How to theme your iPhone with Anemone, a WinterBoard Alternative

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 7 Nov 2015

Theming is one of the main reasons folks jailbreak their devices. Of course, when I mention theming for jailbreaks, WinterBoard is probably going to be the first suggestion that you’ll hear. While WinterBoard is still a great option, there is an alternative that is gaining in popularity called Anemone. We are going to go hands-on with Anemone so new users can learn the ropes.

Before we get started:

I have checked out a few forums, read reviews of Anemone, and tested it out myself in an effort to make the process as smooth as possible. With that said, getting started with Anemone isn’t necessarily as easy as it should be. Especially if you have WinterBoard already installed.

Smoothest Installation:

Don’t have WinterBoard installed. Yeah… that’s really all there is to it.

If you have WinterBoard installed:

Simply put — Anemone and WinterBoard cannot be running simultaneously. If you have WinterBoard already on your device and you install Anemone, say goodbye to WinterBoard. If you have Anemone on your device and install WinterBoard, adios Anemone.

There seems to be a conflict where Anemone and WinterBoard save their respective packages. So, if you wanted to have Anemone and WinterBoard on the same device, you’re shit out of luck. At least how both apps are currently configured as of writing this article.

So what does this mean? Basically, if you have WinterBoard on your device make sure to save all of your themes and back up your device. DO NOT DELETE WinterBoard — yet. Leave WinterBoard on your device, it will be removed once we install Anemone. However, if you have spent money on themes from Cydia, or have a bunch of WinterBoard items saved and enabled, you will want to save your current setup and themes any way you can. Using a file manager to save the folder that contains your WinterBoard themes is my recommendation.

Also, make sure to download ClassicDock from Cydia. While this may not be the steadfast truth, I had much fewer issues after installing ClassicDock. Anemone sometimes relies on the Classic Dock to function properly.


Ok, so those are all the disclaimers I have for you before we get started. Anemone isn’t necessarily more complex than WinterBoard, it’s just different, and many of us will need to adjust accordingly.

How to use Anemone to theme your iPhone

What Can You Change With Anemone?

Depending on your selected theme or tweak you can alter the Dock, Icon Shape, Icon Look, Badges, Wi-Fi icon, Battery Icon, Boot logo, Control Center and so much more. In fact, Anemone is known to offer more aesthetic tweaks than WinterBoard.

Step 1.

Download and install Anemone. You should not need to add any repos to find Anemone. If you can’t find it, you may be on an older jailbreak and can add the repo Remember to add the s after http(s), since the default for Cydia is http.


Step 2. 

After your device has restarted you will see Anemone on your home screen. Tap on the icon to open the app. It will look like this:

Open Anemone

If you had themes that were once in WinterBoard, you’ll need to re-download them for Anemone. Cydia saves all purchased themes, so don’t worry about. Those reinstalled themes will appear in the Anemone list. Tap on Enable to see what the options are. Each option has a circle next to it. Tap the circle to enable that option. When you tap Apply, you will be taken to a preview screen where you can view what it’ll look like before installing.

Apply - Anemone

This is a major advantage over WinterBoard. The preview option allows you to see how each modification will look on your phone instead of needing to rely on screenshots posted by the developer when previewing on Cydia. When you finally do confirm what you want, tap Apply and your device will respring and enable your selected tweaks and options.

Step 3. 

Find another theme. Since the iOS 9 jailbreak is still fairly new, there are not as many compatible themes as there will be in the near future. But I have a small list of themes, (mostly paid) that are available and will work with Anemone.

  • 32aa 
  • Osiris iOS 9
  • Amury
  • Elite8 
  • Obvious iOS9
  • Retrorika
  • Veexilum
  • Sphery 
  • Irys 
  • Anemone and Iconomatics – FREE (contains over 25 icon customizations)

If you are not downloading themes from the list above, just make sure to check that they work with Anemone and not just WinterBoard. You can usually find that note in the description.

Osirys - Anemone

Step 4. 

Adding your theme will be a very familiar process. Download your theme as you would from Cydia. Again, make sure this them will work with Anemone. Next, open Anemone and you will see your theme in the list. Most themes also come with small icon previews so you can remember which is which — another advantage of the standard text-based list of WinterBoard. For starters, I am using Anemone and Iconomatic Effects.

I tap enable -> Select options -> Apply -> View the preview -> Tap Apply once more. These are the steps you will repeat for any of the themes you want to try out.


Let’s try it again with another theme. This is a paid theme called Osiris iOS 9. I tap enable -> Select options -> Apply -> View the preview -> Tap Apply once more. 

Osiris - Set up

You newly themed iDevice will be available upon restart. You can also mix and match theme elements. I don’t really love the icons in Obvious iOS9, but I do like the blue dock and boot logo. So, I combined the dock from Obvious iOS9 with the icons from Osiris iOS 9 to get exactly what I wanted. All you need to do is select the options for the corresponding themes and hit Apply.

Boot - Dock Comno

So there you have it, your in-depth overview of the new competitor Anemone. I certainly hope they change the name, because there is nothing I enjoy about saying or typing that.

If you are looking for cool themes to add to your device, be sure check out our top 20 list. Here are some more examples of popular themes available on Anemone:

Obvious iOS 9 – $3.50

Obvious iOS 9

Irys – $2.99

Irys - Theme

Insight – FREE

Insight - Theme

Ace El Cap – $1.99

El Cap - Theme

Check out the video to get a better idea:

Don’t forget to Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Besides the wonky start-up process and its conflicts with WinterBoard, Anemone is a great option for new and seasoned jailbreakers looking to theme their devices. It’s UI is much better and it is known to hog way fewer resources than WinterBoard does.

I have a feeling there will be better compatibility moving forward, but as it stands now, you are going to have to choose a side. If you value a nice interface and quick previews of themes before installation, then Anemone is the clear winner. But if you are looking purely for simplicity and familiarity, WinterBoard is the best option for you.

Whatever your opinions are, we’d like to know. Do you think Anemone has a chance at dethroning WinterBoard as the theming app of choice? Let us know what you think about that in the comment section.

For tutorials on how to jailbreak iOS 9 – iOS 9.0.2:

You can also check our iOS 9.1 jailbreak page for the latest update: