Sideload apps not on App Store

From AppleGamingWiki, the wiki about gaming on M1 Apple silicon Macs

This is an article about sideloading iPhone and iPad applications onto M1 Apple silicon Macs. Currently apps are only listed on the App Store under the tab 'iPhone and iPad Apps' if the developer has opted in. The methods listed on the article bypass this restriction and allow users to install any app onto their M1 devices.

Sideloading is last enabled in macOS 11.2.3. Sideloading was disabled in macOS 11.3 beta and in the current macOS 11.3 full release. If one attempts to sideload an app, the error message "This application cannot be installed because the developer did not intend for it to run on this platform" appears. The only method that works for macOS 11.3 onwards is the Rickpactor method, the AppDB Pro method, or the PlayCover method. Alternatively one may downgrade to macOS 11.2.3.

Sideload with macOS 11.3 onwards[edit]

Sideload using PlayCover[edit]

This method is a form of sideloading using the alpha software PlayCover, please visit the main article for more information.

Decrypt IPA and sideload using Sideloadly[edit]

You will need a jailbroken device which at the time of writing is iOS 14.3 or below.
This is a good tutorial for Frida.
  1. Jailbreak any iPhone or iPad that meets the minimum requirements of the app you want to decrypt using Checkra1n or another method
  2. In the jailbroken device, go to Cydia
  3. In Cydia install OpenSSH
  4. In Cydia open Sources and press Edit, add build.frida.re and then install the appropriate version of Frida
  5. Open Terminal and install brew.sh Homebrew
  6. In Terminal, enter command: echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"' >> ~/.zprofile
    eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"
    to set the correct path
  7. In Terminal, install Python 3 using brew install python
  8. In Terminal, run command pip3 install frida, then pip3 install paramiko, then pip3 install scp, then pip3 install tqdm
  9. On Mac, download Frida code from GitHub and extract
  10. On the Mac, extract Frida code and Ctrl+click and open dump.py using TextEdit
  11. Find the IP address of your iPhone or iPad in the Settings, Wi-Fi (press i next to connected Wi-Fi network)
  12. Modify hostname with iPhone or iPad's IP address and change port from 2222 to 22
  13. In Terminal, find the Frida code folder and navigate to it, e.g. cd ~/Downloads/frida-ios-dump-master
  14. In Terminal, Use the command python3 dump.py -l to generate the list of apps running on iPhone or iPad
  15. In Terminal, Use command python3 dump.py com.netflix.Netflix changing the name according to the app you want to decrpt
  16. The decrypted IPA will be in the Frida folder on Mac
  17. Install Sideloadly on Mac
  18. Drag the app into Sideloadly and enter a dummy iCloud account and the decrypted app will be signed and install into Applications folder

Downgrade to macOS 11.2.3[edit]

  1. Visit MrMacintosh blog page and find 11.2.3 InstallAssistant.pkg
  2. Double click on InstallAssistant.pkg which will extract a 'Install macOS Big Sur' into the Applications folder
  3. If running macOS 11.3, it is possible to run this installer to downgrade to 11.2.3 without losing application, data or settings - it remains to be seen whether this is will contiue to work in macOS 11.4 onwards
  4. Click continue and allow the macOS to downgrade to 11.3
  5. Use the #Sideload with macOS 11.2.3 or below methods to continue to sideload apps

Create a bootable USB running macOS 11.2.3[edit]

This method will give a long term solution to sideload by creating a bootable external drive running macOS 11.2.3 (a completely separate operating system and set of data). It requires a USB drive at least 16 GB and another drive at least 128 GB in size.[1]

  1. Visit MrMacintosh blog page and find 11.2.3 InstallAssistant.pkg
  2. Double click on InstallAssistant.pkg which will extract a 'Install macOS Big Sur' into the Applications folder
  3. Insert 16 GB USB
  4. Ctrl+click on this 16 GB USB and rename to MyVolume
  5. Open Terminal (within the Applications\Utilities folder)
  6. Paste this command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume and enter password
  7. Wait for install media to complete and then turn off the Mac
  8. Switch on the Mac holding the power button until Startup Options become available
  9. Wait until Install macOS Big Sur becomes available and then click and press return
  10. Exit the installer
  11. Enter Disk Utility
  12. Format the 128 GB USB to APFS
  13. Exist Disk Utility
  14. Select Install macOS Big Sur and select the 128 GB USB
  15. Wait for installation to complete and the Mac will eventually boot into macOS 11.2.3

AppDB and Rickpactor[edit]

  • Warning: this method may compromise the security of your Mac as it involves installing a managed profile on your Mac, and installable apps may come from unknown sources, please be warned.
  • Upload apps to MyAppStore on AppDB extracted from iMazing/Apple Configurator 2 will not work as they need to be 'cracked' first.[2]
  1. Visit appdb
  2. Click 'Link your device'
  3. Enter email address
  4. Confirm by clicking confirmation email link
  5. Go to System preferences, Profiles
  6. Install the 'appdb Device Link'
  7. Download and open Rickpactor
  8. Enable revocation protection
  9. Paste command into Terminal application and press return
  10. Search on ​appdb for apps to download

After 11.3, Rickpactor has a 3-App Limit, just like it has on iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS devices. Also, due to bugs on Apple's side, Rickpactor can no longer manually re-sign apps for you, you have to do it after 7 days (or 365 if you have a paid dev account).

AppDB PRO[edit]

AppDB free has a 7 day limit which requires re-signing after this time. For unrestricted limits one needs to buy AppDB PRO which is an annual subscription. You can follow the same steps you usually do for using PRO on an iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS device.

Sideload with macOS 11.2.3 or below[edit]

These methods has been disabled in macOS 11.3, these methods only work from macos 11 to 11.2.3.

Apple Configurator 2[edit]

  1. Download Apple Configurator 2 from App Store
  2. Connect iPhone or iPad via USB cable
  3. Use Apple Configurator 2 and click Add and then Apps
  4. Sign into Apple ID
  5. Find app to download, select and Add
  6. A message will appear to 'Skip App', 'Replace' or 'Stop' - do nothing
  7. Open Finder and navigate to ~/Library/Group Containers/K36BKF7T3D.group.com.apple.configurator/Library/Caches/Assets/TemporaryItems/MobileApps/ and locate the app IPA that has been download
  8. Open Terminal and then copy and paste the command sudo xattr -rd com.apple.quarantine
  9. Then drag the app IPA after this code (so that the path appears afterwards)
  10. Press return
  11. Double click on app IPA to install, which will then appear in Applications folder

iMazing[edit]

  1. Download and install trial of iMazing, the trial is all that is required
  2. Attach an iPhone or iPad - make sure this device is logged into the same iCloud account as the M1 Mac being used
  3. In iMazing, select the iPhone or iPad
  4. Click 'Manage Apps'
  5. Download or select an existing application
  6. Ctrl + click on application and select 'Export .IPA'
  7. Double click on exported app, it will export into the Applications folder

Sideload without an iPhone or iPad using Windows[edit]

If you do not own an iPhone or iPad, but have access to a Windows computer or Parallels then it is possible to download the relevant IPA using a specific version of iTunes.[3]

  1. Download this specific version of iTunes64Setup.exe onto a Windows PC or Parallels installation
  2. Sign in with Apple ID
  3. Enable App Store tab
  4. Search Genshin Impact and download it (no iPhone or iPad required)
  5. Browse C:\Users\<YOUR USERNAME>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications and find Genshin Impact x.x.x.ipa (or any other app)
  6. Copy this file to your M1 Mac running 11.2.3 or below
  7. Double-click and open the app

References

  1. Create a bootable macOS Big Sur USB install drive in 5 Minutes! - last accessed on 2021-05-02
  2. Twitter @appdb - last accessed on 2021-05-02
    "Dear Mac users. You can't install apps from iTunes or imazing via appdb, as apps needs to be DRM-free (cracked), like on ios. Only after cracking installation is possible"
  3. Running Genshin Impact on an Apple Silicon (M1) Mac! Instructions below: - last accessed on 2021-05-02