Cydia Comes To Android
On iOS, Cydia is the premier way to load unsigned apps onto your jailbroken iPhone or iPad… but since Android supports side-loading, it has no place on Google’s operating system, right?
Wrong, apparently. Today, the devs behind Cydia and Mobile Substrate have announced that Cydia is coming to Android. But it won’t be quite what you think.
So, what does that actually mean? Well, Cydia Substrate is a platform for modifying a device without actually having the source code. Technically, the Android community has the source for stock Android, but owners of devices from HTC or Samsung have certain elements that are not open source (and, in fact, neither are Google’s own apps). Cydia Substrate allows tweakers to customize those things without flashing entirely new ROMs.
This is accomplished with what are known as “substrate extensions.” By itself, Cydia Substrate doesn’t actually do anything from the user’s perspective—it’s more of a tool for developers. However, it means we may see some new kinds of tweaks for Android, especially ones coming over from iOS—in fact, the only extension that’s available in the Cydia Substrate app itself is Winterboard, the tool that iOS users have been using to customize their devices for a while. More tweaks and tools will likely arrive in the coming months.
Pretty incredible, actually. To get Cydia Substrate on your Android device, you’ll need to root your device, and this is all highly experimental. But if Cydia on Android can accomplish half of what it’s accomplished on iOS, we expect great things.