What is Cydia? What is Cydia Used for?
Think of Cydia like the App Store. In the App Store, you find all the apps that Apple approves to be listed on the App Store. Cydia is pretty much the App Store for all apps, tweaks, settings and features that Apple doesn’t / wouldn’t allow on the App Store.
Most of these aren’t harmful. It’s just that Apple (following its founder, Jobs) is a control-freak. Most of the time, it’s good but not when you want to change a few things like lockscreen, dock/springboard icons, status bar designs etc.
Or better! Cydia is like Google! You can find almost all the wonderful tweaks and apps that you won’t find on the App Store, here. Yeah that should be it.
What Can I Do with Cydia?
Now, when you ask that, all I can say is, Cydia is like the door to Narnia. It just opens up an amazing world of tweaks, apps, settings, features, icons and more that you just can’t get enough of.
Themes: One of the simplest things that everyone wants to do is to be able to change the theme of their iPhones/iPads. Apple lets you change the wallpaper. That’s it. Searching in Cydia can lead you to stuff like Winterboard/Dreamboard themes: absolutely stunning collection of themes that can eat away all your time if you’re not careful!
Tweaks: How about changing the carrier logo to something unique? Or changing the font? Or using custom icons? Or maybe you want to change the way the lockscreen looks and behaves?
Apps: There are tons of Cydia apps that drastically change the way your iPhone/iPad works. For instance, biteSMS changes the way you text, reply, forward or manage them. In fact, if you use biteSMS, you’ll begin to see the limitations of the stock Messages app. May be you’ll even end up shelling out the $7.99 needed to remove ads in biteSMS (like thousands of users who have fallen in love with the app).
LS Themes: This one’s my most favorite thing on Cydia. It has thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of lock-screen themes that just totally change the way your LS appears. Make the clock and camera icon disappear, change the way the slider looks (or make it disappear too), get some cool weather info on your lockscreen! Tons of possibilities.
Functionality: Remember when Apple said FaceTime was limited to Wi-Fi only? Jailbreak tweaks like FaceTime 3G broke free of that rule and allowed users to make FaceTime calls via 3G networks.. And then there are things like SBSettings, NCSettings etc. which allow you to toggle Settings from the Notification Center.NCSetting Notification CenterNow all of these are developed by third-party developers and you’d probably not find them but for Cydia. Every one of these get listed on Cydia through what is popularly called repos (repositories). And then you find them and download them.
Cydia: Repos, Sources, Status
As you begin using Cydia, you’ll need to know a few things. Like I said before, you learn by doing so don’t read this like you’re doing your exam preps. Just breeze through so you’re familiar.