If you have used Installer.app in the past, Cydia should look somewhat familiar and be fairly straightforward to use.

Here’s a basic walkthrough to help you navigate through and get the most out of Cydia.

To get all Cydia and jailbreak updates as they happen, including the latest on jailbreakme.com and how to unlock your iPhone, download the AppAdvice iPhone/iPad app!

NOTE: This only works on jailbroken phones, to jailbreak all you have to do is visit http://jailbreakme.com on your iDevice and slide!

1. Click the spiffy new Cydia icon on your Springboard

You’ll see loading while it updates the sources and loads the welcome screen.

2. Upgrade Cydia

From here if you haven’t run Cydia in a while, or this is your first time running, you may get a notice about ‘Essential upgrades’. These are upgrades to the Cydia application itself that may be required for installing new packages and apps:

  • Press Upgrade Essential
  • Press Confirm to begin the download and install
  • Wait for Complete and press Close Window
  • Press the home key, and then re-open Cydia to continue

NOTE: After installing essential upgrades, it’s always a good idea to restart Cydia to make sure the new packages are reloaded. Repeat Step 1 to open Cydia again (though you probably already guessed that).

3. Update Applications

If you’ve installed applications previously you may see a numbered notification next to the “Changes” menu. This indicates that there are updates available for currently installed applications. For our walkthrough I’ll update the NES emulator I downloaded a couple of days ago.

To update applications:

  • Press Changes
  • Press Upgrade All (#) [top right of screen]
  • Press Confirm to begin download and installation

You’ll notice on the last shot that NES has disappeared from the list and the notification
(red 1) on the changes option has been removed.

NOTE: Changes also contains applications that have recently been added or changed, this is a good place to go to find new applications on a regular basis.

4. Installing New Applications

Let’s install something new. I love Pac-Man, and it just so happens that the developer of Mac-Man, a great Pac-Man clone, is available on Cydia under the games category.

To install an application:

  • Press Install [on the bottom]
  • Browse through categories to Games
  • Press Macman
  • Press Install on top right
  • Press Confirm to begin the download and installation

You will see it run through a series of steps . . . Downloading . . . Preparing . . . Complete.

  • Press Close Window

Now Macman is successfully installed, you should be able to hit your home key, wait for your homescreen to refresh, and a tempting new Macman icon will be waiting for you.

Let’s go eat some ghosts!

5. Removing or Reinstalling Applications

Ok, so now you have an application installed, but you don’t really want to play it anymore. Removing it is as simple as a few taps:

  • Open Cydia again
  • Press Manage
  • Scroll and find Macman
  • Press Macman
  • Press Modify [top right of the screen]
  • Press Remove (you could reinstall if you were having issues with the application, like it wouldn’t start)
  • Press Confirm to begin removing the app
  • Once you see Complete, press home and the Macman icon should be gone

6. Searching for Applications

One of my favorite features of Cydia is Searching.

I can find an app without having to go through countless categories because I can’t remember where it was located:

  • Press Search
  • Type part of the application name or description in the search box at top

The list is filtered as you type, and all matching applications are shown. Select one to install and follow step 4 above.

Remember a lot of applications you might have seen in Installer.app previously are not yet available because the developers haven’t updated them to work on the new 2.0 software.

Check the Changes section in Cydia daily for updates. Three new applications have shown up just in the time it has taken me to write this tutorial!

A few of my favorite apps already available on Cydia:

MiM (Make it Mine) by Erica Sadun
MiM lets you customize the carrier name on the top left of the phone. You’ll notice in the screenshots above mine has my screenname “w1kedZ.”

NES
NES is a fully functional Nintendo emulator. It loads ROM files that can be found in various places on the internet. It’s great for showing off or if you really love games like Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda.

BossPrefs
BossPrefs is a great app by BigBoss that lets you easily turn on and off different features of the iPhone. Currently, the version for the 2.0 software is only really useful for turning on and off SSH if you have installed the OpenSSH package from Cydia. It also contains Poof which will allow you to hide/show icons on the homescreen; a useful feature if you are like me and don’t want the original Stocks Icon on your Springboard because you never use it.