We take all three popular jailbreaking apps and throw them into a cage match - inside you'll see the results of our detailed analysis for all three apps.
Jailbreaking for the Masses
If you've followed our jailbreaking guide (or went rogue and followed Google's suggestions), you've come to discover that three apps dominate the market when it comes to iPhone jailbreaking. These apps are Cydia, Rock, and Icy. In order to better acquaint you with your new jailbreak options, here is an in-depth analysis of each of the three apps.
Cydia has been around for a while now in terms of technology time, but it was not the original jailbreak app. In the beginning there was Installer, the original jailbreak solution for your iPhone, but the tech community was quick to jump ship when the Linux-based Cydia came around. Cydia improved on Installer in just about every way possible, faster repository access, easier package installation, more user content, and the availability of developer apps at very low cost to the consumer with Paypal options for purchase. Ideally, Cydia has everything that you need to truly take advantage of your jailbreak and the user interface is remarkably easy-to-use (even if you're not the world's biggest tech nerd). Cydia's only problem lies in its memory footprint - on a 3GS, I have no doubt it would run fantastically, but on my 3G, it leaves a lot to be desired. The slower load times also make it difficult to gain an appreciation for the app as a whole, especially when it can take up to a minute for it to "refresh data".
Icy is Cydia on steroids essentially. Icy has maybe a feature or two over Cydia, but the core is essentially the same. Icy doesn't try to re-invent the wheel, but rather snaps those wheels onto a Ferrari and takes off. Icy's load times are significantly shorter than Cydia, meaning that getting into the app and installing repositories and other jailbreak applications is far faster than in Cydia. But Icy does have its issues as well, including initial loading crashes and problems with certain repositories. Cydia tends to allow for installation of ANY repository, whereas Icy is a bit more selective and is occasionally unstable. Managing sources in Icy is also not a pleasant nor easy task.
Rock, or "Rock Your Phone" as the app prefers to call itself, is the third and final jailbreak solution, and it is far, far different from Cydia or Icy. The core of the program is markedly different, offering pop-up installation menus and the fastest repository and app installation times around. Rock's load times are amazingly fast and its feature set great, but it fundamentally has 2 problems. First, Rock tries to legitimize the jailbreak process, which is the equivalent of trying to legitimize the black market in the real economy. But I ask you this question - would you really like to spend large amounts of money getting illegitimate apps onto your phone? Second, Rock is as backwards as Apple when it comes to installing new repositories. If a repository has been flagged as containing "inappropriate" content, Rock won't let you install it. This basically means you have no say in what goes into your jailbroken phone, which I probably don't need to remind you, was the initial reason you did it!