Despite its imperfections, it’s hard to fault Cydia – the nucleus of the open-source jailbreak community, and with such a wide range of tweaks available serving different purposes, it’s quite easy to forget that actually, there isn’t much in the way of an alternative.
After all, every jailbreak utility released – whether it be the Chronic Dev Team with Greenpois0n or the iPhone Dev Team with Redsn0w – installs Cydia, and while most of us aren’t complaining (the alternative is stock, after all), competition never hurt anybody – least of all consumers. Icy was a Cydia competitor of times past, but it’s certainly a one-app position, and after failing to outperform Cydia, it quickly disappeared off the map.
Lima Installer has been in the works for a prolonged amount of time, and offers a web-based alternative to Cydia. First teased around a year ago via YouTube, it prides itself on being anti-piracy, and with so many repositories offering copyrighted content at will, it’s certainly an angle most of us can subscribe to. Lima Installer is now being trickled out in pre-release beta, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on it for testing.
The first thing you notice about Lima is its slick, smooth interface. Having loaded Cydia in excess of a thousands of times, I’m sure I speak for the majority of Cydia users when I say that the Reloading Data, and Updating Databases is one of the downsides of trying to your hands on the latest and greatest tweaks on offer.
Cydia’s lack of a streamlined experience is countered by the vast improvements it can make to stock iOS, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to see some improvements. Although Lima Installer is not yet able to install paid packages (at least, not in my experience of it), all of my installed tweaks and apps were identified and listed, and the interface was just beautiful to behold.
It has much promise, and after so long in the waiting, it will be interesting to see if it manages to entice users set it their ways after years of becoming accustomed to Cydia. There’s still work to be done before it can be released to the public, but as soon as we hear more, we’ll be sure to let you know.