Having an .ipa file, is there any way I can get its source code?

It was possible when iOS apps used to be .app

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    In the question you link, it was not possible to get the actual source code. It was possible to recreate code that did the same thing, and that is still possible. – ughoavgfhw Nov 6 '12 at 18:58
  • @ughoavgfhw Can you please give some more details, as to how it's possible, what are the steps involved? – user30409 Nov 7 '12 at 14:49
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    Reverse engineering is kind of complicated. The basic idea is, in order to run a program the processor needs instructions. These instructions are documented, so you can find them in the file and determine what they do. Then you write code that does the same thing. – ughoavgfhw Nov 7 '12 at 17:47

No - the IPA format does not make source code inclusion mandatory, so there’s no general way to do what you ask. As alluring as the idea is, just because something is possible on Android (What you’re talking about is not in the sense you want it), doesn’t mean it will be possible on iOS.

Now, if the developer decides to embed the source code into the IPA - you will be able to read it depending on the method of packaging it since the IPA contents are well documented by Apple on the developer site and many utilities exist to decode the application bundles.

  • I have edited the question to make better sense. – user30409 Nov 6 '12 at 16:30
  • I have edited the answer to make it more widely useful to others with a similar question. Feel free to revert / change again my edits if I made an error or went too far on the collaborative editing. – bmike Nov 6 '12 at 16:32
  • @bmike Can you please give a few examples of the "utilities" to decode application bundles? – user30409 Nov 6 '12 at 16:34
  • I'd rather not confuse this question with that level of added detail in the answer - it's fine as it is - short and simple. You can (should) ask that as well but keep in mind - this site is not for developers - so be sure there is a good use case for normal users of Apple products to need to decode an IPA. That follow on question might be better suited for Stack Overflow. Either way, you can link to that new question here in the answer or the comments so the two are linked and others can follow the flow of information and answers. – bmike Nov 6 '12 at 16:37
  • @duci9y - I am confused - where is there any reference to Android in the question or earlier in the answer – user151019 Jan 8 '13 at 14:54

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