| Cult of Mac

Get emulators, clipboard history on your iPhone without jailbreaking

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Install the apps Apple doesn’t want on the App Store with AltStore.
Install the apps Apple doesn’t want on the App Store with AltStore.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple bans apps like emulators and clipboard history on your iPhone, but there’s a clever way to sideload these apps without jailbreaking.

The official App Store is the only way Apple wants you to get apps on the iPhone. If there’s an app that doesn’t fit Apple’s strict rules, it doesn’t get on the App Store at all.

Apple strictly forbids a few categories of apps. Emulators — apps that play games from old consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System and GameBoy — are prohibited. Porn is not allowed either. System-wide features like clipboard managers — which are very popular and even downloadable on the Mac App Store — are not allowed on the iPhone. (My favorite is Maccy.)

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get these types of apps, though. You can install an alternative App Store for iPhone called AltStore right now with the help of a Mac or PC. With AltStore, you can install verboten apps like emulators and clipboard history without jailbreaking your iPhone.