Photo Credit: Riley Testut/Twitter
Sideloading apps on your iOS devices is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to one independent iOS developer, who's figured out a way to bypass Apple's security checks. It's called AltStore – an alternative to the Apple App Store which lets you install apps which would have otherwise not passed Apple's stringent screening process. AltStore officially launches on September 28, although there is a preview available to download right now. The best part is that you don't need to jailbreak you iOS device and it works with any Apple ID.
Riley Testut, an independent iOS developer from the US tweeted this news and has also documented all the features of his app store here. Testut's app store works by tricking your iPhone into thinking your Apple ID is registered with Apple's developer program, after which it lets you sideload your own app. This an oversimplified version of how it works, but there's a lot more to it.
Since you're not jailbreaking your iPhone, you'll need Testut's AltServer application for Mac or Windows, to get the AltStore on your phone. Within the app, you'll find other apps from Testut himself, which currently include Delta – an emulator for classic Nintendo games; and Clip – a clipboard manager app which runs continuously in the background, so it's always accessible. There are a couple of hoops to jump in order to continue using these apps. Since all apps signed with a free Apple ID are only valid for seven days, you need to sync AltStore and AltServer in that time, so all the apps refresh and the expiry date is prolonged by another week. Testut suggests enabling iTune's Wi-Fi sync option, so it can refresh in the background whenever your phone and laptop are on the same network. For now, only two of his own apps are available but he mentions in the blog post that he plans on including more apps from other developers too in the future.
What sets this apart from other unofficial app stores is that AltStore doesn't rely on enterprise certificates, which Testut says, Apple has been cracking down on. Due to this, Testut says that “Apple can't simply shut it down with the press of a button.” It's interesting to see how Apple's responds to this once the app goes live tomorrow.