When you open Cydia for the first time, you will be asked to chose what kind of account you want. Choose USER. This will take you to the main Cydia screen which looks like this:
As you see at the bottom of the screen you have 5 options:
This is the main screen. The only notable feature on this page is MANAGE ACCOUNT through which you can authenticate yourself in order to make purchases. You can sign in using your Facebook or Google account.
This is similar to categories in the AppStore. You can browse through different Sections to look for interesting packages. My favourite are tweaks, utilities, and themes, but look for yourself. Be careful, it can be addictive.
This is where you will find the most recently released/upgraded packages. If you have a package that has been upgraded, it will show up at the top of the list.
This is where you will find lists of all the PACKAGES you have, as well as a list of SOURCES your packages come from. Sources are also called repositories and are the actual ‘stores’ from which you download packages. Therefore Cydia is not the equivalent of the AppStore but more like the AppShoppingCentre. Cydia comes preloaded with several repositories but you can add more by pressing EDIT in the top-right corner, then ADD in the top-left corner, and entering the URL of a repository (try out my repository which contains the tweaks, themes, and apps I made and posted about in this blog; enter the following URL: http://repo.kr1sis.net).
I bet you all think you know what that page is for, and yes you are right. Just enter the name of a package (or description) and have fun!
When you select a package, whether it is done from the Sections, Changes, Manage, or Search pages, it will show you the package info. This will consist of an icon (ignore it as the actual icon is very often different), name, version, author, then ads, ads, and more ads, and a description of what the package is/does (often with iOS requirements/restrictions). Most packages also include a button you can press to see screenshot(s). If it is a free package just press INSTALL in the top-right corner, and on the following page press CONFIRM.
If it is a paid package you need to press PURCHASE and choose your method of payment – you can choose between Paypal & Amazon. I strongly suggest paying through Amazon as the payment is processed within seconds (at most minutes) and you can download the package almost right away, whereas if you pay via Paypal processing can sometimes take up to several days!!!
Once the download begins, you will see a black screen with white and grey writing and a download bar at the bottom. Just wait until the download is complete (time depends on how big the package is of course) and, depending on what sort of package you have downloaded, you will either need to respring (this is like a mini-reboot, don’t worry if you are running on tethered, you will not need to boot tethered), reboot (very rarely), or you will return back to Cydia.
If you decide to delete a package, select it and press MODIFY, then REMOVE. Too easy.
If you install a package that is not compatible with your iOS or with another package that you have installed, your iPhone might respring/reboot into SafeMode. From SafeMode you have access to Cydia (so you can remove the package at fault). To exit SafeMode press RESTART – you can fetch the restart menu by tapping on the status bar (the bar on top of the screen which shows your signal, 3G/wifi, clock, and battery). Never panic, some things are not perfect, but the SafeMode will save you.