Anyone who has jailbroken their iPhone or iPad knows that Cydia has almost become the default alternative app store. Though less than 1 in every 10 iOS devices gets jailbroken, Cydia gets installed in nearly all of them. Occasionally there have been some Cydia competitors out there but none of them gained much popularity. However, there are places where Cydia has room for improvement. One of the main complaints about Cydia is that it is not very user friendly. Installing custom apps and tweaks through Cydia calls for some level of technical maturity. This has deterred many people from jailbreaking their devices even if they like the customization power it gives.
That is exactly the issue iMods is trying to address. It is an alternative app store (like Cydia) which aims to bring jailbreaking to the mass people. The main power of iMods is its user friendliness and well maintained app platform. The developer group believes that the term “jailbreak” has gained much negative image among public. Common users perceive jailbreaking as something which is unstable and buggy. The reason behind this image is the poorly maintained alternative app store. For example, though Cydia has a huge collection of custom apps, users often need to go through trial and error process to find supported apps for their devices. It is also hard to update these customized apps. The iMods app store tries to solve these problems by making usability and user experience its top priority.
1. Interface: The interface is one of the main plus points of iMods. The design perfectly blends with iOS with the familiar look and feel. Users can easily navigate through available sections. It is clear that the developers have given much attention here.
2. . App lists: The main interface divides the available apps primarily in two groups: the apps to customize appearance and the general apps. Additionally, iMods will have a featured app list which will be updated once per two weeks. There will also be the “new items”, “top free” and “top paid” app lists, so that users can see which apps are trending the most. Additionally, apps can be browsed by category.
3. User profile: Each user will have a customizable user profile. In the profile a user can also store wishlist of apps he / she wants to install later.
4. Payment method: Users can set up their payment method in their profiles. Apart from credit cards, payment through Paypal is accepted for buying paid apps. It will most probably have Touch ID compatibility too.
5. App rating: Users can rate the apps on a scale from 1 to 5 stars. When one visits the page for an app, the average rating for that app will be viewable.
6. Customer support: iMods team promises an extensive help and support service through direct call, email or chat.
7. Advertisement free: iMods platform will be completely ad-free.
8. . Well-monitored: The main strength of iMods is that it will be extremely monitored (unlike other secondary app stores), so that buggy or problematic apps cannot be published. Also when a user searches for apps, iMods will only show apps which are compatible with the user’s device. That will save the users from a lot of hassles. When an update is available for an app iMods will show that in the “updates” section.
9. New theming tool: iMods uses a new theming tool Anemone instead of Winterboard. If you are not familiar with these terms don’t worry. The point is - iMods will have a better UI for customizing themes in you iPhone or iPad.
Unfortunately, iMods is not available for public yet. The team has continuously delayed and rescheduled the release date. Currently version 1.0.1 (beta) is available only for a selected number of users who had registered through http://imods.co/signup/. Though the beta version is not full-fledged, the user reactions have been very positive. iMods team have assured that they are working hard to incorporate new changes and bug fixes to bring out the final version. The official iMods website announces an expected public release in summer 2015. Hopefully that is not far away.