What is Cydia ?

After Apple released iOS 8.4.1 and killed off TaiG , the jailbreak scene went very quiet. TaiG said they wouldn’t be releasing a jailbreak utility for 8.4.1 or for iOS 9 when it was released, because they were concentrating on bigger things.  from that, we learned that the Pangu Team is focusing all their efforts on upcoming iOS Jailbreak .

Image : Cydia on iPhone 6 running iOS 9 – Successful Pangu 9 Jailbreak

No Jailbreak Cydia Download

Everybody who jailbreaks does it for their own personal reasons but, at the heart of it, it’s so that they can gain access to Cydia.  We all know that there is no iOS 9 jailbreak available yet but it is being worked on and, as soon as we have news, we’ll let you know.  In the meantime, we’re going to answer your questions about Cydia.

What Exactly is Cydia ?

Cydia is kind of like the official app store but for jailbreakers.  It contains a whole host of tweaks and apps, mods and themes, all sorts of things that will help you to modify your device in ways Apple won’t let you.

cydia ios 9 iphone repo source add3

Some of the more common ones that are downloaded include tweaks that bring functionality to the lock screen, app switchers, and ones that give you quick and easy access to your settings toggles.  But, hang on a minute, aren’t all those things on iOS 8 now ?  Yes, they are but trust in us when we say that what Apple has given you is nothing compared to what some of these highly powerful tweaks can do.  And, contrary to popular belief, Apple’s mainly, they will not harm your iOS device.

If you are interested in the origins of the name Cydia, it comes from the Codling Moth, scientific name Cydia Pomonella. This translates into “the worm in the apple”.

Who made Cydia ?

jay freeman saurik 640x

Cydia was created by Jay Freeman, perhaps better known as Saurik. Cydia for iPhone was first released in 2008 as an alternative to installer.app, which was present on OS.1.1. By April 2011 Cydia was reporting an astonishing 4.5 million users each week and is today the single most popular non-official app store . There are few more app stores that are coming up , notably iMods and Extensify .

Why you have to jailbreak to get Cydia ?

taig ios 9 jailbreak

Image Credits : TaiG Jailbreak

Apple tends to be a bit restrictive and doesn’t allow users to download apps that are not purchased from their App store.  The only way you can make use of any third-party apps is to jailbreak your device first.  Cydia is included as part of the jailbreak package as the portal for gaining access to those apps and you will not find it as a standalone download anywhere.

So, tell me what I can actually do with Cydia.

It would probably be a lot quicker to tell you what you can’t do.  Think back to when you were a child and you went into a sweet shop for the first time.  Now think of Cydia as that sweet shop.  It is packed to the rafters with all sorts of goodies – apps, tweaks, mods, themes, ringtones, you name it, and you’ll find it.

Image : Winterboard Theme Platform available on Cydia


Themes are probably among the more popular jailbreak tweaks.  After all, we all want to make our iOS devices look good, and Apple doesn’t really provide a great deal in the way of choice.  We know that iOS 7 has improved somewhat in that department but you are still fairly limited in how you can change the way things look.  One of the first apps you need to download from Cydia is called Winterboard.  Virtually all of the themes you will find on Cydia run through this app .

Tweaks  let you change the things look as well, like that lock screen.  You can change your font and icon size or even use a set of custom icons. Change  your carrier logo, make the battery indicator disappear or show it as a percentage.  There are so many that it would take forever to list them all . FutureLock lite image below .

futurelock lite in iphone 6

Apps help you to change the way things work on your iOS device. Change the function of your lock screen, use a new kind of app switcher [image below], access those system toggles quickly.  You can change the way your device connects to the internet, use a different type of messages app or add a new set of icons into your keyboard.

alympus app switcher

Lock Screen Themes  are one of the more popular type of themes. Until iOS 7 came along the lock screen had no real function aside from having the unlock slider on it.  Jailbreaking and Cydia changed that forever. Not only can you change the theme on your lock screen you can also make it possible to access apps and other information from it. Again, while Apple has now included this in iOS 7, they still haven’t given you what Cydia can.

A brand new functionality  is another thing that Cydia gives your device.  When FaceTime came out, Apple restricted it to Wi-Fi only.  A handful of Cydia tweaks broke that rule and now you can use your 3G network as well, if you want to.  In fact, if there’s something you want your iOS device to do, look in Cydia, you’ll find something in there to help you.

What is Cydia made up of and how do I use it ?

When you first open Cydia you will be confronted with a number of different things to look at:

  • Sections  –  If you are new to Cydia head here first.  This is where everything is placed into categories and you’ll be able to easily search this to find the type of app or tweak you are looking for.
  • Search  –  This is where you search for a specific tweak or app instead of having to go through each separate repository.cydia_reloading_dta
  • Manage  –  This is where you will add and edit specific repositories that are not already included as part of Cydia.  It’s also where you can find out if you have enough space to download that smart new app or where you can remove stuff you no longer need.

What are Cydia Repositories ?repo source iphone 6 ios 8

The literal meaning of the word repository is a place where things can be stored and that’s exactly what they are on Cydia.  Each repository contains a number of different apps, tweaks, themes etc. and there are a number of the more popular ones included as part of the package.  In some cases you may need to add a new one to get what you are looking for.

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29 thoughts on “What is Cydia ?

  1. Light news day huh? Why waste an entire article on something that all Jailbreakers already know about and 99.9% can’t use right now?


    • Hey guys, I need some help with color keyboard. I dodlnoawed it and installed it on my phone but when I go to the lock-screen now, the actual keys are changed but the background is completely gone. I’ve tried respringing the device and deleting and re-installing it but nothing works. Help please?

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