As we all know Apple has always been strict when it comes to security and privacy. This is one of the major reasons why Apple doesn’t allow iOS devices to install apps from any other third-party sources. This means you can only install apps on iOS devices from the App store only. As a result, the strict app policy of the App store stops a lot of apps from being listed on the store like emulators, game tweaks, torrent clients, and many more. On the other hand, we have you covered if you ever felt the need of installing an app on your iPhone or iPad from outside the App Store.
One way of installing apps on your iOS device is to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad and then with the help of Cydia, you can install any third-party apps which aren’t listed on the App store. However, if you jailbreak your iPhone you might compromise the security of your phone and your device would be exposed to a lot of vulnerabilities. Not to mention you might also lose support from the official Apple store and care. So, to download a few apps from outside the app store you shouldn’t opt for jailbreak. Instead, we bring you an alternative method through which you will be able to install third-party apps on your iOS device outside the App Store.
Also see: Check out our IPA Library for Cool Apps
How To Install Apps Without App Store – No Jailbreak?
below we have a few guides through which you will be able to install apps on your iOS device without app store and without jailbreaking your device.
Installing iOS apps directly from third-party app stores
One of the most common ways through which most of the users install apps directly on their iOS device without using the app store is by purchasing the subscription packs of the third-party app stores.
One of the best in this segment is the Build store app store. The store is reliable and does the job done in a very neat way. The Build store has a lot of useful apps in their store which Apple’s Appstore doesn’t provide. The best part is that the developers have created the Buildstore in such a way that it takes care of everything like certification and security of the phone, as a result, it gives an experience just like the app store. All you must do is register your iOS device and once you complete the registration, you will be able to directly install the available apps on the registered device easily.
What is Build Store?
Build store is an alternative to the app store which has those apps which aren’t available on the Apple app store. it also provides some other features like
- Install Apps directly on iPhone – No computer needed
- Centralized App Repository- You won’t be needing to search and verify IPA files from other app libraries or repositories
- No expiry for installed apps- Signing of certificate and activation is done automatically and handled in the backend.
- Verified Apps- As per Build Store, the apps available on their store are reviewed internally for any vulnerabilities and malicious code, and only then they are listed on the app store.
- Custom App Requests- This one can be helpful for a lot as they listen to their community and adds the app which their users request for.
The Build Store service has been in operation since 2013 and as of now, it hosts more than 200 apps, games, tweaks, emulators etc. It also includes some of the extremely popular titles like Pokémon GO ++, iTorrent, Kodi and more.
As mentioned above the Build store app store isn’t free and comes with a subscription plan, so if you want to get access to the Build store and its services you need to get the subscription which costs $19.99 per device per month. it is necessary to keep the subscription active as the Build store deploys apps on registered devices only using the Apple Developer Enterprise Program which comes with a hefty price tag.
If the subscription plan of the Build Store seems too high for you, then we also have some other alternatives through which you might be able to install third-party apps from outside the App Store.
Getting the App Files from Outside the App Store
If you are looking for a particular app and is not available on the App Store, then you can try getting the app from any external sources. We have three options through which you might be able to get the hands-on app, the first one is getting an IPA file, a DEB File, or the source code of the app. do note that if you try to install apps from the source code or DEB file, then make sure that you have the latest version of XCode on a Mac as it is necessary. On the other hand, installing apps from an IPA file can be done on a Windows PC as well and it doesn’t require any version of XCode.
Install iOS apps from .IPA file
To install iOS apps using the IP file, it is obvious that you must have the IPA file for the app which you want to install on your iOS device which isn’t Jailbroken. To install you need another app called Cydia Impactor, this will help in signing in to the app with the Apple ID, once the IPA is signed, you can install it on your iPhone or iPad.
You need a mac or a Windows PC with iTunes installed for the Cydia impactor.
If the app which you want to install is a tweaked version of an app that is already installed on your iOS device, then you will have to uninstall the original app first before you start installing the tweaked app.
Update- As of late 2019, the Cydia Impactor can only install the IPA files to any iOS device only if you have a paid Apple developer account. If you use the regular Apple ID to work with Cydia Impactor, then it will fail. Alternatively, you can use Alt Store to install IPA.
Below we have a quick guide on how to install an IPA file without jailbreaking the iOS device like iPhone and iPad.
- Download and install Cydia Impactor for your Mac or Windows PC.
- Now, connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a USB cable.
- After you have finished connecting your device, open Cydia Impactor and then drag the downloaded IPA file into the Cydia impactor screen.
- Now enter the Apple ID when requested, it is recommended to use a different Apple ID for this purpose but it’s up to the user.
- Click on OK on the Apple Developer Certificate warning. The app which you have selected will be installed on your device.
- Now, on your iOS device go to the profiles settings screen. “Settings >> General >> Profiles & Device Management” or “Settings >> General >> Device Management” or “Settings >> General >> Profiles”. The path will be depending on the version of iOS your device is running on.
- Finally, tap on the Apple ID that you just signed the IPA file with, and then click on trust the developer. This will enable the device to run the apps that are signed with the above Apple Id through which you logged into Cydia Impactor.
Install iOS apps from .DEB file
Alternatively, you can use the DEB file for the app which you want to install on your device. This method is a bit complicated and longer as well since you need an App Signer to sign the app with the Apple ID, and then you must convert the DEV file into an IPA file. You will also be needing the XCode to install the apps on your iPhone or iPad. Thus, this method will only work with a Mac and cannot be done with the help of a Windows laptop as XCode isn’t available for Windows.
To install iOS apps from .DEB file follow the extensive guide written below.
- First, download and install the XCode, if it is not there in your mac.
- Now open XCode and go to the preferences of XCode.
- Find and click on the “+” button inside the accounts panel and then enter your Apple ID details. This will help in turning your Apple ID into a free developer apple account.
- Now, go back to XCode and select the Create New XCode Project option.
- Here you need to select a single view application and then click Next.
- Next, type the name of the app which you want to install than a unique organization identifier (For e.g. com.name.appname) and then select the swift as coding language. Also makes sure that the Development Tagert version of iOS matches the iOS version your device is running on.
- You may see an alert about provisioning profiles. You don’t need to worry, simply click on the fix the issues button to fix it.
- Sign in with your Apple ID if asked.
- Now, from the drop-down menu, you need to select the development team.
- Here comes the App Signer, download the App signer, and then unzip the file.
- Open the App Signer and then click on the Browse button located next to the input file.
- Hereunder the signing certificate option, click the drop-down menu and then select the Apple ID, it should be the same, the one which you used in the above method.
- Now, under-provisioning profile, again click on the drop-down menu and then select the app which you want to install on your iOS device.
- Find and click the Start button, App Signer will now sign the app with your Apple ID and will also convert the DEB file into an IPA file, so that XCode will be able to install that app on your device.
- Connect your iOS device to your Windows laptop or Mac using a USB cable.
- Open XCode and click Windows >> Devices.
- Find and select the iOS device from the left sidebar on which you want to install the app and then click on the + button under the Installed Apps section.
- Select the IPA file created with the App Signer and then click open. The app will be sent to your iOS device to confirm you can see it on your home screen, however, don’t open it yet.
- As soon as the app is sent to your iOS device, go to the profile settings screen on your device. Settings >> General >> Profiles & Device Management.
- Finally, tap on the Apple ID that you used for XCode and click on Trust to allow the use of apps signed by your account.
You can now open the app you installed from the home Screen of your iOS device. Enjoy!
Install iOS apps from Source code
So, if you have the XCode project file of an app that you want to install on your iPhone or iPad and it is not available on the App Store, then here is how you can build the project using XCode and then after completely building the XCode project, you will be able to install the app ion your iOS device. Below we have a guide on how to install an app using the XCode project file on a non-jailbroken iOS device.
- First, download and install the XCode on your Mac if not available already. Do note you can only do this guide on a Mac and not on a Windows Pc since there is no XCode on windows.
- Now, open XCode and then go to preferences which should be inside XCode.
- Click on the + button in the Accounts panel and then here you must enter your Apple ID details and log in. After performing this step your Apple ID will convert into a free developer account.
- Open the source project file of XCode. The file should have an extension as XCODEPROJ.
- Connect your iOS device to your Mac using a USB cable.
- Click on Product >> Destination and then select the iOS device which you just connected.
- Now on the home screen of the XCode app on your Mac, find the bundle identifier box and then enter a unique name (For eg com.yourname.appname).
- Find and select your Apple ID from the Team drop-down menu.
- Click on the Fix the Issue button and then proceed to sign in with your Apple Id if asked.
- A new window will pop up asking for the name of your team, now inside that window, there will be a drop-down menu open it and select your development team, most of the time it is your name only.
- At last, click on the play button to compile the app. If the codes don’t have any errors, it will compile the app and will send the app directly to your iOS device. You can check the home screen of the device the app should be there but don’t open it just yet.
- After the app is sent to your iOS device, go to the profile’s settings of your iOS device which should be inside Settings >> General >> Profiles & Device Management or Settings >> General >> Device Management or Settings >> General profile.
- Click on the Apple ID that you used in the XCode and then click on trust to allow the use of apps signed by your developer account. That’s it you can now use the app which you have installed just now.
The above-mentioned methods are the alternative to the App store and a guide to install apps without the App Store. However, the best alternative is to use a paid subscription third party stores like Build Store, as it is a lot easier than compiling apps using XCode and converting the DEB files. doing so much a hassle just for an app doesn’t simply justify it. Also, the codes that you find from GitHub, or any other source aren’t verified by anyone, and nobody can claim that it is malware-free or there is no malicious code written, so it is always advised to use either App store if not then the third party Appstore like Build store is the best way to go for.