An iPhone 4S that’s jailbroken is like a free bird, it has no restrictions. And as soon as you finalized that process, you will start wondering about how to get certain tweaks and apps that made you jailbreak it in the first place. Well, Cydia is the answer.
It’s not only the home of awesome tweaks, but it’s also the home of some apps that you normally will never find in the App Store. That’s right; many useful and very cool things get rejected by apple for no “serious” reasons. Apple has some rules regarding what gets approved; many people find these rules very stupid and controlling. That’s why Cydia and it’s repositories come to the rescue; let’s know more about it, shall we?
History and more
Cydia is a 3rd party app that was developed by the mighty Jay Freeman (aka Saurik), it looks like the official Store in so many ways; but with the ability to get thousands of “hidden” tweaks. These downloads can be free or paid. Saurik has debuted Cydia for the first time in 2008, and it has been updated every now and then to meet more demands or to fix some bugs. It has grown more and more, and what has started as a small tool for tweaking, became one of the brightest and must have additions that you could get.
The name is derived from the Latin name of the codling moth; Cydia pomonella – which means “worm in apple”. Get the irony? Although it might seem like a replacement for Apple’s App Store, it is not.
Here comes the trick, you cannot just install it as a third party addition. It must be jailbroken first in order to be able to get access to it (we got a guide for that). Many people are afraid of this process; they fear it might damage their phone. To them I say, here is the deal: to get all the tweaks that you want, you must have this unofficial “store”. Most tools that can help you with the process automatically add it, if not; at least they give you the option to have it installed in just minutes.
Well, to be honest; it’s not 100% safe and here is why. You should consider it like a portal for all iOS developers to meet and show their products. In their own store, Apple puts some measurements and rules for anything to be published or shown there. This doesn’t have that, so you might run into a download that might not safe. You can easily avoid this by installing apps from trusted repo’s and developers. (We will get to knowing what repo’s are in a few seconds)
How it works
Each team or developer has its own repository or “repo”, which he stores his apps to for people to go directly to it. Many repo’s have gotten a great reputation and trustworthiness; it is not easy to please a crowd who dares you to please it. People come to it looking for eye-catching themes and tweaks. So you just open it up, look for what you want and install it; it is as easy as that.
When you’re done jailbreaking, search and launch it. You must be connected to the internet to use it, as it loads every update possible for anything that’s installed on your device. So it might take some time loading, depending on your network speed.
On the main window and on the footer, you’ll find 5 tabs:
– Cydia: application’s homepage.
– Sections: to browse the categories of all downloads.
– Changes: any update or new tweak can be found here.
– Manage: here you can manage your sources or repo’s by adding or removing them. You can also manage updates here.
– Search: I guess it speaks for itself, search for whatever you are looking for.
One last piece of advice, do not be afraid. Go deep and try more, it is fun and will not harm anything, and it truly is endless. You did all this to have fun and stand unique from other users, and now you will be.