There is no doubt that almost all iOS users have heard of Cydia. For those who haven't already, it's an unofficial app store full of mods, tweaks, third-party apps, and more, but to install it, you need to unlock your device first. Thousands of users consider this a small price to pay to be able to use their device the way they want and not the way Apple claims they can. If that's you, here's everything you need to know.
How to download Cydia:
The only way to do this is to install a jailbreak. There are several available now, and you can choose the one that matches your device and firmware specs on the Cydia download page . Just choose your tool and follow the guide's instructions.
- Phoenix jailbreak
- jailbreak Unc0ver
- Jailbreak Checkra1n
How to use Cydia:
Open Cydia on your device and you will see the home screen with several options:
- Fonts – here you can add new fonts or edit the ones you have installed
- Search – find tweaks, apps, mods, etc. you want from the installed fonts
- Installed – Shows everything you have installed from Cydia
- Changes – see all your installed apps updates, tweaks, etc.
Adding a Repository to Cydia:
- Open Cydia and tap on Fonts
- Tap Edit > Add
- The URL field will appear, enter the name of the repository
- Tap on Add source and it will be added to Cydia
How to download tweaks:
- Open Cydia and tap on Search option
- Enter the tuning name you want
- Make sure your device is compatible and tap Modify
- Tap Install > Confirm
- Once the tweak is installed, tap Restart Springboard
Deleting Cydia tweaks:
- Launch Cydia and tap on Installed option
- Tap Recent and tap the setting you want to delete
- Tap Modify > Remove > Confirm
- Tap Restart Springboard and the tweak disappears.
What does Cydia offer?
Cydia is the original unofficial app store and offers users many ways to exchange their devices:
- Themes – many options to set your device's theme
- Tweaks – options to change the appearance of fonts, icons, lock screen, battery indicator and more
- Apps – lets you add new functions to your device – change your app switcher, messaging apps, icon layout, change what's on your lock screen and much more
- Lock screen themes – change what is shown on the lock screen and how it is displayed
Apple is more than restrictive in what they allow you to do with the device you bought and paid for. That's where Cydia comes in to provide the extra functionality. For example, FaceTime. Apple only allowed it to be used over Wi-Fi on older devices, but a simple tweak from Cydia makes their apps believe your device is on Wi-Fi when it's on data; that way, you can use Wi-Fi-only apps on your data plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many people who have never used Cydia and are curious about what it can do for them. These are the most frequently asked questions about it:
What is Cydia?
It is an unofficial store with jailbreak utilities, containing tons of tweaks, mods and more, many of them completely free. It was created by Jay Freeman (aka Saurik) in 2008 and launched as the first unofficial app store to rival Apple's first app store, install. App. Over the next three years, its popularity grew, reaching over 4 million visitors every month, and today it is as popular as ever.
Why should I download Cydia
Simply because of everything it offers when you jailbreak your device:
- Lots of themes and tweaks to help you change the look of your device
- Use tweaks to add extra functions and features to existing ones
- Give original apps a boost with additional features
- Download tons of unofficial apps and games
- Download ringtones, wallpapers, themes and more
I need to Jailbreak to download Cydia
Yes. Cydia and everything it offers only works with root access, and you can only do that by installing a jailbreak.
Yes. All you need to do is download a free jailbreak and Cydia is included.
Yes, as long as you use the official links to download jailbreaks and only use the pre-installed fonts. Third party fonts can be added but at your own risk as they may include malware.
What are the benefits?
Jailbreaking your device gives you access to Cydia, the popular package manager that offers thousands of tweaks, modifications, apps, games and much more. Using this, you can bypass the restrictions that Apple places on your device and do pretty much whatever you want. None of these tweaks are authorized by Apple, but by jailbreaking your device, you bypass restrictions and change the way your device looks, behaves, and works.
Yes, in many places. It was made legal in the US by the Library of Congress in 2012, and while the same applies to many other countries, you need to check with your region.
Are the tweaks free?
Not all. Most are, and some are just a dollar or two. There are some that are considerably more expensive, but you are free to choose whatever you want and only download the free ones if it is convenient for you. Most have a donate button where you can donate to the developers' hard work, but this is also optional.
What about Cydia alternatives
There are many alternatives you can use without jailbreaking, but none of them offer the same experience. Jailbreaking requires root access for the tweaks to work, and since the alternatives don't require you to jailbreak, you don't get the tweaks, mods, etc. However, you can try them out to get an idea of what jailbreaking can do for you by installing TutuApp, Panda Helper and many other alternatives.
What is a repository?
It is a storage option where tweaks, mods, apps and more are stored. There are some already installed in Cydia, but you can add third-party ones if you wish.
You can remove it in two ways – restore your device using iTunes or install Cydia Impactor and use it. The former puts your device on the latest iOS version while the latter keeps the current iOS version.
Cydia has always been popular and always will be as long as jailbreaking is possible. Don't miss out on all it has to offer; Jailbreak your device and install Cydia today.