If you have ever owned an iPhone, iPod, iPad or any other device, you may have heard about strange terms like Cydia, jailbreaking, unlocking, tweaking and many others. The most popular terms, however, are Cydia and jailbreaking because it simply gives any iOS user both power and freedom. Even though these terms have been around since 2008, some Apple users may not know what they mean. So as we begin our journey, we will learn what is cydia and cydia essentials.
What is Cydia?
Cydia is an independent, third-party application installer that allows you to install other applications. Developed by Jay Freeman (Saurik), the app is very similar to the app store. So then, why would we need it? Because it gives users more freedom and power that they can ever dream to get with the App Store. For example, the app allows you to install tweaks to modify the appearance of your screen, icons, signal bars, wifi bars and even change how you can unlock the iDevice. Users also get to install paid games for free (cracked games) via apps such as AppCake. It simply gives you what the app store cannot.
Is Cydia Safe?
I will say this to anyone: it is 100% safe. It’s the apps you install that may not be safe. Some may contain malware. So, before you download apps, make sure to research it on the internet. Also, there is a risk in jailbreaking your device as it modifies the software. This may brick your phone. So make sure that you read my other article on how to jailbreak your device to prevent this.
What is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is the process of gaining root access to the iDevice and removing all of Apple’s restrictions. In order to install cydia, your device must be jailbroken. Do not listen to others who claimed to install the app without jailbreaking their device first. Jailbreaking, however, voids Apple’s warranty. Luckily, it is very easy to reverse. Even though some claimed that it is illegal, users continuously do so their devices, with over 16 million iOS 6 users on the app alone.
There are three types of jailbreaks. Tethered jailbreaks require the user to connect the device to a PC every time the device needs to reboot. Semi-tethered devices can reboot without connecting to a PC but some apps may not work. However, once you connect it back to the PC, it will regain full access. Untethered devices have no reboot limitations and so can always be rebooted independently.
There are many tools used for jailbreaking. The most famous are MuscleNerd, Pod2G, Evasi0n, P0sixNinja, iH8Sn0w, Redsn0w and JailbreakMe. The tool you use may depend on the iOS software, device and if it’s locked or unlocked.
There are five tabs in Cydia. These tabs are:
Home: Here you can find sponsored apps, more Sources FAQ, account information and some important settings.
Sections: In this tab, all the apps divided into categories. You can search for your tweak here.
Changes: Here you will find all updates and new programs. This tab is updated every time you open the app as new updates are getting added.
Manage: This tab allows you to basically manage Cydia, remove programs, add sources and repos and have access to storage space.
Search: As the name suggests, you can search for your tweak here, but only if you know the name of the tweak.
How do I pay for apps?
In the App Store, you have to pay with your Apple account, which you have to sign up for. Cydia, however, has made it easier and equally safe by just requiring you to sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account and pay with PayPal or Amazon gift cards.
What are Repositories?
Repositories, also called sources are online network hubs, where a developer can upload files so that there is easy access to both him and users. Popular sources include BigBoss, SiNful iPhone, Hackulo.us, and xSellize. To find out more about popular repos, you can read my other article.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to learn what is cydia and cydia essentials.