BigBoss

Early access version of Flex 3 is now available in Cydia’s BigBoss repo

Those who are deeply involved with the jailbreak community are likely to know a lot about Flex, a platform that allows users to download patches and modifications to their jailbroken iPhones or iPads. They can create and then share their own patches with the rest of the Flex community so everyone else can enjoy the features as well.

An early access version of Flex 3 has now launched in Cydia’s BigBoss repository, giving public availability of the platform to everyone who owns a jailbroken device.

Cydia’s most popular repo gets a redesign for 2016

If you noticed something a bit different with Cydia when you opened it this morning, you’re not alone. Cydia itself didn’t change, but the repo that hosts the majority of the popular jailbreak tweaks did.

The BigBoss repo underwent a significant redesign, resulting in a cleaner look, and a more friendly interface. Of course, since this change is limited to the BigBoss repo, you won’t see any changes in packages hosted on other repos.

Interview: BigBoss repo maintainer talks security and user responsibility

By jailbreaking their devices, most users usually know what they expose themselves to. When breaking the walls Apple has constructed to protect their security and privacy, jailbreakers put their fate in the hands of a handful of people. If done with basic principles in mind, jailbreaking can be very safe. I, for example, have been jailbreaking every iOS device I have owned since 2008, and I have yet to encounter any issue whatsoever.

Being cautious starts by being aware of what you install on your jailbroken device. Limiting yourself to the default repositories is good practice, as these repos do an outstanding job at analyzing jailbreak apps and tweaks before making them available for download, ensuring that the final user is as safe as possible.

But there is always that slight chance that a malicious tweak might have gone through the cracks and made its way into Cydia for millions of potential users to download. Nothing is 100% safe, but safety measures can be put in place to ensure the highest level of security. This is the job of repo maintainers.

We have talked to representatives of the two largest default repositories on Cydia to ask how they ensure the safety of their users. In a two-part series, we will publish their answers, starting today with Optimo, repo maintainer for BigBoss. Tomorrow, we will publish answers from Kyle Matthews of ModMyi.

My Cydia pet peeve: App Store redirects

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.

BigBoss repo allegedly hacked [updated]

BigBoss, one of the default repositories for jailbreak tweaks in Cydia, has allegedly been hacked by an individual or a group of individuals whose identity is still unknown.

The attackers were apparently able to gain access to all packages (paid and free) that are available in the BigBoss repo, and made the deb index and database available for download. The assailants went as far as creating a new repo which can be added to Cydia to download all BigBoss-hosted tweaks.

As is always the case when this type of security breach happens, jailbreak users should be cautious and stay away from this.

Worried that Cydia will be too slow after the jailbreak? Don’t worry too much

It’s the same story with almost every jailbreak. The new jailbreak is released, and folks rush to download all of their favorite jailbreak apps and tweaks. The result is a less than primed experience due to the stress that this places on Cydia and the repos hosting the various packages. After a new jailbreak is released, it usually takes a few days for everything to calm down to somewhat normal levels.

This time around, though, Saurik, and the repo managers appear to be taking preemptive actions to ensure a smoother experience immediately post jailbreak release. While nothing is assured until the inevitable deluge of user requests places stress on the system, you should look forward to a much better experience than in times past.

BiteSMS update hits Cydia with new features (and new temporary price tag)

I have a love/hate relationship with BiteSMS. On the on hand, it’s my most used application and I can’t seem to find a decent replacement that offers as many features, but on the other hand, it’s the only application that sometimes often causes my iPhone to crash.

I’ve tried to replace it many times but I always come back to it simply because its feature list has been unmatched so far. Today, BiteSMS gets that much better with version 6.3 now available in Cydia…

‘Chip’ now available on Cydia

A few days ago, we gave you an exclusive preview of Chip, a new jailbreak tweak that allows you to customize banner notifications background color, text color, border color, and gradient using simple RGB sliders. Chip also includes the ability to customize the notification sound and banner animation. In short, it brings an insane level of customization to your notifications.

Chip is now available in Cydia, via the BigBoss repo for $1.99.

Imperium is now available in Cydia

A couple days ago, we introduced you to Imperium, a new jailbreak tweak inspired by Mission Control and LaunchPad. The app is now available from the BigBoss repo in Cydia for $0.99. Make sure to read our previous coverage of the tweak, and let us know what you think about it in the comments section.

Why the study showing that jailbreak apps leak less private data than App Store apps is flawed

Following the Path debacle which led the world to realize that many apps indeed upload some of your private data to their servers, much ink has been spilled about the subject. To the point that Congress sent Apple a letter to express their concern, but also to ask for more details about the situation. Apple later commented on the matter saying that apps will now need explicit user permission to access contacts.

In the meantime, a year-old study by a group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara showing that jailbreak apps leak less data than App Store apps was uncovered. For a site like us, and for many jailbreakers alike, this study was a blessing as we could once again claim that jailbreaking can actually make your device more secure.

The problem is that this study is flawed and proves nothing…

My Top 10 Jailbreak Tweaks

I consider myself a strong advocate of the jailbreak cause. Ever since ziPhone – the first jailbreak ever released – came out, all my iDevices have been jailbroken and even unlocked when possible.

I love jailbreaking for two reasons. First, I jailbreak because I can. If there is a way to do things not the way they were intended to be, then count me in. Second, and more importantly, I jailbreak because it gives me access to a plethora of features that Apple hasn’t implemented yet, or will never implement for some reasons.

For the past three months, I’ve used a stock iPhone 4S. Obviously that was not my choice. There just wasn’t a jailbreak until Absinthe came out last week. But things are back to normal now.

Every time I jailbreak a new device for the first time, I try to reconsider what I really use, and what I really need. I also try to take into account a few things, like stability. If certain apps gave me headaches in the past, I’ll just make sure not to install them again (goodbye WinterBoard). It’s the perfect occasion to start on a clean slate.

This being said, I’d like to share with you all the jailbreak tweaks that are currently installed on my iPhone 4S…