Extract and Explore an iOS App on Mac OS

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You can find some interesting stuff in iOS apps downloaded from the App Store, all you need to do is get the file out of the container and then you are free to browse around like any other application package.

This works with any iPhone or iPad app, and of course you need a Mac with OS X and iTunes. Here is how to do the rest and find out what’s in an iOS application package.

How to Extract and explore the contents of iOS apps in Mac OS X.

We use iBooks.app as an example:

  • Launch iTunes and click on “Apps”
  • Select the app you want to extract and right click on it, select ‘Show in Finder’

  • You will see a .ipa file in the Finder, make a copy of that file to the desktop by holding down Option and dragging it there
  • Rename the .ipa file extension to .zip (in this case iBooks.ipa to iBooks.zip), ignore the warning and click to confirm the .zip extension

  • Now double click on the .zip file to extract the contents, it will open like any standard archive
  • Open the folder just extracted and open “Payload” in it
  • Right click on the app name (iBooks.app) and select “Show Package Contents”
  • Explore the content of the iOS app, it looks like the screenshot at the very top of this post with AngryBirds Lite

You can find a lot of interesting things in these iOS apps and the process is the same regardless of whether an app is for iPhone or iPad, so have fun. Make sure to back upup so you don’t mess around up the app, although you can always re-download it if you do.

This will give you a glimpse into what is part of an iOS app or game, including artwork, plist files, bundles, various data files and code signatures, package information files, binaries, and much more. However, you won’t find any code here if you’re particularly adept at assembly and reverse engineering, then you may be able to get extra tidbits from the .ipa and .app files.

Note that in the latest version of iTunes, the “Apps” section is a subsection accessible from the iTunes menu. However, you can also open the application’s .app and .ipa files directly from OS X’s Finder.

Apps in iTunes

Speaking of extractions, you can also extract from a .pkg package file, if you’re interested.

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Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X

In this guide, we told you about Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X; please read all steps so that you understand Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X in case if you need any assistance from us, then contact us.

How this tutorial helping you?

So in this guide, we discuss the Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X, which undoubtedly helps you.

What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Extract and Explore an iOS App in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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