Unapproved apps on an iPhone without jailbreaking?
Sep 23, 2008

As I'm sure most people are aware, it's possible to install apps on your iPhone that aren't available through the AppStore. This requires you to go through a process known as 'jailbreaking' (which is surprisingly easy, and has been around since before there was an official App store), which in addition to allowing you to install apps (including an online repository rather like the official App store), means that you have to be wary of any software updates becaues they, at best, will undo your jailbreaking or, at worst, might brick your iPhone if you don't un-jailbreak it first. But there's another method of installing apps that haven't been given the official Apple stamp of approval on your app. One that doesn't require jailbreaking, and is absolutely authorized by Apple. If you are an iPhone developer, you can install the app that you're developing onto your iPhone to test it out. I haven't done this myself, not having tried my hand at iPhone development yet, but I've seen it done. That being said, and being a known fact, doesn't this mean that we have another avenue to installing apps on iPhones available to us? Shouldn't it therefore be possible for these unapproved apps to be distributed in such a manner as to be installed through the iPhone dev tools and therefore without having to jailbreak your phone? Might it not also, therefore, be possible for the installer app that connects you to the repository of available unofficial iPhone apps to be installed in this way? I'm asking these questions because I don't know the answers, but I'd like to find out. The one real problem that I can see is that maybe apps installed using this method won't have access to all the underlying functionality that is available to unofficial apps but kept hidden from those approved ones. But again, I don't know. I can't imagine this question hasn't been asked before since it seems like a pretty obvious one. But if people can figure out how to jailbreak the iPhone in the first place how much harder can it be to figure out how to use the dev kit to install the installer app without jailbreaking?
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