I am doing a research project where I want to look at apps that create or extends certain classes. For Android I am using the Androguard project which provide a large set of great tools for inspecting APK files and also comes with an API which I can use to extend it with my own code.

I was wondering if there's anything similar available for iOS apps?

1 Answer 1


As far as I know there are no tools for exploring and interacting with .IPA files like Androguard for.APK files, but since the .IPA is essentially a zip, you can unzip and analyze the key components individually.

Key components of the file and associated tools include:


The Mach-O file contains the executable code. This executable is encrypted inside the .ipa file unless it has been dumped and rebuilt from a rooted device. Once dumped and rebuilt the functions, strings, etc. can be viewed with IDA Pro. Objective C can be hard to follow so plug-ins like https://github.com/zynamics/objc-helper-plugin-ida can be helpful. Also, check out otool and class-dump http://www.codethecode.com/projects/class-dump/ .


For gathering interesting information I have found the plists (especially iTunesMetadata.plist and the Info.plist). Plists found in the .ipa will either be in a readable XML format or a binary format. To convert binary to readable XML use Apple's plutil(1) or plutil.pl.

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