Cydia is an unofficial appstore containing mods, unofficial content like ringtones, iOS themes, and much more.
The main reason for installing these is to provide iOS devices with extra functionality and features like screen recorders, better app switchers, additional lock screen features, and much more. While most of this may already be available on native iOS, Apple doesn’t provide the same level of function that Cydia can.
Cydia explained visually ( infographic ).
Just in case you want to know, the name Cydia came from the Codling moth. The scientific name for that is Cydia Pomonella ( wiki ), which translates to mean “the worm in the apple”.
Who Created Cydia?
The developer responsible for Cydia is Saurik, aka Jay Freeman ( Twitter ). It was released for the first time in 2008, designed as an alternative to install.app, provided by Apple on OS 1.1. Within three years, Cydia was getting over 4 million users every month and remained the most popular of all the unofficial stores to date.
Why Do We Need to Jailbreak to Install Cydia?
Apple is quite restrictive in what they allow us to download; if it doesn’t come from their app store, they don’t want you to have it. Cydia is one way to get third-party apps and other content on your device, and it is included in every jailbreak – you cannot install it on its own.
What Can We Do With Cydia?
Using Cydia you can download any number of themes, modifications, ringtones, tweaks, and much more.
- Themes are one of the more popular downloads, offering plenty of different ways to change how our devices look.
- Tweaks allow you to change the way certain parts of your device, such as the lock screen, icons, font size, battery indicator, and so on.
- Apps allow you to change the functionality of some parts of your device, such as changing your app switcher, use a new app for messaging, add new icons to the on-screen keyboard, and more.
- Lock Screen Themes tend to be more popular than many themes because they offer more functionality on the lock screen, such as choosing what you want to access and see.
Cydia provides a whole heap of functionality that Apple never did. Take FaceTime, for example. Apple restricted it to use on Wi-Fi only ( on older iOS versions ), as they do with quite a few apps. Still, a simple tweak from Cydia tricks the apps into thinking they are on a Wi-Fi network when they aren’t – you can use any app anywhere, regardless of what type of connection it demands. Pretty much whatever you want your device to do, Cydia will provide the means to do it.
What is a Cydia Repository?
The word “repository” means a place for storage, and that is precisely what a Cydia repository is – a place where apps, tweaks, themes, etc., are stored. Cydia comes with the most popular repositories already built-in, and it’s easy enough to add new ones.
More About Cydia on our FAQ page.
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