Since jailbreaks became harder to get hold of, many unofficial app stores have appeared as Cydia alternatives. Now they are popular as official app store alternatives too, and another has just been released.
\It’s called AltStore. It’s free to use and offers something different from all the other third-party stores.
How to Download AltStore:
AltStore isn’t relatively so straightforward to install as other unofficial stores, but it is still relatively simple to do. You require your Mac or Windows PC to install it on your iPhone or iPad, and you will need to install AltServer, a companion app. Windows users should check that their version of iTunes is not the Microsoft App Store version – it must be from the official Apple website. If necessary, delete it and reinstall using the links below:
Now you are ready to install AltStore:
- Plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer
- Using your browser, open the AltStore website and download AltServer, the companion app.
- Windows – go to your desktop’s icon tray and click on AltServer. Hover over Install AltStore and connect your device
- Mac – go to your desktop toolbar and click on the option AltStore > Install AltStore. Choose your iOS device
- Wait for the AltStore app to be installed on your device and, when you see the icon, you can start using it.
A couple of things you need to be aware of:
- It would be best if you left your computer on with AltServer running in the background.
- When you want apps or games, or you need to refresh the app, which must be done at least once every seven days, connect your device to your computer or enable Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes
How to Use AltStore App:
- Launch AltStore on your device
- You may see an Untrusted Developer Error – tap Settings > General > Profiles and trust the developer profile.
- Open the store again and tap on Setting>Account.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password or an app-specific specific password if you created one – it must be the one used to install AltStore.
- Tap on the Browser and find something to download
- Tap the game or app to see what it is, or tap on FREE to install it
- Use it as you would any other app.
How to Install External IPA Files on iPhone:
- Using Safari browser, download the IPA files you want from reputable sources.
- Find the file, and then tap on the AltStore icon.
- The store will open, the app will be signed and then installed
- Alternatively, open the store, tap on + and tap the file in your downloads.
Whichever way you choose, the app is installed on your device.
Pros and Cons of AltStore App:
AltStore comes with its own pros and cons, just like any app:
- No jailbreak needed
- Apple cannot revoke app certificates because you are self-signing the apps.
- Choice of pre-installed apps or installing external.IPA files
- You can only have 3 active apps on your iPhone at a time, and one of those is AltStore.
- You need to install the AltServer companion app on your computer, and your device must be connected with a cable or Wi-Fi sync to install apps and games.
- If you use a free Apple ID, the apps need refreshing once a week, 12 months for paid developer IDs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here you can find the answers to the common AltStore questions:
What is AltStore?
AltStore is a third-party app store that lets you create developer certificates to sign unsigned apps and games.
Is it a Jailbreak?
No, it isn’t, and you do not need to install a jailbreak to use it. AltStore is just a third-party app store with the ability to sideload and sign unofficial files.
How Does AltStore Work?
Riley Testut is responsible for developing AltStore, and he made use of a feature Apple gives to paid developers. This feature allows them to test apps before they put them up for store submission, and that means you can sign your own apps.
Enterprise certificates are not required as they are with other similar stores. This feature is why you need to provide your Apple ID and is also why only 3 apps can be active on your device at any given time. As AltStore is one of those, you can only install two more.
What Apps Are in AltStore?
AltStore doesn’t have too many apps now, but the developer is working on adding more. Right now, these are the most popular downloads from the store:
- Happy Chick Emulator
- Chimera Jailbreak
How Should I Use AltStore?
The best way is to follow the developer’s guidelines:
- Ensure AltStore is set to launch when you log into your PC
- Leave your PC in Sleep mode when not being used and connect your device, especially at night – this allows iOS to wake your apps and refresh them.
- Launch AltStore at least once a week, so iOS can prioritize it and refresh the apps.
Give AltStore a go and enjoy what millions of others are taking advantage of right now.