Apple is somewhat restrictive in what they allow users to install on their iOS devices, only allowing certain apps into the official app store. Jailbreaking was, at one time, the only way to get unofficial content but that has changed with the release of a range of third-party app installers. But these are not the only way to install unofficial apps and emulators; using a tool called Cydia Impactor; we can install IPA files directly onto the iPhone or iPad.
What is Cydia Impactor?
It is one of the most important and useful tools any iOS user could have to hand. Developed by Jay Freeman, Cydia creator, the tool is used to sign unsigned IPA files and install them onto your iPhone or iPad using your computer. It is still being developed, but it already has several other useful features that we can use right now:
- Rooting Android Devices – if your Android device is on v2.3 or lower, Cydia Impactor can help you to root it to v5.0. Simply connect your device to your PC, click Start in Cydia Impactor and the rooting will begin. It will take no more than a minute.
- Unlock Bootloader – locking and unlocking Bootloader is a whole lot simpler with Cydia Impactor
- Built-in USB Drivers – Cydia Impactor has all the USB drivers built-in, so there’s no need to manually install them
- Package Installation – iOS users can install IPA packages and manage them
How To Use Cydia Impactor:
Before you Start:
Before you install Cydia Impactor on your device, you will need the most up to date version of iTunes on your Mac or PC. You will also need your iPhone or iPad with the official connection cable, more than 50% battery level on your device and a good internet connection. You will also need your Apple ID
Downloading Cydia Impactor is as simple as visiting the official Cydia Impactor website and hitting download – choose Mac or Windows. Once you have downloaded it, using it is easy:
- Download the IPA file for the app you want to install – extract and save it somewhere like your desktop so you can find it easily
- Open Cydia Impactor – if you use Windows 10, Do NOT right click and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ – if you do, you won’t be able to drag and drop files into it
- Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac or Windows PC and let Cydia Impactor detect it
- Now you can drag the IPA file over to Cydia Impactor and drop it in
- At this point, you will be asked for your Apple ID and password. Input them and, if an Expired Certificate warning appears, tap on OK
- Now leave Cydia Impactor to sign and then install your app or game, and the icon shows up on your home screen
Fix Untrusted Developer Error:
Once you see that icon, the app has been successfully installed but, because it isn’t an official app, Apple will not allow you to use it – when you tap the icon an Untrusted Developer error message will appear. To fix this, note the developer name from the error message:
- Open your Settings app and navigate through General to Profiles
- Tap on the Enterprise Apps section
- Find the name of the developer in the list of profiles and tap on it
- Tap on Trust on the popup message and then tap Trust again
- Now you can use the app
While Cydia Impactor works great, it will only continue to do so if you keep it updated to the latest version. Make sure you check for updates regularly:
- Open Cydia Impactor on your computer
- Click on the ‘Impactor’ tab
- Click on ‘Check for Updates’
- Whenever there is an update, the instructions will be on the screen for you to follow
Alternatively, when you use Cydia Impactor for the first time, you will see a dialog box that gives you two options – ‘Check Automatically’ and ‘Don’t Check.’ Choose the option to check automatically, and updates will be done for you.
Troubleshooting Cydia Impactor:
Sometimes you may come up against a provision.cpp:150 error. What this means is that your Apple ID has two-factor authentication enabled and Cydia Impactor cannot verify it. You may also get an error message that tells you that an app-specific password is required.
- Disable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID while you use Cydia Impactor
- Now open the Apple ID website from your computer and sign in
- Click on Security and then on Edit
- Click on App-Specific Password
- Give the password a label and click on Generate
- Copy the generated password and, when you use Cydia Impactor to download the app again, use that password with your ID
Cydia Impactor is one of the most important tools, not to mention pretty cool for what it can do for you. It makes installing unofficial apps and games much easier without having to jailbreak first. Give it a go and see just how easy it is to use.