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Install on iOS without App Store?

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  • Last reply by jermtz077

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Are there alternative ways to install Firefox focus on iOS other than going to App Store? I do not have an Apple ID, and for privacy, I don’t think I want one.

Thanks!

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Hi HC,

Here is some insight on your question. Unless your device is jailbroken, iOS app files known by the file extension .ipa have an embedded plist (controller file with metadata) directly from Apple that uses your Apple ID to sign and receive a token from Apple which causes the ipa to be Fairplay protected (DRM protected). This plist is actually embedded within the ipa file at the time of download. Either way if you have a ipa file and you are not jailbroken you need to actually sign it. Jailbroken devices have ways of bypassing the signing process.

There is a way to do actually install with you signing the app from a jailed device but Mozilla would need to have an accessible ipa file we can download without that actual plist and you would need to make a burner Apple ID to sign it. If you have a regular Apple ID and not a Developer one (there is a difference) the token is only valid from 7 days and needs renewing where as using a Developer ID the token is valid for a year and only needs renewing one a year (Developer ID cost $99 a year though). Either way an Apple ID is involved. That's why when signing in with a Apple ID at the device level and then downloading from the app store, there is no need to sign every 7 days as the token expires when the Apple ID is disassociated from the device. It is not like Android where you have the actual app file (with extension .apk) and can install it without signing it (potential security threat as any .apk can be installed without the play store and can have viruses in the app itself).

Alternatively you can use the application AppCake (Youtube video on how to get it is youtu.be/Veoj3YdphEw - He is jailbroken by the way if you were wondering why his device looked weird) which will sign the app without worrying to do it yourself. That app won't ask you to for an Apple ID to sign it as it is a Enterprise app (but depending on their enterprise status, which is a whole different category of IDs and developer privileges, my not work down the line). You will just need to trust the app from settings and install the profile. From here you can download any other ipa and install it without you needing to sign it. Here is a video showing you how to do that but again you need an ipa to do this. youtu.be/xhRWuNr_Xoc

Depending on your response and how you would like to proceed, I can help you out further.

Good luck out there!

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