Everyone hates to lose their carefully accumulated iPhone data and apps, something which can occur quiet frequently on jailbroken iOS devices with a new firmware/jailbreak release. While it is easy to backup your media files and apps, especially with the kind of integration iOS 5 enjoys with iCloud, some things still don’t fall under iCloud’s protection. One such category of data items present on jailbroken devices is Cydia apps and tweaks, and their preferences. There is no easy and straightforward method of keeping a log of your tweaks, or backing up the settings you have chosen for each individual Cydia app. Granted, there have been tweaks around that allowed you to do this, but it gets even easier with OpenBackup, a newly-released Cydia tweak.
OpenBackup is a simple to use tool, contrary to what the description of the tweak would have you believe at first glance. When OpenBackup is launched through its Springboard icon, you get three buttons – Instructions, Backup and Restore – all three pretty self-explanatory. When you initiate a backup, OpenBackup will save all your Cydia apps and their preferences to a ZIP file in var/mobile/Library/Preferences/OpenBackupFiles location on your iDevice, along with a plain text log file that lists all backed up packages. This ZIP file, then, can be treated in two ways. If iCloud sync is supported and enabled on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the backup file will automatically be saved to the cloud. Otherwise, you may choose to extract it from the above location to your computer, and restore it later when you wish to perform the latter operation. There is a minor drawback though; according to the utility’s description it, will only create backup for free tweaks, while paid tweaks will be ignored.
If iCloud is not available for you, the backup will have to be used via accessing the file system of your device. Here is a step by step guide as to how you can use the tweak without involving iCloud.
- From the ModMyi repo in Cydia, install OpenBackup on your iDevice.
- The installation of the utility will add a new icon to your device’s Springboard. Launch the app.
- If you want, you can read the Instructions regarding the utility by tapping the first button on the screen. The real purpose of the app is to backup jailbreak data, and that can be easily done by just choosing the Backup option of OpenBackup. If you chose the iCloud path, your Cydia settings will automatically be uploaded to Apple’s cloud service (although we haven’t tested the iCloud sync ourselves).
- Backing up will save the Cydia data to the following path in the device’s file system
- Access this location on your jailbroken iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad either through SSH, or using a tool like iFile or iPhone Explorer. Copy the files to your PC in a safe location.
To use the backup again for restore operation, just place these files at the location mentioned in step 4 of instructions, and from the Restore option in OpenBackup, a single tap will bring back all the data related to the free tweaks in your iPhone. Tethered jailbreak users be warned, for the restore function will require a reboot of your iDevice.
OpenBackup is available for free, and for all avid jailbreak users, it is a must-have.