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Cydia Hits Next Level for Jailbroken iPhones

Before the launch of the Apple App Store in July 2008, those who wanted to install custom applications on an iPhone or iPod Touch had to do so by jailbreaking his or her device. But even now with official Apple App support, the jailbreaking community is stronger than ever.

Cydia, known amongst those who have jailbroken iPhones since the release of the 3G model last year, has been the source for those looking for more ambitious and hardcore applications that don’t fit within Apple’s guidelines.

While the App Store on iTunes has given the iPhone and iPod Touch a myriad of new functionality, Apple still curiously holds back on several key feature extensions. For example, those who want to use the iPhone to take video and send or receive MMS can only do so with aftermarket applications installed on a jailbroken device.

Cydia is the App Store of jailbroken devices, and it’s about to take things even further by allowing developers to sell their aftermarket software straight through the interface instead of through external means.

Currently, those who download a “paid” from Cydia must activate it by purchasing a license through the web, paying by credit card or PayPal. Soon that will all change as a new version of Cydia will launch with support for transactions.

Developer of Cydia, Jay Freeman, revealed the official announcement of the Cydia Store at 360|iDev, complete with demo of social packaging--so he wrote on his twitter page.

“The Cydia Store is about providing a simpler billing channel to buy the already commercial applications in Cydia, like Snapture,” he explained in a tweet.

Freeman also argued that Cydia on jailbroken iPhones is nothing like piracy: “That anyone really believes that Cydia = pirating is ludicrous: Cydia is for things Apple would never allow in their store at all.”

The first paid package is set to launch late Friday night, with a gradual rollout of more coming next week. For those of you with jailbroken devices, keep an eye on Cydia.