Extensify lets you “tweak” your iOS apps without jailbreaking


Image Credits:

A newly launched “tweak store” called Extensify gives iOS users an alternative to jailbreaking their devices by offering a simpler way to install modified versions of popular third-party applications like Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Vine, Instagram and others. Unlike with some of the jailbreaking efforts in the past, the Extensify app – basically an app store for tweaks – can be installed without needing to be tethered to a computer. However, it stops short of allowing users to modify the iOS operating system itself.

That doesn’t necessarily make using Extensify “safer” than jailbreaking, of course – you’re still downloading software from outside the trusted App Store environment. The usual security concerns apply here, and you should not proceed to use Extensify without a solid understanding of those risks.

However, Extensify does represent a clever way to avoid having to jailbreak your phone or tablet in order to take advantage of various tweaks.


Extensify comes along at a time when the benefits to jailbreaking your iOS device have been diminished.

Over the years, Apple has introduced a number of customizations to its software inspired by the jailbreak community, including things like widgets and third-party keyboards, a battery saving mode, an easier way to access commonly used controls (via the Control Center), picture-in-picture mode, split screen mode, interactive notifications, and much more. 

In addition, Apple has hardened its operating system, making jailbreaking more difficult as increasing numbers of security holes have been closed. Combined with a dwindling user base of jailbreakers, and the growing number of threats that exploit jailbroken phones, jailbreaking has been on a downward trend.

Instead of jailbreaking, Extensify users can instead just run modified apps that offer additional functionality, which are installed fairly easily.

The idea for Extensify comes from developers Majd Alfhaily and Kevin Ko, who featured prominently in the jailbreak community and know first-hand how frustrating it can be to wait for new jailbreak releases.

“We don’t treat Extensify as a jailbreak replacement, but our plan is to fill the gap between jailbreak releases,” says Alfhaily.

The way the system works is by first installing Extensify through a configuration profile on your device. After Extensify is trusted, you can browse its app store to download the tweaks. The app sends a request to the iTunes App Store, downloads a fresh copy of the host application, repackages the app with the tweaks (called “exos” in Extensify), then sends the request back to the device and sideloads the application.

(Side-loading apps, as you may recall, became possible with the release of Xcode 7.)

Extensify doesn’t host apps on its servers, only the exos (the tweaks), as all but one are made by the team behind Extensify. The “Phantom” tweak for Snapchat is the only exception.

At launch, there are over 25 different exos available.


Exos only work on free applications, and the tweaked apps can run alongside the originals. (The tweaked version will have a “+” plus sign next to its name.)

But the creators say they will open up the Extensify platform to outside developers, who will have to go through a submission and vetting process to get their apps onto Extensify’s “tweak store.”

“All submissions will have to go through us first to make it to Extensify, we always ensure that the tweak is safe to use before accepting the submission,” explains Alfhaily. “When using a tweaked app, no personal data is going through our servers. It functions just like the original app, with added functionality,” he adds.

It’s likely that many mainstream iOS users will not be comfortable with this sideloading system due to security concerns, but, as with the devoted jailbreaking community, there is always a group that believes the advantages outweigh the risks.


In this case, the advantages are apps that let you do things you couldn’t with the official version. For example, the “Phantom” Snapchat tweak lets you keep snaps in your feed and mark them as read whenever you see fit, automatically save sent media, select multiple contacts at once, specify where received media is saved, and much more.

A tweak for Twitter offers a video downloader, native Instagram viewer, a tool to view blocked profiles, a way to confirm favorites, and other fixes.

Similar tweaks are available for other apps.

Where Extensify may run into problems is its business model – it will launch as a subscription business. The plan is to charge users $8.99 every three months, and introduce other payment tiers for 6- and 12-month subscriptions.

Jailbreakers are often notoriously against paying for software, and can access many tweaks through jailbreaking already. As they may not want to pay for Extensify, the team will likely need to target power users outside the jailbreak scene. That could be a small niche.

In addition, the software developers whose apps are being “tweaked” may take action against Extensify, especially as it’s profiting by modifying their proprietary software.

In other words, get it while the getting’s good, for it may soon be gone.

Extensify’s developers are rolling out invite codes to the app now, but its system is handling these in a randomized fashion, they tell us. That means it could take minutes, hours or even days to get your promo code for a download.

Of course, whether or not you should download Extensify is up to you.

More TechCrunch

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch