AltStore on iPhone: A New App Frontier or a Security Risk?

The recent launch of AltStore, an alternative to Apple‘s official App Store, presents a fresh avenue for iPhone users to explore apps like games and emulators that aren’t available on the official platform.

However, the excitement around this development is also accompanied by significant concerns regarding safety and security.

App Store

Understanding AltStore and Its Installation

AltStore allows users to install applications on their iPhones through a method that bypasses the traditional App Store. To do this, users must first enable certain permissions on their iPhone through “Use Time,” and then put their device in developer mode. This process is akin to downloading APK files on Android but is relatively new and unfamiliar territory for many iPhone users, particularly those who are not tech-savvy.

The Risks of Installing External Apps

The process of enabling developer mode and downloading apps from external sources inherently reduces the security layers designed to protect your device and personal data. Here’s why users should be cautious:

  • Security Measures Compromised: Activating developer mode and allowing apps from unknown sources can expose your device to vulnerabilities. It disables certain security measures that are in place to protect your data and device from malicious software.
  • Unregulated App Content: Unlike the App Store, where apps undergo rigorous review processes to meet Apple’s privacy and security standards, AltStore does not have such stringent checks. This could potentially lead to the availability of apps that may contain harmful software, including viruses.
  • Potential for Malicious Software: With the rush to populate AltStore with new apps, there might be an oversight in thorough vetting, increasing the risk of downloading an app with malicious intent. Users might inadvertently expose themselves to risks by installing apps that seem legitimate but contain harmful elements.

Should You Use AltStore?

While the allure of accessing more apps and games is strong, the security implications cannot be understated. If you are considering using AltStore, here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Wait and Watch: It might be wise to let others test the waters with AltStore before diving in yourself. Observing the early adopters’ experiences can provide valuable insights into potential security risks or issues.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with reports and reviews about AltStore and the apps it offers. Information is your best defense against potential threats.
  • Evaluate Necessity: Consider whether the need for accessing apps not available on the App Store outweighs the potential risks to your device and personal information.


AltStore presents an intriguing alternative to the Apple App Store by offering iPhone users the possibility to explore a broader array of apps. However, the risks involved with installing and using unsupervised third-party applications should make users cautious. It’s essential to weigh the benefits against the potential security threats and to proceed with mindful consideration of the risks involved.