Basics of Cydia and Cydia

 When ever we buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod or any other iOS device, we often heard of terms like Jailbreaking, Unlocking, Cydia, Installous and many more. Out of all, jailbreaking and Cydia are most popular terms, as they give us the power of installing any premium iPhone apps for free.  Even though the term is not new, new users joining the iOS community might not be familiar about Cydia. It is important to iOS users and this post will answer all the questions about it. Today, we will dive into the world of Cydia and lets learn and understand what is Cydia and why you should have Cydia installed on your iOS device. Later on we will talk about how you can get cydia and other aspect of it. But, for now lets look into Cydia and all important information related to it.

What is Cydia?

It’s an independent, third-party installer application for all the iDevices. Developed by Jay Freeman (Saurik), it’s similar to the official App Store. However, it brings apps and tweaks that can be downloaded for free or for a small charge. You get to use apps that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. If you are wondering, why we need Cydia to add new tweaks, Simple, because it offers you what Apple doesn’t. For example, you can only set audio ringtones for incoming calls on iOS. VUZIQ is a new Cydia tweak available through the BigBoss repo which allows you to set video ringtones for incoming iOS calls, and it’s free. None the less, Installous which is the best app to get from Cydia, it will let you install all the apps (Free & premium) on your device, without spending any money. Basically, all the apps are cracked and hosted on free hosting sites.

To get Cydia, it’s important for you to jailbreak your iOS device, which we have discussed further in this tutorial.

Why Cydia was developed when we had the App Store?

Now that’s a question I asked myself when I wasn’t familiar with it. I mentioned above it is quite similar to the App Store. So what’s the difference? Well, some important apps for your iDevice can’t be approved by Apple. Those apps and tweaks can be found in Cydia but not at the App Store.

What’s jailbreaking?

So I assume, you get a clear picture about what is Cydia and now lets learn how you can get Cydia. Though, I’m not explaining any jailbreaking tutorial, in this post and will talk extensively about process and background of Jailbreaking.

Jailbtreaking is the process of modifying iOS and get root access to perform many action and remove all restriction imposed by Apple. To install Cydia, jailbreaking is must. In other word, jailbreaking is hacking iOS.

There were rumors going on a couple of months back that it’s declared illegal, the whole world continues to jailbreak. While Apple seeds new firmware’s to counter it, the latest being iOS 5.1. However, the hackers work hard to find exploits which lead to jailbreaking of the newest firmware after a few months of release. A little bit of history now, the battle between Apple and jailbreaking has continued since 2008, when George Hotz released the first jailbreak tool known as Geohot. Jailbreaking can be divided into three sub-part, which we have discussed below.

What is tethered, semi tethered and untethered jailbreak?

Tethered jailbreak requires you to plug in the iDevice into the computer every time the device reboots. Untethered jailbreak counters that and allows you to reboot without any barrier. Semi-tethered jailbreak allows you to reboot without any issues but some of the downloaded jailbreak apps are not accessible. However, full access is available again once connected to the computer.

What are different tools of used for jailbreaking?

The list is long. But the names I know are SpiritJB, Limera1n, Blackra1n, PwanageTool, Redsn0w, Greenpois0n, Sn0wbreeze and JailbreakMe. I have heard about AprilRa1n too which is for the iPad 3. Anyways, you can install Cydia on your iOS device by jailbreaking. The tool you would choose depends on many factors such as the iOS version, locked or unlocked iPhone and the iDevice version (iPhone 4S/4/3GS, iPad 3/2/1, iPod Touch 4G/3G or Apple TV).

Note: Jailbreaking an iPhone is not that tough but again it’s not that non-technical too. You should buy a jailbreaking package or premium support, so that if your phone is stuck while jeailbreaking, you can easily get quick support.

Is Cydia safe?

I’ll be honest here. It’s not 100% safe as almost every jailbreak app is approved on the Cydia Store. This also includes the chances of malware apps being approved. So, before you download any app or tweak from Cydia, make sure you read about it on Internet and then only installed it. I recommend downloading apps and tweaks from only trusted repositories. ModMyi and BigBoss are the safest one available.

Also, take care of compatibility issues with tweaks. Last time, I installed an Android style screen from Cydia on iOS5 (iPhone 4), my phone got hung and I had no choice but to reformat my iPhone. So, to avoid any such cases with it, better read FAQ and know what you are doing. But, but the end Cydia is like must have app for your iPhone or iPad.

What is the structure of Cydia?

Cydia Homepage

If you are interested in installing Cydia, you should also know what you’re in for next. Once you open it, you’ll find 5 tabs. Here are the details:

  • Home: Here you’ll find some sponsored apps, account information, sources FAQ and some important settings.
  • Changes: All new programs and updates can be found here. This particular tab is updated every time Cydia is opened.
  • Sections: All the apps divided into categories are visible through this tab. Select the category you desire and start searching for your tweak.
  • Manage: Allows you to manage Cydia, add sources and repositories, remove programs and have access to all the storage.
  • Search: If you know the name of the tweak, you can go to this tab and start searching by entering the name.

What are Cydia repositories?

It is an online hub where the developers release and store their tweaks for quick access and installation. Two of the most popular repositories are BigBoss and ModMyi and most of the tweaks developed nowadays are released into these two repos. We all do a separate post on most popular Cydia repos and apps in coming week. Meanwhile you can read:

How to purchase apps from Cydia?

Cydia offers some awesome paid tweaks to spice up your iPhone or iPad. You need an iTunes Apple ID to purchase apps from the app store. Cydia allows you to login with a Facebook or Twitter account and pay via Amazon gift cards or Paypal. Payments are easier than you expect.

I recommend these latest Cydia tweaks:

  • iSleepWell: This tweak uses hardware sensors that detect the orientation of the iDevice and turns off all the radios when the device is placed screen down on a surface. The Airplane mode will be activated when you’re in a meeting or about to sleep. You can get it from the BigBoss repository for $0.99. It works on iOS 5 and above.
  • ClipboardEdit: This creates a new section in the Notification Center, and that automatically reads text from the clipboard and then displays the text. Not suitable for images though, but you can always use it for text items. This one is available via BigBoss repository for free.
  • AssitantExtensions: For me, this is the most important nowadays for the iPhone 4S users. It increases the possibilities of what can be done using Siri. Based upon MobileSubstrate, it allows hackers and developers to come up with more extensions for the tweak. It is a free download via BigBoss repository.
  • Activator v 1.6.2: Activator is an essential tweak that is a must for every jailbreaker. Many other tweaks rely on Activator for activation methods, which show how powerful it really is. You can search for the latest version of Activator through the search tab explained above. The latest update adds support for iOS 5.1 (Apple’s latest iOS firmware).
  • iLettars: Allows you to customize animations and make them as slow as desired. There are settings which allow you to choose the desired speed. The tweak is based on Activator actions. You can find it via the ModMyi repo for $1.59.

Can Cydia Be installed without jailbreaking?

NEVER! If anyone says that you can download Cydia without jailbreaking your iDevice then either he is a fool or think trying to make you one.

Some time, when you open Cydia, it takes time for reloading. Which is very normal as Cydia stores the package catalog on your iOS device and every time you open it, it downloads the updates. Though, recent version of Cydia is really fast and you won’t get Cydia reloading issue so often.

I hope this guide will help you answering your query “What is Cydia and all the basic information related to Cydia”. We will be exploring more about it in coming days, don’t forget to subscribe to us for getting instant updates. If you need any Cydia Help or any query regarding using Cydia, dont hesitate to ask.

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Nguyen Diep
My name is Nguyen Manh Cuong. I was born in a poor village in Ba Vi district, HA NOI province - windy and sunny land. Currently

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