Cydia for the iPhone
Cydia is an iPhone application that is installed via Jailbreaking. It is the single most popular application for the
community. If you have a jailbrocken
iPhone, the chances that you have it installed on your iPhone is maybe 99%.
It is the tool to install most of the iPhone hacks and third
party iPhone applications. I visit it and its store once a day on average
see what is new and to update my installed packages if there is any.
Cydia was introduced at the same time as iPhone OS
2.0 around July 2008. Most of the hacks and applications available in Cydia are
free and can be
downloaded and installed
directly to the
However, in March
2009, the Cydia Store was
opened, and it became possible to purchase
applications for the
through Amazon or PayPal accounts. Many
of the applications in the Store run about $1 to $5 on average.
What are Repositories (repo):
Repositories are directory structures
that hold packages and
their components. They are
usually hosted on someone’s
or on a
server. They have a url address similar to a url you would
enter in a web browser.
Cydia installs third party applications or packages using repositories.
To install those applications or packages you have to add the
repository to a sources
list. You can also install those packages manually by using an application like iFile and installing the iPhone deb file.
A repository url is the location of
the packages. When you add a
repository to your source list in Cydia, you can access and install any
packages in that repository. The repository should have all the
necessary components for
the packages to be installed.
Navigating the Cydia App:
When you start the Application, you will see 5 buttons at the
bottom, Cydia, Sections, Changes, Manage, and Search.
navigate through the applications and hacks in many different ways. From the home screen, tapping Featured
Packages will list
some of the most popular paid and free iPhone hacks and applications.
One way to navigate is to tap the Sections button at the bottom
of the application and browse through the categories. There are tens of
categories to look into.
You can also use the Search button and type the name of the application
or hack you are looking to get a list of matches.
Another way of navigating through the applications or hacks is by going
to the Sources screen. This is done by
tapping the Manage button,
then tap the Sources button.
This will list
all the sources installed on your iPhone or iPhone 4.
If you tap on a source, all
the packages for that source will be listed as shown above. This is a simple way of finding a hack or an iPhone system trick if you forgot its name.
If you remove a source from your source list, all the packages corresponding to that repository will be removed, so be careful. If
you want to remove a package, use the Packages button explained below
to remove a package.
How to Add a Source in Cydia:
The Sources area is where you add new
sources for some packages in order to see and be able to
To add a source to your source list, tap the sources button shown
above from the Manage button, and
then tap the Edit button at
the top right.
Then enter the url of the
source. Once the source is added, all the packages for that source will
become available for you to
Therefore, if you are looking for a hack, and you can't find it, make
sure you have its source in your Sources list.
Another way of adding sources is from the home screen.
Tap the More Package Sources button to get a big list of sources
approved by Cydia.
You still might need to add some sources manually using the previous
method to install many other hacks and applications.
How to Remove an iPhone Hack or Application:
To remove an iPhone hack or application from your
iPhone or iPhone 4, tap Manage at the bottom, and then tap Packages. This will show you
all installed packages on your iPhone.
Tap the application you want to remove, and you will get the option to Reinstall it or Remove it.
How to find latest iPhone Hacks:
To see the latest iPhone hacks and
applications tap the Changes button and you will see all new iPhone applications
available day by day with dates.
I visit this area regularly to see what is new and recently added. There are
always new iPhone hacks and iPhone applications added. So, check it out
There are other third party installers that allow you to install third
party applications on a jailbrocken iPhone such as Icy, Installer, and Rock .
However, Cydia is the most stable and popular installer while others come and go and vanish.
I expect more unofficial installers and app stores to be available in
the future for the
Why are those unofficial installers and stores available anyways? and
why aren't those
hacks and system tricks available in the App Store like the other apps?! Simply, because those hacks and system tricks don't meet the SDK (Software Development Kit) requirements by
Any application that duplicates any of the default applications
such as iPhone Safari or Mail, or modifies the iPhone file system,
will be rejected by Apple and will not be approved in the App Store.
However, they can be approved and hosted by other installers and stores.
Update: Apple has recently relaxed its restrictions by allowing third party iPhone browsers in the App Store. Also, Icy, Installer, and Rock don't exist any more for the iPhone 4 and newer iOS 4.0.
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