Maybe I’m one of the few that consider their iPad as their ‘main’ iDevice, but it’s probably because I’m on it so often, all my gaming and browsing is done on my iPad. But if I didn’t have some of the tweaks below I probably wouldn’t use my iPad as much, so before we begin, I’d like to give a big shoutout all Cydia tweak developers for their hard work and cool ideas.
Now, onto the tweaks…
I absolutely love this tweak, I never even knew I needed it until I actually tried it. AppButton allows you to switch between apps from a moveable hovering ‘button’ on your screen. Touch the button and swipe to the app you want to switch, simple. To me, its basically the app switcher without any of the annoyances. You can check out our full review of AppButton here.
If you’re an avid music listener, then I’m sure you’re going to love Aria. Aria is a cool tweak that improves the stock Music app by adding an on-the-fly queue just like iTunes’ Up Next feature on your computer. It also allows you to view Albums/Artists in a nice grid-view, that’s not all, Aria has other cool features like making the Now Playing view better by burring the background and colorizing the view to match the currently playing cover art.
Its always annoyed me that when I have a nice Homscreen portrait layout on my iPad, I turn it landscape and all my icons look out of place and it has always irked me. BetterRotate fixes this annoyance by having the same icon layout as the portrait orientation, which is 5×4. A nice lightweight tweak that helps a whole lot.
DiskPie allows you to find and delete large amounts of useless data, though it works best with iCleaner. iCleaner will delete cache/temp files, etc but DiskPie will be able to find any ‘hidden’ files, files that get left over or stuck while syncing. If you have a 16GB iPad (like me), you’ll always be looking to recover more space, DiskPie will easily allow you to do that and thats why it’s made its way onto our list. You can check out our full review of DiskPie here.
When combined with f.lux, Eclipse 2 works really well, both tweaks compliment each other. Eclipse is the first system-wide Night Mode for iOS, the initial release of Eclipse made everything darker and more easier on the easy but now it has system-wide UI coloring. The great thing about this tweak is that it doesn’t require Winterboard.
f.lux is essential for both iPhone and iPad users, in fact you can go ahead and install it on your computer too from here. f.lux adapts to the time of the day and basically it gives your iDevice a orange-y tint, this makes using your iDevice at night easier on your eyes. It’s worth reading this study if you’re using your iDevices at night without f.lux.
As you play/pause audio or change tracks Faded fades audio in and out. After using it for a while you wonder why this wasn’t included in the Music app by default, who know’s maybe we’ll see this in iOS 9? (we can only hope). This tweak is a godsend, music listeners will definitely see why this is an essential tweak.
FlipControlCenter lets you to customize your Control Center toggles, allowing you to set how many switches per page you’d like and how many rows. It also lets you change the bottom shelf of quick launch apps. There are other tweaks that customize the Control Center but I’ve been using FlipControlCenter since it released plus it’s developed by a great developer, Ryan Petrich and you can’t really go wrong with any of his tweaks so…
GridSwitcher makes your app switcher much better by putting your backgrounded apps in a grid layout when you invoke the app switcher. Allowing you to see 4+ apps at a quick glance, there’s really no need to mess around swiping to find an app to switch to. This is another tweak best appreciated on an iPad, with the larger screen you can actually see more of each app, plus it means if you don’t care about what you can/can’t see in your app cards you can have up to 16 app cards (previews) on one page.
I think a lot of people would include iCleaner in their essential Cydia tweaks/apps list. Dubbed the ‘ultimate iDevice system cleaner’, iCleaner removes all the unnecessary files from your iDevice, it is able to delete message attachments, Safari cookies, cache and history, log files, cache files, temporary files and more. It also allows you to delete unused languages from apps, unused voice control languages, unused keyboards, etc. iCleaner keeps your iDevice healthy.
This one on the list is more of a Cydia app than a tweak, I still consider it essential. iFile is an all-in-one file manager and viewer, it allows you to directly view files within the app, including videos, music, text, HTML, PDF’s, ZIP files and much more. Pretty useful for moving files around too.
For someone that almost always has their iPad on them, I think Sticky is a great tweak. Basically Sticky allows you to have sticky notes right on your Lockscreen. This is a great tweak if you need a constant reminder to do something. You could use the Notes app but I personally don’t look in my Notes as often.
Detach videos from almost anywhere (including YouTube) and play them in a resizeable window, while you’re doing something else, like browsing Safari or even playing a game. This is one of those tweaks that more appreciated on a larger screen (iPads rather than iPhones). VideoPane update.
Other tweaks worth checking out…
Although I have it installed, I don’t consider Activator an ‘essential’ tweak for my iPad, probably because we already have five-finger pinch to close apps and four/five-finger swipe up to invoke the app switcher with the stock iOS multitasking gestures. Don’t get me wrong, Activator has some very useful settings, like hold Volume+/- to skip to next/previous track, double tap an app icon to open a totally different app and the possibilities are endless but personally I’m finding myself using it less and less every day.
If you’re looking for a cool way to switch between apps and want to merge your app switcher with your Control Center (dubbed Multi-Center), Auxo 3 is a tweak to look into. The beautiful, smooth animations show that a lot of work went into developing Auxo. The quick-switcher is possibly the best thing about Auxo, swiping up from the bottom right of the screen brings up a quick app switcher, and sliding to an app you want to switch to (still with your finger on the screen) and release will take you to that app. While im at it, ts also worth mentioning Tage in the same sentence as Auxo 3, it basically does the same thing plus a little bit more, some jailbreakers even prefer Tage to Auxo 3. I’ve tried both and they’re both as good as each other.
Add 3D effects to your icons pages as you scroll through, choose from over 15 different modes. If I wanted to show off to friends/colleagues what cool stuff a jailbroken iDevice can do, Barrel would be the tweak to show.
Have a system-wide dark keyboard. I personally think this is much better than installing a third-party keyboard from the App Store.
If you’re a sucker for the old iOS 6 dock, I’d recommend checking out ClassicDock. There are still some people that don’t like the blur behind the iOS 7/8 dock, including me, but I can live with it.
Controllers For All
As Made For iPhone (MFi) game controllers are pretty expensive, this tweak allows you to use third-party controllers to play MFi controller compatible games, like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Call of Duty: Strike Team, Final Fantasy IV, and hundreds more. A great site to keep track of all the MFi compatible games is AfterPad. Controllers For All supports Playstation 3 and 4 controllers, Wii U Pro controllers and more.
Change the background of the iOS 7/8 dock, make it lighter, darker, less blur or my personal favorite…no blur. A cool tweak if you really want to show off your Homescreen wallpaper.
If you want to hide certain UI elements in iOS like icon labels, the newstand icon, recently updated app marks, or if you want to disable the Spotlight, or the dock background, HideMe8 is definitely the tweak you need. It has loads and loads of options/toggles to hide certain things in iOS.
HomescreenDesigner does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows you to customize your Homescreen. You can make different icon layouts for each page of the Springboard, definitely the go-to tweak to free your icons! Have a minimalistic look with a 3by3 icon layout in the middle of the Homescreen or go crazy and cram as much icons as you can onto one page.
Experience the iTunes 11 MiniPlayer on iOS, accessible from anywhere, this compact music tweak is pretty cool. With MiniPlayer you have your music controls wherever you go, you can search your entire music collection without having to leave your current app, you can even create an on-the-fly queue, like iTunes’ Up Next feature. You can show or hide MiniPlayer with Activator or you can just dock it to the edge of the screen.
This tweak removes the battery draining parallax feature of iOS and keeps the rest of the iOS animations like zooming in/out of apps when you open or close an app.This is just one of those tweaks that make your iPad that bit more pleasant to use.
Combining 3 apps into 1, Safari Downloader+ is a File Download Manager, a Video Downloader (from YouTube, VEVO and more) and a Media Importer (iOS 7 feature only). A great feature-rich tweak if you like to do all your downloading in Safari. If you’re not too bothered about the Video Downloader feature you can check out the free tweak called Safari Download Enabler.
Slide down on the apps in the app switcher to see useful usage information like, time since last launch, time used, total time used in app since installed.
The ultimate utility to customize almost any aspect of your iPad, hide icon labels, badges, have a coverflow-like dock, remove the dock blur, resize your icons, have the current time in your Lockscreen slider. Springtomize is a fully-featured tweak and it’s no wonder why its very popular with the jailbreak community.
Get rid of that boring stock look and theme your iPad, and make it really your own. Although there are times that I’d like to change the look of my iPad, I can live without Winterboard. For some, Winterboard is one of the very first few tweaks that users install when they jailbreak.
What do you guys make of this list? What do you consider as ‘essential’ tweaks for your iPad? Sound off in the comments below…
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