How to make Cydia purchases the easy way

By , Jan 16, 2014

Cydia Purchases Amazon Easy

On episode 40 of Let’s Talk Jailbreak, Sebastien, Cody and I had a pretty heated debate about Cydia purchases. There seems to be a misconception about Cydia purchases in general, and a lot of mixed information. Some users seem to think that the Cydia purchase process is this arcane and cumbersome gauntlet that makes buying tweaks and apps undesirable.

It’s true; Cydia purchases can be more difficult than the average App Store purchase, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Inside, I’m going to show you how to use Amazon Payments to make Cydia purchases as easy as pie.

The trick to making Cydia purchases much easier is to learn the ins and outs of the Cydia purchasing framework. It’s imperative for you to know exactly how the purchasing system works in order to use it in the most efficient manner possible.

Authentication

The Cydia purchase process is broken up into two separate parts: authentication and payments (billing). The authentication process is the first login that you come into contact with in Cydia. Saurik has given users the option of using either Facebook or Google for Cydia authentication.

Cydia Authentication Login
Facebook or Google is used for authentication. I use Google.

Please be aware that Cydia authentication has nothing to do with the payments (billing) process. It only exists to authenticate your account and link your device to purchases made. Your purchases are tied to this authenticator. This means that if you ever get a new device, then all you have to do is login with the account you used to authenticate previously to restore all of your past purchases.

Authentication in Cydia needs to be done every time you open Cydia. That means that if you want to make a new purchase, you will have to login to your authentication account, which can be Facebook or Google. If you keep the Cydia app open, you can make multiple purchases during the same session without having to login multiple times. This means that I can purchase 5 paid tweaks, and only login to Google (my authenticator of choice) one time, as long as I keep Cydia open for the entire duration.

Payments (billing)

The payments portion of Cydia is also handled by two different services: PayPal or Amazon. These providers aren’t used for authentication; they are only used for payments. Now that we have established the difference between the two logins used to install paid tweaks via Cydia, let me show you how to make this process as easy as possible.

But first, let me just touch on PayPal for a bit. Most of the Cydia users that run into trouble with Cydia purchases are probably using PayPal as a payments processor. That’s mistake number one. Not only is PayPal a horrible choice to manage your money in general, but it’s a horrible choice if you want to be efficient when making purchases via Cydia.

Cydia Payments Selector
You can use Amazon or PayPal for purchases

With PayPal, you are forced to login every single time you want to make a Cydia purchase. Even if you just made a purchase with PayPal, you’re still forced to login again if you want to make another purchase. It’s no wonder that many folks have become frustrated with Cydia’s purchasing process. I’ll go out on the limb and guess that most of the people experiencing frustration like Sebastien and Cody are using PayPal as their means of purchasing. Don’t use PayPal.

Cydia PayPal
PayPal users will see this screen every time they make a purchase

Thankfully, there is a much better alternative payment solution to be found in Cydia—Amazon Payments. Amazon features the ability to save your information on file so that you don’t have to reverify your account credentials every time you want to make a Cydia purchase.

Amazon allows you to establish a threshold—$10, $20, or $50 dollars worth—and make purchases without having to login to Amazon for as long as you stay under that purchasing threshold. This means that it’s totally feasible to purchase up to 49 $0.99 jailbreak tweaks without having to verify with Amazon. It’s 49, because the first purchase counts against your threshold of the $50 maximum limit.

Cydia Amazon Security Limit
Amazon is a much better payment option, because it lets your keep your info on file

You should also be aware that Amazon establishes a yearly threshold for keeping your information on file. This means that if a year passes, and you still haven’t met the $50 threshold you established with your first purchase, you’ll have to authenticate again.

Please be aware that there are actually two Amazon payment methods that can be used in Cydia. There’s a one-time Amazon purchase, which is more akin to a PayPal purchase, and there’s the more desirable Amazon purchase that keeps your information on file. This option is at the top of the list on the Cydia purchasing page, so make sure that you select the appropriate one.

Cydia Payments Selector
Be sure to select the first Amazon option to keep your info on file

Once you decide to use Amazon and keep information on file, you’ll be asked to log in to your Amazon account, select a shipping address, which doesn’t really matter since you aren’t receiving any tangible goods, and select a payment method. If you’re already an Amazon user, then both of these options will probably be pre-populated with information.

Cydia Amazon Payments
You’ll only have to login and purchase once with Amazon

After you submit your initial Amazon payment, you won’t be asked to login again until a year passes, or your dollar threshold is met. I recommend that you use the $50 threshold if you plan on purchasing a lot of Cydia tweaks.

Cydia Amazon Payments Confirm
Confirm your details with Amazon

Keep in mind that your account won’t be charged the entire threshold amount at the time of purchase; you’ll only be charged the amount of the tweak that you purchased when initially setting up the threshold. The purchase threshold is more of a theoretical purchase limit that you may or may not meet during the course of a year.

Conclusion

As you can see from the video walkthrough and the explanation above, making Cydia purchase can be simple or it can be complex—it all depends on how you decide to use the Cydia purchasing workflow.

Cydia Payments on File
If done correctly, you’ll only need to authenticate to complete purchases

It’s entirely possible to purchase tweaks back to back without verifying a single login. If you close Cydia, the only verification you’ll need to do is with your Cydia account authenticator (Google or Facebook). By keeping your information on file with Amazon, it makes the Cydia purchasing process a much more enjoyable and straightforward endeavor. For that reason, I highly recommend that anyone using Cydia follow this workflow.

How do you currently make Cydia purchases? Who do you use for your authenticator? What about payments? Share your thoughts, comments and suggestions in the comment section below.

Update: Even though I’m not a fan of Facebook in any sense of the definition, a comment below by user, King, shows that using Facebook for authentication makes the process even easier. With Facebook, you can stay permanently logged in, even if you close Cydia! Combined with the Amazon payment profile, this makes Cydia purchases even faster than App Store purchases. If you care about speed, consider using Facebook+Amazon as your means of completing the transaction.

Cydia Facebook Login

Be aware that this is primarily useful if you’ve never made any previous purchases with Cydia. If you switch authentication methods mid stream, the apps and tweaks purchased using the other authentication method will only be installable by verifying with it; otherwise, you will receive a 500 Internal Server Error. Just something to keep in mind.

Cydia Link Device

Thanks, King!

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  • Smuys

    Thanks for making this post, I already used this feature but when I first jailbroke, it took some time before I realized what it actually was. This post came just in time with this new jailbreak and flood of first-time jailbreakers, Hopefully this will reduce piracy.

  • abdullah575

    WOW to many purchases!!

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      It is indeed a lot of tweaks. What I’d be interested in knowing though is how much of those in his purchased list does he use on his daily driver device and how much would he use (would he use in the sense that if they were updated for iOS 7 would he use them)…

      • Modest

        I’m pretty sure he is not using more than 10-20 on his daily driver.

      • Niclas

        Nah, got over a hundred there. That’s not to much now is it?
        But then I’ve been using cydia since ios3 so that’s 5 iOS generations.

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    Is amazon payments only for usa? I can’t enter any other country in the address section. Not being able to buy tweaks!! Paypal not accepting my new debit card. Pissed off!!

    • dc7007

      You can use Amazon payments with an international credit card. I´m from Ecuador and bought a lot of tweaks that way.

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        I guess debit cards don’t work. Thanks for the info!

      • sambuzzlight

        im guessing you are in india? i also have the same problem, can’t purchase tweaks from here anymore with my debit card that i got from here. I bet 10% of piracy will go down if bloody cydia purcahses weren’t so much of an hassle for international customers

      • Arjan Vlek

        You can register Paypal and transfer money to it via a wired transaction. They have a standard bank account number and you’ll get a reference to put on the transaction.

      • sambuzzlight

        Tried a long time ago but it just doesn’t work… *sigh* third world problems :(

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        Had been using a Stan chart debit card with PayPal without a problem. It expired and a replacement for that card was provided. Now, PayPal is not accepting that card. I get a message that the address doesn’t match!!
        Nor do they accept Hdfc cards. So no more PayPal for me.

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        True that. It worked with my SBI credit card though

  • InfinitePlusOne

    How many things did you purchase while making the video :O

    • Jeff Ramirez

      He purchased $5.97 worth of tweaks! Lol he’s a rich man!

      • 123bob

        iDownloadblog will cover the costs maybe!

  • Tony

    PayPal is just easier for me to do, I don’t mind logging in every time. I’m sure the amazon route is good for people who purchase off there but I never have and probably never will, much better deals else where.

    • Sebastian Godek

      Same here. I used paypal for Cydia purchases since day one and never had any issues. Will stay with paypal :P

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    I still have to sign into Google every time though but since I have two step authentication I can’t open the authenticator app since Cydia does not background properly which means I have to select the send a text option wait for the text to arrive memorise the code and then input it. I have to do this every single time I make a purchase with Cydia which is extremely annoying! I have to do all of that before I even make a purchase too!

    • Burge

      I’ve done this before.
      https://support (dot) google (dot) com/accounts/answer/185833?rd=1

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Does this work with Cydia though and aren’t application specific passwords auto-generated so by default difficult to remember?

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Just as I thought, it doesn’t :(

      • Burge

        With Cydia don’t know.
        But the passwords are not that hard to remember once rememberd …

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        It doesn’t work :(

      • Burge

        Worth a try though.. Best get that on charge..lol.

      • redjazon

        Out of topic.
        How did u do that, screenshot with iphone frame?
        Thanks
        #noob :)

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I used an AppStore app called Screenshot Maker Pro…

      • redjazon

        Thank u :)

    • rajas129

      I recommend you purchase a tweak called “Background Manager” (iOS 7 Compatible) and set Cydia’s backgrounding method to ‘forced’! Once you do that you can have the type of multitasking you’re asking for! I use this all the time, and for security reasons I manually quit the app right after the purchase! Hope this helps!

  • Andre Grey

    Thank you VERY MUCH Jeff for making this Post. like Sebastian, I also hated the whole process of Purchasing tweaks/ Themes on Cydia. I always used paypal or the middle option for Amazon. You’ve just made purchasing from cydia easy and thank you. this is why I love IDB

  • Burge

    All we need now is something worth purchasing in Cydia for iOS7..

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    can we get rid of google and facebook? its not 2011 no more. an icloud / mobile # login or any other means please?

  • Jeff Ramirez

    This video cost you exactly $5.97 :-D

    • http://www.appcast.fm/ Jeff Benjamin

      Actually, $9.96. I did some purchases behind the scenes to verify my math :P

  • Matt Taylor

    Jeff, do you mind if I ask how old you are? Because I always thought you were in your 40s ish, but in your pic you’re wearing a baseball cap and its thrown me off…

    • http://www.appcast.fm/ Jeff Benjamin

      I’m 32.

      • Matt Taylor

        You got three years on me then! :-p

  • Jonathan Antillon

    I steered away from Amazon keeping my info. It didn’t say it would only charge the tweak. It almost makes it seem that the entire threshold amount would be charged.

    Thanks for this. I know what I’ll be doing the next time I buy a tweak.

  • King

    If you log in with facebook instead of Google and select the “keep me logged in” option. You won’t have to sign in at all because everyone you press the facebook button to authenticate it logs in automatically and then Amazon will pay automatically when you press pay now. Works even when you close Cydia and open it back up.

    • http://kevpat.com/ Kevin Paterson

      If I have used Google to sign in for purchases, what happens when I choose Facebook now? Will it all be in the same Cydia ID?

      • King

        If I’m not mistaken, any tweaks you purchased when sign in with cydia will still be there and any new tweaks you buy when using the Facebook will be there. Meaning any apps you bought before using the Facebook sign in you will have to go back to the google sign in.

      • http://theleak.us/ Timothy

        You won’t be able to download tweaks you purchased with your Google account unless you sign in again, but if they’re already installed they’ll continue to work fine.

  • Wood1030

    Hey Guys, great article!
    I think it should also be mentioned that (and if I missed it, apologies) if you have multiple devices and you’re authenticated with the same account info on each device, you’re only charged once per purchase and can install you’re tweak/app/theme/whatever on all devices for the price of just one purchase.

  • Arjan Vlek

    And the reason i’m still using Paypal, is because I can transfer money to its account without having to use a credit Card.
    Here in the Netherlands, credit cards aren’t as common as they are in the USA, so for me it’s the only working option.

  • Amir Hossein

    amazing option
    pay with amazon

  • http://i-iphone.ir/ mohammad abedini

    each tweak can be installed on Multiple devices?

    • Wood1030

      If you have all of your devices with the same login credentials, then yes. I’m not saying that every tweak is compatible with every device, but if they are, then you only have to pay once for all devices :)

  • http://i-iphone.ir/ mohammad abedini

    can i request change verify code and install tweak on other device?

    for example: callbar is purchased and installed on ipad. with:

    (example): user: callbar123@gmail.com | pass: 123456 | verify: 3456789

    now, go to gmail> request recovery verify code for callbar > cydia will send you another verify code

    now , yo can install callbar tweak on another device(iphone) with same account:
    user: callbar123@gmail.com | pass: 123456 | verify: 9876543 (changed)

    is this operation is performed three times?

    • Wood1030

      yes, you should be able to do that. You are verified (credentials) by your email and password, so, if they are all the same on both devices then you should be able to replicate purchases (only charged 1st time) on both/all devices.

  • Fevostone

    I’ve purchased bitesms twice and it still as know record of it and I’ve e mail them like 5 times and still I’m running the trail :-( and I’ve try everything to restore it and recover it know go I hope someone else bring summit out like message+ gets updated because I’ve paid for that back in the day as well :-/

    • chrispx

      That was one advantage PayPal had as I was able to search the PayPal history and find my receipt to restore the biteSMS purchase. I guess I was lucky on that purchase because I use Amazon as stated in the video far more frequently. Good luck.

  • 123bob

    I use something to gently simplifies this, it’s called Xsellize. (just kidding I don’t use it!)

  • Danny Davis

    Im having a problem with getting my themes to apply on my 5S that I have just jailbroken. The themes i select ARE compatible, and dont apply after selecting and tapping respring in winterboard, also tried summerboard..these particular themes work on another 5s. I removed ultrasnow and that has solved the fail to fetch error, but now im having an issue with the themes.

  • Jonathan

    I hope Saurik reconsiders bitcoin as a payment option. It’s been a year since he said he wouldn’t add it, and a lot’s changed for bitcoin in that year.

  • marcus1324

    PayPal is much better than Amazon Payments. PayPal is offered everywhere and is more universal and convenient. I really don’t mind entering my password every time I make a purchase, its just for security. My advice to any new jailbreakers is too use PayPal, it’s much better in the long run.

  • Xinan

    Amazon is much better. The first time I used paypal, I didn’t have any balance in my paypal account so I paid directly with a credit card. And after that I realized that this is not a sale which like on ebay, this is in fact a money transfer! So I was charged a few more dollars for the transaction fee which is much more than the price of the tweak. OMG. So after that I’ve always been using Amazon.

  • http://nurudin.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

    Is it possible to Transfer or Combine from our Google version into Facebook version? Does our recent purchase from Google version also available from my Facebook version?

  • Amir Hossein

    thanks so good , but i can’t buy with amazon gift card , it’s bad.

  • Niclas

    iTouchSecure?

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    It was a hilarious hoot; listening to Sebastian whine over making purchases; I can relate; yeah it can be a real annoying procedure with all the extra passwords

  • Terence

    Awesome! Thanks for the info!

  • http://i-iphone.ir/ mohammad abedini

    How to buy a large number of Airblue sharing on cydia?

    for example(1000 number)

  • Tim Foerster

    Thank you very much ! I used to never buy any tweaks because I didn’t know how to. Now I can finally enjoy those great tweaks and support the developers :)