March 10, 2012, 7:33 AM — If you're one of the millions of people who have jailbroken their iOS device, you undoubtedly know and love the unofficial app store known as Cydia. The hub for unapproved apps, hacks, and UI tweaks has become so ubiquitous with iOS hacking that most jailbreak tools install Cydia automatically."
Jay Freeman, the hacker otherwise known as saurik, created Cydia, along with many of the essential behind-the-scenes tools that continue to make hacking Apple's closed environment not only possible, but approachable to those who aren't command-line ninjas. I recently spoke with Saurik about the past, present and future of Cydia.
GeekTech: First of all, how is your handle pronounced, I've never actually heard it uttered by a human?
Saurik: "Sohr-ik--when I break it down for people I say that sores are icky and so am I."
I read online somewhere that the meaning of the name has something to do with bringing fruit to perfection? A fun jab at Apple perhaps?
"Not at all actually! I came up with the name when I was in seventh grade. I played a lot of games on bulletin boards. I was on one that had 10 people on it and I used the name "Spock." When you're on a bulletin board with 10 geeks, you have a chance of using the name Spock, but then I connected to bulletin board with 100 geeks... a hundred geeks will have at least one Spock already. So I needed a new name. I wanted something that would work in a space-faring game and something that would work in a medieval-based game but I also had the presence of mind to pick a name that I would not be embarrassed about when I was much older."
So how did you become interested in this whole jailbreaking thing to begin with?
"A lot of my friends were getting iPhones. They were Mac advocates who loved Apple, Steve Jobs, they had MacBooks, etc. I tended to use my Windows computer- I had tons of Linux boxes. I had a Nokia candybar [phone] which I loved to death. It had a lot of functionality that even today the iPhone doesn't have. One big example is that when you go to a movie and you switch your phone on silent, a lot of times I forget- I leave it on silent for the rest of my life. The Nokia phone would ask you to schedule an alarm that would make your phone become unsilent.