If you are one of those tech-savvy people, you have probably heard of AltStore – an alternative app store for iPhone. Any reputed and technically advanced iOS app development company will surely know about it. For all those of you who haven’t heard about it, this blog is for you!

In this blog, we will be discussing the history of AltStore – the alternative app store for iPhone, the advantages of having an iOS app store alternative and much more.

Although Apple and Google’s official app stores are recognized worldwide, they are not the only options to launch your application. There are a number of alternative app stores for iPhone and Android to launch your apps and face less competition.

☛ So, Why Choose an Alternative App Store?

  • The third-party app stores will rarely charge you listing fees. Also, these app stores will advertise your application better by featuring it as an app of the day.
  • Some of these app store alternatives can provide your application with a prestigious spot in the recommended apps list.
  • These alternative app stores can prove to be profitable only if you offer local apps that target only specific countries.

Now that you know the basic advantages of an alternative app store, let’s get down to the main topic!

AltStore – The Alternative App Store for iPhone that Doesn’t Need A Jailbreak:

Riley Testut is the man who created AltStore. AltStore is an app store alternative iOS, no jailbreak required. Since an early age, he was into mobile app development company, especially emulation technology.

He was disappointed when he realized that classic games from developers like Nintendo will never be available in the official iOS app store. Furthermore, Nintendo is not interested either in porting their games to iOS.

Instead, they chose to make mobile-specific versions of their games and Apple has a strict policy against applications that may be used for piracy. So, Testut took the matter in his own hands. He built an iOS emulator technology that enables you to do it yourself.

He began working on emulation technology as early as a high school which lasted for 2 years. The final outcome was a Game Boy emulator iOS – GBA4iOS. GBA4iOS game download became a controversial piece of news in 2014 as both Apple and Nintendo made efforts to shut it down. It was still available for some after that, but now it is not.

After GBA4iOS, Testut figured out a way for his software to be available on the Apple app store download list. Enter – AltStore! The alternative app store for iPhone that allows anyone to download software not available on the official app store. It is believed that AltStore is likely to move the whole iOS ecosystem.

☛ Delta:

The first app on this one of the best alternative app stores iOS is Delta. Delta is a Nintendo emulator that will enable any iPhone/iPad owner to play Super Mario and other classic games. What’s the interesting part?

You don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone. Therefore, it is available for anyone who wants to download it, at no cost.

Delta is an extremely powerful app with the quality that you can expect only from a major software developer. You can run SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and NES apps for iPhone on it. Delta is basically the kind of application that Apple will never allow, but its something that iPhone users dream of.

How did he achieve that? Distributing his own iPhone emulator is one thing but an alternative app store for the iPhone is a different ball game altogether. All thanks to some amazing tricks that exploit how the iPhone is crafted to be used by iOS app developers.

He made use of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program that allows businesses to internally distribute software. Testut suspected that Apple was not really monitoring who applied for the license and how they were using it. Thus, he found a company that sold those certificates and began distributing GBA4iOS to interested people.

☛ Another insight:

Apple caught this quickly and revoked his certificate. Nintendo also served him with a takedown notice for the emulation code. After the incident, Apple obviously became more strict with the program. Now the program is completely under Apple’s control.

It means they reserve the right to revoke their access from anyone at any point in time. Testut was finding other means to safely distribute his software. He did find a new method, which in his opinion, will be a little harder to shut down.

The other method works in the following manner:

  • Install the companion AltServer in your Mac or Windows PC
  • Plugin your iOS device and manually install the AltStore software
  • Enter your Apple ID credentials
  • After it is downloaded, you can use AltStore just like the official Apple app store

In iOS, if an app is not downloaded from the official app store, it is forcibly removed after 7 days. Well, AltStore took care of that too! How? AltStore uses the iTunes Wi-Fi sync to make sure that the apps are refreshed weekly. In this manner, the apps downloaded from AltStore will not be forcibly removed.

Just because he found an alternative means, doesn’t mean Apple can’t force it close again.

As per Testut, even if Apple disables AltStore’s ability to sync apps over Wifi, you can still connect your phone once a week to your PC and continue using AltStore and its applications. He is quite hopeful that even in the worst-case scenarios, AltStore has a way ahead.

What makes AltStoe unique as compared to other jailbreak techniques? When you root your iOS device, your warranty becomes void and the device may become inoperable. But AltStore doesn’t require you to root your device.

How to Use AltStore?

Download and install AltServer on your computer. Open AltServer and connect your iOS device to the computer. The next step is to select your iOS device from the “Install AltStore” menu. The app will ask your Apple ID login details to create a free iOS app developer certificate. If you don’t prefer sharing your personal account, create an Apple ID for this.

Once done, the AltStore icon will appear on your iOS device. You may have to authorize it from Settings before using it for the first time.

This alternative app store for iPhone is quite similar to the official Apple store. The first tab displays new apps, browse section will allow you to explore and the My Apps section portrays the applications downloaded on your device.

Before you download any apps, go to settings and insert your Apple ID credentials. Make sure that the credentials are the same that you used to setup AltServer on your computer. After all the setting up process, just choose an app and install it like the official Apple store. Moreover, you can access these apps from your home screen.

As the AltStore project is open source, other developers can view it on GitHub.

Other Examples of Alternative App Store for iPhone:

☛ GetJar

GetJar was established in the year 2004 by Ilja Laurs. It was established as a self-sufficient app store for iOS developers. This alternative app store for iPhone has more than 0.85 million apps and investment backup from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.

☛ Appland

It’s the perfect app store alternative if your target audience belongs to the countries like Oman, Mexico, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Egypt, and Bangladesh, etc. But Appland does not have absolute clarity in terms of distribution and revenue model.

On the brighter side, the app store support services make sure that they resolve your queries as soon as possible.

☛ TutuApp

TutuApp has more than 300 million users and multi-language support. Some of the best features of TutuApp are easy app submission process, cooperated SDK and different payment options.

☛ AppiShare

You have probably always heard that there is no way out for premium iOS apps. That is because you haven’t heard about AppiShare – an alternative app store. AppiShare allows you to download premium apps on your iOS devices without spending a single penny. If you like some app with a price on the official App store, try searching for the same on AppiShare. An interesting fact is that this alternative app store also allows you to download movies.

☛ AppEven

What makes this alternative app store worth giving a chance? Can you ever imagine downloading hacked apps from the official Apple Store? No, right? AppEven will do that for you! You may know that only jailbroken devices can download the hacked apps. However, with this app store, you get access to all those modified applications.

☛ AppChina

It is one of the popular iPhone app store alternatives. You will have innumerable apps for download here. Right from some of your favorite iOS apps and games to classic themes – everything is compiled at a single place.


All this information may seem too much right now. But when you hire iOS app developer for your project, it will all make much more sense.

An alternative app store for iPhone may not seem like a good idea immediately. But it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One of the major advantages is that you get away with the restriction of the official Apple store and launch your app sooner.

A major disadvantage, we assume can be that not all iOS users will trust your application. The reason being a lot of iOS users belong to the non-technical background and will not understand that an alternative app store like AltStore may be safe to use.

You can research these alternative app stores on your own by checking out the number of applications listed on them. The number of downloads of these applications will serve as a proof of safety for you to launch your application.

Are you still confused about whether to launch your application on the alternative app store or not? Consult our experts on [email protected] for a detailed understanding of alternative app stores!

AltStore - An Alternative App Store for iPhone