As a part of the MacStories Apps Tree event, I had the chance to interview Gi-Lo, a developer of iPhone tweaks available in Cydia. He's the creator of SnowCover, FiveIRows and many other stuff. Be sure to follow @EyeDevs on Twitter to stay update about what Gi-Lo and his upcoming team have in store for 2010.
This is 15th of many interviews and guest posts I’ll publish on MacStories during this week.
Hi there! Can you please introduce yourself to MacStories readers?
Sure. I am a young, currently 17 years old German iPhone developer. My full name is Giulio but you will find me under Gi-lo. Maybe some of you already know some of my tweaks like FiveIRows or the latest one called SnowCover. You can follow me on twitter under GiloTM and my team under EyeDevs.
So, you develop tweaks and stuff for iPhone to be published on Cydia, right?
Yeah. I really love to get the best out of the small device. It is very cool when you develop something and you are the only one for now having a cool outstanding extra thing on the device.
Have you ever thought of getting started on developing apps for the App Store? Or are you afraid of the limitations of the App Store?
I have already done an app to show of my teacher to get a better mark. But I really dislike to develop for the AppStore. It is kinda boring for me. Sure it is powerfull but not as much as Cydia tweaks are.
Could you please tell us something about the tweaks you've developed so far?
My first tweak ever was FiveIRows. It gives you 5 instead of 4 Icon rows on your springboard. Best thing i have ever done so far was SnowCover. People really hate the way your cover is shown in the lockscreen. I hate it aswell. So I thought about making it nicer. Now, after it was done, I saw people coming out with cool themes and nice ideas for updates.
Many people see Cydia as a way to "install cracked apps on the iPhone", which - let's face it - it's partially true. There are tweaks that enable the users to run cracked .ipa file on a jailbroken iPhone. Your opinion?
I think some people out there really just jailbreak their device just to get cracked apps. It is more then that. Having nice themes and cool tweaks was for me the reason to jailbreak my iPod.
Can you please explain us what this MobileSubstrate thing exactly is?
MobileSubstrate is a tweak which allows you to change Springboards methods etc.. You can inject some code in currently existing functions by write dylib extensions. Also you can hook the iVars to play with them. It is really amazing. With it you can really get out the rest of the device.
Which are the best apps available in Cydia, and why.
There are tons of cool apps or tweaks in cydia. Sure WinterBoard and SBSettings are must have. I really love IconoClasm. It allows you to position your Icons whereever you want. You can have a triangle of Icons, 6 rows and 2 culomns. And that for every SpringBoard page separatly. Also I often enjoy the powerful iFile application. Its a cool file manager for your mobile device. There are tons of other good apps. I can not mention them all here.
Is the Cydia Store a good source of revenue? Do you think more developers will try this alternative store in the future?
I dont have anything for sale in Cydia yet. I am hearing by friends that sales are good. But they also told me of a high crack rate. Currently 10 : 1. This is making me very sad and is holding many devs to make tweaks.
What are you planning for next year? Maybe creating your own iPhone dev team?
Yeah, I am currently creating a dev-team caled EyeDevs. Elias K., Peleaz and me are still working on our site which must be outstanding and cool of course. Also I am planning to release my first tweak that a user would have to buy. I am really interested on that concept. A SnowCover Update is planned aswell. And maybe I can even handle to make my first mac app :)
Do you believe the next iPhone OS, the 4.0 version, will bring more security stuff in order to block the jailbreak? Will Apple ever be able to totally block the jailbreak?
I dont think they can really block some guys to jailbreak their phone. But i do hope apple will fix some minor security bugs on their device.
A list of Gi-Lo's works so far:
Search with cydia