Apple has seemingly moved to block desktop apps that allow users to manage files on their iOS devices in its recent iOS 8.3 update, as noted by MacRumors. Many popular file transfer apps, such as iFunBox, iTools, iExplorer, iBackupBot and PhoneView, have experienced the issue that prevents users from accessing file directories for apps on iOS devices. The apps were previously a popular way for users to install software on iOS devices that Apple does not allow in the App Store, like game emulators.
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“iOS 8.3 ruined our freedom of controlling data in our installed Apps and Games,” writes iFunBox in a Facebook post. “Apple blocked access of the entire sandbox directory of every installed App since iOS 8.3. Previously only writing is block in executable directory. Now we totally lost the control of Apps on our own devices. We are investigating the situation. Before there is a solution, iFunbox will fail to open data directory of any App if the device is not jailbroken.”
Another popular file explorer app, iExplorer, is also investigating the issue: “We are currently investigating how the iOS 8.3 update blocked access to the Apps directory, and we are looking into ways around it. All iDevice transfer utilities seem to be experiencing this exact same blocked access in iOS 8.3, so it’s not just a bug with iExplorer or iBrowse. Apple has definitely changed something with the way apps can be accessed in iOS.”
iFunBox at least has released an update that fixes some of the issue — it will allow apps with iTunes File sharing enabled to be browsed — but otherwise non-jailbreakers are left out in the cold for now.