What would you say if you met Jay Freeman, the developer behind Cydia?

By , Jan 23, 2013

Saurik public

For most people, Jay Freeman isn’t exactly a household name. Neither is Saurik, his online alias. That said, if you’ve used a jailbroken iPhone since 2008 then you’ve definitely seen both names frequently. Saurik is the developer behind Cydia, the package manager we use to easily install tweaks, themes, and other software that Apple won’t allow developer to distribute through iTunes.

You might know his name, but would you recognize Jay Freeman if he was walking down the street? If you did, would you approach him? Would you ask him questions? Would you pose for a picture with him and post it on Reddit? Well, that’s what the first stranger who recognized him did…

Welcome to cydia saurik

Jay Freeman himself posted on the thread within an hour of its appearance, where he confirmed the picture as authentic in a lengthy reply. The photo was taken before the iPhone 4 came out, according to the original poster, while Freeman was shopping for a hackable TV for his office.

Has the public life changed for Saurik since the days of the 3GS? According to Saurik, it has:

Today, the situation is a little different: I actually get recognized a lot. Sometimes it is kind of cool, sometimes it is really awkward. It mostly, however, comes down to people wanting to ask me the question “so, when’s the next jailbreak coming out?”. I’ve mostly gotten used to the idea that the bartender will ask me this while pouring my club soda, and I’m totally acclimated to the manager of the bank asking me this while approving my wire transfers (often now after the teller had already asked me the same question). I’m only somewhat surprised when the guy at the kitchen appliance store asks me.

Unfortunately, asking Saurik about the upcoming jailbreak won’t net you any secret insider information. Take, for example, an encounter at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, of all places:

Of course, he asked me for a status update on the jailbreak, and I pretty much just told him the same status updates that planetbeing (someone actually working directly on a jailbreak right now) has been recently giving people on Twitter.

Instead, you may want to talk to a developer who is actively working on exploits.

That said, if you ever recognize the developer behind Cydia in person and want to say hi, Saurik says he largely doesn’t regret being a public figure. He says most of his interactions with people who recognize him tend to be “cool”. Just be polite, and don’t film the guy while he’s at a conference.

If you’re interested in hearing more stories about Saurik’s status as an underground celebrity, you can read Saurik’s whole reply on Reddit. It’s lengthy, well written, and it involves Ashton Kutcher.

Would you talk to Saurik if you saw him in public? Let us know what you would say. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • http://twitter.com/FoundTP FoundTP
  • http://www.facebook.com/colby.kirchner Colby Kirchner

    I’d say “Great work on your beard. Oh hey and cydia is pretty cool also”

  • Pixie

    How long did it take to grow that awesome beard

  • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

    I will ask him, Do you want some pack of salt? No offense..but i think he like salt a lot. Am i right folks? LOL

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      You were at JailbreakCon, weren’t you?

  • http://twitter.com/alexvonwurde ALEX FARIA

    i’d say thank you for ultrasn0w

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    Pray to the second iPhone god

  • Liam Mulcahy

    I would say Cydia is awesome

  • pnh

    I’d say “aren’t you pissed that there isn’t an iOS 6 jailbreak yet because you are losing a lot of money every day?”

    • http://twitter.com/Mattoligy Matt Taylor

      Lol, spot on…

  • http://www.facebook.com/khan.rulzz.7 Khan Rulzz

    u r an amazing dev. :D

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    I personally met Saurik for the first time at JailbreakCon (read my tale of the story here http://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/10/02/three-days-jailbreak-community/ ). You could not believe the level of excitement when he came in the room. Every one was staring, getting in line to pay respect to the man. I didn’t ask him any question the first night. The second day though, I asked how I could get my hands on one of those Reloading Data t-shirt :)

  • http://twitter.com/IbrahimRIAlBora Ibrahim R.I.AlBoraey

    1. cydia is an awesome project thank you so much for it
    2. in the search section of the cydia there was classification by name in the results, and its gone, can that be back
    3. the jailbreak is becoming harder and harder, isn’t there any project take it to the next level without jailbreak,

    4. what will be the next move in case Apple didn’t listen to #wewantanopeniOS. and what if Apple did listen?

    • http://twitter.com/Mattoligy Matt Taylor

      Point 4: I would want to know this also!

  • http://twitter.com/aomia syler

    Looks like a younger version of Father Time lol I would say great work.

  • mervynraj

    I’d say “Give up man, u tried enough, let Apple bury themselves with their boring iOS in future!!”

  • http://twitter.com/JustMeJip2 FreeLaraStyle

    i’d say thank u very much u made a simple iphone to a GREAT iphone

  • nima

    I’ll get that goat off YOuR face

  • notewar

    When is your next appearence on Family Guy?

  • http://www.facebook.com/razick.rilshad Razick Rilshad

    Cydia is awesome bro

  • Mark

    Cool guy..

  • BearManPig

    that cydia interface really needs an upgrade.
    For example a top 25 tweaks and top 25 theme section would be really awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/e420kush e420Kush

    I would say you look like a WOOKIE!! BTW your the man! (must not have time to shave or at least clean it up, sheesh).

  • Guest

    “Hi, do you have a hot daughter in my age?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000521941399 Anthony Eaton

    Hahahahahahah he is giving the finger on the low!!! Look at the right hand by his side!

    • http://twitter.com/S_Lacertosa Stefano

      Hahaa that’s great

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000456392477 James Branham

      Funny as hell!

  • Curtis

    uhh u da man

  • jorith

    I’d ask him why cydia still looks like a dinosaur… seriously love cydia, but it looks crap! (eye wants something too)

    • http://twitter.com/Mattoligy Matt Taylor

      +1

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    i would tell him cydia is tooo slow..

  • bigzjoseph

    I’d say You sir are freaking awesome and can’t wait to use cydia again

  • godlikelee

    i would ask why he allowed Installous on cydia

    • Florian Lerch

      Then you obviously don’t understand the concept of cydia

      • Guest

        i understand Cydia completely but Ive read numerous complaints from Devs and Jay Freeman , to allow THEFT of other peoples work is wrong there’s no excuses otherwise.

      • godlikelee

        I do understand the “Concept” of Cydia , and I thought most of us understand the “Concept” of stealing of others people work.

      • Florian Lerch

        I’m sorry :)
        I was trying to say that saurik can’t “block” sources in cydia, so he also couldn’t block installous (otherwise he would have done this)
        Note: I’m not a dev and I’m not sure about what I wrote, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Avet Ordyan

    Hello Saurik, we will always remember your surprise , i meen CYDIA. Thanks BRO.

  • iDara09

    I’ll ask him for Cydia’s GiftCard or Redeem Code. ♪(´ε` )

  • http://www.facebook.com/sanil.chitrakar Sanil Chitrakar

    Do you think iphone 5 is the best phone in today’s market or is it GS3/Note2 ? I want to ask this question to every ios hacker not just saurik.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.culp.5 Jason Culp

    Okay bud I’m game. OSC (SW) (AW)…..Operations Specialist Chief Petty Officer here….I was a on a SEAL team in Iraq, Afghanistan,Israel,Egypt,Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. One of the number one things we don’t do is threaten little people esp. kids. We have a code of honor.You are full of crap and have probably only watched movies about our honorable servicemen and women in our armed forces! So shut it! Idiot. I apologize for the jerk.

    OSC (SW) (AW) USN (retired)
    Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation (2 gold stars), Joint Service Medal (3 gold stars…and 22 other medals and ribbon service awards.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jason.culp.5 Jason Culp

      And it’s guerilla….not gorilla you nimrod. Unless you were part of a top secret program fighting with an army of specially trained Primates. Top of the class my ass…

  • http://profiles.google.com/oraham36 nino oraham

    is jay giving the finger, in the pic., his right hand sure lookes like it

  • Guest

    dude, u need to relax its not that serious. Jason Culp sounds like he is the real deal, because i too have friends that are in the marine, navy, air force, and they’re all respectable honorable people. I bet he has watched alot of movies but someday he will grow up, lets just hope its not too late.

  • Guest

    Well, the man is a legend in his own way, and im pretty sure most of us would agree if it wasnt for him iphone wouldnt be an iphone. The only questions i would ask would be of course a pic dammit lol and more important “What is the future looking for the open ios if apple agrees?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

    If I met him, id say something like:
    I love your Cydia, and I love Debian and Aptitude. I have been following your work since I decided to buy an iPhone a few months before the 3G was released (then cydia was in beta). And I am so glad the 3G jailbreak came with Cydia instead of Installer (the previous king of the hill).

    I would however like to query you about upcomming updates to Cydia if you don’t mind. I don’t mind how Cydia is now, but I’ve been waiting patiently since for a user experience update to cydia since you got that girl “whats her name” on the team to help out with such. I’d really like to know if there are any soon to come front-end improvements. The back-end is solid as it is :)

    Also how is the work with migrating the front-end over to mobile user? As I understand it was your intention to move away from running the user interface away from administrator. So it would play better with multitasking, and maybe even load faster?

  • godlikelee

    wow ease up rambo

  • http://twitter.com/n00neimp0rtant n00neimp0rtant

    I would apologize to him for the whole Snapchat legal ordeal I kicked up with my tweak and offer to buy him a beer if it would help to keep us on good terms with each other =[

    • http://www.saurik.com/ Jay Freeman (saurik)

      (I do not drink beer. I had literally already forgotten about the Snapchat thing, although I’d probably be reminded soon when looking at legal invoices ;P. I did not consider there to be a problem between us because of that.)

  • Rossmoor

    Just goes to show you, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover !!! Thanks Jay & Cydia and all the peeps that make the JB possible !! I really feel left out when my 4s is stock !! Anyone know how to JB my new car stereo? Parrot Asteroid ? Yeah for Genius’s like Jay !!!

  • Rossmoor

    Oooops, I guess my question would be: Do you think code like you speak english ??