What is the Cydia app store and how do you use it?

Cydia is an alternative app store for Apple’s iOS devices. It allows you to find and download apps and content that are not approved by Apple. To activate the Cydia app store, you need to “jailbreak” your iOS device. If this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. We’ll take a look at what the Cydia App Store is and how it’s used.

What you need to know about jailbreaking

Apple has a method commonly known as a “walled garden” for delivering third-party software and content on its phones and tablets. You may not know this, but the first iOS device, the iPhone, launched with no app store at all! It’s hard to imagine that today, but third-party app support wasn’t on their priority list back then.

Today, the number of apps in the App Store is simply astounding, and it’s easy to forget that every one of these apps has to be approved by Apple. Of course, the Google Play Store also has an approval process, but you are completely free to get your app from another store or get it manually. Not so with Apple, which limits what users can do in different ways with their hardware and software.

Someone inside the prison

The walled garden approach has both pros and cons, but there are many types of apps that Apple doesn’t allow on their system. Video game emulators and virtual machine applications are two examples. You also won’t find any BitTorrent apps on iOS. On an Android device, you can install any software you like, but life as an Apple user can feel like a gilded cage.

Jailbreak, as the name suggests, removes those limitations. Usually, this is done by exploiting a weakness in Apple’s software security. All in all, jailbreaking your iOS device is not difficult if you follow a good online guide. However, it is also not what we would call suitable for complete beginners.

Cydia App Store and piracy


Making customizations and changes to your own device is one thing. It also doesn’t harm anyone if you choose to run unapproved homebrew apps on your iOS device. However, the Cydia app store also allows piracy because you can download and use apps that have been stripped of copyright protection.

Keyboard piracy button

A common reason people install Cydia is to play free iOS games or get useful apps like video editors, which can cost a significant amount of money. There are no two ways to solve this problem, piracy is illegal and it robs them of the money they need to write, update and maintain their apps. So if you can pay for apps, we strongly encourage you to do so.

Risks of Cydia

While using Cydia is certainly a free experience, freedom comes at a cost. Some in fact. First of all, Apple may not take it seriously when you bring in a bricked device that has been jailbroken and loaded with software that is outside of their quality control system. Depending on the consumer protection laws in your country, they may have to help you regardless, but you should carefully consider what you might be giving up when tampering with your iOS device.

The second biggest risk is malware. Viruses, trojans, trackers and more can happen when you circumvent the protections that Apple has put in place. If you download jailbroken apps or homebrew apps on your device, they can be filled with malicious code.

A skull made of malware code

The next risk may not be the one most users consider. It’s like a more serious downside, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you use Cydia to pirate apps, you’re cutting yourself off from that developer’s official support.

The whole smooth and convenient user experience that Apple devices are famous for loses a significant amount of shine if you get around those limitations. You need to do more manual work to keep your system and apps up to date and may have to wait weeks or months for an update that needs to be jailbroken first.

How does Apple feel about Cydia

As you might expect, Apple has never been happy about jailbreaking or alternative stores like Cydia. If you use the Cydia app store for piracy, you are definitely on the wrong side of both the company and the developers of various apps. Don’t expect any support from Apple if you damage your device by going beyond their approved permissions.

Drawings of Steve Jobs

There’s always been a persistent arms race between the people at Apple and the people who can do the jailbreaking and install external apps. With each new iOS update and each new hardware release, Apple tries to close the holes found in the latest batch of hacks.

How to use Cydia App Store

For obvious reasons, we won’t be publishing step-by-step jailbreak guides or tutorials on how to use Cydia. Instead, we’ll outline how people use Cydia, how it works in practice, and what’s involved.

If you are so inclined, there are many tutorials on the internet. As always, you follow them at your own risk. Here is the basic process:

  • Jailbreak your iOS device for the first time
  • Next, find the Cydia app on your home screen and tap it
  • The first time, it will take a while to load
  • Update (“Upgrade”) Cydia if prompted
  • Use Cydia’s search function to find apps
  • Install the app as usual

The Cydia App Store comes with various “sources” that are application repositories. If the applications you want are not included in the standard sources, you can add them. This is where piracy issues arise, and Cydia herself can wash her hands. None of the default sources in this alternative app store allow piracy. It’s something that users bring into the picture on a personal level.

The sources are found by searching them on Google. They take the form of URLs (web addresses) that you copy into Cydia’s listed courses.

Should you jailbreak and use Cydia?

We will never tell you what decisions to make, especially if they are wise decisions. A lot of people have jailbroken their iOS devices using the Cydia app store and are very pleased with the results. Do we recommend that most users do it? Absolutely not.

We also strongly advise against going this route with your single, paramount device. Better to test jailbreak and Cydia on a secondary device that you can afford. Like the old iPad or iPod Touch.

Someone is thinking

Jailbreaking allows you to do all sorts of things with your iOS device, like run other operating systems on it or change aspects of your device’s interface that Apple won’t let us touch. enter. Jailbreak has legitimate applications in the same way that modifying game consoles to allow homebrew software is an important part of how people learn to code or work with computer systems. However, if your only reason for jailbreaking or using an app like Cydia is piracy, we can’t say this is a good reason.

In the end, you have to make your own decisions. Know the risks and benefits, weigh them, and decide if this is what you want to do. You should also know that there are several Cydia alternatives for you to choose from.

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