• From Jailbreak to AppStore (and back?!?!) [GIVEAWAY INSIDE]

    Remember Buzzer? Or any of the MooCow apps like Band? How bout THTouch? Garf? Dactyl? iBlackjack?

    All of these were once in Installer (heck, remember Installer?!?) as jailbreak apps - pre-AppStore. Those were just some of the apps ModMyi hosted, and there's tons more that were on Installer on other sources - TapTap Revolution, NeverPutt, Lights Off, Twinkle, iBeer, WeDict, Trism, Sketches, DropCopy, iComic, Tunewiki, Labyrinth, Lexitron, Crosswalk, iWoman, MPG, CalcPaper, ShopList, Domino, ToDo, iSlots, and PocketMoney for example. When the AppStore went live, many devs were able to use their extensive testing in the jailbreak community to release great AppStore apps. (Here's iTunes links for the ones I named in first paragraph: Buzzer | Band | THTouch | Garf | Dactyl | iBlackjack (now Blackjack 21) ).

    The AppStore started as a brilliant new market for devs to gather success in, and guaranteed instant ROI for early entrants. Now, however, with the number of apps pushing past 60,000, the AppStore is fast becoming a cluttered file cabinet in which nothing can be found. $0.99 apps reign supreme on every top chart, forcing large companies to rethink decisions on million dollar budgets for flippin sweet games they could have sold at $9.99 (as they did early on) in favor of cheaper apps they can churn out monthly and sell at a buck or three. Sure, "there's an app for that," definitely rings true with 60k apps... but where's the innovation going to be if you drive all devs into $0.99 RefuseLand?

    Apple obviously banked on success with this model of profit (sell a sweet phone, make money off the software), but I'm pretty sure they didn't have a clue HOW successful it would be. The payment system and reporting areas for AppStore devs are anything BUT Apple-esque. They're confusing, strangely organized, and payments often come in late and unlabeled. Amounts are regularly off (assuming from the various tax laws) but with no clear explanation anywhere. Apps are approved in a day or in 90, with no standard and no reason. Dev's receive rejection letters citing outlandish reasoning, while other apps whose sole objection is to shake a baby to its death are approved (albeit quickly pulled when the media gets wind of it). Fart apps are told they can't be in the AppStore, then weeks later reach the top 10. It seems Apple needs to hire some more folks to keep up and revitalize.

    Meanwhile, the Cydia Store is becoming a more and more viable option for individual developers. With nearly a quarter million dollars in revenue already, developers are starting to pay more attention to Cydia as a sustainable source of income. While $250,000 in revenue over a few months is paltry compared to the AppStore's glory, it's impressive none-the-less - Cydia has less than 40 paid packages currently. It's got a user base of millions, and with a much smaller number of packages, sales are doing great for devs. I've got emails in my inbox from more than one AppStore dev thinking about pulling their app from Apple and vending in Cydia instead. And we're not the only one - other Cydia repo owners are already hosting lite versions of AppStore apps as advertisement, and incoming AppStore apps removed from Apple are the next logical step for many devs.

    Of course, this is not to say the AppStore isn't a solid way to generate income - it definitely is. The point being, until recently, it was the ONLY option, and is congested and feeling some growing pains. It's very interesting to see emails coming in from devs thinking about backing OUT of the AppStore into Cydia.


    Finally, why not give something away? Buzzer, one of those Cydia to AppStore apps, just hit the AppStore recently, and we've got 5 promo codes to give out. Only works in the US AppStore, so be aware of that. All you've gotta do to win one is reply to this thread with your thoughts on the story (if you've got one sentence to say, I'm not even gonna count it), and we'll choose 5 random winners Thursday morning (EST).
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