I am following this guide on how to install iPhone apps thru OTA without iTunes.

I have the following questions:

  1. I only have a $99 developer program membership, not the enterprise program. The guide says this also works with normal ad-hoc distribution as well. Can I use my ad-hoc provisioning profile itself to do this?

  2. I am testing with the iPhone 4 Simulator, as I don't have a physical iOS 4 device. But when I click on the "Provisioning profile" link, the simulator throws an error:

    Cannot install profile. Safari could not install a profile due to unknown error.

    When I click on the .plist link as mentioned in the guide, it doesn't do anything that looks like this.

Can I test this installation on the iPhone 4 simulator? What could be the reason for this failing?

  • guide link is broken to me, right now.
    – cregox
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 2:18
  • I'm going to vote to close. I think a question how an end user might use TestFlight would be appropriate, but this question is more of a developer question - how to sign your own apps, how to manage configuration profiles and code signing and then how to enable that for Over the Air updates. All good questions, just a bit off topic for here.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


The Simulator does not use a bundled .ipa file; it uses the constituent application. Furthermore, the Simulator runs an x86 version of the application with tweaked x86 versions of the iOS frameworks. In other words, there is no good way to get an .ipa package to run in the Simulator. The original developer could build for simulator then provide you with the relevant contents of ~/Library/Application\ Support/iPhone\ Simulator/User/Applications/ but that's really your only hope as far as I know.

  • Interesting, I hadn't realised quite how it worked. Thanks for sharing.
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 23:55

I know of two ways to install apps on iPhone without using iTunes: through a complicated process on a jailbreaken phone or through some 3rd party service.

  • 1
    +1 for that 3rd party service. I discovered testflightapp.com last week and have been DELIGHTED with it. My clients LOVE that I can pump new betas out to them without having to bring their phone to my office, or them even having to touch iTunes.
    – Dan Ray
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 13:17

Testflight is Apple's inflight service for distributing betas. Absolutely helpful and valuable service. We are picked this service within minutes.

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