If you have heard of jailbreaking, you have heard of Cydia. The two go hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other. Not everyone knows what Cydia is, though. People who have jumped ship from another platform to iOS may be wondering how come their iPhone is limited in what it can do, while their best mate has an iPhone that looks fantastic and does all sorts of amazing things.
Image : What is Cydia ?
Through the simple act of jailbreaking your device, you too can have Cydia and access to thousands of tweaks, mods, themes and ringtones. Read on to find out all you need to know about Cydia.
What is Cydia ?
Cydia is the jailbreakers version of the iOS app store. It is only available by jailbreaking and is home to thousands of different options for customizing your iPhone or iPod, whether it is to add new features, new functions or just make it look good. Cydia was created by Jay Freeman, perhaps better known as Saurik and was actually released before Apple came up with the iOS App store.
The name comes from the Codling Moth, scientifically known as “Cydia Pomonella”. Literally translated, it means “The worm in the apple”.
How to Get Cydia :
There is only one way to get Cydia and that is to jailbreak your iOS device. Currently, there are two main jailbreak providers.
Both teams have been on the scene for a couple of years now, providing us with regular jailbreaks and updates.
What Exactly is Jailbreaking ?
In brief, jailbreaking is the act of breaking through the layers of security in the iOS using just a small piece of software. The software is used on vulnerabilities in the iOS and it effectively removes all the restrictions that Apple put in place, giving you root access. This is what allows you to use Cydia to modify your device.
Apple continues to fight against jailbreaking, despite the fact that it has been ruled legal by the Library of Congress, for the next three years at least. They release regular updates in an attempt to patch up the holes the jailbreak teams use but, more often than not, they create another hole that is easily used. However, this cannot always be done and as a result, there is never going to be a jailbreak for every single version of the iOS.
Is it Safe to use Cydia ?
To start with, when Cydia first came out, it was not thought to be very stable or safe to use. However, as the years have passed, much work has been done on it and it is now much safer. Like anything though, you do take your chances. When you download an app from the iOS app store, you know it has been tested for safety and security. If it is not safe to use, Apple will not allow it into the store. That doesn’t happen with Cydia and, on occasion, a rogue tweak will make it into the store.
The only real advice we can give you is to be careful. Stick to downloading tweaks from recognized sources – the default repositories are all safe to use – and you will have much less chance of picking up anything malicious.
Compatibility is another issue that you may come across. The sheer numbers of tweaks in Cydia mean that it is inevitable that some simply won’t work together and will likely cause problems on your device, potentially leading to you having to restore your device.
What are Repositories ?
Think of a repository as being a kind of storage box, a fling system or a safe perhaps. Each one holds a number of tweaks, some from multiple sources and others holding tweaks only from a specific developer. When you first start to jailbreak you should stick to using the default ones – these are the ones that are downloaded with Cydia – and get to know what you are doing before you start looking at adding new repos. Be aware that not all of the tweaks are free – some developers do charge a small amount to cover their costs and time.
Now you now exactly what Cydia is and what is does, it’s time to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad and start using it.