An iPhone app named "Cydia" made some big news recently, for posing the first real challenge to Apple's draconian dictatorship over the iTunes App Store. What's the big deal? If you haven't heard of Cydia, it's a gateway app -- a kind of seedy, underground version of the official App Store that let's you install unofficial, unauthorized and otherwise illegal apps to your Jesusphone or iPod Touch. The hubbub is over the latest version, which now allows developers to sell their wares and accept payments right inside of the Cydia app itself via Amazon Payments, Facebook Connect, Google logins, and soon PayPal.
Of course, Cydia and anything acquired through it can only be installed if you've mustered the cojones to jailbreak your touch-erific Apple handheld, thereby voiding its warranty. So, for the vast majority of multi-touch fetishists out there, news of this "alternate" app store is completely meaningless. Why should you care about it, then? Because the iTunes App Store, as it exists, is broken.