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Installing iOS Apps using Starfiles

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Installing third party apps on iOS can be frustrating, we get it. This article will be covering the range of options Starfiles provides for signing and installing apps on iPhones & iPads. We provide a wide range of tools and services designed to simplify the process. This article has been written with the hope of simplifying a very daunting topic, I have done my best to divide the topic into bite sized chunks. Hopefully, after reading this, you will get a better idea of how to install third party apps using Starfiles.

Glossary

Term Description
iOS The operating system iPhones, ipads, and iPods use.
ipa The app's file (similar to .exe, .dmg, or .apk).
Jailbreak The process of bypassing your iOS device's security to run code that is unauthorised by Apple.
Sign The process of verifying an app to make it installable.
Revoke When Apple unsigns an app or locks a certificate rendering it useless.
Certificate A key used to sign an App with Apple.
Sideload The process of installing third party apps.

Deciding What to Install

The very first step of installing an app on your device is deciding which one you want.

Choosing the Right Application

Starfiles has a community of users who share files publicly, this means anyone can see a list of files that others have made public. I recommend you check out the list of public ipa files. Once there, you can narrow down your search by typing in the app's name.

Key Points to Look Out For:

  • Make sure you are using the latest app version. Most apps show the version number in the filename (e.g. Unc0ver_6.2.0.ipa).
  • Preferably use an ipa without "_signed" in the name.

Finding a Trustworthy File

Everyone wonders wether or not what they are installing is truely what they think it is. We do our best to help users verify the authenticity of a file. Here are a few indicators of a trustworthy file.

Uploader's Credibility

The owner of a file can decide wether they'd like to share it anonymously or not. If they decide to link their account, you will see a badge like this under the share buttons.

Example user badge

The two main factors in the picture above that give the user credibility is wether or not they are verified, and wether or not they are a premium member. Additionally you can click on the card to view the user's profile, there you can see the users karma, how many downloads their files have received, their social accounts, and much more.

File Credibility

Judging a file's credibility is a bit more difficult. The best points to check is:

  1. Download Count - Has the file had many downloads?
  2. View Count - Has the file had many views?
  3. Star Rating - Is the rating respectable?
  4. Comments - How many positive/negative comments?
  5. File Age - Is the file brand new? Public files that are new may not yet have been seen by a member of our moderation team.

Using Your Own ipa

Okay, you've got your own ipa file and would like to use that instead, sweet! First of all, upload your ipa to Starfiles. Once you've uploaded your ipa, you can open the link outputted and view your file.

P.s. Consider making your file public so others can view it too, this can be done by clicking the "public" button at the bottom of your file.

Installing Your App

Okay, you have decided what file you'd like to install, what now? Here is where things get interesting, we provide many options for installing apps, here are some of our favourites.

Sign with Starfiles

You may have noticed that your file has a "Sign ipa" button next to the download button. This allows you to sign the ipa with a range of certificates.

Instructions

  1. Click "Sign ipa".
  2. Select your certificate, it's best to use the top few as they are the most recent.
  3. After the app has been signed with Apple, you will be redirected to appname_signed.ipa. Tap the "Install" button.

Notes

  • This method relies on a list of certificates we get from contributors, to contribute a certificate simply upload it to Starfiles and make it public.
  • Certificates get revoked by Apple fast. Any certificate after the first few is usually never signed.
  • If you are jailbroken, read "Install with Starfiles" instead as it has a higher success rate.

Install with Starfiles

Starfiles additionally has an "install" button on the file page of ipa files. This is a basic ipa installation and doesn't sign the app. If you are not jailbroken, this won't work unless the ipa has already been signed.

AppSync Unified - Requires a Jailbreak

  1. Add the following repo to your package manager: https://cydia.akemi.ai
  2. Install "AppSync Unified"
  3. Open the ipa file on Starfiles and select "Install"

Download with Starfiles

This simply download the ipa file to your device, below we explain what to do with the ipa file.

Filza - Requires a Jailbreak

  1. Add the following repo to your package manager: http://tigisoftware.com/cydia
  2. Install "Filza File Manager"
  3. Open the ipa file on Starfiles and select "Download"
  4. Open the downloaded .ipa file in Filza
  5. Tap the .ipa file and select "install"

AltStore

AltStore is a really unique software that allows you to install ipas from your computer wirelessly.

Windows Prerequisites

Install iTunes (uninstall the one from the Microsoft store).

You can get it from here:

64 Bit Download or 32 Bit Download

Installation
  1. Download, extract, then install AltStore.
  2. Plug your phone into your computer.
  3. Open the newly installed "AltServer" app on Windows, or the "AltStore" app on macOS.
Windows
  1. Click the arrow icon to the right of the taskbar, it will show multiple icons. Click the diamond that says "AltServer" when hovering over it.
  2. Select "Install AltStore" and select your iOS device.
  3. Login with your Apple ID and password when prompted.
  4. On your iOS device, open Settings → General → Device Management, then select your Apple ID and tap "Trust".
  5. Open your ipa file on Starfiles, tap "Download", then open in AltStore.
Mac
  1. Click the AltStore icon in the Menu Bar, then click "Install Mail Plug-in".
  2. Open the Mail app, then run this shortcut: ⌘ + , or click "Mail" then "Preferences" in the menubar.
  3. Click the General tab, then Manage Plug-ins, enable AltPlugin, click apply, then restart Mail.
  4. Click AltStore in the menu bar, then click Install AltStore and select your device.
  5. Submit your Apple ID, then click install.
  6. On your iOS device, open Settings → General → Device Management, then select your Apple ID and tap "Trust".
  7. Open your ipa file on Starfiles, tap "Download", then open in AltStore.

Cydia Impactor

Cydia Impactor used to be the most popular method of sideloading apps on iOS. Eventually Apple patched it, it now requires an Apple Developer account which costs $100 USD a year. You can register for one with Apple on their Developer Portal. Cydia Impactor works on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Windows Prerequisites

Install iTunes (uninstall the one from the Microsoft store). You can get it from here: 64 Bit Download or 32 Bit Download

Installation
  1. Download, install, and open Cydia Impactor.
  2. Plug your iOS device into your computer.
  3. Open the ipa file on starfiles using your computer and click download.
  4. Drag the ipa file into impactor's window.
  5. Enter your Apple ID (If you are using 2 Factor Authentication, open https://appleid.apple.com and generate an app specific password, use that instead of your normal password)
  6. On your iOS device, open Settings → General → Device Management, then select your Apple ID and tap "Trust".

Xcode & iOS App Signer

  1. Install and setup Xcode and iOS App Signer.
  2. Plug in your iOS device and select it as the build target on Xcode.
  3. Create a new iOS Application on Xcode, with any name and a unique identifier (it doesn't matter what you set it to).
  4. If Xcode warns you about a missing provisioning profile, click "fix issue".
  5. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  6. Open the ipa file and click "Download".
  7. Open iOS App Signer and select the ipa as an input file.
  8. Click start.
  9. Reopen Xcode, then go to the menu bar and click Window → Devices.
  10. Select your device, click the plus, and select the file created by iOS App Signer.

Other Services

Starfiles allows you to simply download the ipa file, unlike most app installers. This means you can install the ipa using any method you wish, it's your device, your choice.

Sign with ReProvision - Requires a Jailbreak

Instructions

  1. Add the following repo to your package manager: https://repo.incendo.ws
  2. Install "ReProvision"
  3. Open ReProvision and link your Apple ID
  4. Open the ipa file on Starfiles and select "Sign with ReProvision"
  5. Select "install"

Sign with Scarlet

Scarlet is a really overpowered signing service. It allows for on device signing, delayed revokes, and many more amazing features. Scarlet is an official Starfiles partner, meaning we work together to provide users the best possible experience!

Installing Scarlet

Before using the Sign with Scarlet feature, you need to install Scarlet. Simply open https://usescarlet.com and tap install. If the website says the app is revoked, you will have to try again later.

Instructions

Simply tap "Sign with Scarlet" on the ipa file on Starfiles and follow the onscreen prompts given to you by Scarlet.

Repositories

Starfiles repositories are folders that integrate with other services. We love adding support for new services! If you have any ideas on what you'd like integrated, contact us on our Discord server.

How to Create a Repository

To create a repository simply open Starfiles and click "Create Folder". Here you can upload multiple files to the same URL.

How to Use a Repository

Adding files to a Starfiles repo is really easy! Simply open the folder and upload the file like you would normally. Now scroll to the bottom of the folder, you will see a link like this: https://repo.starfiles.co/xxxxx. You can add this repo to AltStore, Scarlet, Signum, and any other signing service that is compatible with any of their standards or our recommended repo format.

Customising a Repository

Customising a repo is really simple! To set a custom repo icon, upload the icon under the name "icon.png". You can also rename the folder which change's the repo name, set a custom theme, custom permissions on who can access and modify it, and much much more.

Useful links

Check out Starfiles to see the cool features I've covered.

Follow our Twitter for updates and support.

Join our official Starfiles Discord for support relating to Starfiles.

Join the Jailbreak Discord for help signing and jailbreaking, there are many developers and experienced users who are happy to help.

Conclusion

Hopefully you now know how to install ipas using Starfiles! If you need any help I'm available at any of the links listed under "Useful Links".

Supporting Starfiles

Starfiles is only possible thanks to donations and premium members. If you find Starfiles useful and would like to show some appreciation, you can donate via PayPal (click here) or become a premium member (click here). Premium members get perks like extra features, no ads, and more!


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