The file extension IPA is associated with Apple devices which run on the iOS operating system. The devices include the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. IPA files represent an application which is intended for use with iOS and typically originate from the iTunes App Store by Apple. The application is added to an iOS device when the device is connected to a Mac or Windows based PC.
The IPA file extension is categorized as an executable file type which is stored in a compressed format. IPA files contain installation files for an iOS application which is obtained from the iTunes App Store. The contents of an IPA file can vary according to the type of application such as news applications, games, reference programs, and a variety of other applications. IPA files are downloaded via Apple iTunes for Mac or Windows before they are transferred to an iOS device.
Since IPA files are an executable file type, the file automatically launches and installs itself in the operating system as soon as you open the file. The files are stored in the iTunes folder under the subdirectory of Mobile Applications.
How to Open IPA Files
The most common way to open the file extension IPA is by using the iTunes software application. iTunes is available for download on the Apple website and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. Once the IPA file has been downloaded, you must transfer it to the appropriate iOS device which will open and play the file. This is accomplished by connecting the iOS device to your PC.
Since IPA files are stored in a compressed format, they can be opened with any compression utility program which supports the ZIP format. If you are using Windows, you can open IPA files with WinZip 16.5 which is available for download on the Corel website. You can also opt to use StuffIt Deluxe 2010 which is available as a 30-day free trial on the Smith Micro website. Microsoft Zip Utility will also open the file extension IPA and is available on the Microsoft website.
For Mac OS X, you can open IPA files using Apple Archive Utility which is preinstalled in Mac operating systems. Other compression utilities which will open IPA files include StuffIt Deluxe 2011 which is available as a 30-day free trial on the Smith Micro website and WinZip Mac Edition 2 which can be downloaded on the Corel Corporation website.
If you are using the Linux operating system, you can open IPA files using p7zip, which is an open source compression utility application. The p7zip application is available as a free download on the SourceForge website. The funzip compression utility will also open IPA files and is available as a free download on the funzip website.