First, let me just say that this rant isn’t strictly about Weblin. It’s about any such service — past or future. Please read this before trying to create the next Cydia alternative.

I speak totally for myself when I say this, but I’m sick and tired of these so-called Cydia alternatives. They are usually slow, unresponsive, and serve no real purpose. Not only that, but they potentially leave you at risk security wise, and their legality falls somewhere in a grey area.

Weblin is yet the latest such “alternative”. Now this review isn’t meant to be harsh. Okay, who am I kidding, it is meant to be harsh, but it’s in no way trying to disrespect an obviously talented developer behind the project. The problem is that these alternatives serve no purpose. They don’t do anything that Cydia doesn’t already do 100 times better, and for that reason they are pointless to me.

You’ll see what I mean inside. Take a look as I take Weblin for a spin on video…

At first, the thought of a web based alternative to Cydia seems cute. It was in the beginning, but after three or four failed attempts, the schtick is becoming old. Cydia itself is going through a sort of dry spell lately, but it’s leaps and bounds above any web based alternative. There is nothing that a web based alternative offers that does anything better than Cydia. The closest we’ve ever come to a true Cydia alternative was Rock app, a tool that wasn’t web based, and was eventually bought out by Cydia.

This post isn’t to downplay or to overly criticize the obviously talented efforts by the folks behind Weblin, or any other decent looking alternative out there. My beef stems from the fact that there’s no software, tweaks, or apps available on these alternatives that aren’t already available on Cydia.

If someone made an original alternative, beefed up the app and tweak repertoire, and then decided to publicize their efforts, collect donations, etc., that would be one thing. It’s a whole another ordeal when one publicizes their half baked efforts before they have anything even slightly compelling to show off.

Sadly, Weblin fits the aforementioned description to a tee. It’s a Cydia alternative that features virtually no apps or tweaks. It’s slow, cumbersome to navigate, and it’s subject to many crashes in my experience with it. Many of the tweaks or utilities that I was able to successfully install simply didn’t work.

I hate to sound overly harsh, but there’s really no other way to describe it. Weblin, like every other so-called Cydia alternative that came before it, is nothing more than a glorified technical demonstration that shows off the possibility of installing apps and tweaks via a web based interface.

If you want to give it a try for yourself, then head over to, follow the instructions, and let me know what you think about it once you’ve taken it for a spin. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Well, I thought I can use it without JB-ing
    Well, I miss Cydia 🙁

    • John herthop

      You can use it without jail breaking. Go to 🙂 I love Weblin

    • Jeff

      You “can” technically. But it doesn’t really do anything. It doesn’t do anything when jailbroken, so it certainly won’t do much when not.

      • I know 🙁 I took a look at it. not much packages

  • a_lunatic

    Will be forgotten with in a week just like the other one I can’t remember the name.

    • nah it wont. weblins been popular for over a year, not extremely popular but still known

      • a_lunatic

        First I heard of it & no way would I be buying apps/tweaks when Cydia has all my purchases all in one place so not worth it for me as this article says a lot about it to stay away.

        install rejected app store apps I hope you will be vetting them to not be malicious in any way

        Here is my comment on the iTweakstore Cydia alternative.

  • Steve

    Reading this article was uncomfortable because it seems like Jeff wants to criticize the creators but he’s too chicken to do so. If you really dislike it, just say so, you don’t always need to sugarcoat everything. Go ahead and say it, the creators of Weblin sucks, you guys are idiots for wasting your time, and nobody will really use it since Cydia is available and superior in every way. Jeff, man up already and stop apologizing for everything negative that you say. A bad product is a bad product.

    • FabianPVD

      Or you can acknowledge that there is a thing called “constructive criticism” which makes it’s way with

      “This post isn’t to downplay or to overly criticize the obviously talented efforts by the folks behind Weblin, or any other decent looking alternative out there. My beef stems from the fact that there’s no software, tweaks, or apps available on these alternatives that aren’t already available on Cydia.”

    • Jeff

      You know what, you’re right. I wasn’t “chicken” per se, but I guess I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I think I got the point across, but you have a point. I did kind of dance around the fact that I don’t like it.

      • SimonReidy

        Nah, not really. I thought you made your feelings quite clear in a professional way.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Just one word of advice Jeff. I may not be good at many things but if there’s one thing I’m very VERY good at, it’s women. So let me say that I certainly hope you don’t sugar coat things when talking to women, the more assertive and honest the better 😉

      • RarestName

        But he’s married.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Lol my bad then

      • Maybe words of encouragement would be more appropriate, as in you have created this Weblin app now build on it, show us what you can do, give us good reason to use weblin. If Cydia went down and out for any reason, then any alternative would soon get used..

      • I think instead of creating an alternative of Cydia, Y dont u make Cydia 2.0,,, faster UI (plz), Multitasking, Comments Option, Ratings, ++ but few things can easily done like- The “History” tab, The “Recommend” tab, or tabs like App Store- Top Free, Top Paid,,,, users n devs will get better in every aspect, users will buy more Top Paid apps, cydia will earn n again users get more. At least Y dont u make Better Categories (current cydia categ.. n Changes tab, sucks). A Better “Resume” download option (required in alot of apps or themes++ ) Obviously we r very thankful to devs of cydia apps n cydia ofcos but, i dont really understand y some1 make another alternative even though they know that it cannot reach the platform as cydia has right now. Unless THEY MAKE A CYDIA ALTERNATIVE BY OWN WAY (like they did above, + ALLOW users to user every single app of cydia on ur alternative store, without crashing n all) sorry for the long post 😛 but it matters.. (OR SIMPLY JUST CHANGE THE UI N OTHER THINGS OF CYDIA TO APP STORE LIKE FEEL N WORK- ALL PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED)

      • I’d love it if they brought Comments for Cydia items. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve downloaded something that I thought would be great but turns out to be total crap. Saurik, if you ever read this, please listen to the people.

      • Timothy

        That’d be up to the repositories to provide.

      • this is all very boring

      • Donovan Davis

        It’s ok to be nice considering the dev is only a 15 yo

      • Sindhi

        Suck a sick dick

    • SimonReidy

      There’s a couple of important words called “professional” and “courteous” that any good writer should stick to, no matter how much something sucks. I think Jeff stuck to those perfectly while still clearly condemning the stupid thing.

      For the record I hate these useless Cydia replacements too.

    • Kurt Andersen

      Apparently being nice now is being chicken.

      • Yeah Jeff wasn’t a chicken. I find it nice of him to state his opinion while being kind.


    • No, it’d be ad hominem if Jeff criticized the developers, and he’d have no argument. It’s their creation that’s bad, is what the point should be.

  • You guys remember how BIG iTweakStore was going to be? It still hasn’t come out. Jeff? You remember that article? Haha

    • Jeff

      Yeah. I hope this will be the last Cydia alternative to ever be released.

      • ahah Keep it original

      • cd

        I think Weblin is from Apple trying to evolve to what a rooted/jailbroken phone would be like …. Pay 9.99 for Weblins pluggin, iPhone non jailbroken has walls , I miss cydia a lot I’m not going to pay Weblins 9.99 in the App Store ….lol

      • lol i wish i could make it free but only person i could find to sell them was uhelios and he charges a hefty price at 9.99

      • We at iTweak hate the phrase “Cydia alternative” – we don’t consider our software to be one.

    • iTweakstore is still releasing, i develop for them. it is no longer a web based installer. it is now a native app

      • That is Great news! But what will happen to all the tweaks we have already pain for via Cydia? Because I’m not paying again and if I can’t install my previous purchases legitemitly then as crap as Cydia is they have already won 🙁

      • You definitely won’t need to re-purchase anything.

    • Laugh all you want, but keep in mind that we’re working hard on it every day. I can’t say much about the app yet, but it’s definitely going to be the most amazing package manager you’ve ever used.

  • Ever since Lima was annouced and a beta came out, there has been a never ending list of half assed projects to copy it.

    • Just to be clear we don’t and never will intend to copy Lima which is great. Just want to put that out there 🙂

  • deepdvd

    He had to bring up RockYourPhone… If only Saurik had used it to make Cydia better. It had a way better interface and was so much faster (multitasking anyone). Cydia’s purchasing system is better though.

    • i agree

    • Did Saurik even do anything with the RockYourPhone system after buying it?

      • deepdvd

        Not really. All he did was transfer purchases over for those that bought from Rock ( I never did, but that’s what I read ). He just wanted the monopoly back and they wanted to get back to development… supposedly. They probably didn’t mind the money from it either.

  • I agree with Jeff, they are like trying to compete buys it’s impossible to win. We heard of iTweakstore, Lima Installer and nothing can be compared with cydia. Although cydia sucks in its own way, it also works best.

  • mwpitt52

    Jail breaking is almost dead due to iPhone 5 and IOS 6. Apple is winning the battle by slowly adapting all the useful tweaks and making harder to find exploits.

    • Bieberkinz

      But I thought the only reason why it’s taking long is packaging everything, a lot of devices, and little man power. iOS 6 is on 8 devices, and I think both Dev Teams are working hard to try to package everything in one program. I believe that anything is possible especially at this day in age.

    • Lordthree

      Jony is calling the shots now… Get ready for sea change

    • Like Swipeselection? Apple is Way off! And why would they care, brainwashed people are lining up in there millions to chuck away there money with the control freaks that are, Apple…

  • Wouldn’t be great if we could have cydia on a iPhone 5 ? But alas my 5 is not jailbroken..
    Joe L

  • m_agee2790

    You know I will say this about Weblin… It does have a surprisingly nice UI.

    • thank you

      • Julio Cesar

        You’re the responsable for Weblin?
        The project still functional?
        Could you tell me how it works?
        I want to develop something like this…

  • DomPerignon1

    Who cares about this lousy Weblin or even Cydia. Let’s face it, jailbreaking is almost dead! I made the mistake of buying an iPhone 5 and now I don’t have my favorite toy: A jailbroken iPhone!

  • Jeff, we appreciate your opinion :). At weblin the goal was to make all users happy. Nonjb helped many users but i agree with u the nonjb system is crappy and doesnt have many packages. Thats why a week ago i decided to add APT to weblin. Weblin will never be as good as cydia but i think many people will like out apt integration coming soon. To see some pictures of our apt please check my twitter @markerzsupport. Thank you everyone for your opinions. They will all be taken into consideration to make weblin better.

  • Also to Steve, what you said to Jeff was true that he could be straight out with his point. However that doesnt mean that me the developer of this project is an idiot. Also I dont consider Weblin a bad product either. We have 2000 users 1300 nonjb. Many people like our product, it is simply your opinion. Also If you want to know why we started out nonjb and not full jailbroken? well reason was there was already Lima which was great so we didnt want to do what they did exactly. We wantred to do what they didnt do. We wanted to give jb and nonjb to be as close as possible. We wanted nonjb to have at least a few opportunities to get what jb users have.

  • Love this

  • JakeyFlower

    I actually truly love it, I can browse the cydia store on my ipad mini even tho its not jailbreakable yet! Great stuff weblin! (Yes I no I can’t install nothing)

    EDIT: you can install packages on a non-jailbreak device!

  • Don’t be amazed by the majority of jailbreak package managers these days. They’re mostly by noobs who only know HTML and want to gain attention by making a buggy online package manager that is insecure (*cough*iDebStore*cough*) and will be forgotten quickly.

    Wanna know why iTweak has taken so long to release? Simple, because we’re making sure everything is done right, in order to make the experience as simple as possible while still staying secure. This included switching from a web app to a native app.

    Edit: Also, what were you talking about when you mentioned the legality of package managers, Jeff?

  • Jeff’s “opinion” of Weblin has been bought. He is absolutely BIASED! It’s sad that he is a Cydia d*ckrider! I mean, we all know the value of Cydia but to degrade and be so negative to anyone else trying to attempt to bring any alternative to the table is just plain ignorant. Sorry Jeff but you are proof that it is EASIER to criticize when you can’t create anything yourself. I hope you will appreciate taking a dose of your own medicine? If not, well, you are quite the hypocrite. How about you remain unbiased and simply report your findings and introduce the product. Your audience will form their own opinions, I mean, we are NOT DUMB! Show some respect for the people trying to deliver us an alternative. At least they are trying. What are you doing besides degrading other people’s work? Are you creating or have you given back to the jailbreaking community (besides bad mouthing developers)? Hope you can be honerable and swallow all this Jeff?!

    • CollegiateLad

      You really took offense to Jeff’s comments. I bet you’re somehow affiliated with Weblin – why else would you create a new account to respond?

    • ic0dex

      You sound like an idiot with this stupid post. If a man has an opinion about something then he should always express them selves about it. Like he said there is no point of a half assed “Alternative to Cydia” so there was no point for these developers to sit there an write all that code. Since you’re so butt hurt why wont you let us know what’s so great about Weblin that you got your panties wet, Miss?

      • Maybe nothing! But at least there are people trying to offer competition… This is what pushes the world, and what are blog entries like this doing, trying to turn the masses away from the concept! Cydia Needs Competition Because It Has Become Old Lazy Slow And Ugly!!

        On top of that where are the new features, where are ratings? Where are Thumbnails and fullscreen listings on iPad? Where is the iOS like UI when installing etc? Where is support for respringing when exiting the app rather than after installing each tweak or set of tweaks? Wheres Multitasking?

        It just looks like something from 1999, hardly inspirational and encouraging for new users to enter the jb scene and spend money on tweaks that Developers work Really hard on! And because of this and because of piracy theres no where near as many Really Good quallity tweaks as there would be!!…

        Cydia is THE Face to Jailbreaking and look at the state of it…

    • He has become arrogant and vain! Somehow thinking he is the doorway to any Jailbreak tweak or event! All he does is make videos on other people’s work and get paid via advertising which incidentaly makes his website slow and lagy, a lot more so than Weblin!!

    • Breaking news: iDB blogger is biased!

      • GreenD00r7

        he should have said that it works on non jailbroken

  • thecalstanley

    Weblin is quite a good installer and it works great if you know how to use it. There has been some issues that I do know of and it needs more apps and and apps that you submit can take a while to be uploaded but overall he has done a good job.

  • I really miss Rock, it was so much more responsive.

  • JakeyFlower

    So as this app got completely trash talked, you didn’t even mention you can install cydia tweaks without even needing a jailbreak!

    So how is this just like the other “useless” cydia store alternatives ?

  • Jeff is the idiot, if your such a Cydia fan boy go and suck Saurik off! Cydia is slow and lagy, unresponsive at times and is Not much faster with updates over the years! All Jay has done is replace the loading screen with a delay of the same time frame to make it look faster but when you have more than a handful of tweaks installed its so slow on installing, uninstalling and well everything! It hasn’t been updated or improved in Ages and the App quite frankly is a joke! There’s no customer support if you get a bad tweak, after spending your money that’s that! On iTunes if you get a bad app you apply for a refund and you get one within a day, on Cydia you file a dispute in paypal after getting no reply from Jay for over a fortnight and then a month later and still nothing! After spending all the money I have on Cydia I expect more! And the reason for this is no competition, would you like to be forced to buy all of your groceries from one place? Every business needs healthy competition to keep improving, but what did Jay do with the first real contender, bought them out hahaha, because he was scared!? And the reason Cydia alternatives have barely any content is because Cydia has all the rights to it, another reason Jay can sit assured and Lazy! And just for the record, is this web based app any slower than the new iOS6 App Store which is an absolute joke? Because it doesn’t look like it!!!!

    • I thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it very much! Someone who understands 🙂

  • thepies

    Well, that escalated quickly!

  • Guest

    I think instead of creating an alternative of Cydia, Y dont u make Cydia 2.0,,, faster UI (plz), Multitasking, Comments Option, Ratings, ++ but few things can easily done like- The “History” tab, The “Recommend” tab, or tabs like App Store- Top Free, Top Paid,,,, users n devs will get better in every aspect, users will buy more Top Paid apps, cydia will earn n again users get more. At least Y dont u make Better Categories (current cydia categ.. n Changes tab, sucks). A Better “Resume” download option (required in alot of apps or themes++ ) Obviously we r very thankful to devs of cydia apps n cydia ofcos but, i dont really understand y some1 make another alternative even though they know that it cannot reach the platform as cydia has right now. Unless THEY MAKE A CYDIA ALTERNATIVE BY OWN WAY (like they did above, + ALLOW users to user every single app of cydia on ur alternative store, without crashing n all) sorry for the long post 😛 but it matters.. (OR SIMPLY JUST CHANGE THE UI N OTHER THINGS OF CYDIA TO APP STORE LIKE FEEL N WORK- ALL PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED)

  • Luis Finke

    I miss RockApp

  • I still think cydia is a joke! When rock your phone was out it was better by far! Cydia is chunky and constantly tries to get an updated list but they never update that much so why pull it down as much as it does? One day someone will make something better and cydia will lose people again.

  • a_lunatic
  • Blake

    I think weblin has huge potential!

  • DomPerignon1

    The only good thing about this app is the effort to put an end to Saurik’s monopoly before jailbreaking dies completely.

  • I was all stoked until it said “purchase our plug-in” and that’s where I went limp. PASS!!!! Waiting patiently to JB my iPhone 5. So bored but I still love this device.


  • I like that some people understand and wrote nice comments about weblin 🙂

  • I would like to see an honest review for this for nonjailbroken phones. I have a 4S on 4.01 and cannot jailbreak. I would like to see a review because the plug in costs money.

  • Haifisch

    The thought of a “Web based Cydia” Is an okay idea; Saying this i think weblin doesn’t have a shot. Here’s why; Does everyone remember Icy? Well Icy was a Cydia alternative that could be install via blackrain. But Cydia was so improved overtime Icy slowly died… Icy can still be install on 5.0 devices (Source: Im a WeAmDev team member) So weblin could be big but Cydia will always be the ruler. It needs to be updated. It has a nice UI. But Cydia just works. Just no need for something that has already been perfected (for lack of a better term.) Also the dependency for a Cydia repo and package is kinda silly. I’m not dissing Markerz, best of luck to him.

  • i think people should stop making new apps and just voulenteer improve the UI and functionality of cydia. people complain about IOS’s look but never complain about cydias

  • anyway, Cydia needs a SERIOUS facelift. I’m completely bored with the obtrusive ads, and the search isn’t reaaally good.

  • Sahand

    I’ve got weblin to work on my iPhone 5 now, and i would honestly love it, if the apps that you install actually worked. Like MxTube for instance. It downloads the video, but says “Failed.” at the end.
    Grooveshark: When you log in it doesn’t even show your favourited tracks and so .. it’s not full functional .. waste of $9.99 for that certificate :/

    and i miss JB so much on my iPhone .. damn!

  • moan and complain all some do..if you think you can do a better job then do it..until then shut your trap .the man is trying to give people another way to get things on a damn phone..and all some can do is compare to cydia ? man grow up.. I think its great that he at least is trying instead of just wanting and wanting..gr8 job weblin .im installing it now ..and either way ill continue to use it ..if you don’t like it delete it .instead of posting gd negative bs ..thanks again n I hope u can soon shut these clowns up .

  • disqusted

    Funny to me that the comments are hyper focused on the handling of the subject rather than said subject.

    Here’s I think what people are trying to get to:

    Yes, in any form of journalism, be it the NY Times or a casual hobby blog, it’s important to most adults to maintain 1) the cornerstone of journalism: objective and impartial/unbiased spread of the facts and give both sides their fair pros/cons if obvious and universal (unless you’re Fox News ooh snap)… and 2) respectfulness and a professional and mature presentation of those facts.

    Jeff did well to try his best to do these, though yes, his true opinion is very transparent.

    If you read this, Jeff— here’s MY constructive criticism: The varied opinions, I think, have to do with two things, and they’re both “an excess of”. First is that in trying to not be disrespectful of someone’s obvious pride in their creation, yet having that want to just come out, line 1: “this blows!!!”, you spent far too long writing stifled lines that become repetitive. Rather than one acute, poigniant line stating the harsh truth, you spent paragraphs skirting around and “trying to say it but you couldn’t get it out”. Second, you apologized far too much for scrutiny. Half the article was you trying to sign language the sore truth, the other half you spent apologizing or defending anything negative you slowly spat out.

    The intent is admirable, the approach is professional… but you should just be frank and fair.

    How you might do this? Example: It’s great to see enthusiasm in the community to expand and bring us options and new outlets, and this is a great example of that spirit. Sadly, despite the developer’s talent and respectable attempt to contribute, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that this dev’s talents could have been better focused on IMPROVING the robust and functional foundation already in place; the de facto standard— Cydia and its massive audience. The developer falls into the same pitfall that is becoming all too common— to a point of excess and wastefulness. Too many developers are set on re-inventing the wheel— a wheel that has been spinning faithfully for years and years. Stop trying to fix what isn’t broken. There are many ways that the existing system can be further refined and improved; most would agree that we don’t need any new diamonds— yet those same users could hardly complain of a little polish and refinement here and there. All said and done, with the tremendous effort and time clearly invested in this web app, it’s unfortunate that in reality, 99% of the potential user base is uninterested in and unwilling to jump ship to an entirely foreign, sparse alternative that would inherently take years of maturation to even reach a point where it could provide the same breadth of function and utility in what we already have here today.

    Hopefully in the future we will begin to see less derivative rehashing of ideas and more Of the unique and innovative products that made the JB community so novel and exciting to begin with.

    A respectable attempt, yet sadly, a misguided one. My suggestion to this developer would be to take this as a learning experience, a project to help sharpen their skills… so that they can go back to the think tank and use that experience, combined with some creativity and ingenuity to bring the next great tweak or app to the floor; one that the masses can’t overlook quite so easily— the tough fate that this app is surely doomed to; lost amongst a sea of countless other Cydia clones.

    BOOM. Point made, no apologies made or needed. You highlight the positive points, and you’re saying “it’s not a POS, it was not doomed by ineptitude (which is fixed) but merely by circumstance (which can be corrected)”. Your point gets across, smoothly… and nobody is being belittled or criticized on a personal level.

    I’m no pro nor claim to be, but I think you could agree the way I put it sounds smoother, with less apprehension and without the conjoined (shy criticism)+(immediate apology/emotional buffer). That’s all. 🙂

    That is merely employing interpersonal, “people skills” as you’d use face to face, no different. Basic skills like “the compliment sandwich”, etc.

    Dale Carnegie’s books are unassumingly brilliant, if you have or haven’t read them… He does what most people we look towards for guidance in life— he brings to light the things that are SO common sense that we completely neglect to ever take a moment to actually inspect or think consciously about them.

    I know that personally, his best book(s) taught me nothing that I didn’t already know. Yet they changed my entire approach to other people in life— and I’m surely much better off afterwards. Sorry for the huge tangent/article rewrite, lol. I don’t know if it’ll even reach another set of eyes amidst the ocean of comments, but here goes nothing…

  • Nina

    I really thought that I would be able to enjoy weblin without Jailbraking my iPhone 5 but I guess’s not even close to Cydia..needs a lot of work and improvement.(just a waste of time) no sources no packages! I guess I’ll have to keep waiting for the iOS jailbreak to come out least it will be worth the wait

  • disqus_ePtq97qJy3

    i am sorry for trying but weblin really does suck, i will be waiting for cydia for iphone 5.

  • Disq Us

    Thanks Jeff – I was thinking of installing weblin – just for the heck of it – but your video was very informative. Clearly weblin sucks – thanks for your effort and saving mine 🙂

  • ibrahem

    thank you

  • Vish

    tbh i think Icy was the best alternative, not only was it was fast but it also didn’t require a respring after each download. Bring back Icy!!!

  • Rock was the best alternative I’ve ever tried