Newbie Alert: This post is for newbies to jailbreak and Cydia. People who have jailbroken their iDevices for the first time, and people who are new to the world of Cydia – this one is for you. Let’s take a long and detailed look at how Cydia works, what it is and how you can benefit from it.
You’ve mostly heard a lot of your friends (who have jailbroken their iPhones) talk about tweaks and apps that seem to add power to their iPhones. Yes, Cydia tweaks add a lot of functionality to the iPhone (or iPad, iPod). The most important purpose of jailbreaking – and the most important reason why people jailbreak despite the warnings about warranty and stability – is that it adds a lot of possibilities to tweak the iPhone. You can add themes, you can add functionality tweaks, you can add widgets, you can add more gesture-based controls. The list is actually endless.Cydia: What, Why & How
The place where it all begins is Cydia. Cydia is synonymous with jailbreak these days but Cydia is just a web resource for all the jailbreak tweaks you want. We’ve covered a whole lot of what is Cydia so we won’t go into the details here. Instead, I’ll just say this: Cydia is like Google for jailbreak tweaks.
For newbies, there are three important things you need to know about Cydia:
- How to find and install Cydia tweaks on your iPhone/iPad.
- How to remove Cydia tweaks just in case you’re not happy with it.
- How to add repos (repositories) to Cydia. If you’re exploring a lot of tweaks from various places, you’ll find a lot of tutorials asking you to add some or the other repo. How do you do that? We’ll cover that too.
Before you begin, you’ll need a jailbroken iPhone. That’s very easy with the Evasi0n jailbreak. Take a look at how you can jailbreak your iPhone (running iOS 6.x) using Evasi0n here. You can also watch the video tutorial here.
How to Install Cydia Tweaks and Apps
Adding / Installing Cydia tweaks is simple although it’s not the usual one-click install you expect. The App Store offers such a feature but in Cydia, there’s an additional step involved but it’s easy nonetheless.
- Search for the tweak in Cydia’s Search
- Tap on the tweak to be installed. The info page for the tweak opens.
- On the top-right, click on ‘Install’
- In the next screen, tap on ‘Confirm’
- Cydia will now download and install the package. If things proceed without any errors, your tweak will be installed. Depending on the tweak, Cydia will show you a button that says Respring Dashboard / Reboot iPhone. In some cases, it’s just Return to Cydia.
Many tweaks don’t show up as icons on the SpringBoard. In such cases, you’ll find them under Settings where you configure them.
How to Remove Tweaks from Cydia
For iOS 5 and older versions, there’s this neat little tweak called CyDelete which makes deleting Cydia tweaks as simple as deleting the usual apps you have installed – tap and hold, then press the ‘x’ ribbon.
Unfortunately, since CyDelete hasn’t been updated for iOS 6 yet, you have to use the long method to delete Cydia tweaks.
- Open Cydia
- Tap on Manage
- Now tap on Packages
This shows you a list of all the packages that have been installed. Make sure you clearly know which package/tweak you have to remove.
- Tap on the package that you want to remove
- Tap on ‘Modify’
- Now, tap on ‘Remove’
Cydia will remove the package and you’re done. May be sometimes you’ll need to Springboard. Cydia will show the appropriate button in that case.
How to Manage Cydia Storage
Cydia is actually smart when it comes to storage but even then, if you’re not careful, tweaks or themes can eat up a lot of space. Cydia, however, comes with a neat option to keep an eye on this.
Cydia not only calculates the space used by tweaks, but also shows how much space has been occupied by other things on the iPhone (music, videos, games, apps, files etc.)
How to Add Repos to Cydia
This is probably the most-heard thing in the jailbreak world. You might have to add new tweaks which are available on repos that aren’t already added to your Cydia package.
Repositories (Sources) are servers where you find tweaks. Cydia comes pre-loaded with the ModMyi and BigBoss repo – two of the largest repos containing several thousand tweaks already.
But not all the cool tweaks that you find are available on these two repos alone. For this purpose, you will have to add repos to Cydia. Here’s how to do that:
- Open Cydia
- Tap on Manage
- Now tap on Sources
- You will be shown a list of repos already added to Cydia.
- Tap on Edit on top-left
- Now tap on Add on top-right
- Add the repo URL and tap on Add Source
- Cydia will access the URL and try to add the repo.
Quick video tutorial on how to add Sources to Cydia:
A word about repos:
If you’re adding a repo that has more than 65,535 packages, you will most likely head into trouble because Cydia cannot handle a repo that has more than that many packages. This is the upper limit and it keeps Cydia from going berserk. So if you find any Cydia errors that says too many packages, you know what you got.