If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to jailbreak your iPhone due to trepidation over wading into deep geek water, Ripdev’s release of InstallerApp might be just the tipping point you’ve been waiting for.
It’s an application for Mac (soon to be available for Windows PCs as well) that allows you to download iPhone apps on your computer and transfer them to your device in a friendly iTunes-like interface, without “jailbreaking” your phone.
InstallerApp comes with software, called “Pusher”, that RipDev says can install Installer.app on your iPhone without “jailbreaking” it, so you can use Apple’s approved AppStore and InstallerApp simultaneously. The app supports Cydia, a popular installer for jailbroken iPhones, but does so, according to Ripdev, without making a mess of your iPhone’s file system or replacing any system libraries as Cydia does.
You’ll need a Mac with Intel processor running OS X 10.5 Leopard or higher. InstallerApp supports first generation iPhone and iPhone 3G, though not iPod touch as yet.
One $7 license lets you sync up to three iPhones and gives you access to free updates and email tech support for one year. The free version is fully functional and lets you browse the app’s repository of thousands of non-AppStore software titles, and use it to install the Installer app on your iPhone, but you won’t be able to install other apps on your iPhone. That sort of defeats the purpose, but at least you can get a look and feel for free.
Clearly, the jailbreaking community is hitting its stride in providing competitive alternatives to Apple’s walled garden of iPhone apps. Ripdev is even promising to support iPhone 3.0 shortly after the new software is released and jailbroken.
UPDATE: InstallerApp may not be living up to its developers claims, according to some comments to this post and to a report at Engadget. Has anyone had success making InstallerApp perform as advertised? Let us know in comments and we’ll post again as information warrants.