Developer Shows How to Sideload Apps like ‘GBA4iOS’ onto iPhone with Xcode 7

Earlier this week it was reported an Apple developer membership is no longer required for people to build apps and test them on their iOS devices. This opened up a tonne of possibilities for people to create their own apps and install them on their iPhones and iPads.

Ottawa-based developer Bouke van der Bijl, recently posted detailed instructions that have gained traction on the web, sharing how users can sideload apps on their iPhone with Xcode 7, using this capability for users.

In Bouke’s case, he shares how to sideload GBA4iOS (a Nintendo emulator) as an example. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Download and install Xcode 7 beta
  2. Open Xcode 7 > Preferences > login to Apple ID
  3. Download source code of app you want to install, open in Xcode
  4. Plug in iPhone, then select as build destination: Product > Destination > Select your iPhone
  5. Generate code signing signature for app, load onto iPhone. Play.
Xcode 7
Many of you asked whether the installation of jailbreak apps would be possible, but they won’t be. Bouke explained via email any apps side loaded onto an iOS device is still limited like any other software from the App Store. There’s no extra privileges for customizing like home screen theming and the like.
However, this new found freedom to sideload apps also allows for non-authorized apps that don’t pass App Store guidelines to be put on your device. Examples include emulators, apps that are restricted due to licensing (Bouke gives the example of Kodi), and other apps such as those associated with piracy (i.e. torrent application remotes).
We asked if there was any ‘danger’ in sideloading unauthorized third party apps this way, and Bouke explained since extra permissions are limited “there’s no more danger than downloading something from the App Store.”
Also, access to source code is required when installing an app using this method, so users are free to go through and review code, “although most people won’t do that,” says Bouke.

Aside from installing unauthorized third party apps onto your iPhone this way, we think the ability to do so will be huge for students and education, as they’ll be able to create their own apps and sideload them onto an iPhone for free, without having to pay for an Apple developer membership.

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  • hub2

    I like this. A lot.

    It’ll let people install stuff they can’t get from the app store, but unlike Android side-loading, you can’t just grab a binary from just any source. You need intermediate technical and at least novice programming skills, and can only do so with full source code to review.

  • I’m curious if things like this will make Apple thing twice about opening up Xcode. I can see Apple reversing this Change in the future to protect their image.

  • David Voller

    I followed the mini-guide for gba4ios but my iPhone is coming up as an illegible device when I tried to select the build destination:(

  • Michael Zamot

    I don’t see why. It is obvious this was a possible outcome. Pretty much obvious. The thing is, this is not an issue, not a lot of people are going to compile stuffs.

  • Michael Zamot

    Exactly, you will know what you are installing.

  • Hendra Wijaya

    Hi Guys,
    I got an error like this when i click ‘Fix Issue’. I already click that reset button but that error still pop up and build failed