With the revolutionization of iOS devices, there has been prodigious advancement in the app market. But installing apps unauthorized by Apple is still very tedious, don’t you think?
Fortunately, iOS jailbreaking has come to our rescue!
Jailbreaks exploit the vulnerabilities of iOS to remove the software restrictions imposed by Apple. They allow root access, thereby, installation of apps unavailable in the App Store and expansion of our device’s feature set.
As you may have guessed, what comes along is the rise of jailbroken iOS apps.
Screenshot of the Cydia Store: By Jay Freeman (Saurik), the author of Cydia.
His portfolio includes a plethora of tools and frameworks for app developers and software extensions for jailbroken iOS users.
In 2017, Saurik made a breakthrough with Cydia Extender to upgrade his already well-known GUI tool Cydia Impactor.
If you are curious about Cydia Extender, keep on reading. We are about to discuss its past, present, and future.
What is Cydia Extender?
To begin with, let’s find out what the hype around Cydia Extender is all about.
The latest version of Cydia Impactor to date is 0.9.52 and is compatible with MacOS X, Windows, Linux (32-bit or 64-bit). It enables signing and installing.IPA files (iOS App Store Packages) from a ‘full’ computer to a mobile device.
Hence, you can customize your smartphone or tablet with apps not accessible through the App Store. But that’s not all.
Since 0.9.39 version, Cydia Impactor has been packaged and released together with Cydia Extender.
The package itself is designed to automatically re-sign apps that had not been downloaded from App Store. And it does so without the need for a computer at hand.
Here’s another special characteristic of Cydia Extender.
Once the package signs an app onto your device, it would essentially remain signed for life — basically, all you need to install .IPA files on-device and makes sure they are re-signed automatically is a compatible 64-bit device!
Still not convinced Cydia Extender is a remarkable addition to Cydia Impactor? Let us break down the detailed comparison for you.
First up, Cydia Impactor:
- It requires a computer to run, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux.
- It often throws errors, some of which are hard-to-fix.
- You can use it in jailbreak or non-jailbreak state.
- You must connect your iOS mobile device to your computer to install apps.
Now, Cydia Extender:
- It does not require a computer to run.
- It requires an internet connection.
- It is the Cydia Impactor alternative for iOS.
- It signs certificates of apps on-device.
- It works well on iOS 9 and 10 firmware on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- You can use it when your device is in jailbreak or non-jailbreak state.
- You can renew or re-sign it on-device even after your jailbreak’s certificate has expired.
So, who wins the Cydia Impactor vs. Cydia Extender battle?
Cydia Extender comes out on top, no doubt. Once installed, you will no longer need a computer to sign apps. Why not go for it?
The installation procedure may be a bit complicated for novice users. But don’t worry, we try to make it as easy-to-follow as possible in the next section.
How to install Cydia Extender on your iOS device?
If you have experience with Cydia Impactor, you must already know that you need to re-sign an app in every seven days. And you need to connect your iOS device to your computer every single time.
It can be a hassle for most of us to do that so regularly. Thus, the ability of Cydia Extender to auto-sign or re-sign the app directly on our device is beneficial.
Is there a catch to such an excellent feature, you might ask?
Yes, unfortunately. Cydia Extender requires a paid Apple Developer account to work. So, if you want to enjoy its magic on iOS jailbroken apps, then you literally need to pay Apple out of your pocket.
Image: Primarily, you can only use Cydia Extender with a paid Developer account.
Before anything else, we shall inform you guys about the following:
- Apple Developer Program costs you $99/year.
- Once you sideload an.IPA file using XCode with that paid program, it would last for the whole year.
But here’s the good news for you. We’ve figured out how to install Cydia Extender on your iOS device without a paid Developer account.
Ready to get the auto-signing feature for free? Just follow these steps:
- Open Cydia Impactor on your computer
- Update the software
An example of Cydia Extender update for iOS. Note: If you update now (June 2019), it’s Impactor 0.9.52 that you’d be asked to download.
- Find and open impactor.dat file
- Change its extension i.e. rename it to impactor.zip
- Install the Cydia Extender.IPA file to your iOS device
If the above error message popups, make sure you’ve dragged the extender.IPA file into Impactor before clicking the “Start” button.
Still can’t install Cydia Extender? Check out this video for an illustration of the process.
We hope you can get the feature by following our steps and pay nothing for it. We’ll give you an update if there’s a more natural way.
Does Cydia Extender solve the 7-Day re-signing problem?
In theory, yes. The release of Cydia Extender could have been Saurik’s solution to the common problem faced by jailbreakers: Asked to re-sign the sideloaded jailbreak app using a computer after seven days as the free Apple ID certificate expires.
However, it is unclear whether Saurik had intended Cydia Extender to be the solution. What follows is a summary of his initial vision for its user base:
“It (apparently) requires a developer account to install, due to the crazy indirect technique it uses for the install process (a loopback VPN network extension). This limitation seriously was not noticed by me until a user reported it as an issue a few minutes after I had already released it. This makes this new application only valuable to developers.”
An oversight during the development of Cydia Extender, but it is still a powerful tool for jailbreakers who can use it. Even if its audience is limited by the unforeseen setback of requiring Apple Developer Program.
But haven’t you just learned how to install and configure Cydia Extender without paying a dime in the previous section?
What does the future hold for Cydia Extender?
The need for the App Developer Program has killed the primary purpose it was initially built and launched for most jailbroken iOS users. However, its functionality will still be helpful for device owners using apps that need to be regularly signed.
Up until this point, Cydia Extender may not be for everyone. It is now more like a temporary measure than a real solution to the 7-day signing problem.
But it still has a place for jailbreakers, mostly app developers, who have the necessary privilege of a paid account. Or for those who know about the steps we mentioned earlier!
Nevertheless, Cydia Extender shows excellent potential to become an ideal workaround for our re-signing woes. So long as Saurik could find a way to increase its future utility…
Though he is still a bit ambivalent about the feasibility of that at present, don’t worry. There have been some modified versions which remove the Developer account requirement and auto-sign apps after some time.
Generally, a modified Cydia Extender brings along quite a few attractive features:
- Re-sign apps automatically
- Install apps without VPN or Apple Developer Program
- Archive your Apple ID login credentials to avoid sign-in every time
- Configure alerts of automatic re-signing with the basic settings
- Fix all errors with a troubleshooting panel
Next, we’ll tell you about the current best alternatives for Saurik’s tool.
What is Cydia Extender alternative? ReProvision!
Since you’ve reached this section, we assume you’re aware that jailbreaking alone is insufficient when it comes to installing unsigned apps.
Cydia Extender (and similar tools) are capable of auto re-signing apps unavailable on App Store, but they have some significant limitations.
So, are you interested in a reliable Cydia Extender alternative?
ReProvision is our (and many iOS users’) recommendation. But other options are available if you don’t find it suitable, such as:
- AppSync Unified – a powerful Cydia tweak for unregistered Apple app developers to install fake signature package (unverified .IPA files) for testing.
- JTool – working differently from Cydia, it tricks iOS and signs into unauthorized apps using fake root entitlements.
What is ReProvision?
ReProvision is one of the best candidates if you are seeking Cydia Extender alternatives. It was designed by Alessandro Chiarlitti (@aesign_, aesign.me) and developed by Matt Clarke (@_Mathchstic, incendo.ws).
ReProvision is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit iOS devices of Apple, you can use it not only as a jailbreak re-signing tool but also a way to sign any.IPA file or third-party app unavailable in the App Store.
Is that not convincing enough? ReProvision even allows you to sign the apps which have expired!
Features of ReProvision
Now that we have got a grasp on what ReRrovision is, let’s dig deeper into its amazing features and functions:
- ReProvision is open-source software? You can try it for free!
- It supports 32-bit as well as 64-bit Apple devices.
- It works with iOS 9 or higher iOS versions.
- You can easily and quickly sign any.IPA file or a third-party app that is found outside of the App Store. And it’s computer-free!
- You can sign any app that is already expired or is expiring soon.
- It has a very clean and easy-to-use UI.
How to install ReProvision on your iOS device?
To end this article, we are giving you a step-by-step guide to help you install and configure ReProvision.
It might look a bit complicated at a glance. But truth be told, it is not much harder to follow than the guide for Cydia Extender. Don’t be put off by the number of steps!
- Open the Cydia app on your jailbroken device
- Tap “Sources” > “Edit” > “Add”
- Enter Matt’s Repository Address: incendo.ws
- Find the search tab and Search for “Reprovision”
- Install the Reprovision app from the official site
- Restart SpringBoard
- Find ReProvision icon on your home screen and launch it
- Enter your Apple ID and password
- Tap “Confirm” and wait for the certificate verification process to complete
Here are three tips for you:
- SpringBoard occasionally crashes with ReProvision. If that happens to you, simply delete ReProvision, run iCleaner, re-Spring, and re-install ReProvision
- You should use the same Apple account for ReProvision and Cydia Impactor. Keep in mind that it is perfectly safe, as your data is only sent to Apple to generate new certificates.
However, we do suggest creating a spare Apple ID just because iOS security is sometimes a bit iffy.
- If your device already has a certificate, first remove it by swiping “Device: Unknown” message from right to left and select “Delete.” Then, you can use ReProvision.
Image: If you’ve signed apps with your Apple ID before, revoke one of your existing certificates.
When all is done, you’re logged in and set up. The ReProvision app should present this screen to you and list all the apps installed using Developer certificates:
Expiring soon: This segment informs you about the apps which require re-sign. To manually re-sign an app, simply tap “Sign”.
Recently Signed: As the name indicates, this section lists all the apps which you have recently signed using ReProvision.
Other Applications: Any app whose expiry date is in 2 months or later would be shown under this section.
That is all about ReProvision, which makes it the Cydia Extender alternative, and how to install it. If you need better illustration, check out this video.