Cracked Apps & Games For The iPhone
|On This Page
|What Is A .IPA?
|The XXXX.APP Folder
|Setting Up The iPhone For Cracking
|Where Do I Get The Apps (IPA Files)?
|Add The 'Hackulo.us' Source
|The 'MobileInstallation' File
|Backup The 'MobileInstallation' File
|Patching The 'MobileInstallation' File
|Grab An App Or Two
|Cracking .IPAs With 'Crackulous'
|Transfering the Apps To The iPhone
|Backing Up Your Cracked Apps
I get really frustrated about sites not bothering with laymans terms when it comes to explaining something simple. They have to be in l33t mode all the time and think others can understand what they are saying and I can only just understand what they're upto. So, as a result, I spent a few nights looking into what's needed to hack iPhone Applications and how to put them onto the iPhone. The good news is it's pretty easy, so easy Grandad could do it, it just takes a bit of time to get to grips with the process. Obviously the iPhone must be Jailbroken first in order to use cracked Apps. If you haven't done this already I'd recommend you do that first then come back here after it's done
What Is A .IPA?
A .ipa file is an Apple program (iPhone Application, IPA). IPA files are what iTunes use to install the Apps onto the iPhone. Inside an IPA file there are loads of other different files. When they are installed onto the iPhone they are extracted into their appropriate folders. Now here's the cool bit, iIf you rename a .ipa file to .zip you can see what's inside the IPA file. You can also extract it and repack it with some customisation, i.e, change information within a .plist file, etc. iTunes holds all IPA applications in the following directory folder on the PC:
Here's an example of a Windows XP 'My Documents' Folder:
My Music\iTunes\Mobile Applications
Remember the above location can have cracked and uncracked Apps in it but it's worth backing up the whole lot for later use
iTunes also copies any .ipa file, to this folder, from wherever it was loaded, opened or Sync'd from. So, the above folder is a good start for backing up frequently, to soemwhere. Another thing to notice is that .ipa files are associated with iTunes. So the normal double clicking on a .ipa file will also get copied to the above location, as it is loaded into iTunes, it is then ready for syncing to the iPhone
The XXXX.APP Folder
As said above a packed .ipa file is associated with iTunes NOT the iPhone. The iPhone has it's own way of storing Apps. When iTunes Sync's an application .ipa file, to the iPhone, it extracts the packed files into a folder associated with the .ipa filename. To understand the .app folder structure you need to look inside a .ipa file. We'll use an application file called application.ipa. Inside that application.ipa file you will see a directory structure similar to the one below:
. ITunesArtwork (icon graphic)
. Payload (SubFolder)
.. application.app (SubFolder of Payload folder)
The iTunesArtwork file is basically a PNG file. This is the icon artwork that shows up in the iTunes Application section, you can customise this if you want something different. The Payload folder is just a SubFolder that holds the actual application.app folder and the application.app folder is where all the files are needed to run the App
Setting Up The iPhone For Cracking
All programs for the iPhone are called Apps, it's only the categories that seperate them. So instead of saying Apps and Games, etc, I'll just use Apps. The reason being simple, the same method is used for cracking all iPhone programs and wether they are Free Apps or Paid for Apps. The following is a brief list of what needs doing to initally setup the iPhone up, for cracking IPAs:
1. Grab an App from iTunes, Free or Paid for
2. Add the 'Hackulo.us' Source
3. Backup the
4. Patch the
5. Crack an App or two
Where Do I Get The Apps (IPA Files)?
Well there's two ways you can get Apps. One way is to actually download a legit one from iTunes properly, by paying for it (I would recommend that) and then crack it yourselves using a special App on the iPhone. The other way would be to grab them from the Interent, already cracked (this should be done only to backup your original downloads). As this page is about showing you how to crack iPhone Apps, you have downloaded from iTunes, we'll go with this for now. I'll show you where to go to find the already cracked Apps later
Add The 'Hackulo.us' Source
Secondly, using Cydia (Cydia is automatically installed on the iPhone with OS 3.0 CFW, it is the new 'Installer'), we need to install a Source, as this Source holds a few vital Apps for hacking the iPhone. The Source we need to add is called 'Hackulo.us'. If you haven't already got 'Hackulo.us' installed then please do the following:
Fire up Cydia (Installer App) from the Home Page goto 'Manage'
and then 'Sources'. Once in 'Sources' click EDIT, then ADD, then enter http://cydia.hackulo.us as a URL. Click add 'Source' and it should then pop up in your 'Sources' list
The 'Hackulo.us' Source will be used quite a bit with the iPhone and is also handy for a few other things, so it's worth adding it now
The MobileInstallation File
Ok, with the 'Hackulo.us' Source added we can continue with the iPhone setup, for cracking Apps. There's a file that needs to be patched, before anything else, as cracked Apps cannot be run on the iPhone until this is done. The file to be patched is called the 'MobileInstallation' file and it is specific to the iPhone's firmware version. So it's important to grab the right one. We may as well grab the v3.0 patch, being as OS 3.0 OFW has now been hacked. If you're still on a previous firmware versions then there's a link that has the older, 2.2.1, 2.2 and 2.1, framework patches,
Now, there are a couple of ways to grab these framework patches. Download it and patch it yourself or go the easy way using Cydia. The easiest way, the way I done mine, is to use Cydia because the 'Hackulo.us' Source already contains the v3.0 patch App. I may add the info for doing it yourself at a later date
Backup The 'MobileInstallation' File
Ok it might be a good thing to backup this 'MobileInstallation' file before it gets patched. To do this you need to get either an SSH connection to your iPhone, or use iPhoneBrowser. You nned to see the whole iPhone folder structure, see right hand panel for some apps. It doesn't matter how you do it so long as you can transfer files to or from the iPhone. I used iPhoneBrowser 1.91as it's quick, easy and fast. One you have the file structure visible do the following:
- Go to folder /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileInstallation.framework
- Right click on the 'MobileInstallation' file and select 'Save As', select Desktop)
Patching The 'MobileInstallation' File
Right, fire up Cydia (you will use this quite a lot). From the Home Page goto 'Manage'
and then 'Sources'. Once in 'Sources' click 'Hackulo.us'. In the list, there should be an App called 'AppSync for OS 3.0'. Click that and INSTALL it. It will then patch the 'MobileInstallation' file for you
Grab An App Or Two
Now that the iPhone has been patched to run cracked Apps you can now try it out. Where do we start? I reckon we should start by downloading a legit App, or Game from iTunes, Free, or Paid for, it doesn't really matter. This will be the untouched original and a backup, as you will find out you currently need a legit App left on your iPhone, in order for it to be cracked using an App called Crackulous, see later. So, first things first, go grab an App or Game, then look for a particular App, Free or Paid for, you want to crack and download that
Cracking .IPAs With 'Crackulous'
With a legit App (.ipa file), downloaded via iTunes and Sync'd to the iPhone, you can now go ahead and crack that App. First thing we need is another App called 'Crackulous'. This can be found in the 'Hackulo.us' Source repository. Fire up Cydia again and goto 'Manage'
then 'Sources'. Once in 'Sources' you should see 'Hackulous.us' in the list. Click on that and you will be presented with the 'Hackulous.us' repository. In that list you will see 'Crackulous' (nice naming convention). Click on it and it will take you to the install screen, click INSTALL, then CONFIRM. 'Crackulous' should now be installed. This should show up in the iPhone Icon Menu
'Crackulous' is currently on 0.9 Beta and has a few issues. Some people say it runs fine others say it starts then crashes or goes back to the Home page. Some reports are saying it's because numbers are in the iTunes Applications title, more so if the number are at the begining of the title, i.e, 1Password, etc. Others are saying because of Asian characters in the title, while others are saying it clashing with other apps. Anyhow it crashes on mine at the moment so it might be worth waiting for an update, which should be soon
If you're one of the lucky ones and ' Crackulous' doesn't crash then it should give you a list of Apps that are currently on your iPhone. You then simply select an App, you want to crack, and off it goes. When it's finished cracking the App it will tell you where it is stored so you can retreive it off your iPhone for backing up. 'Crackulous' saves the cracked Apps in the following folder, on the iPhone:
Once you have cracked an App copy it to the PC and store in a sfae folder that you would backup regularly
Transfering the Apps To The iPhone
Transferring Apps to and from the iPhone is an easy task. I use 2 different PC programs for this method.
Transfering Cracked Apps To The iPhone
To transfer Apps to the iPhone I use iTunes, that's simple enough as iTunes is already associated with the .ipa file format. Also, as the Apps have already been cracked iTunes thinks they have been paid for and so doesn't throw a wobbly when loaded into iTunes, brilliant. Another bonus feature using iTunes is the visual list of Apps. You can see exactly what's installed on the iPhone by the icons. All you do to transfer an App to the iPhone is either drag it into the iTunes Applications folder, or double click on it to put it there. Then you just Sync the Apps to the iPhone and they gets transfered across. Similar to how you Sync the Music
Transfering Cracked Apps From The iPhone
With Apps that have already been cracked, using 'Crackulous', I use iPhoneBrowser. I just go to the folder where 'Crackulous' puts the cracked Apps (var/mobile/media/DecryptedIPAs) and copy them to the PC. I then put them in a safe place for backing up. See above under Cracking .IPAs With 'Crackulous'
You could also transfer the Apps using an SSH client but that can be tedious if you don't know what your're doing, I also think its slower
Backing Up Your Cracked Apps
Remember to backup your Apps frequently, whether they are cracked or not as you can always sort that out at a later date
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