Saurik Interview

As expected, Jay “saurik” Freeman has posted a lengthy response to Comex’s Cydia Substrate replacement strategy. In the post, which appears on his personal blog, he outlines some of the history he’s had with Comex, why open source isn’t always best, and drops hints on several new upcoming Cydia features.

What’s clear is that, as noted in the post about Comex’s return, the drama seems to be taking its toll on saurik. He indicates that he will “retract” and step away from the front lines, reducing his accessibility to the public, and the unjust scrutiny that accompanies being the most popular public figure in the community.

The big stink continues to revolve around the concept of closed versus open source. Saurik, who states that he has a good “batting average” when it comes to producing and maintaining open source projects, states that one of the main reasons for closing Substrate was due to the existence of Rock Your iPhone — the now defunct Cydia competitor that was eventually purchased by SaurikIT:

The central reason is that we have already seen others come in and use an embrace-and-extend strategy on Substrate in order to build a totally-closed ecosystem: that was Rock Your Phone, with their Rock Extensions. People always think back to Rock 2.0, which was a reasonable “Cydia competitor” that supported APT repositories; but the mission of Rock 1.0 was to build a siloed, commercial-first (if not even commercial-only: I was told by them I should sell Cycorder, which had been free) store.

To his Credit, saurik has produced a lot of good stuff that continues to be fully open. WinterBoard, and Veency are just a few examples of the open source projects that he maintains to this day. But it’s clear that Freeman also believes that “open” isn’t always best for the long term, as his lengthy post outlines.

What will the end result be? Here’s hoping that things turn out for the best for all involved, but it’s clear, at least from the following comment, that saurik does have a breaking point:

We will see if it makes sense for me to continue bothering. I am, in all honestly, really tired of fighting and arguing with people who don’t see the end game. I spend way too much of my time burning myself out on reddit and IRC trying to get people to “understand”, and it has driven me at times to the brink of insanity.

On a lighter note, Freeman also briefly comments on several upcoming Cydia changes. Those changes include:

  • Style updates to the Cydia home page
  • Payment related changes
  • Updated Substrate with easier to use SDK

I’m really excited to see what type of payment changes come to Cydia, along with the refreshed Home page. It would be cool if we could see newly released apps and tweaks, or releases that display based on the amount of downloads amassed within a given period of time.

Sadly, these changes are being overshadowed by the turbulence being felt throughout the community. This is going to be an issue to keep a close eye on. What type of repercussions do you think will stem from Comex’s Substrate replacement? What will the end game be?

  • Gaga Gabunia

    when it will be?

    • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

      when babby born?

  • Miquel Alejandro Gargallo Llam


  • Frank Anthony

    I think we Jailbreakers should look at this situation critically and differently without quick conclusion or passing a straight forward judgment. I have read all Saurik’s comment on reddit and even his long articles/essay concerning this matter. Maybe the way he put it makes everyone conclude or think he’s guarding his business. Yes, I thought of that too but then I say to myself, What if? what if this is something that may cost the community more than just what Saurik is saying(threats/wants bla bla) As an economist, I love competition and no one will tell me otherwise but on the hand this is just not business as usual, It involves lot of technicalities and skills, even devotion. I remember back in the time of Pod2G and other great guys. The jailbreak community was interesting and so exciting for me that I barely do anything without checking my twitter for latest news/twitts on JB, but as of recent everything changed, the new guys came into picture. They were great and hot and quick(This is good, i loved it) but then my interest in Jailbreak start to go down for unknown reason(Maybe because of iOS8 features or maybe just no interesting guys I used to know). I barely check iDownloadblog that i used to visit and refresh page every 6minutes for news on JB & Tweaks. I welcome new features, new improvement and new UI on Cydia and even new people are good but NEW stuff can also be really bad. My final opinion and thought is that, this may not be about Saurik, the JB community is going down and more people are loosing interest, If Saurik lose interest and walk away, the new guys (iMods) may do better which is not my worried(I will love it hopefully), but “What if” it flops and Saurik also gone. People be careful, something new can also be a bad thing( I did not see just competition in this case, there’s more). Sometimes having no option or alternative can lead to a better choice/decision. I’m not supporting anyone or party! Just my thought.

    • Eni

      I totally agree with you, i lost interest too with iOS 8 in horizont. apples strategy to make the OS more fleksible is working and people are losing interes in JB, no exiting developments either. no essencial tweaks either.

      • solidsephiroth

        While I am jailbroken at the moment, I don’t feel like I’d be losing much if I unjailbreak. The biggest reasons for me to jailbreak are Springtomize3 and BiteSMS. With BiteSMS not working on iOS8, Apple being more flexible, and with Apple adopting a lot of tweaks, every year it becomes more difficult for me to justify jailbreaking.

    • h4nd0fg0d

      +1 for level thinking.

    • James G

      Let us not succumb to the fear that if Saurik leaves that jailbreaking leaves with him. That’s foolish and borderline fear-mongering by Saurik.

      There is financial opportunity in jailbreaking, which is why we now see races to release jailbreaks themselves (and Taig/Pangu don’t even get a Cydia cut!). That opportunity exists in the APT storefront as well and if Saurik isn’t getting it, someone else will step in to make it happen.

      Substrate took a ton of work, and always will as more OS upgrades come out but if Saurik wasn’t doing it, somebody else would.

      75 Million more iDevices were sold in the last quarter. A lot of them Android switchers. Even if only 1% of them jailbreak, that’s still 750,000 new people to the community in just 3 months.

  • Ahmed Karoui

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Cydia will always be best as long as it will continue to work as expected. It is serving its purpose properly 🙂

    • QuarterSwede

      It is broken, that’s the problem. There is no ratings system, no comments, it’s UI sucks and isn’t intuitive, all the verbose installing language needs to be hidden. It’s just plain not user friendly.

      • Ahmed Karoui

        Missing some *extra* features does not mean it is broken. I am not saying there should not be any improvements. There is always room for improvement. My point here is that cydia is supposed to be an installer and IMHO, it is doing that in an extremely easy way.

      • QuarterSwede

        The App Store is extremely easy. Cydia still /feels/ like a hack and it’s been how long!? Also, I wouldn’t call a functional search extra. If the App Store didn’t have search it would never have taken off.

      • SoylentGreen

        what you say about the AppStore is confusing, as cydia took off & apparently has a broken search.
        also, search or not, im pretty confident the AppStore would have ‘took off’ on account of it being the ONLY way to get an app on your phone if your average joe user with no interest in jb’ing.
        i guess you never thought this very far through?

      • Chris Tangler

        if someone has the problems you lay out then they shouldn’t be jailbreaking an iDevice. apple makes products that aren’t that technical as far as from a user standpoint. however, jailbreaking brings in the technical side of things. Devs may want more non-techys for their business, but all that does is brings in way more problems than what it’s worth. i say that to say this, i have absolutely no problem with anything with Cydia. Everyone acts like they spend hours within cydia. You find tweak, buy tweak, install tweak and respring/reboot. Then you aren’t in it until tomorrow (or maybe once or twice more a day). The simple fact that people complain as much as they do about something that isn’t “broke” just kills me. It works just as it’s supposed to!!

      • QuarterSwede

        The old line of if you have a problem you shouldn’t be jailbreaking is crap. I can DFU restore and use a command line with the best of them but the plain fact is that Cydia is stagnate and sucks to use. It’ll either never gain users or die out slowly. Gaining users is a good thing as that would bring in more revenue, attract developers, and provide more tweaks/themes.

        There is a reason Ubuntu is so popular for Linux. The UI is actually pretty good for the end user and isn’t a PITA to use even for the technically inclined. The same would happen to the jaibreaking scene if it had an easy to use and highly functional UI for a store front. that’s just good business honestly and Freeman is incredibly short sighted if he intends to roll updates out at a snails pace as he has been doing.

      • Chris Wagers

        It works as it’s supposed to almost the same as it did 6 years ago. It could be so much more than what it is. If it would be updated a bit it would be awesome. As it is now its outdated. Just my 2 cents.

      • Don’t forget the sources issues and the worthless “Search” feature!

      • QuarterSwede

        Yes Sir! It’s embarrassing to be honest.

      • A rating system would never work. There’s a million different variables into the reliability of a tweak to ensure a true rating by anyone. What could work for you, may not work for me, simply as I have a different tweak installed etc.
        comments would be pretty great though, but again, that would be used as a rating system, which would be bad

      • QuarterSwede

        I completely disagree. The same could be said for Windows PCs yet its marketplace has ratings.

  • JulianZH

    competition will only bring in changes and improvement. cydia is a mess.

    • Frank Anthony

      Competition, Competition, Competition, What’s wrong with that.. hu? Nothing. Is just this case may not be just about Competition. Read my lips, I love Competition. But what if Competition in this scenario become more messier than you think Cydia is. Be motivated dude! Think..

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        Are you high or something? You harped about Competition 6 times without getting to the point. WTF.

      • Kurt

        “What if…” “What if…” “What if…” “What if…” “What if…” “What if…”


      • Frank Anthony

        Read my first comment above.

    • SoylentGreen

      first sentence is 100% correct and anyone against compitition are ‘monopolistic oligarchs’ or ill-informed +1,
      i don’t care so much about improving Cydia as its good just to have it, im not going to moan that it looks crappy,search works for me in cydia apparently, lol (blissfully unaware), anything that gets made better though, great 🙂

  • TK421

    It would be funny we get iMods or whatever and Pangu or Taig locks them out. Don’t they jailbreak for the piracy in China? A closed ecosystem for them would be anathema.

  • The central reason is that we have already seen others come in and use an embrace-and-extend strategy on Substrate in order to build a totally-closed ecosystem: that was Rock Your Phone, with their Rock Extensions. People always think back to Rock 2.0, which was a reasonable “Cydia competitor” that supported APT repositories; but the mission of Rock 1.0 was to build a siloed, commercial-first (if not even commercial-only: I was told by them I should sell Cycorder, which had been free) store.

    Why can’t Saurik just Open Source Cydia Substrate under a license that prevents commercial use? iMods and other Cydia alternative startups likely only do it for the money so they’d be unable to use Cydia Substrate under the terms of its license…

    • Rowan09

      The same reason offers Android as open source but with closed source apps. Not everything must be open source and its up to the individual(s). I see nothing wrong with Cydia and if this iMods thing works I migbt give it a try. I remember when Rock my Phone was out and I never used it as a Cydia Replacment, but it complemented Cydia in my opinion.

  • Al

    It always go back to the Community vs Competition discussion. And that’s an everlasting battle which simply ends in exhaustion. Which Saurik is simply is tired of “fighting.” But my belief is in this day of age… Competition is what people prefer mainly due to innovation. And Community seems like an afterthought.

    Which seems ironic because jailbreaking became successful due to a huge community backing it and it gave a sense of “us” against the world type philosophy. But I think Competition is good in general terms. But the fact that jailbreaking iDevice is outlawed by the company which makes the iDevice seems Community should be valued more than Competition.

    • Frank Anthony


    • SoylentGreen

      competition is never ersus community, that is “smoke&mirrors” talk

  • Mark Kramer

    The changes I’d like to see in Cydia are pretty basic:

    1. Make a section for each family of iOS and phone type. I’m sick and tired of trying to figure out what will work on iso8 and with an iphone 6+ because he allows developers to be lazy and not bother listing what the device and OS requirements are.
    2. A proper complaint/refund system for said lazy developers when you buy their janky program that doesn’t work on your phone.

    I think saurik should stop wasting his time on reddit and irc and start listening to the people who actually use his product and purchase other programs with it. Seems like he wastes his time in the wrong ways and needs an employee who keeps him on target worrying about what really matters.

    • blu

      I totally agree with the last part. Quit trying to appease the whiners, it will never happen. Those that have been JB for a while appreciate Cydia and the work he has done.
      Yes cydia needs some updates/improvements, but like you said, work on cydia, not essays that people will just nitpick apart anyway.

    • Chris Tangler

      he has /u/beetling on Reddit, whom works on his team. She’s also an /r/jailbreak mod.

  • Steve Norris

    People act like “it’s not a big deal” “competition is good”… You guys don’t see what’s really going to happen… Whoever makes the jailbreak will be able to choose which “store” is bundled. And in the process shut out your favorite… Whichever one that is.

    • James G

      I’m not sure there will be a jailbreak where you can’t install a store you want. So what if Cydia isn’t bundled or whatever alternative, the Store owners will show you how to add it to your device if you want.

  • Tommy Gumbs

    Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaa. I love lamp.

  • Phil Randle

    Would have really bothered me a few years ago, mainly because a lot of the tweaks I used to install are now stock, and work a lot smarter now too.

    Few Examples:

    Notification Centre Widgets – One benefit of Jailbreaking is being able to install anything you like, but the experience of that means people often create crazy widgets that emulate full-size apps, which doesn’t quite make sense, Apples implementation of limiting it makes sense, my favourites such as the Agenda in the Calendar, Weather etc are all stock.

    Control Centre – (SBSETTINGS) – Control centre has enough for me, sure I would like to change some toggles, but I can live without it because the main toggles I use everyday, are stock now too.

    Other things I used to use, which since getting a Retina Macbook Pro and Mac Mini are Youtube downloaders, iTransmission and Safari Downloader, which I don’t find relevant anymore, because I will just log into my Mac mini and home download what I want and I can watch it when I get home. Eventually Apple will allow downloading on iOS either this year or next year (they are running out of features to add) and at the exception of themes, there won’t be much you can’t already do on a stock device.

    • QuarterSwede

      There are already apps that allow downloading from their built in browsers like Readdle’s Documents (free and excellent).

  • Chris Wagers

    Oh now there’s gonna be new features? Strange how he chooses to announce new features when a competitor is possibly coming to reality. Just goes to show again competition is a good thing. The more I read sauriks comments the more I hope substitute comes through. Anyway just my opinion.

    • Kurt

      I laughed when I read that

      • QuarterSwede

        As did I. Too bad he didn’t announce anything that would stop the iMod train.

    • coLin

      kind of like Apple when Android has a really cool idea. The only example I have in mind right now is Apple Maps that needs Yelp app to be installed on your phone in order to read reviews or see more details in Apple Maps. So annoying

  • Merman123

    Changes coming? To Cydia? Oh the power of competition ;). Just look at the recent changes T-Mobile has forced other carriers to make. It’s beautiful to see the effects of competition unwind. I’d be pissed if AT&T sent me an email telling me to ignore T-Mobile offers and to stick with AT&T’s outdated pricing strategies. Just an analogy…

    • Rowan09

      Yet still AT&T doesn’t offer what the people really want and that’s unlimited data. T-mobile isn’t pressure them at all unless they stand the chance of becoming bigger and that’s not even close to be true. I love t-mobile and they are my carrier after switching from AT&T, but AT&T and Verizon are still doing what they want. Until they start offering unlimited data which is what everyone is asking for, it’s all just a publicity stunt. Take a look at those guys plans and you’ll see they still suck. T-mobile is the new guy trying to take over at all cost and according to its parent company it’s losing them money. I hope they can sustain this because once they mess up and can’t offer these plans it’s over for them.

  • MrShutEmDown

    Sounds to me like he’s feeling the pressure and now finally giving the people some things they’ve wanted for a while. Maybe he should work for Apple!!!

  • TheShade247

    No matter what people say, but whenever i need some killer tweak Cydia is always there for me!

    • Annie Leonhardt

      Primarily because that’s all that’s there xD

  • Alberto Espinal

    Let me express my thoughts: I don’t care about somebody else trying to beat or be Saurik or come out with a Cydia alternative, I will never change Cydia for no one, Jay has always been here for us!

    • coLin

      ‘never say never’

  • Annie Leonhardt

    This guy needs to go. He sucks. Out with the old, in with the new.

  • Jtzll Fy Niaina

    I don’t mind that some people want to compete against Saurik and cydia but its working great for me right now and i dont want to get caught in the crossfire and have my device damaged or stuff like that while trying the new competitors stuff so ilk wait untill its confirmed that its safe to use. Lol

  • Eni

    Cydia for me it’s fine. i just wish it had cydia free tweak of the week and tweaks reducet in price like the app store. and some sections for different iOS-s it wold be perfect 🙂

  • SoylentGreen

    in a free market, competition is THE driving force, true capitalism, please do not confuse this with ‘crony capitalism’ where the whole thing is ‘gamed’, the outcome known from the outset and a multitude of charades played out to make us feel like we are actually involved in a ‘FREE MARKET’ with the illusion of choice such as, the type of capitalism we live under atm in the west. Real capitalism is about what the Americans call ‘the American dream’ , the very notion that anyone can start with some basics and with some luck & loads of hard, hard work, have a good chance at success, or as good a chance as any given person. Today that is gone,
    an example
    currently oil prices are being artificially driven down, how does this affect free market trade etc? well primarily this strategy is to further lay into the russians whos economy is dictated by oil prices, but as a ‘bonus’ they get to put small oil business in America in so much of a financial stranglehold that many go to the wall, making way for one of the crony capitalists to scoop up the business at sub market prices and they win.
    So if you are a crony capitalist such as warren buffet, bill gates, apple, ibm, google, to name so few, you are not for a real free market economy, you are only interested in perpetuating the illusion that a free market exists.
    So theres alot more to this than community v competition (smoke & mirrors), a true free market economy thrives on & encourages competition, NO exceptions because they are the warm & fuzzy face of some community.
    im gonna stop there as point made.

  • jack

    this guy is pathetic

  • Himanshu Oberoi

    Can Someone tell me a youtube downloader app for iPhone ??

  • burge

    This isn’t about competition it’s about conflicting software that can get put on your device and causing issues. That’s why SaurikIT brought Rock. When you start using software that hooks in to your device and you use anther piece of software that hooks in anther way you going to get issues. Saurik is just trying to keep it the one way so there is no issues because of this. That what Rock was doing. I for one thank Saurik for trying to my jailbroken devices working

    • James G

      We don’t need someone, anyone, to “protect us” or our devices in the way you describe. Jailbreaking has the word “break” in it, so we know what we’re in for.

      Will there be issues in the short term if there is a two-jailbreak-substrate system at play? Possibly, but let the customer play around and decide what they want.

      • burge

        But that’s just it someone has been looking out for us making sure things work.. Saurik

        I’m not saying I dont want Comex to do this but the two have to work together so it works on our device without issue. That’s one of the reason Saurik brought Rock. It stopped conflicting software from being put on our devices. As much as open sauce can be there will be issues if they don’t work off the same mould.

      • James G

        I’d prefer they work together as well, but if that doesn’t happen I’m still not comfortable with a single person holding all the cards themselves.

      • burge

        But that’s what we’ve had though. Yes there was others. I don’t know how long you’ve been jailbreaking but do you remember installer ? How about ICE first time around ? These came and went the Devs that ran them just couldn’t keep doing it. Just look at the amount of time Saurik has put in to Cydia. Saurik brought Rock out because how they was doing things. It caused issues. It’s better to have choice there is no argument from me there. But it’s better to have everyone working off the same page.

      • James G

        Been Jailbreaking since iPhone OS 1 so i do remember ICE and Installer.

        But the landscape is very different now, I think. Millions more devices out there and many more developers making tweaks with years of experience doing so.

        I just think comparing where we are now to something like when Rock was around downplays how different of a situation we are in now.

      • burge

        It’s changed so much. Best tweaks were when OS 2/3 was around. Everything was soon new and different. I don’t even jailbreak my iPhone now only my iPad and my ATV2 has to be jailbroken.

        If comex can make it all work with substrate on a device at the same time without issues then all will be good. But why change something that works and works well. I like competition it can improve the end user experience but at what cost will this be to use end users. ? Saurik has tried to keep things under control so what ever tweaks go on a jailbroken device they work without any side effects. How well do you think these 2 are going to play nicely on our devices.

        Don’t forget it’s not just a installer that Comex is working on its also a Cydia substrate replacement.

  • Damian

    Saurik fights all the battles alone against the entire world. No wonder he is getting tired and discouraged, anyone would.

    The best thing Saurik could do is to find a group of trusted people who could volunteer to develop cydia on a regular basis. We know, he can’t fully compensate them, but I bet there are plenty of developers who would be happy to volunteer to help Saurik.

    • James G

      Exactly. Why hasn’t this been talked about more? There should be a Cydia team, not just Saurik.

      • Damian

        I thinks Saurik sucks in advertising or he just does not trust many people

      • James G

        More like the latter based on his essays.

        It’s a personality type, to keep all your work close to the chest because you think other people can’t do as good of a job.

  • There is already some positive coming out of this drama: Cydia might finally get some much needed overhaul! Don’t care to read all of Saurik’s ramblings but I will say that he has had many years to make Cydia a better product and he hasn’t done much of anything. I believe it wasn’t until pretty recently that he even updated the UI to mimic the new iOS.
    Sorry to say this, but he is on my list of deadbeat devs. I have a few of his old tweaks that he has never updated in years. Of course better tweaks have since come out but simple ones like CyDelete are crucial ones that you would think he would give a darn about updating and improving.
    When we finally got a Winterboard overhaul only after the latest iOS broke it. It wasn’t because he wanted to update it and it also something he was a jerk about doing and blamed it on a jailbreak team not notifiying the oh holy one that is Saurik.

  • iamzaidan

    iOS + Jailbreak + New features for cydia = Good old days 😀

  • iamzaidan

    This might be a totally wrong place to post this, but i just wana know why is it that the jailbreak scene is dying? If u compare it with iOS 4-6, its goin horrible right now. I remember my first jailbroken device was iOS 4-ish. Everytime i used to check cydia, i would always have a few new tweaks to check out.
    But now we hardly see any tweaks and need to wait days before we can try them out. Someone please explain the reason to me. 🙁

    • mike

      I’m no developer, only an experienced coder; it seems to me that the more iOS matures, the more complicated it gets. Which in turn, makes things harder to modify.

    • James G

      I’m not sure I agree with this. The jailbreak community is alive as ever. New tweaks every week…iDB covers something like 20+ each week. How many are you really expecting there to be?

      Yes, some things have come & gone. But a lot of great stuff is still coming to iOS devices.

  • jake kneller

    You feel Cydia could use some work and some good UI work but why try and build a whole no system and compete with a great System we all know Cydia needs more Devs working together and rethinking Cydia no build a new system

    • James G

      An alternative would be for Saurik to open Cydia up to other devs to help improve the platform if he invited them to take a piece of the pie. If this has happened, I haven’t heard of it.

      I’m sure there are plenty of devs that would want to help Cydia improve, why hasn’t this topic been talked about?

  • pnh

    All I want is to be able to filter out what I can’t use (device, iOS version specific) and what I don’t want (99.9% of it is theming which I could care less about). When I open Cydia, I want to see tweaks that can be used iOS 8 with iPhone 6. Period.

    • James G

      And healthy competition would increase the chance that those types of features would make their way to the jailbreak scene.

  • James G

    Look, Saurik has done a ton for the jailbreaking community; any jailbreak veteran knows this and likely has helped line his pockets by buying tweaks via Cydia over the years. But to think he’ll be around *forever* is ignorant. He won’t be.

    And for that reason alone (among others, though), we need alternatives. We need more people creating solutions and tools like substrate that are alternatives to what Cydia has offered. It’s not just about “competition”, it’s about enabling this community and development to continue without the presence of one person.

    I don’t wish anything ill against Saurik, but say he passed away tomorrow, how would we be in any different situation than if he decided to give up because Comex and some other devs decided to create a Cydia alternative? I’ll tell you what, someone would spend the time, money and pick up where he left off. No one has yet because a) they didn’t HAVE to and b) they hadn’t put in the time, money and effort.

    Vague threats of him leaving the community & practice because he’s being challenged fall on deaf ears for me; because its presumptuous that no one else could do what he’s done, or pick up wherever he leaves off. The day when Saurik moves on from this community will come eventually, no matter what.

    For this, I say bring it on, Comex. Succeed and prosper, or die/give-up trying.

    Apple lives on without Steve Jobs. Jailbreaking will live on without Saurik.

    • James G

      And I mean no disrespect to Saurik. I’ve benefitted from his work over the last 7+ years I’ve jailbroken. I’ve bought countless tweaks via Cydia and love what he’s done. But I’m a consumer, not Saurik’s buddy.

  • suttonmontreal

    Let’s not worry. If Saurik dies, a Chinese will come…

  • Devin Dickson

    We all rely on one person (Saurik) for Cydia and he doesn’t sound stable when he says “We will see if it makes sense for me to continue bothering”. You cant quit from a little competition when the whole community relys on him. Maybe a backup is needed. We cant have all our eggs in one basket. Cydia is a business after all and competition is ALWAYS better for the consumer. He cant say it will ruin the community. That is just ignorant.