Why Cydia Sucks And How It Could Be Improved

My friend Patrick over at JAiB finally said out loud what I’ve been thinking for quite some time now. In an article titled “why does using Cydia have to suck so much”, Patrick explains his frustration about how slow Cydia can be:

Cydia is slow to load and refresh its data, so you have a wait on your hands straight away when you launch it.

When it finishes loading I generally go straight to the Changes tab, to see what’s new.  Today the Things for LockInfo plugin immediately caught my eye and I knew I wanted to take a look at it.

The plugin’s main screen said to scroll down for screenshots.  There’s another very noticeable wait period while the page loads ads before I’m able to scroll down and see the Screenshots bar.

Once I tap the screenshots bar I get … nothing useful to me at all. Instead I just get a page with a banner for the plugin’s source – modmyi – and another general ad, and no screenshots anywhere to be found (after again waiting a fair while for that page to load). I tried refreshing the page a couple times – but no screenshots showed up.

So I gave up and ended up grabbing the plugin without seeing screencaps.  Not the end of the world, but frustrating and just dumb really.

This has happened to me so many times that I can’t even count them. I got frustrated on so many occasions that I simply closed Cydia, probably missing out on some great jailbreak apps or themes.

I sometimes feel like Cydia is like a great movie that keeps being interrupted by commercials: I can take the ads for a while, but at some point I just switch to another channel.

Saurik, the creator of Cydia is is no way responsible for all these ads. He just provides a platform for the various repos and each of them display their data as they want.

How Can We Make Cydia Better?

I believe there are a couple simple things Saurik can do to improve the user experience on Cydia.

Rewrite the Way Cydia Updates

I don’t know about you but waiting 20 seconds for Cydia to “load data”, then wait another 20 seconds while “downloading release”, then another 20 seconds while “downloading packages”, and finally wait another 20 seconds while “reloading data” is just plain painful.

I’m no programmer but I’m pretty sure there are some ways to improve the loading speed.

Set Some Standards

Again, I have no idea what’s going on behind Cydia but I can’t imagine it would be too hard for Saurik to create a format that all repos would have to follow in order to show in Cydia.

For example, a proper format would include the following information in this specific order and across all repos: app name, description, screenshots, source information, more details. Just like the App Store app, I’d like to be able to get all the information about the app on one page only.

Of course it’s easier for me to be a critic than actually do something about it. After all, who am I to complain about Cydia?

Well, I am an iPhone owner with a great respect for Cydia and the amazing work Saurik has accomplished. I think he is out there with the Dev Team as one of the pillars of the jailbreak community.

This being said, having this blog is a great opportunity for me to send a message and hopefully being heard.

I know Patrick and I are not the only one out there feeling a bit frustrated with Cydia and I am confident that Saurik will know how to take this into account and maybe work on implementing some standards in a future version of Cydia.

What about you? How do you feel about Cydia?