What is Cydia?
Cydia is an application that allows you to add other applications to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
A stock devices comes with many applications from Apple like: Messages, Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps, Weather, Clock, Calculator, Notes, Settings, iTunes, App Store, Phone, Mail, Safari, Voice Recorder, Compass and iPod.
Cydia is similar to the App Store in that it will allow you to add many more applications such as: games, networking applications, productivity applications…etc. It also allows you to change the look of your iPhone. You can select from a variety of themes that change your icons, wallpaper, dock and status bar. You can even use an application called WinterBoard to changes things like your dialer keypad, your Chat bubbles, the color of the WiFi and Signal bars…etc.
Is Cydia Safe?
The concern about Cydia and the apps downloaded from it rests on the safety of the app and its usage. Cydia does not vet or monitor the apps it lets through. Apple has very strict and efficient quality control. Many apps are rejected on Apple’s iTunes App Store because they do not conform to the terms or the set standards. However, on Cydia, that is not the case. Almost every app gets through. This increases the chance of malicious apps getting through too.
One must remember that Apple does not support Cydia, or the apps installed through it. In such cases where your iPhone’s down because of an app downloaded from Cydia, you won’t get Apple’s support.
How do payments work on Cydia?
On the iTunes App Store, you can use your iTunes account to pay for the apps that you have downloaded. But what about Cydia? You can’t use your iTunes account here. Instead, you are given the option of Paypal, credit card or even Amazon payments. Payments on Cydia are very safe as the security concern is quite emphasized on the payment processing sites.
So now that you know what is cydia used for and what is Cydia for iPhone, what’s your say? Is it a better option to use Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone – to get a lot of features unlocked on the iPhone – or is it better to just stay in the safe zone and stick to a limited number of iTunes App Store apps?
The only risk with Cydia is that you jailbreak the phone and you are responsible for the apps you download. The benefit however is that you open a whole new world of apps for your iPhone which can be used to tweak the phone, it’s behavior and much more features in many ways.