App Store Redirect

The situation in Cydia right now is one of sadness. I’m sad, because nearly every time I try to download or purchase a new tweak or app, I have to finagle and wrangle with the App Store redirects that seem to have multiplied as of late.

I kid you not, I get about 5 pop-ups every time I open a page on Cydia’s BigBoss repo, and sometimes I just give up after wrestling with trying to open a tweak’s page. At first this behavior was tolerable, but over the last few weeks, it seems to have reached a boiling point. It generally takes a lot of inconveniences for me to decide to write about one of my annoyances, but this situation is just flat out of control, and I need to vent.

Someone needs to fix this. The problem primarily seems to happen with tweaks hosted on the BigBoss repo. If this happened to any other repo, I’d simply uninstall that repo and go about my business. Sadly, I can’t do that, because the BigBoss repo is more or less Cydia. It hosts 99% of the tweaks that we report on, and it’s generally where all of the action is when it comes to tweaks. Themes are a different story, and sometimes you’ll find a really cool tweak on ModMyi, but it’s obvious that the BigBoss repo is where most of the activity resides in this community.

I appreciate saurik implementing the redirect block, a relatively new Cydia feature that prevents nefarious ads from automatically shuttling you to an App Store landing page. Sadly, however, the redirect block is doing the exact thing that it was meant to stop—interrupting the workflow of Cydia’s customers. Now obviously, this isn’t saurik’s fault, and frankly, the blame can’t be totally placed on BigBoss. The problem is with the ads, plain and simple. But BigBoss has, I would imagine, some control over the type of ads that they allow in their repos. They really should consider cleaning this up.

First of all, let me just state that I understand that ads are necessary, which is why I never block ads in Cydia, and when I see something that genuinely interests me, I’ll tap on it. That’s rare, admittedly, but it does happen occasionally. I understand that ads are a necessary thing, seeing as that’s how I get paid to do my job. We don’t ask for any sort of donation or subscription fee at iDB, so the obvious way to gain compensation for what we do is to run advertising.

The point is that I’m not naive, and I don’t think that the Internet or television, for that matter, should be devoid of all advertising. These are necessary things, and I can certainly tolerate it. But when the ads begin to encroach on, and dare I say, ruin, the experience, then you must address the issue. Otherwise, one or more of the following will happen:

1. People will just find a way to block the ads outright, negating the need for a redirect blocker altogether

2. People will find a different repo to get the apps and tweaks that they want (likely piracy)

3. People will just stop using Cydia altogether

4. People will become frustrated and write 650+ word articles like this

Let’s be clear, I’m not going to ever stop using Cydia, and that means that I’ll never stop downloading releases from the BigBoss repo. So number 1 and number 4 are the most likely scenarios for me. But I’d hate to do 1, because I want to support BigBoss and the community as a whole. I just think that something needs to change, and it needs to happen soon. Otherwise, I’m afraid that more people will look at number 2 and number 3 as solutions. And that, folks, would be unfortunate. It would be a huge disservice to all of the wonderful developers, managers, and everyone else involved with Cydia and jailbreaking.

Think the problem isn’t bad? Look at the response to this tweet, posted late at night on a Wednesday:

I received numerous replies echoing my complaints. This is a real problem with Cydia, and the powers that be should come together to find a solution.

Let’s pledge to support the hardworking individuals in the jailbreak scene, but at the same time, let’s request a better user experience.

What do you think? Are you experiencing this issue, and if so, have you had enough of the problem?

  • XZavier

    Download Minimal Host Blockers Jeff!

    • ReanimationXP

      The new shit was just Javascript redirects to other pages that may or may not redirect to the AppStore. Every single fuckin ad does this. Package you recommended solved both issues. Thanks so much; seems to have worked a treat.

  • Merman123

    I agree with you Jeff. This has been happening a lot more often lately. I’m all for ads and their purpose, but it’s just too often now.

  • Tom Canuck

    I wholeheartedly agree that the repos deserve support. I understand they need ads to survive. I believe it was Bensge who released NoAdStoreOpen tweak back in the day, that silently stopped the redirects rather that just cause a prompt (which is what we have now). It was a perfect solution, it kept the ads tolerable. Last I checked I don’t think it worked on iOS 8 though.

    I tried using a modified host file blocker, but ads kept slipping through (or things like PayPal were getting blocked.). Finally I just gave in, installed Cydia Enable and am using AdBlocker 2 (iOS 8) in Cydia now. I feel somewhat bad, because the repos deserve support, feel even worse because ALL the repos now suffer even if they didn’t have redirect ads. But, I agree the redirect ads have gotten out of hand. Something had to be done, so I did it.

  • Chris Holden

    $ydia

    • Don’t you mean BigBo$$?

      I don’t think Cydia, SaurikIT or Saurik gets a cut of the ad money from any of the repos…

  • Saajid Hasan Rizvi

    Instal NoAppStoreRedirect from cydia.I dont get those pop ups nemore.

    • Digitalfeind

      I have this and it still does this on cydia. All it does is ask you if you want to open the link. It does not block what he was talking about in the article.

    • I use this tweak too and i don’t have that issue anymore

  • Techsticles

    It sucks but at least Cydia asks. How about websites in Safari redirecting?

  • 9to5Slavery

    Even #untrustedhostblocker can’t prevent that.

    • It can it just means the adserver isn’t on the list. If you know what you’re doing it’s relatively easy to proxy the traffic on your iOS device to a computer and use Wireshark to find the adservers and then block them…

      • 9to5Slavery

        I could of located it but I have this new mobile router and I don’t know how to find the adserver. Got any tips?

  • Varun Soi

    What’s the ios8.2 release date? Any idea?

    • Digitalfeind

      Probably next week.

      • Varun Soi

        Yeah this coming Monday!

  • Nirvana

    Thank you Jeff for posting this publicly. Fortunately, I barely encounter these annoying ads, but ads are always getting in our way. Hope Saurik or Britta would come out and put a stop to them

  • Jake Barbour

    Jeff of course on A3tweeks lol

    • Tyler Smith

      you have posted this twice in one day… shut up.

  • jmh2002

    I’m on 7.1.2 and after reading Saajid’s previous comment I uninstalled my previous tweaks NoAdStoreOpen and StoreAlert and replaced them both with NoAppStoreRedirect. This seems to have have solved 99% of the problem in Cydia plus seems to work 100% from Chrome, Safari, and system wide too.

    • Saajid Hasan Rizvi

      Im on 8.1 on 1 phone & 8.1.2 on another.Im not facing these issues anymore.Unfortunately 8.1.3 has no jb & now 8.2 will be out soon.Maybe after a stable ios is released another jb will walk in but these tweaks will take a while before they can be used again on higher version.The good thing is majority of people are facing this issue hence chances are some1 is working on it.I forgot to add that other than NoAppStoreRedirect i also have AdBlocker 2 & NoAdStoreOpen installed.In Adblocker u also need to go into its setting & turn the “ON” option for apps u want the adbocker to block ads on.All the best.

  • Jerry

    The most irritating ads, that grow covering description of the application.

  • Timothy Chan

    That is annoying for me I got it once I jailbreak on IOS 8, CYDIA FIX THIS! I dont blame them for this but, a little notification that they are trying will be great!

  • A good ad will naturally invite the audience to voluntarily click and learn more, a bad ad forcibly drags the audience kicking and screaming away from whatever they were doing to their store in front of their product and tells them to buy it.

  • Cydia should simply not permit any ad redirects. Of the thousand pops ups like this I’ve encountered; I’ve never once clicked allow. And yes it turns the cydia workflow into a cheesy schlocky experience.

  • jake kneller

    I’m with you 100% I hate all the redirects it used to be rare to get redirected and I really hate it automatically putting me on the App Store or on there website if I cared I would have clicked it and even the noredirect tweak I have is annoying constantly asking me to go to the App Store

  • SoylentGreen

    Block 99.9% of ads as mentioned via
    //etc/hosts
    I wrongfully assumed most do,
    When this first reared its ugly head there was big spiel from repo managers saying that they get their ads in such bulk that there was no feasible way to check if there was any “bad” ones that were pushing you unwillingly to appstore.
    Thinking about it maybe this one is a bit different, in as much as it lets you have ultimate control over whether or not you follow the rabbit,
    Either way, block this with a Decent hosts file and when you restore or some arsey app or tweak alters your hosts file, apps that I have never seen display a single advert start flashing like times square.
    It’s a no-brainer imho

  • Fevd1

    I agree with you Jeff

  • Hded Hec

    Help us Comex’s!!

  • blu

    ads are fine, pop ups and redirects are not.

  • Pablo

    I think it is in some way saurik’s and bigboss’ “fault”…saurik runs cydia and he is the one to put rules on how it works, which ads are allowed in cydia and which don’t, he (I think) has the responsibility to overlook how the repos on cydia are working, to have a cohesive and homogeneous eviroment (like apple overlooks the app store)..I have experienced other problems as well (some packages pages not showing anything until you install them for example)..obviously each repo has to regulate its own space, according to certain rules (by saurik) and if the repos are not doing its work then cydia itself has to make sure things are done right. Bigboss repo must overlook the ads and the packages and make sure everything is working fine…saurik must overlook the repos to guarantee the users that the experience will be the best possible

  • Vote with your wallet and block the ads of repos that have these redirects…

  • John Khoury

    as much as that is annoying, there’s something even more annoying, it’s like hell for me. most people may not have this problem but i live in a country where the app store is blocked and gives me a “1009 error” every time i try to do something on my phone (start an app, check my email, check the weather.. etc) it pops up every where i go. I wish someone will make a tweak to stop this from happening 🙁

  • mav3rick

    You know that the redirects are not coming from Cydia but from the Repo?
    Really no need for the melodramatic number 3…

    • I think I thoroughly (and adequately) explained that I understood this in the post.

      • mav3rick

        Then the article title is misleading, it is suggesting that Cydia is at fault when the main Repo is generating these. Also, Saurik who is mentioned is not the maintainer of the Repo. Cydia as a front end is providing Jail FREE access to Repos, it should not become another wall to impose restrictive rules.

      • Chris

        I think the point you missed is Cydia is what’s causing this behaviour since it was introduced a few minor versions back, while this feature works and doesn’t forbid ads on repo’s it stops the details about the tweak you selected from appearing which is the main focus point of this discussion.

        Jeff never accused any repo of being at fault but clearly explained that this is an annoyance that needs to be fixed.

  • Ruben

    Im sad to read this from this site. I always respect the opinions of idownloadblog but now you echo what every one else complaint? In your post you admit is need it to have ads in order to survive (make money), however, you want to control how they do it because it ruins the experience? Half of what you do is because J/B community and Cydia. People will just stop using Cydia altogether? Really? I would like to know who would do that. (Of course, except the devs) Why you don’t suggest people pay an annual fee or membership so you don’t see ads at all. But I bet the community will be fuming if is told to pay a fee or a membership.
    Some people like me rely on Cydia to keep their phones free. Not everyone is a Dev. And what I mean a Dev, I mean reliable dev for example BigBoss. I don’t mind the ads because is a small price to pay. Oh sorry its free. If its bother you, just hit cancel and go on with your experience. At the end you are just downloading a tweak or app and go back to enjoying your phone’s freedom.

    Ruben

    • mav3rick

      And there are even tweaks to block the Ads on Cydia. But lately
      bashing Cydia and his maintainer for things like this, or not having a prettier UI, became kind of a trend. Strange part is that such things are coming even from blogs and writers who have build their reputation and public presence on giving good coverage for tweaks and Jailbreak updates. And after Jailbreaking is not too much to do without Cydia. Which for many years is FREE to use, supported by Ads from the Repos and paid tweaks.

  • Anthony Bouchard

    So I agree with you Jeff. These pop-ups have become very apparent as time has been going by. I install jailbreak tweaks left and right, like you, and have the same grievance of having to go back out, and go back in, over and over again just to download or read about what a tweak does.

    Something does need to be done about this to improve the user experience as a whole for everybody, whether it means blocking pop-ups in Cydia altogether, or just controlling the ads on a basis of rules where those that attempt to redirect should not be allowed.

  • Eli Montoya

    you can’t complain about ads if you don’t have them

  • Lloyd

    hi Jeff. Solution: open settings > general > restrictions > put ‘installing apps’ toggle off. The AppStore will no longer be on the springboard and won’t auto launch. Turn back on when you want to use the AppStore.

  • Jeff Budke

    When this happened to me I reinstalled Cydia Substrate and it went away. I have not had this happen for quite awhile.

  • Dante Arellano

    Dear cydia i know you need to make money please just make an under barner like everyone

  • Saurik is not a happy chappy these days, He doesn’t reply to emails and I’m still waiting for a refund for that nasty non working autofreeram tweak that I made a mistake buying.

  • Scott Weidig

    Jeff, this is not just a problem with Cydia. Many blogs and news sites do the same thing. There is a popular Apple blog that forces me over to Candy Crush all the time. So much so when Zite or News360 have articles from them I am beginning to avoid reading them because of this issue.

    I could handle a pop up request, but actually forcing me over to the AppStore shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

  • craig

    i think some people are upset about people being upset with the redirects, i understand that ads help but for me, most tweaks i click on now try to throw me to the app store and when i cancel it doesnt load up the description for the tweak so theres where my concern is. if they can work it so the page loads up even with the redirect then by all means keep the ads coming to support the devs. unless this is just me thats having this problem.

  • 0ʇılouɐɯ

    I’m tired of this TOO!! Any solution?? And maybe, who knows, some1 can tell me that when I’m pushin’ the cancel button I’m installing something, or doin’ the opposite??? f….