Apple has some strict guidelines for publishing on its App Store. Apps such as console emulators, Torrent clients and more can not be installed by iPhone and iPad users. Eventually some workarounds appear on the internet, but usually a jailbroken device is required. This is not AltStore case. Developer Riley Testut today announced this option to the iOS App Store that does not require jailbreak tools, making it available to iOS 13 users.
AltStore utilizes the function that Apple provides developers to test their applications on actual devices, rather than company certificates that Apple can readily crack down on, according to an article on Testut’s personal blog. The tool essentially tricks the device into believing it’s installing self-made apps. This way, with a future update, Apple simply can not shut down AltStore unless they alter something more profound oniOS system.
Since these apps should be installed from Xcode theoretically, AltStore simulates the process with a Mac and Windows-made companion app. Users can explore and install apps directly from iPhone and iPad, but working on the same network requires the desktop version that runs in the background.
We’ve tested AltStore and it works as promised, but at the time there’s only one app — the Delta NES emulator — so keep that in mind. Proceed at your own risk if you want to try it.
How can I use AltStore?
First, AltServer must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Simply open the app, connect your iPhone or iPad with a USB cable to your computer and choose it from the “AltStore install” menu.
In order to create a free Apple Developer Certificate, the app will ask for your Apple ID credentials. You can create an alternative Apple ID just for this if you’re not sure about sharing your personal account.
After that, the AltStore icon will appear on your home screen for your iPhone or iPad. You may need to authorize it in Settings before you first open it.
AltStore is very much like the App Store of Apple. The first tab features new apps, Browse allows you to browse the whole catalog and My Apps shows what you’ve installed on your device.
Tap the Settings tab and enter your Apple ID credentials before installing any apps — the same you used before setting up AltServer on your computer.
Simply select and install the app you want with everything set up, just like in the App Store. From the iOS home screen, you can access AltStore installed apps.
Testut said that after the official launch scheduled for September 28, more apps will be available through AltStore. He also points out that AltStore is an open source project, so other developers on GitHub can take a look at it all. You can read more technical information here.