EXTENSIFY APP

One of the big concerns about iOS 9 is that Apple is rumored to have made jailbreaking a lot more difficult with its upcoming OS update. While the verdict is still out on “Rootless” and what impact it may or may not have on jailbreaking in general, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.

Two developers have done just that. Majd Alfhaily and Kevin Ko, better known around jailbreak circles as @freemanrepo and @uhelios, have created something pretty special. It’s called Extensify, and it’s a tweak store that allows you to modify and add new features to App Store apps without needing to jailbreak.

When Alfhaily first approached me with word of this, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. Tweaks without a jailbreak? Huh? But then I actually tried Extensify and saw that it was legit.

Read my hands-on walkthrough of the exciting new app, and be sure to watch our video breakdown inside as well.

What it’s not

To be clear, Extensify isn’t a replacement for Cydia, and it won’t supplant jailbreaking. It will, however, complement jailbreaking, especially during those lull periods when we’re without a jailbreak. Coincidence, Apple just killed the latest jailbreak today with iOS 8.4.1’s release.

Speaking of iOS 9, I tested out Extensify on my iPhone 6 Plus running the iOS 9 beta. Using a few of the available tweaks—called Exos in Extensify language—I was able to do things like add saving ability to Vine and Instagram, and add new features to the stock Twitter app.

How it works

So how does all of this work? Well, I was asked not to go too deep into the logistics behind Extensify right now. To be clear, though, everything takes place directly on device, no computer required.

Extensify 3

It basically works like this:

  • Download the Extensify app
  • Login
  • Search for your favorite Exos (tweaks) on the store and queue up the ones you wish to install
  • Perform a build and install

Once you build your app, a new version of the application will be downloaded from the iTunes store with the appropriate tweaks applied to it.

Extensify 2

Just like Cydia and the App Store, users are provided with a description of the tweak, including details about what it does, a change log, screenshots, number of downloads, version number, size, etc. Users will even be able to leave comments on the various tweaks in order to facilitate a dialogue regarding its quality or lack thereof.

Benefits

Apps that have been modified with Exos contain a ‘+’ sign after them for easy identification. So, for instance, if I modify Twitter with the Twitter Plus Exo, a new version of Twitter will be deployed to my SpringBoard called Twitter+. It’s totally possible to have two of the same apps installed at once—one stock and one ‘+’ version. Of course, you aren’t forced to keep the stock app, but it is a nice side benefit to be able to run two versions of the same app.

Extensify 4

The benefits of having an app like Extensify are multi-faceted, but the biggest and most obvious benefit is that it does not require a jailbroken device. You can basically have Cydia Substrate-esque tweaks for App Store apps without needing a jailbreak.

Limitations

Extensify has limitations that Cydia tweaks don’t have. For one, you can only modify App Store apps with Extensify. You can’t mess around with the SpringBoard or the general iOS interface. It also doesn’t work with stock apps. Third party apps and apps that you can download for the App Store are all fair game.

With that said, Extensify is not a jailbreak replacement or a Cydia replacement for that matter. Both are meant to coexist. Obviously, Extensify will be most beneficial when there is no jailbreak available, but both can work in harmony together.

User Interface

One of the best things about Extensify is its user interface; it’s simply superb. Seriously, you can tell that a whole bunch of work went into perfecting the UI. Everything from the app icon to the various tabs, install pages, tweak details, and installation animations are top notch.

The main Extensify tab lists all of the top Exos currently available, ranked by popularity. There’s even a swipable header image that showcases popular Exos, similar to how the App Store highlights important apps of the moment.

Extensify

The Catalog tabs lists all of the available Exos by app, which makes it easy to find all of tweaks associated with a particular application. Along with that, you can use the search option to search for a specific tweak by name.

The My Exos tab lists all of the installed or downloaded Exos on your device. From there, you can see which apps are affected by the tweaks, and delete or install selected tweaks.

Lastly, there’s the Profile tab, which allows you to login, logout, and manage preferences. Preferences include the ability to enable auto login and auto install.

Conclusion

Extensify will allow users on non-jailbroken devices to apply tweaks to their favorite apps. That in and of itself makes the app highly desirable. Developers will be able to easily port their existing Cydia Substrate tweaks over to Extensify, but remember, this only applies to tweaks that modify App Store apps.

Extensify 5

You can look forward to trying Extensify right around the time that iOS 9 launches, which will likely be around mid September. Since it’s highly likely that no jailbreak will be available for iOS 9 at launch, Extensify will be a great way to tweak your favorite apps on stock iOS 9 firmware.

We’ll have more details over the next month as Extensify gets closer to launch. In the meantime, be sure to check out our video above, follow the Extensify team on Twitter, and check out the official Extensify website.

What do you think about Extensify? Are you excited? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

  • Omar Sharif

    wow, that’s hella cool
    Imagine the possibilities as time goes by

  • port87

    reminds me of flex but for stock ios

    • Chris

      I thought of flex too! But much less complicated I guess (although I still think flex is simple to use when you understand it)

    • Antzboogie

      Me too and if Jailbreaking was gone for good I would be leaving Apple it’s just too closed in without a Jailbreak. I want an open iPhone where I can do as I please with it. Android wins in that category and I’m an Apple Fanboy and even I see this. Apple doesn’t want anyone else to think of new ideas before them and that’s a little childish considering that they take so many ideas from the Jailbreak Community!!

      • Rowan09

        Android wins in that category because Google themselves said they didn’t make Android to be secure. Apple cannot follow this model as it will kill their business. Google makes money from services not device sales, while Apple makes most of its money from hardware sales.

  • Harold J. Rodríguez.

    I can only say WOW

  • Andrew Breyen

    How do you get this?

    • It’ll be out next month.

      • coLin

        and out of the Appstore for review the following month lol

      • Niclas

        Appstore? I don’t think you understand how this app works =)

      • Burc Buluklu

        so ? how can I download ?

  • Awesome! but how will this get past the appstore? Surely Apple will see it as a security flaw. Got me thinking though, I bet Apple has a team working on a way to add tweaks to iOS but without risking security.

    • scotchedpommes

      This’d be my concern [for the devs] too. If they can get it through the AppStore wouldn’t it then almost certainly violate terms of use for Twitter, YouTube or other services that could be modified?

      • Exactly! Well I hope Apple see more positives than negatives. I’m on the public iOS9 beta and its great, would love a simple tweaking platform.

    • Niclas

      This wont be sent to the appstore. Thats how.
      This would never in a million years be accepted in the appstore.
      It uses an new developer mode in ios9. So you will have to install it manually.

  • I wonder if you can ‘create’ new apps using this… GBA4iOS anyone? Or possibly a tethering app?
    The only thing that keeps me jailbroken is TetherMe. I have to pay £260 a year here at Uni to use internet 🙁

    • Carriers have control over tethering so Apple doesn’t let tethering app’s on to the appstore, if this let people make apps Apple would instantly ban it. Also GBA4iOS because of copyright.

    • DOOManiac

      One new thing with iOS9 is the Developer Program now lets you test apps on the “free” tier. This means anyone can download and compile apps from source, and then sideload it onto your own device. I’d imagine that this has to be how this app has to work; otherwise it’d just be pulled in a heartbeat. So a similar method would work for sideloading GBA4iOS or any open source project (like Kodi).

      • I wonder if this can be done from the web! GBA4iOS was installed from a webpage so this new developer exploit may let us have a online un-official app store!

    • Niclas

      Yes, but someone would have to create that tethering app and it would be complicated.

  • af0erster31

    Who’re the devs

  • Greg Warren

    Jeff, any word on if they anticipate it working with the new iPhones right out of the box? Or if there’s the possibility that the updated processors will force them to make changes. I guess the better question; does this rely on having a certain CPU on the phone?

    • should work out of the box.

      • Greg Warren

        Outstanding! Thanks Jeff

  • Ivan

    How are they going to distribute the Extensify app?

    • Ryion S.

      I would have to imagine like others have said it will be through a web page. Just like Moviebox or GBA4iOS no jailbreak. Cause we all know this is not getting passed for the App Store.

  • Abe Masri

    Awesome idea, thumbs up for the developer who made that!
    Jeff, I sent an email to news (at) idownloadblog (dot) com, just wanted to make sure that it’s the email you receive suggestions for articles. Right?

  • Potentially a game changer for application usage as we roll into IOS 9. This is going to be very interesting. Curious to see how this is distributed but love the whole presentation.

  • Javan Denton

    Hey Jeff, if the new tweaked app is installed is there still a need for the original stock app or can it be deleted?

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    For not going tin to details Jeff you certainly gave it away. It builds two seperate .ipa files and modifies the actual .ipa file. This is so simple.

  • Not gonna happen.

  • iLegend

    That’s the coolest thing I saw today.

  • Lordrootman

    Jeff need to review this tweak tsprotector8

    • Andrea Verocio

      Agreed!
      And ProtectMyPrivacy / Firewall IP too

  • Timothy

    What a clever idea! And GORGEOUS.

  • James G

    Seems as likely as Apple enabling jailbreak. This may be possible using Public APIs but that doesn’t mean it will pass App Store review.

    • Niclas

      It will never be sent to the appstore. And it will work perfectly.

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        It will work perfectly? I highly doubt this.

      • Niclas

        Unless apple changes their mind regarding sideloading in ios 9, which is extremely unlikely. It will work perfectly.
        You can continue to doubt it, but if you understood how it’s done you would understand that apple can’t block this.

  • Imran Ar

    How is Apple allowing this. Doesn’t it violate the copyright of other Apps?
    Little bit confused here, please clarify.

    • Niclas

      Yes. it violates twitters copyright in this case.

  • damnit

    unfortunately an iphone with no jailbreak is lesser then an andriod phone.
    after 6 years with ios i dont have the energy to adjust to something else.

  • Andrea Verocio

    This could actually be very valuable not just because it will allow us to “tweak” apps but also because it will allow us to use new versions of a app without having to uninstall the old one. Something many of us have been wanting to do for a long long time.

  • Guy

    Even if this isn’t a full on cydia replacement.
    This is a great option to squeeze a little extra out your 3rd party Apps.

  • Niclas

    there is no root ^^

  • Owen

    This is so cool, but I can’t wait that long. Is there a way I can get the developer version. I already run iOS 9 and would love to try it.

  • Rowan09

    I’ve been able to get some jailbroken apps on my iPhone 6+ using iemulators a long time ago, so it seems this is following in that trend unless it’s free.

  • Chase Wharram

    Can you install TetherMe or a similar tweak to enable hotspot for free?