What is Cydia?

Cydia is a third-party, independent installer application for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Cydia is developed by Jay Freeman (Saurik) and it’s actually much similar to Apple’s app store. Cydia allows you to download tons of tweaks & utilities that you’ll need to make the best out of your iOS device. Cydia brings you many applications that can be downloaded either for free or for a small amount of money.


What is the difference between app store and Cydia?

That’s a good question. You’ve now known that Cydia is much similar to the app store but you may want to know what’s the difference. Well, some apps that can’t be approved by Apple. Those apps are really very important for your iPhone. Utilities and tweaks can be found over Cydia are those that are not there on the app store.
Cydia offers you over 400,000+ apps and they’re all useful. In the next questions, we’ll show you what kind of apps does Cydia offers and why you will need them.


Why Cydia?

Because Cydia offers you what Apple doesn’t. For example, Apple doesn’t give you the ability to change themes of your iPhone. Every smartphone owner would always like to change his mobile theme. On Cydia, you can install a tweak called “Winterboard” which allows you to download and install themes on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.


How can I get Cydia?

That’s a complicated thing for some. To get Cydia, you’ll need to jailbreak. You may don’t know what’s jailbreaking, so let’s head over the next question.


What’s jailbreaking?

In brief, jailbreaking means installing Cydia. That’s a kind of complicated process but it has been confirmed that iOS jailbreaking is 100% legal by the U.S. government. Though, Apple still fights jailbreaking.
The war between Apple and jailbreaking has been there since 2008 when the first jailbreak tool was released by the genius iPhone hacker George Hotz, better known as Geohot.
There’s actually two kinds of jailbreaks, one of them is a bootrom jailbreak which lasts for ever. That jailbreak like Geohot’s latest Limera1n jailbreak. Limera1n’s exploit is still being used up till now on all iOS devices except the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S (which are recently released after the release of Limera1n).
The second kind is the userland jailbreak. This jailbreak is only made for the current iOS software. In other words, it can be patched by Apple in future iOS software updates. This one like JailbreakMe 3.0 for iPad 2 which has been patched only after 10 days.


What is tethered, untethered and semi tethered jailbreak?

As previously posted, tethered jailbreak is that jailbreak where you’ll need to plug in your iPhone into your computer every time the device reboots. Untethered kills that problem and allows you to reboot without any issues. Semi tethered closes the gap between the previous ones, it allows you to reboot without any problems but you won’t get control over some apps (especially those downloaded jailbreak apps). However you can get full access again once you connect it to your computer. You can read more here.


Can I download Cydia without jailbreak?

Absolutely NO! Never believe anyone telling you that you can download Cydia without jailbreak.

 Is Cydia safe?

Cydia is not 100% safe since almost every jailbreak app is approved on Cydia. This increases the chance of malicious apps getting through too. You should only download apps & tweaks from trusted repositories. Repositories like ModMyi and BigBoss are the safest ones. Oh, you don’t know what’s repositories?


What’s repositories?

Repository is the online hub in which developers store their tweaks for quick and easy access and installation. There are a lot of repositories as ModMyi repo and BigBoss repo where we can find out most of tweaks we search for.


Cydia structure

In case you have already got Cydia, you’ll need to know what’s inside it. Once you open Cydia, you’ll find 5 tabs, here’s everything you need to know:

Home – You can find here some applications sponsored, more Sources FAQ, account information and some important settings.

Sections – In this tab, you can see all apps divided into categories. You should just go in the category you need and look up for your tweak.

Changes – All updates and newly added programs can be found here. This tab is updated every time you open Cydia.

Manage – Allows you t omanage Cydia, remove programs, add sources and repositories and have access to all storage.

Search – That’s the tab where you can search for a tweak – only if you got the name.


How do I pay for apps on Cydia?

In Apple’s app store, you can pay through your iTunes Apple ID. On Cydia, you can login with a Facebook or Twitter account and pay using Paypal or Amazon gift cards. Payments on Cydia are easier than you expect.


What useful tweaks to download from Cydia?

In case you’re a new comer and asking for the best tweaks to download from Cydia, we’ve got some tweaks that we recommend:
  • Ultrasn0w
  • Activator
  • SBSettings
  • BiteSMS
  • AppLocker
  • Five Icon Dock
  • iFile
  • InfiniFolders
  • MxTube
  • Multifl0w
  • Winterboard
  • FaceTime 3G
  • FolderEnhancer
  • GraviBoard
  • Terminal
  • OpenSSH
  • ScrollingBoard
  • MultiIcon Mover
  • StayOpened

What’s Semi-Tethered jailbreak

iOS 5 semi-tethered jailbreak is a kind of jailbreak which allows you to reboot your device without needing to a compute for “Just Tethered Boot” option in redsn0w. Yes, it’s similar to an untethered jailbreak but actually 99% of your jailbreak related apps and tweaks won’t work at all. The semi-tethered jailbreak is made as a protection for you if your device reboots while you’re on the road. It allows you to make the most of important functions but you won’t get back to fully functional state until using redsn0w again, when you get home.
For myself, my device sometimes stuck on Apple logo while I’m on the road because of the tethered jailbreak. That will help you a lot in case you’re facing like these problems.


What’s Tethered jailbreak

Tethered jailbreak means you’ll have to plug your iOS device into your compute everytime it’s rebooted and choose the just tethered boot option from redsn0w. In case you don’t have a computer near you (with redsn0w), your device will be stuck on Apple logo.


What’s Untethered jailbreak

That’s the jailbreak where you can reboot your device without having to worry about it not booting up again. Hackers are currently working to get untethered jailbreak on iOS 5.


Supported devices & firmares

You know, they’re still the same. No iPad 2 or iPhone 4S support. It supports iOS 5 on the following devices.


What functions can be done and can’t be using Semi-Tethered jailbreak

 Well, the BigBoss summed up almost everything important:
1) Can use phone, sms (text messages)
2) Can use every other stock app on iphone.
3) Cannot use mobile safari
4) Can use other appstore web browsers such as atomic web browser
5) Cannot use mail app. You could install a gmail app from appstore or such instead.
6) You cannot use any jailbreak tweak, app, cydia until you boot tethered.
7) While in the semitether booted state, you should not add a jailbreak ios5 notification such as sbsettings to notifications during this state or your device will be stuck in a respring loop until you get home to “boot tethered”.


How to get Semi-Tethered jailbreak

Below is full guide to get it:
STEP 1: You must have iOS 5 installed, and tethered jailbreak (guide posted here).
STEP 2: Once jailbroken, open Cydia then tap on Manage > Sources.
STEP 3: Now tap on Edit from the upper right of the screen then add and write down the following repository:

STEP 4: Search for SemiTether, install it then reboot your device.

STEP 5: Once done, you’ll be able to reboot your device without being stuck on Apple logo.
We’ve tried the semi-tethered jailbreak for iOS 5 on iPhone 4 GSM and it’s working perfect. However, the SemiTether solution is in beta and you may face some problems.

UPDATE 1: SemiTether has been updated to fix some issues.
I updated to 0.7.9. This version will take about 90 seconds after it first boots up and then your device will respring again. This timing was the only way to get some of the launch daemons to properly relaunch.
SemiTether 0.7.9 should fix issues for some of you where:
1) Device does not sync with itunes and only errors. Hopefully solved.
2) Device reboots after 2-3 minutes.
UPDATE 2: SemiTether updated again to support Safari working in non-tethered status. More details here.

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