The Cydia Store shopping experience

by Milind Alvares

The Cydia Store shopping experience

by Milind Alvares on March 9, 2009

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cydia-storeAs you might be knowing, the previously announced Cydia Store is now live and active. Sure it currently sells just a single app, but it has taken a huge leap forward in the jailbreak community. So how then is the shopping experience with the Cydia Store? Will the Cydia Store pose a thread to Apple’s business at the App Store, or will it just please a few geeks who have already hacked their iPhones?

The Cydia Experience

Launching the Cydia app shows you the home screen. This is of course the worst designed screen I have ever seen, with blue text, different sized boxes, and a generally ‘hacker’ feeling. “Cyntact: First Paid Package” is right there, waiting to be tapped on.

The Cyntact package details show a prominent yellow “Purchase” button, with the price. Besides that the page itself is riddled with all kinds of details. Instead of having the app description at the top, it is right at the bottom (with bad typography no less). Let’s just say the presentation could use a facelift.

cydia-amazon1Tapping purchase takes you to the login page, which can be linked to either your facebook or google account. That way when you next jailbreak you iPhone, your paid apps come along for the ride. I for some reason could not get connected on facebook, but Google went through smoothly. After that, you get to choose your upper limit for security reasons. I set mine to $10.

The Cydia Store supports Amazon payments only for now, although Saurik mentions that PayPal is coming in about a week’s time. Currently, there are two options there. One is Pay Now, and the other is Pay Now – keep information on file. Don’t know what benefits the second option offers, but I tapped it anyway. Logged into my Amazon account, and the payment was done without a hitch.

Using Amazon payments I did not have to enter my credit card details, but I still had no way of knowing whether the site was authentic or not. I’m trusting the source because I know who it is, but hopefully there will be some indication as to whether information is passed on over a secure connection.

The Cyntact App

cyntact2As for the Cyntact app, it is quite a nice one. It basically adds contact pictures next to their names in the contacts list. This is done without taking up any extra space, and there doesn’t seem to be any performance hit. Worth the $1 I’d say. I’m also pleased that it is $1 and not the tricky $0.99 pricetag policy that the App Store has.

Will the Cydia Store be a success? Surely. There are many who have a jailbroken iPhone, and the relatively easy way (if you can get past the horrible UI designs) of purchasing hacked apps will certainly make some people rich. Besides, the Cydia Store will have far fewer apps which means it will be easier to have a glance at them all. This will result in a higher number of puchases-per-app. Will the Cydia Store pose a threat to Apple? Not in any measurable way, no. If the App Store already has an app, there’s no chance of anyone purchasing that same functionality using the Cydia Store.

So what’s your take on this? Have you bought the first ever Cydia Store app or have you not even jailbroken you iPhone yet?

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