How to install apps from outside your phone’s App Store

Lastly, web apps are sometimes an option if you need to get at apps that are not in the official Google store. Even if apps are officially available via the normal route, you can always use this trick to access apps – Twitter, Facebook, etc. – that you do not necessarily want on your phone. If you have trouble finding anything in the Google Play Store, see if there is an online version that you can get through your Android web browser.

How to Sideload apps on iOS

Apple’s iOS and iPadOS are many more tightly locked than Android – Apple simply does not allow apps to load on their mobile operating systems the same way you can with Android. There is no security switch you can override, but you still have several options for getting unauthorized apps on your iPhone.

The first is your phone jailbreak: Here you essentially smash the lock that Apple puts on iOS and unlock your phone itself, using software used on the web (the equivalent of rooting on Android). Once you have applied the jailbreak, you can install just about any app you want – apps to change the look of the interface, easier access to the file system, overloaded apps and much more.

Jailbreaking will help you get outside the Apple App Store.

David Nield via Apple

Jailbreaking gives you much more freedom in terms of what you can do with your iPhone. The downsides are that it is difficult to do, it cancels your warranty, it leaves you open to all kinds of new security threats, and it stops you from updating your iPhone as normal. (You’ll have to wait until the next iOS version is hacked before upgrading, which can leave you without security updates, new app features, and in some cases new versions of your favorite apps.) What’s more, Apple is constantly and aggressively trying to practice to stop. As with rooting on Android, it was rather more popular, but in recent versions, the balance between the required effort and benefit gained after effort, so for most people it is just not worth it.

Information is widely available on the web on how to jailbreak your iPhone (though unlike Android, the model of the iPhone you have does not make as much), and the free apps you need are to do it – typically you need to get your device to macOS or Windows and exit the jailbreaking tool. Make sure you fully understand the implications of privacy and security, and be aware that jailbreaking information can become obsolete very quickly. In general, it is not something we recommend.