Anybody who has jailbroken their iOS-powered device would have heard of the alternative mobile app repository known as Cydia, but it seems that the repository’s creator have got something a little more ambitious lined up. Apparently, Cydia will soon be launching its own App Store for OS X in a matter of weeks, thus setting up the stage for a clash between Steve Jobs and the third-party repository.
There is no doubt that Apple loves to control every single aspect of the user experience on all their devices, but it seems that even the most tightly-walled garden is bound to see cracks appear every now and then. And this crack is even more apparent in the company’s popular Mac platform, which is not as tightly locked down as that of the iOS.
In an announcement during the 360 | Mac Dev developer conference that recently concluded, Cydia creator Jay Freeman announced that he plans to create a Cydia App Store for Mac OS X. Like its mobile app store counterpart, the upcoming repository for OS X apps is targeted at developers who are not satisfied with Apple’s developer terms and conditions but still want the benefit of having a centralized repository to offer their applications to OS X users.
And with Apple having confirmed some time back that developers are strictly forbidden from submitting trial apps (demos and betas) and applications which allow in-app purchases in the initial phase of the Mac App Store’s implementation, it would make sense that many developers would be less than enthusiastic about submitting anything to the App Store. This is especially true for a desktop platform where offering trial and beta software apps with an option to upgrade to the full version is a common practice in the industry. The less restrictive nature of Cydia’s OS X repository would also have the potential to attract free software developers to port their applications to the OS X platform, many of whom already take some issue with Apple’s strict conditions.
In addition, Freeman has another huge advantage over Apple in one particular aspect: timeliness. While Apple’s official Mac App Store is only expected to debut sometime next month for Snow Leopard users, Cydia for OS X could be up and firing off downloads to OS X in only a matter of weeks. And if Freeman plans his move really well, Cydia could potentially steal away all the thunder (and potential developers) from Apple’s own official App Store to its own repository.
Of course, Apple could just simply issue a Cease And Desist order to Cydia when that happens, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.