing the evil Cydia came to stop: A half-baked package management system which can’t handle dependencies, or stuff like that right. (read http://saurik.com/id/2). Even if you get it to be surprisingly stable, it won’t be on APT or Ports’s feet, for one simple reason: **This system had no time to develop itself, to adapt to needs users had, such as interdependencies, or conflicts**.

    Also, you could end up installing MobileSubstrate through Cydia, and then it again through iTweak. And it probably will just install, causing what-the-hell conflicts everywhere.

    This can be amazingly nice on the user-end, but these backend things matter too.

    • It does use apt, it will handle conflicts, and it already handles dependencies of course. Also, that article by saurik was written incredibly long ago. We are just deciding whether you will be able to add Cydia sources. (I, myself, am *for* letting users add Cydia sources)

      • Bob Nelson Corporations

        Got it. Well, you should of course let people add Cydia sources if it’s just a decision point, since jailbreaking’s purpose is to be free. Sorry I assumed otherwise you weren’t using APT.

        Finally, that article by saurik is incredibly old, but still valid in most of it points (if not entirely).

  • Anonymous

    I’ll refer to a comment i made at the time about the demise of Rock: i jailbreak for choice. the choice to move away from the shackles of iTunes. even in the jailbreak world i had choice, Cydia, Rock or Icy, but when the latter two fell by the way only one remained so, to me, Cydia then became the monopoly, the iTunes of the jailbreak world. i saw no choice whichever way my device was configured. i was happy to remain un-jailbroken under the new iOS platform waiting patiently for an untethered break. i hope this

  • Cloudi Windi

    No Command until then…!!

  • Tom Feerick

    How do you plan on installing tweaks from safari? I’m assuming you’ll provide devs with API’s when creating jailbreaks to provide root access to safari, allowing them to edit the .plist that alongs installs directly from safari right? Please answer as I’m interested in this. Good luck buddy on this project. Excited to see what it’ll bring to the community.

    • Hmm I’m not exactly sure if I can answer the first question in too much detail… but we will not be making the jailbreaks. We are using a plugin in Safari that allows you to manage packages through Safari. Thanks for your interest!

  • Osorio11

    I am really looking forward to giving this a try.
    I never forgave saurik for buying up Rock which was 10 times faster and user friendly as Cydia.
    In my opinion it will be a good thing when we finally have another choice than having to use Cydia.again.
    I wish the developers good luck and will certainly trey this as soon as it is available.

  • I am really looking food ward to this. Can’t wait to see the beta from you guys. An alternative to Curia is great especially. If its easier to use. I’m a sprint iPhone holder so this is my first jailbreak and I agree that Chris was confusing at the beginning. The easier the better that’s why I love apple and my MacBook pro and my wife’s iPad because of how easy the interface is to operate. Great interview!

  • Please excuse the autocorrects and the typos and mispuntuations this key pad is kind of small for my thumbs. You know what would be great a tweak for a bigger keyboard lol

  • The main issue is having the 2 platforms communicate and/or have issues. I saw issues when I installed Rock and Cydia at the same time.

    Another concern is, will the plug-in be an option when initially jail breaking? Or do we have to install the plug in through Cydia?

    Cool stuff.

    • You’ll be able to install the plugin through our Windows and OS X clients, or through Cydia.

  • “Contrary to popular belief, iTweak is not built in iWebKit, it’s written in JQTouch and being re-written soon in JQueryMobile.”

    Yes contrary to popular belief, because EVERYBODY that talks about iTweak says it’s built in iWebKit (loljk), I’m probably not gonna use this because the his grammar is extremely sh*t, don’t wanna begin to know what his coding skills are like.

    Look at Saurik’s education:

    College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
    B.S., Creative Studies, Emphasis in Computer Science: Complete
    College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Ph.D. Student, Computer Science: Work Ongoing

    Then look at these kids, they are probably in highscool.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • “Contrary to popular belief, iTweak is not built in iWebKit, it’s written in JQTouch and being re-written soon in JQueryMobile.”

    Yes contrary to popular belief, because EVERYBODY that talks about iTweak says it’s built in iWebKit (loljk), I’m probably not gonna use this because the his grammar is extremely sh*t, don’t wanna begin to know what his coding skills are like.

    Look at Saurik’s education:

    College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
    B.S., Creative Studies, Emphasis in Computer Science: Complete
    College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Ph.D. Student, Computer Science: Work Ongoing

    Then look at these kids, they are probably in highscool.

    ‘Nuff said.

    • I’d really like to know what my age and education status has to do with a jailbreak platform. The his grammar is extremely shit, yep, makes sense to me.

      +1 for making me laugh today though.

  • i will probably stay with cydia probably just because i know how to use it and it would just be a pain learning something new when i have no problem with the old system but i will deffinately give itweak a try