Monday, May 2, 2011

iPhone gets its first browser-based app store (for unsanctioned apps)

Jailbreakers, rejoice. Soon a sensible way of downloading unsanctioned apps will arrive, the one which won’t require a storefront app like the Cydia Store or Apple’s App Store. The iPhone Download blog points out that Infini Dev Team (no association with the iPhone Dev-team whatsoever) is working on an alternative store dubbed Lima.

It will be 100 percent browser-based so you will simply fire up Safari and head to a store URL to browse, download and install your favorite apps and themes. It’s gonna be just like Android Market or Amazon Appstore for Android, which both allow for browser-based software discovery and installation. Lima is still work in progress, but should be available “soon”, developers say. Check it out in a video after the break.

MacStories explains that the Lima store will allow third parties to put their programs for sale. Users will have an option to manage repositories and use “a backup system for installed packages” so they won’t have to use third-party apps such as xBackup or PKGBackup to restore their apps after a firmware update, explains author Federico Viticci. With an estimated ten percent of iOS devices being jailbroken and up to a million and half users logging in to the Cydia Store each day, the jailbreak market is clearly striving. The reasons are many, chiefly Apple’s numerous app rejections and the fact that Apple forbids popular tweaks, such as interface themes and custom skins.

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