Mobile Technology

The best jailbreak apps in Cydia

The best jailbreak apps in Cyd...
We break down the all-time best Cydia apps for your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
We break down the all-time best Cydia apps for your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
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Activator lets you create iOS triggers and responses
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Activator lets you create iOS triggers and responses
AssistantLove lets you play any Spotify song or album through Siri
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AssistantLove lets you play any Spotify song or album through Siri
Auxo is one of the best approaches to multitasking we've ever seen
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Auxo is one of the best approaches to multitasking we've ever seen
We break down the all-time best Cydia apps for your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
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We break down the all-time best Cydia apps for your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
BiteSMS lets you quick-reply to messages from anywhere in iOS
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BiteSMS lets you quick-reply to messages from anywhere in iOS
CameraTweak adds advanced photography tools to the stock camera app
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CameraTweak adds advanced photography tools to the stock camera app
Dashboard X puts live widgets on your homescreen
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Dashboard X puts live widgets on your homescreen
Dreamboard lets you customize the look of your phone, like the Xtreme S HD theme pictured above
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Dreamboard lets you customize the look of your phone, like the Xtreme S HD theme pictured above
Hands-free Control lets you activate Siri without touching your device
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Hands-free Control lets you activate Siri without touching your device
iBlacklist gives you control over who calls your iPhone
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iBlacklist gives you control over who calls your iPhone
iFile gives you direct access to the iOS file system
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iFile gives you direct access to the iOS file system
Intelliscreen X lets you customize your lockscreen
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Intelliscreen X lets you customize your lockscreen
MapsOpener makes Google Maps your default mapping app
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MapsOpener makes Google Maps your default mapping app
Merge organizes your messaging threads by person, rather than email address or phone number
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Merge organizes your messaging threads by person, rather than email address or phone number
MultiIconMover makes moving multiple app icons a piece of cake
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MultiIconMover makes moving multiple app icons a piece of cake
My3G removes Wi-Fi-only restrictions from apps
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My3G removes Wi-Fi-only restrictions from apps
Octopus keyboard is a quality knock-off of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard
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Octopus keyboard is a quality knock-off of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard
Password Pilot lets you customize how often the App Store asks for your password
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Password Pilot lets you customize how often the App Store asks for your password
Pkgbackup is a highly-customizable backup/restore system for your Cydia apps
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Pkgbackup is a highly-customizable backup/restore system for your Cydia apps
Pull to Dismiss lets you dismiss the keyboard with a quick swipe
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Pull to Dismiss lets you dismiss the keyboard with a quick swipe
Quasar gives the iPad window-based multitasking
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Quasar gives the iPad window-based multitasking
RetinaPad runs blown up iPhone apps in full resolution on the iPad
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RetinaPad runs blown up iPhone apps in full resolution on the iPad
SBSettings gives you quick access to system toggles
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SBSettings gives you quick access to system toggles
Robert Broglia's Snes9x EX+ lets you play classic Super Nintendo ROMs
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Robert Broglia's Snes9x EX+ lets you play classic Super Nintendo ROMs
Springtomize is a collection of little iOS tweaks
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Springtomize is a collection of little iOS tweaks
Stride lets you unlock your iPhone with custom gestures
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Stride lets you unlock your iPhone with custom gestures
TetherMe activates iOS' native hotspot without subscribing to your carrier's tethering plan
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TetherMe activates iOS' native hotspot without subscribing to your carrier's tethering plan
Gesture lets you replace your home button with intuitive gestures
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Gesture lets you replace your home button with intuitive gestures
Folder Enhancer, er, enhances your folders
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Folder Enhancer, er, enhances your folders
NoNewsIsGoodNews puts a hit out on the Newsstand icon
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NoNewsIsGoodNews puts a hit out on the Newsstand icon
SwipeSelection makes editing text much easier
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SwipeSelection makes editing text much easier
Sparrow+ brings push notifications (and a few other tweaks) to the Google-owned email app
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Sparrow+ brings push notifications (and a few other tweaks) to the Google-owned email app

The jailbreak community has been churning out iPhone apps since before the App Store existed. Some of those apps even served as – ahem – "inspiration" for Apple-made iOS features (Wi-Fi Sync and MobileNotifier come to mind). But as much as iOS has evolved, Cydia is still a hotbed of innovation. Which of its apps stand out? Let's take a look at the all-time best jailbreak apps.

Before you can install any of these apps and tweaks, you’ll need to jailbreak your iDevice. If you haven't done so yet, check out our guide for jailbreaking any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on iOS 7.

Without further ado, here are our picks for the all-time best jailbreak apps in Cydia.

Auxo

Auxo is one of the best approaches to multitasking we've ever seen
Auxo is one of the best approaches to multitasking we've ever seen

Many jailbreak developers have tried to reinvent iOS multitasking, but Auxo stands out as the one Apple is most likely to copy.

Auxo's killer feature is its multitasking cards, which show live previews of open apps. But it's the tiny details (settings toggles, multitouch swipe-to-dismiss, expanded music controls) that make it an all-time great.

Zephyr

Gesture lets you replace your home button with intuitive gestures
Gesture lets you replace your home button with intuitive gestures

Tired of always pressing and double-tapping your iPhone’s home button? Zephyr will replace it with a series of intuitive gestures.

After installing Zephyr, a short swipe up from the bottom of the screen will bring up the multitasking switcher. A longer swipe up will close your current app. Swipe from the left to return to your most recent app.

TetherMe

TetherMe activates iOS' native hotspot without subscribing to your carrier's tethering plan
TetherMe activates iOS' native hotspot without subscribing to your carrier's tethering plan

Fed up with your wireless carrier's tethering policy? TetherMe lets you activate your iPhone's personal hotspot without adding a separate plan.

TetherMe claims to be undetectable by carriers, but use at your own risk. No tethering app is guaranteed to be 100 percent stealthy, and using it likely violates your wireless agreement.

BiteSMS, Messages+

BiteSMS lets you quick-reply to messages from anywhere in iOS
BiteSMS lets you quick-reply to messages from anywhere in iOS

Two apps, with one goal: to enhance iOS messaging. Both BiteSMS and Messages+ let you quick-reply to a text without leaving the app you're in, or assign a gesture to compose a new message from anywhere in iOS.

BiteSMS has been around longer, and offers theming and tons of customization. Messages+ is more streamlined, and integrated into the stock Messages app. It's worth checking out both to find your favorite.

SwipeSelection

SwipeSelection makes editing text much easier
SwipeSelection makes editing text much easier

Typing on an iPad isn't ideal, but it's tolerable. Editing text, though, is a pain. SwipeSelection improves it dramatically: slide across the keyboard to move the cursor, and slide from either shift key to select text.

Merge

Merge organizes your messaging threads by person, rather than email address or phone number
Merge organizes your messaging threads by person, rather than email address or phone number

Tired of having multiple iMessage threads for the same person? Merge combines all of your conversations for each contact into a single thread.

It's another Cydia app that Apple would be wise to emulate.

Sparrow+

Sparrow+ brings push notifications (and a few other tweaks) to the Google-owned email app
Sparrow+ brings push notifications (and a few other tweaks) to the Google-owned email app

Sparrow, one of the best third-party email clients on iOS, doesn't support push notifications. Sparrow+ changes that, while also giving the app an iPad layout and letting you set it as your default email client.

SBSettings

SBSettings gives you quick access to system toggles
SBSettings gives you quick access to system toggles

How could we not include SBSettings? This classic jailbreak tweak gives you a quick drop-down menu for a variety of system toggles. You can customize it, theme it, and even view it in Notification Center.

iFile

iFile gives you direct access to the iOS file system
iFile gives you direct access to the iOS file system

iFile, a full-fledged iOS file manager, sits next to SBSettings in the pantheon of all-time great Cydia apps. It gives you complete control over your device, at root level.

Copy, paste, rename, change permissions ... iFile hits all the marks you'd want a file manager to hit. Unless you're familiar with the iOS file structure, though, we'd recommend using with caution.

NoNewsIsGoodNews

NoNewsIsGoodNews puts a hit out on the Newsstand icon
NoNewsIsGoodNews puts a hit out on the Newsstand icon

If you don't use the iOS Newsstand app, you might want to hide its icon. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't let you put it in your "crap I don't use" folder.

Jailbreakers have an easy solution. Install NoNewsIsGoodNews, and marvel as the Newsstand icon evaporates. If you have any Newsstand magazines, their icons will move to the homescreen.

MapsOpener

MapsOpener makes Google Maps your default mapping app
MapsOpener makes Google Maps your default mapping app

iOS users rejoiced when the standalone Google Maps app hit the App Store. But when you open maps links in Safari or other apps, iOS still defaults to Apple Maps. MapsOpener saves the day by making Google Maps the iOS default maps app.

iBlacklist

iBlacklist gives you control over who calls your iPhone
iBlacklist gives you control over who calls your iPhone

Do you have an ex who just won't let go? Or did your phone number once belong to someone who owed a lot of money? Install iBlacklist, and you can block any number.

It's highly customizable, with blacklists, whitelists, and options to block all unknown numbers.

CameraTweak

CameraTweak adds advanced photography tools to the stock camera app
CameraTweak adds advanced photography tools to the stock camera app

The App Store is full of third-party camera apps that add extra photography tools. CameraTweak, though, integrates several new tricks into the stock iOS camera app.

After installing, the camera app will have new controls like separate focus/exposure, white balance, and a timer countdown.

Like all the best Cydia apps, CameraTweak adds functionality without over-complicating.

RetinaPad

RetinaPad runs blown up iPhone apps in full resolution on the iPad
RetinaPad runs blown up iPhone apps in full resolution on the iPad

If you run iPhone apps upscaled on a non-Retina iPad (including the iPad mini), they're so pixelated you'll think you're playing an Atari game. RetinaPad solves this by running them in 3.5-inch iPhones' Retina (960 x 640) resolution.

Winterboard, Dreamboard

Dreamboard lets you customize the look of your phone, like the Xtreme S HD theme pictured above
Dreamboard lets you customize the look of your phone, like the Xtreme S HD theme pictured above

Want to radically alter the look and feel of iOS? The classic Winterboard and newer Dreamboard have you covered.

The apps themselves are only the starting points. Cydia is chock full of themes, and your level of customization is only limited by developers' imaginations.

PKGBackup

Pkgbackup is a highly-customizable backup/restore system for your Cydia apps
Pkgbackup is a highly-customizable backup/restore system for your Cydia apps

When you have a jailbroken device, upgrading or restoring is a pain. PKGBackup simplifies the process of reinstalling your Cydia apps. It backs them up, stores them locally or in the cloud, and restores automatically.

Robert Broglia's gaming emulators

Robert Broglia's Snes9x EX+ lets you play classic Super Nintendo ROMs
Robert Broglia's Snes9x EX+ lets you play classic Super Nintendo ROMs

If you want to play classic Mario, Zelda, or Sonic games on your iPhone or iPad, Cydia has a number of emulators for old-school consoles. We recommend developer Robert Broglia's emulators (like NES.emu, SNes9x EX, and MD.emu) for their rock-solid emulation, customization, and polished virtual controls.

In many regions, distributing game ROMs is considered a copyright violation, so we'd recommend researching your country's rules before proceeding.

Octopus Keyboard

Octopus keyboard is a quality knock-off of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard
Octopus keyboard is a quality knock-off of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard

Octopus Keyboard is a solid knock-off of the BlackBerry 10 keyboard. Like the BB10 QWERTY, tapping a key will bring up tiny predictions for the word you're typing. If you see the word you're going for, just swipe up to select.

It may be a blatant BlackBerry rip-off, but Octopus Keyboard can save you some keystrokes … and spice up Apple's unchanged-after-six-years stock keyboard.

Pull to Dismiss

Pull to Dismiss lets you dismiss the keyboard with a quick swipe
Pull to Dismiss lets you dismiss the keyboard with a quick swipe

If you've ever wanted a quick way to dismiss the iPhone keyboard, check out Pull to Dismiss. As its name implies, pulling down on the keyboard slides it off of the screen. Handy for apps with poor keyboard implementation.

MultiIconMover

MultiIconMover makes moving multiple app icons a piece of cake
MultiIconMover makes moving multiple app icons a piece of cake

Moving multiple apps to different homescreens can be an exercise in tedium. This tweak makes it easy.

To use, hold one icon until it wiggles, then tap every other icon you want to move. Slide to the screen you want to move them to, press the home button, and – presto! – your apps are there.

Stride

Stride lets you unlock your iPhone with custom gestures
Stride lets you unlock your iPhone with custom gestures

Stride replaces your iPhone's "slide to unlock" with custom unlock gestures. It's more secure than the standard unlock method, and much more fun than using a passcode.

Springtomize 2

Springtomize is a collection of little iOS tweaks
Springtomize is a collection of little iOS tweaks

Springtomize 2 is like 100 jailbreak tweaks in one. It's a toolbox for making changes to your homescreen, dock, carrier logo, and many other aspects of iOS. Tweaks are arranged by category, and easily toggled.

PasswordPilot Pro

Password Pilot lets you customize how often the App Store asks for your password
Password Pilot lets you customize how often the App Store asks for your password

Do you ever tire of entering your Apple ID password for every purchase or update? Password Pilot lets you customize the App Store’s verification requirements.

Just know that you'll be opening the door to anyone else who uses your phone to easily make purchases.

Hands-free Control

Hands-free Control lets you activate Siri without touching your device
Hands-free Control lets you activate Siri without touching your device

Hands-free Control lets you evoke Siri without touching your iDevice. Designate a keyword (the default is "Siri") that will activate the virtual assistant. Say the magic word, and Siri will spring into action – even if you're on the other side of the room.

AssistantLove

AssistantLove lets you play any Spotify song or album through Siri
AssistantLove lets you play any Spotify song or album through Siri

Siri is happy to take musical requests, but the assistant can only play music from your iTunes library. AssistantLove links to your Spotify account (if you’re a paid subscriber), plugging Siri into an enormous music database.

As a nice bonus, AssistantLove also lets you set Google Maps (or a variety of other mapping apps) as Siri's default for directions.

IntelliscreenX, LockInfo

Intelliscreen X lets you customize your lockscreen
Intelliscreen X lets you customize your lockscreen

Want to pimp your lockscreen? Both IntelliscreenX and LockInfo have you covered. They let you customize its look and the information it shows.

LockInfo is the more customizable of the two, letting you tweak nearly every aspect of your notifications. IntelliscreenX is simpler and more streamlined, and – as a nice bonus – includes Messages+ with your purchase.

Dashboard X 2.0

Dashboard X puts live widgets on your homescreen
Dashboard X puts live widgets on your homescreen

Android has long embraced widgets, but – apart from a couple in Notification Center – Apple hasn’t allowed them in iOS. Dashboard X 2.0 puts that decision back in your hands.

After installing Dashboard X 2.0, you can place any Cydia widget (usually meant for Notification Center) on your homescreen. Everything from your Facebook feed to HTC-like weather widgets are fair game.

Quasar

Quasar gives the iPad window-based multitasking
Quasar gives the iPad window-based multitasking

Quasar is iPad multitasking with a desktop twist. It runs your applications in resizable, rotatable, and overlappable windows. It's as close as you'll get to Mac OS X on your iPad.

Infinifolders, FolderEnhancer

Folder Enhancer, er, enhances your folders
Folder Enhancer, er, enhances your folders

Each iOS folder only allows a limited number of apps. If you find your folders filling up, you can turn to Infinifolders or FolderEnhancer.

Infinifolders is the simpler of the two, letting you put as many apps as you want into any folder. FolderEnhancer, meanwhile, allows up to 320 icons in a folder, as well as folders within folders, and lots of other customizations.

My3G

My3G removes Wi-Fi-only restrictions from apps
My3G removes Wi-Fi-only restrictions from apps

If your carrier doesn’t yet support FaceTime over 3G/LTE, check out My3G. It lets you use any Wi-Fi-restricted app over your mobile data network.

Activator

Activator lets you create iOS triggers and responses
Activator lets you create iOS triggers and responses

Activator is one of the most basic – and useful – jailbreak apps. It's the iOS equivalent of "If This Then That."

Choose a trigger action (like sliding on the status bar, triple-pressing the home button, or speaking a voice command), and the desired result (like opening a specific app, or activating another tweak). Activator takes care of the rest.

How to install

To get any of these top jailbreak apps, open Cydia (it installs automatically with your jailbreak) and search away. Paid apps require an Amazon or Paypal account.

All of these apps are available in Cydia's default repositories. It will take time before they're all compatible with iOS 7, but Cydia usually prevents you from downloading incompatible tweaks anyway.

22 comments
Eric Goldstein
Good List.. Haven't had my iPhone jailbroken since I bought my iPhone 5. Looking forward to getting it back today and trying some of these out.
Jon Smith
Nothing there I can't live without, I think I'll pass on jail breaking for now.
Jayphen Simpson
NCSettings is a great alternative to SBSettings. Delete Word allows you to delete words at a time if you press backspace whilst holding shift (similar to on OS X where holding option and pressing delete will delete previous word). f.lux will change the white balance of your screen at night to make it less harsh on your eyes. Nitrous will enable the Nitro JavaScript engine in ALL apps, instead of just in Safari.
Filip DelaVega
does any of these apps support iphone 5 ?
Gaboi234
Can anyone tell me the name of the theme pictured in the winter board photo
Daniel Mutch
a lot of good apps there, good picks
Dan79
it makes me appreciate the freedom android provides. Hey work when it is time to upgrade my phone plan.... another android please.
Lewis M. Dickens III
Wow Will! Great stuff, would not know about it were it not for you! Now when will someone create a great calendar? Steve was full of baloney saying that the calendar on the iPad was the best. Had better on my Amiga. Bill
TorrieB
I checked for Assistant Love and it's not available for this update. Any way to find out if it will become available? I'd love to launch Spotify songs with Siri....
Kirk Denson
Although this is a great list, at this point, what would be even more helpful is a comprehensive list of apps that are NOT yet compatible with iOS 6.1. Such a list would save a ton of time of trial and error, especially with repositories who don't list that information before you apply the app. Given the date of this article, I thought that's what you were offering here. It's kinda frustrating to find that most of the apps I had are not yet available for the iPad... so I am waiting for the most critical apps to catch up before I jb the iPhone.