UPDATE: Are you interested in being a part of the Lima beta test? If so, then RT or tweet this article on Twitter using the #GadgetsteriaRocks tag to enter! I’ve got several codes to giveaway, and I’m sure we’re going to see lots of activity so good luck to all of you!
What’s special about today? Well, aside from being payday here at GS, it’s a day that I get to review something for free! Among other things, it was the day that the team behind Lima Installer launched their beta release! I had a chance to get into the beta, and after about 24 hours of tinkering, I’ve got to say that I like it! The Lima team talks about not wanting to be a direct competitor to Cydia, and I get that. Having said this, my hope is that having two options for installing tweaks and other packages will push the development for both platforms.
First, it’s important to acknowledge support. I had some personal challenges with getting the installer on my device, somewhat expected during Beta periods. If my experience is any indication of future success, I anticipate this project will become something special in the jailbreak scene. I was able to get some direct support by the lead developer (follow him on Twitter @codedit) and he quickly fixed my issues. Further, his partner, @awmusic12635 has also been incredibly responsive. It’s been my experience that those who develop and respond / interact with their users end up making some pretty nice applications!
Lima is a browser-based Installer. In my testing, it performs nicely (only limitations are your network connection.)
“Reloading Data…” is something all too familiar in the jailbreak scene – this happens in Cydia because it is downloading / caching the packages on your iDevice. All too often, I see & hear people complain about how long it takes to reload data; thankfully this isn’t something you have to deal with since Lima is web-based — the packages can be hosted online and you are only downloading the data that you need. (Read: potentially faster performance over time!)
There are many of the same features in Lima as in Cydia; you can view installed packages, browse in Sections etc. So far, my only issue is that when attempting to view Installed packages, it shows only the Bundle Identifier, versus the package name itself. Further, including the descriptions below the title will help a lot! If I had to bet, this will be something resolved in future updates. Check the gallery for a few screenshots I took.
One thing that some users might find pleasing is the absence of ads on the package page in Lima. (Note: when you tap a link for more information, you are taken to a page with ads.) As the developers keenly point out on their website, ads are a necessity to keep the repos like BigBoss, Modmyi and Saurik running so I’d expect this to be a change in future revisions.
Lima has been a concept in the works for about a year – you can check out this video posted a year ago of the concept for a browser-based solution for installing packages in iOS. It’s come a long way – and with the guys behind the development already being helpful & providing support, I’d expect it to go a long way in the future! Check back here for updates as the Beta progresses!