If you’re new to Jailbreaking you probably don’t know much about Cydia. Maybe this post will shed some light on what it is and how to use it.

Cydia: is an alternative to the AppStore. Instead of primarily allowing you to download Apps you most likely will download tweaks. Tweaks, unlike apps modify your device. They will allow you to run custom themes, move statusbar items, run widgets, and much much more. That being said you can still download some apps from Cydia.

Tweak: is the buzzword used to describe a majority of what’s in Cydia. In a nutshell they are packages created by developers that allow you to modify iOS runtime. This means if you want to hide your statusbar you can. A developer would create this tweak, you would download it and when your device resprings (almost like a reboot, but not a reboot more about that later) your statusbar would be hidden. Most tweaks have settings which can be adjusted, wether that be to disable the tweak or customize it. These are located in the settings.app.

Cydia Sources: Cydia comes with a set of default repositories. A repository is a place that stores packages. To name a few Macciti (hosts mainly themes and apps) Modmyi (hosts mainly themes, apps, tweaks) Bigboss (hosts mainly tweaks). These repositories give developers a place to upload to, and you a place to download from. Cydia does allow developers like myself to create their own repositories. This is great if a dev wants to have full control of his packages. You can add a developers repo by clicking (while in the sources tab) edit in the top right and add in the left.

Changes: Tweaks will get updates, if there is an issue with a package, or if a dev wants to add more features. You find these updates in the changes tab in Cydia. A pro note is to read the changes the developer made before installing the updates.

Installed: Shows all packages you have installed from Cydia.

Search: A good way to search for packages if you know the name.

Finding good tweaks: I’m not going to lie, if you are looking for something in particular, it probably exists, but you’ll have a hard time finding it. Cydia doesn’t search descriptions, it only searches names. If you don’t know the name you’re out of luck. The best thing to do is Google (Example: iOS9 tweak to hide statusbar) Another great option is the jailbreak reddit http://reddit.com/r/jailbreak or http://reddit.com/r/iosthemes  Also check out YouTubers who review tweaks such as https://www.youtube.com/user/iTwe4kz or https://www.youtube.com/user/iReviewsVideos

Errors: You will sometimes encounter errors when installing a cydia package. If you do write the error down or take a screenshot. Google the error (errors are displayed in red) and you will most likely get an answer on what it means and how to fix. A great place for these errors is https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Cydia_Errors

Respring: I mentioned this earlier, but didn’t really go over it. A respring restarts your springboard. This allows tweaks that run in the springboard to start as soon as the springboard loads. Since tweaks modify the springboard for them to be activated they must start when the springboard does. You will see this when installing most tweaks from Cydia.

SafeMode: With all good things come some bad things. If you are just starting out i’m sure you will install tons of tweaks. Sometimes when doing this errors will happen. You may find yourself in SafeMode. This happens to keep your device useable, and lets you know you have an issue. Most issues can just be a tweak that has a problem. Others may be a tweak that conflicts with another. This can be solved by going into Cydia and deleting that tweak.

If I didn’t answer some questions you may have let me know on twitter or email. My website is http://junesiphone.com contact info is there.