There’s a new way to get your favorite third-party apps, and its called AltStore App.
Completely different from any other method, AltStore app is free to use and requires no jailbreak.
How to Download AltStore App on iOS
Be aware that you require your Mac or PC to install AltStore on your iOS device because you need to install a desktop companion app. All you need is your device, computer, and the official connection cable.
If you are using Windows and your iTunes comes from the Microsoft app store, delete it and reinstall it from the official Apple website – use the links below:
Once you’ve done that, you can download AltStore:
- Connect your device to your computer and launch your computer browser
- Download the AltServer companion app onto your computer from the AltStore Website.
- Windows users – click the AltServer icon in your icon tray, the bottom of the screen, hover the mouse icon over Install AltStore, and then click your device from the list
- Mac users – open the toolbar, click AltStore > Install AltStore and click on your device
- Wait for AltStore to be installed; leave AltServer open on your computer, connect your device, and start downloading apps. You can also do this via Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes must be enabled, and both your device and computer must be on the same Wi-Fi network.
How to Use AltStore App
- Open AltStore on your iOS device
- You might see an Untrusted Developer error – open Settings>General>Profiles and trust the developer
- In AltStore, tap on Settings>Account>Sign in
- Use your Apple ID and Password or the app-specific password you used to install AltStore
- Tap Browser, find the app or game you want and tap FREE to install it
- When you see the app icon, the app is ready to use
Installing IPA Files
You can also install external IPA files:
- Download your IPA file from a reputable source using the Safari browser
- The AltStore icon should be on the app; tap it, and the store opens
- Your app will now be signed and installed
- Alternatively, tap on the icon that looks like the one below
- Use AltStore to install the file
- Another way to do it is it tap the + icon and go to the Downloads folder. Tap the file you want to be installed and wait
- When the app installed, it will be on your home screen and in AltStore under My Apps
Pros and Cons of AltStore App
AltStore app has good and bad points:
- There’s no need to jailbreak
- Because the user creates self-signing developer certificates, the apps cannot be revoked
- You can also sideload files, just like you do with Cydia Impactor
- Only three apps can be active at a time, and one of those is AltStore
- You need a companion app, AltServer, on your computer, and Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes needs to be enabled to refresh the apps (or you can use the USB cable)
- The apps must be refreshed once in every seven day period; otherwise, they will be revoked
Frequently Asked Questions
We provide the answers to the questions asked most frequently about AltStore:
What Is AltStore?
AltStore is a third-party app store with a difference. You don’t need to jailbreak, and each user creates their own developer certificates, so it doesn’t need to rely on Enterprise certificates as similar stores do.
Is AltStore a Jailbreak?
No, it is just an alternative app store that lets you sign and install IPA files
How Does AltStore Work?
When Riley Testut developed the store, he built a developer feature into it. This feature is provided to paid developers by Apple so they can test apps before submitting them to the official store. No enterprise certificates are needed.
Each user self-signs the apps on their desktop computer, but you are limited to only a couple of apps at a time, and you do need to refresh the apps every seven days. Otherwise, the certificates are revoked by Apple.
What Apps Are in the Store?
There aren’t many right now, but more will be added later. For now, these are the popular downloads:
And don’t forget, you have the ability to sideload your own IPA files too.
How Should I Use AltStore?
The developer has offered up these guidelines:
- Allow AltServer to open automatically when your computer is turned on
- When you are not using your PC, leave it in sleep mode and with AltServer on. Connect your device so the apps can be woken and refreshed
- Try to use the app at least two times a week so that iOS can prioritize it and make sure all apps are refreshed.
AltStore is a very different approach to downloading apps and games; try it today and start enjoying your favorite third-party apps once more.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested in mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.