Install Any iOS App on Apple Silicon Macs


iOS apps on Apple silicon Mac

Apple silicon Mac running multiple iOS apps, some of them not available on the Mac App Store yet.

Apple silicon Macs can run iPhone and iPad apps natively using the same Mac Catalyst technology that powers apps like Twitter or Darkroom on macOS. Although all iOS apps are by default directly available on the Mac App Store, developers can opt-out and make their apps unavailable. Unfortunately, some of the most popular apps like Instagram, Deliveroo or Netflix have been removed from the Mac App Store… but that does not mean they cannot run on macOS, they are simply hidden in the Mac App Store. If you have purchased or downloaded any app from the iOS App Store, you have the option to make a backup of it using an IPA file, and those files can be used on Apple silicon Macs to install any iOS app.

Currently there are multiple approaches to download those IPA files for any iOS app:

Once you have the IPA file, you can simply double click it on any Apple silicon Mac and voilà!

HomeKit Automation: Extracting HomeKit Pairing Keys from macOS


"HomeKit Pairing Keys"


While the Home app allows you to read and control your HomeKit-based devices on macOS, iPadOS and iOS, sometimes you want more control. You may want to bridge some sensor to other protocol, expose you home temperature on a public API, or simply export the historical data to a CSV file. Either way, currently the HomeKit framework is private API on macOS, and it is not available on other platforms like Linux or Windows.

Fortunately there are some cross-platform implementations of the HomeKit Accessory Protocol that support controller-mode functionality:

In particular HomeKit Python supports reading and writing HomeKit characteristics on paired devices as well as generating additional pairings. The main problem is that typically HomeKit devices only support one main pairing controller, thus, once it is paired with the Apple Home app it can only be controlled with the pairing keys managed by the homed system daemon which are gated by the HomeKit framework.

Fortunately, the HomeKit pairing keys are stored on the iCloud Keychain. Unfortunately (but reasonably), the system tries hard to hide these pairing keys. In particular, they do not appear on the Keychain app nor can be read with the Security framework SecItem* family of APIs without some private entitlements granting access to the keychain access group


First of all, we have to subvert the AMFI security model to be able to sign arbitrary executables with private entitlements. To do it, we have to disable System Integrity Protection and AMFI. Rebooting on Recovery OS we can disable the protections using the Terminal app:

$ csrutil disable
$ nvram boot-args=amfi_get_out_of_my_way=0x1
$ reboot

After reboot, we can use KeychainTool to dump the HomeKit keychain items.

$ git clone
$ cd KeychainKit
$ cat KeychainTool/KeychainTool.entitlements
# The all-powerful * `keychain-access-groups` entitlement which grants its bearer permission to read all keychain items:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

Now we will compile and run KeychainTool to dump all the keychain entries in the access group.

Bear in mind that KeychainTool uses CodeSignKit to self sign its executable with private entitlements before relaunching itself. If a codesign error is shown set the CODESIGNKIT_DEFAULT_IDENTITY environment variable to the name of your Apple Developer certificate as presented on the Keychain app.

$ swift run KeychainTool -g
[*] HomeKit Pairing Identity (
[ ] Account: 7C73D188-BF12-4B8C-B7A5-5842D71C24EA
[ ] Key: “21159cfa6032438be197d668b3562e262441965789f95634d6460d4cce5cc706+d2ed8558b369b4ee1fbf4f9eb8d687ee2799aba5608efc2712d8175697bd8ad8”
[*] Paired HomeKit Accessory: CC:0D:07:E4:F7:54 (
[ ] Account: CC:0D:07:E4:F7:54
[ ] Key: “3a4473f1efe5e378fdd329826936f34b674fcb97c8aa5bd9818abde46963f864”
[*] Paired HomeKit Accessory: 58:CA:96:CE:66:5F (
[ ] Account: 58:CA:96:CE:66:5F
[ ] Key: “44d34407d583aee3b12b774a6eb15ee96c527fa83af1db66ac90f60494bbbc29”

Voilà! Here we have all we need:

  • The HomeKit Pairing Identity entry contains the pairing identifier stored as the item account name: 7C73D188-BF12-4B8C-B7A5-5842D71C24EA and the LTP and LTS keys required by the HomeKit protocol separated by a + sign on the entry key payload: 21159cfa6032438be197d668b3562e262441965789f95634d6460d4cce5cc706, d2ed8558b369b4ee1fbf4f9eb8d687ee2799aba5608efc2712d8175697bd8ad8
  • Each accessory has its own Paired HomeKit Accessory keychain entry containing its paring key. For example, the device 58:CA:96:CE:66:E9 has the LTP key 44d34407d583aee3b12b774a6eb15ee96c527fa83af1db66ac90f60494bbbc29.

Now we can use the pairing keys to set up HomeKit Python on any device and platform:

$ python3 -m pip install "homekit[IP]" --user
$ python3 -m
# `homekit_python` will list all HomeKit devices found on the network:
Name: Eve Extend XXXX._hap._tcp.local.
Url: http_impl://
Configuration number (c#): 5
Feature Flags (ff): Supports HAP Pairing (Flag: 1)
Device ID (id): 58:CA:96:CE:66:5F  # Same Device ID as in the keychain entry.
Model Name (md): Eve Extend XXXXXXXX
Protocol Version (pv): 1.1
State Number (s#): 1
Status Flags (sf): Accessory has been paired. (Flag: 0)
Category Identifier (ci): Bridge (Id: 2)
$ mkdir ~/.homekit_python
$ python3 -m homekit.init_controller_storage -f ~/.homekit_python/pairing.json
$ nano ~/.homekit_python/pairing.json
# Write the pairing credentials of each the device:
  "EveExtend": {
    "AccessoryPairingID": "58:CA:96:CE:66:E9",
    "AccessoryLTPK": "44d34407d583aee3b12b774a6eb15ee96c527fa83af1db66ac90f60494bbbc29",
    "iOSPairingId": "7C73D188-BF12-4B8C-B7A5-5842D71C24EA",
    "iOSDeviceLTSK": "d2ed8558b369b4ee1fbf4f9eb8d687ee2799aba5608efc2712d8175697bd8ad8",
    "iOSDeviceLTPK": "21159cfa6032438be197d668b3562e262441965789f95634d6460d4cce5cc706",
    "AccessoryIP": "",
    "AccessoryPort": 8080,
    "Connection": "IP"
$ python3 -m homekit.identify -f ~/.homekit_python/pairing.json -a EveExtend
# The HomeKit device should identify itself (for example blinking an LED).
$ python3 -m homekit.get_accessories -f ~/.homekit_python/pairing.json -a EveExtend
# Shows all the accesories exposed by the device.
$ python3 -m homekit.get_characteristic -f ~/.homekit_python/pairing.json -a EveExtend -c 3.38
# Shows the value of a given characteristic, for example the room relative humidity:
    "3.38": {
        "value": 54.4525146484375

Finally, remember to re-enable System Integrity Protection and reboot your Mac:

$ csrutil clear

Jailbreaking macOS: Patching AMFI to Allow Arbitrary Entitlements


"Patching amfid"


Entitlements are an important part of Apple Security architecture. They allow Apple to limit an OS feature to be only available to Apple-approved processes. Nowadays, even with System Integrity Protection disabled, the AMFI Kernel Extension and amfid process dueto will always kill any process at execution with restricted Entitlements not signed by Apple or with a properly Apple-approved embedded provisioning profile.

Unrestricted Entitlements are available to all signed binaries, even ad-hoc (some examples of this are the Sandbox entitlements* or the application identifier one but they do no give any special capability to the process, on the contrary, they limit its reach.

To allow any Entitlements, even the more interesting Restricted ones, for a Developer ID signed binary we have to modificate the amfid process (to allow adhoc signatures too we would have to patch the AMFI Kernel Extension or its underlying dependencies which I didn’t try).


To patch a system daemon, we have to disable macOS System Integrity Protection. After some reverse engineering, it seems one of the main decisions in the amfid flow is in the address offset 0x347D.

"Patching amfid"

Decision flow of amfid.

Knowing that we can change the following two instructions from:

test %r14, %r14
je loc_100003531

To this:

mov %r14, %r15
jno loc_100003531

This way the flow will always jump to loc_100003531 and %r14 will become null (%r15 is always null in this point), so every Developer ID signed process will be validated even without a provisioning profile allowing its Entitlements.


To achieve this modification we can go the hard way by modifing the binary in situ (it is located at /usr/libexec/amfid) or the soft way: patching amfid memory at runtime. I preferred the second option so I could restart the unpatched amfid code by simply killing it.

To do it I ported to Python 3 a wrapper for Mach VM APIs called pymach and added a new function to get the ASRL Slice Offset of the process: PyMach for Python 3. With that I wrote this script for macOS 10.12.2. To use it simply run:

$ sudo ./

And answer yes when asked if you want to patch the process. Voilà! Now any Developer ID signed binaries will be executed even with restricted Entitlements.

You can set any Entitlement you want, like or with an arbitrary iCloud container. For a complete list of private Entitlements used by Apple you can go to Jonathan Levin’s Entitlements Database.


iCloud Locations in macOS


Sandboxed vs. Non Sandboxed

In macOS a given app can or cannot be sandboxed and since macOS Sierra non App Store apps can access iCloud APIs so could be a non-sandboxed app using this locations to sync data.

So if you want to access a sandboxed iCloud location you should go to the app container and use it as the home path.

$SANDBOXED_CONTAINER = ~/Library/Container/

iCloud Documents

Each app can have one or more document containers inside named with its Bundle ID:

~/Library/Mobile Documents/

The information and details of each container are stored here:

~/Library/Application Support/CloudDocs/session/containers

The info is stored in a plist file with the name of the container for example:

And the icons are stored in a folder with the name of the container:

Key-Value Store

This synced data is stored as a property list file in:



CloudKit works online but macOS stores a cache of its contents in a folder appropriately called CloudKit: