The idea of iPhone hacking is nearly as old as the iPhone itself, soon followed by the writing of iPhone apps. Soon after it was realized that there needed to be a way of distributing the various hacks and goodies to other users, and so began the birth of Installer.app and the collaborative open-source distribution system Cydia. Since then Cydia has become the more popular of the two, and it’s now how most people get their unsanctioned hacks and apps. But what’s up with that name?
Ars Technica decided to investigate the issue further and contacted its creator,Jay Freeman, or as most of you know him, iPhone Dev Team member Saurik.
What did he say was the inspiration for the name? He decided to name it after a kind of worm
called cydia pomonella. He says that it “is what we often think of the as the stereotypical apple worm.” He adds, “I felt the name was fitting.”
Through Cydia, you can download, upload, distribute and install various kinds of software from independent developers, many of which do so against Apple’s wishes. It’s easy to see why Apple might think of it as kind of a worm when they strive for complete control of the iPhone developing platform with the App Store. In the time it’s been around it’s managed to gain over 350,000 users.
Also, for the record, it’s pronounced sih-DEE-uh, not see-dee-uh or sigh-dee-uh. He gets emails asking about that a lot.