MyWi, Rock and Cydia: Interview with Jailbreak App Developer Mario aka Intelliborn
MyWi turns an iPhone (Jailbreak needed) in a WiFi-Hotspot with adjustable transmission power. Alternatively, tethering is supported. Asking for the obligatory installation of Rock we learned that MyWi-Developer Mario also works on Rock itself. A good reason to ask some more questions regarding MyWi, Rock and some of the lesser well known activities of the jailbreaker community.
(Deutsche Übersetzung) To be upfront with MyWi: one of the most expensive Apps for the Jailbreak-community, its worth each of the 20 bucks it costs. Via MyWi, the iPone is turned into am WiFi-Hotspot, giving internet access over 3G to all devices within reach.Out of the box Mywi also offers tethering – for Macs only at the moment, but independent from settings and restrictions of any mobile provider regarding tethering on the iPhone.
MyWi pleases – we tested the App under rougher circumstances on the M’era Luna festival (Google translate) and regarding the high demand of energy, the adjustable WiFi power is a neat feature. The app offers traffic stats, overview on connected devices as well as some more usage methods out of the ordinary – Tethering via Cable ober the WiFi used by the iPhne, for example. There are few more things to say – MyWi is self explaining in its usage, the installation process slightla longer than usual, on account of the mandatory Rock registration and payment process, but also easily to master.
Three minor drawbacks: Encryption is WEP only and therefore insecure. The Network Connection in tethering mode is not “Infrastructure” and therefore not compatible to all systems. While a mac connects without any problems, an Ubuntu Linux netbook couldn’t.
Some more concerns will be regarding the mandatory Rock installation. Wigthout Rock, no MyWi: there is a “No Rock”-version for older iPhoneOS variants, but iOS 4 is only supported with Rock. This situation will change, but its unclear when – Mario told us that they were “…looking into a No Rock version of MyWi but do not have a release date at this time.”
The Cydia-alternative Rock was criticised by Cydia Developer Jay Freeman himself, who labeled Rock as not stable and not fully compatible to APT. Furthermore, he blamed rock to cause traffic costs, going online via 3G and downloading updates without noticing the user. One more reason to ask Mario/Intelliborn on these Topics.
Macnotes: First of all – thanks for your time and your answers, Mario. Second, commendations ;) – Status Bar and Transmit Power are really neat features i learned to like on the m’era luna festival, where MyWi was a really cool and useful investment. What i’d like to know: will there be an upgrade which transforms the tethered MyWi-Access to an “Infrastructure”-Device? ore a different, more “compatible” version? I think thats not the typical usage scenario, but i was on the road with an ideapad with ubuntu Linux, and did not manage to use USB, just WiFi.
Mario: Regarding MyWi and Infrastructure – I can’t say yes or know to the upgrade possibilities. I can say we are constantly looking at new features on all of our products, and obviously focus on those with the highest demand.
Macnotes: Regarding Rock, some words to our readers for explanation: First, i didn’t knew about your involvement with Rock. To elaborate my views on Rock, Cydia and Jailbreaking: i’m a great jailbreak fan myself and of course i did use Rock and do so again now. There are two concerns i do have, the first one being quite emotional: i had the impression of a “me too”-Product first, after Rock was released. And Rock looked to me always this little bit *too” commercial :o) Thats not really fair, working for a commercial site myself, but as i already said: thats somehow emotional.
Second, there were some instabilities i did encounter when i used Rock the first time shortly after it was released. Eventually i deinstalled it again, though of course the features made a really good impression to me. Then i did an interview with Saurik, who was quite critical towards Rock. Full Interview (in english) is here.
What brings me to the logical follow up-question: would you like to comment, talk about the developements rock had since? I’m always happy to hear both sides, i just did not about your involvement with Rock.
Mario: I understand Jay Freeman’s criticism to Rock – he has to be – we’re competitors… With respect to Rock, yes – I’d love to comment on Rock. Of course, we have had issues, as any software company has. We did reimplement APT, and I would say we’ve done it very successfully. There was an issue that was exacerbated by a release by Jay Freeman – which caused Rock users to have to restore their phone (interesting, isn’t it?). That being said, we are moving towards a hybrid model – where we can take advantage of our APT implementation, but also use the same installation process that Cydia undergoes (best of both worlds).
Regarding Jay’s comments on background check/data usage: Rock users have always had an option to disable “Check For Updates” under settings. The check occurs once per day and allows Rock to badge to notify you that there are updates available for Apps you have installed. Typically, it’s just a couple kb a day.
Macnotes: Putting all this into regard, how does your “relationship” look like?
Mario: I think it boils down to business strategy .We here at Rock are focused on simply making the Rock platform better. We don’t spend our days trying to bash Cydia or get others to join in bashing our competitor when mistakes are made. We strongly believe our customers will enjoy our product – which is why we are leading the community with respect to offering free trials on our products. We know users will love them. Rock has surpassed Cydia Store in terms of sales, and is continuing to be a leader in the Independent Community.
Macnotes: What else should one know about Rock and its developers and supporters?
Mario: Many are unaware, as we like to take a backseat to the real story, but Rock initiated the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) exemption request with the EFF to the US Library Of Congress/Copyright Office. We then pulled in DevTeam members like Planetbeing, and Jay Freeman, to provide additional information. With our recent success, we began the next steps to continue our legal battle with Apple. For months we have been making calls into US Congressional offices, and in late July, we took to Washington, DC and met with over a dozen US congressional offices to raise awareness of Apple’s anti-competitive behaviours and how they are causing harm to small and large businesses. We are working hard to ensure Apple consumers worldwide have the freedom of choice when it comes to technologies, applications, and content on their iDevice.
Macnotes: Mario, thanks again for answers, time and commitment!
Two sides, two perspectives. Personally, i have the impression of a more than subliminal bitterness on both sides, nevertheless its obviously possible to work together on professional level – Rock recommends Sauriks PDF-Patch for example, both alternative installers work perfectly well side by side on the same iPhone. Competition enhances products, and while cydia is somehow a veteran of the jailbreak apps, it always had its alternatives – Installer, Ice, and now it’s Rock. Whatever it was: it wasn’t too bad for jailbreakewrs to have a choice.