Free apps are great, right? But jailbreaking your iPhone and voiding your warranties is not always great: Jailbreaking allows you to unlock your iOS platform so you can download apps outside the app store, but comes with increased danger of malware, plus Apple actively fights against jailbreaking in a number of different ways (legality is also hit or miss, based on where you live).
It’s okay if you want the best of both worlds – free app downloads without jailbreaking. You’re not alone, and there are several different ways to find free apps while dodging iPhone hacks and related download options like Cydia. Here are the top choices for how to get free apps without jailbreaking.
Downloading Cracked Apps
Cracked apps essentially approach free paid apps without jailbreaking from the opposite end compared to exploiting operating systems. Instead of hacking iOS, cracked apps hack the apps themselves and make them available for a free download. You can find cracked apps from many different sources, not just jailbreak-oriented Cydia. App.su, iPhoneCake, and other sites make a point of collecting these cracked apps so you can peruse the latest options and choose to download them.
There are a couple drawbacks to cracked apps. First, if you are using them to access free apps you can’t get on the app store, that’s one thing. But if you are using cracked apps to get paid apps for free, that’s illegal and comes with its own can of worms.
Also consider that it may be more difficult to find cracked apps that work without a jailbroken phone, so always double check your apps to ensure they will work on your phone. Remember the possibility that the cracked app will contain malware, it’s one of the risks of going this route and cannot easily be avoided.
Using a General Third-Party App Store
Third-party app stores collect or duplicate free apps so you can download them to your heart’s content. These sites differ from the sites listed above because the apps are not necessarily cracked, they are often foreign sites, they may require downloads, and they typically specialize in apps that don’t require jailbreaking. If you want to take a look at some of the more popular options, consider something like Tongbu or Kuaiyong.
Again, this is a double-edged solution. While these sites do offer plenty ways to get paid apps for free without jailbreak, the quality is a mixed bag: There’s no guarantee the app you are downloading is the one you actually want or will work at all. There’s also the possibility of malware to consider – also, you may find it difficult to navigate foreign sites.
Finding the Deals
You can also get free apps without jailbreak by searching for the right deals, which offer paid apps for free, usually because of a limited time discount or similar promotion. This may sound like an exhausting way to find free apps, but several online tools can make it much easier. Consider looking for options like:
- Free App Aggregators: These sites gather up all the current free app deals for you to peruse on your own. Head over to a site like App Saga and look at their lists of free apps to see how you can download them. AppShopper is another popular choice. Keep in mind that these aggregators may not take apps down after the promotion ends, so acting quickly is your best bet for finding a free app
- Company App Deal Sites: These sites are a bit different from aggregators. Instead of collecting new apps every day, they offer single free deals, often one every day, from the catalog of apps that the company owns or manages. An excellent example is Appoday, which offers a new app deal each day with a countdown showing how long that app has left. As you can guess, checking in every day on these sites is a good idea.
- Customer Programs: A number of customer programs offer access to paid apps for free via customer points, their own app discounts, and other means. Starbucks offers a free pick of the week for people that use its app to pay for their coffee.
These temporary apps deals are very safe – no concerns about malware or imitation products here. However, you can’t really search for exactly what you want, and the selection is much more limited. As with the other options, there’s a give-and-take at work. Research is your best friend when choosing which options to use.