Jailbreak superstar Comex is working on a Cydia alternative.

Photo: Cult of Mac

Since the very earliest days of jailbreaking, Cydia has been the go-to source for jailbreak-specific tweaks and apps. What makes tweaks work is the Cydia Substrate, low-level software written by Cydia founder Saurik that lets third-party programmers hook into the iOS operating system in ways not endorsed by Apple. But Cydia Substrate is closed-source, which makes it harder for alternative jailbreak stores to compete with Cydia.

That could soon change, though. Jailbreak superstar Comex — the developer of JailbreakMe, and a former programmer at Apple — is working on an alternative to Cydia Substrate.

Comex is developing a new Cydia Substrate alternative called Substitute, in cooperation with iMods, a soon-to-launch competitor to the Cydia store. On the Substitute Github page, here’s what Comex has to say about his reasons for working on the project:

In the short view, because iMods asked me to. The reason they can’t use Substrate (allegedly; I haven’t myself discussed this specific issue with saurik, and don’t really care, due to the other use cases for this library; I hope I am not fundamentally misrepresenting anyone’s view here) is that saurik does not want to support them because he does not think competition is healthy for the ecosystem.

Saurik himself (in an overly long and hard-to-follow post) has copped to the fact that he’s not exactly keen to see competition with Cydia, and isn’t motivated to make the Cydia Substrate open source. If he can’t or won’t do it, maybe Comex can.

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