Extract (uncrush) Images from an iOS App

Often I’ll see an app incorporate a new UI implementation that really impresses me. Still being a learner, I always wonder how these elements are coded or put together — is it an image trick? Maybe a CGGradientLayer? How are they able to achieve so much speed? It’s times like these that it helps to get a small peek under the hood. Like Mac apps, iOS apps are bundled together basically as a zip file — you can actually change the IPA extension to ZIP and unarchive the app very easily. The limitation here is Xcode compresses (or ‘crushes’) the png’s used in an app to keep the file size down. Luckily, since iOS 3.2, the command line tool that compressed these images included the added functionality of decompressing them. Peter Boctor (of iDevRecipes) wrote a Ruby script called App Crush that would uncrush the png files (with instructions here) but it hasn’t been updated in about a year. Since then, Apple has changed how Xcode is deployed (through the App Store these days) and the location in which they put it. It’s very easy to update the Ruby script to find the new Xcode and several have. I wanted to make it just a tad easier and created an Applescript Droplet that allows you to drag the IPA onto it and uncrushes the png files. You can download it here. I’ve also made this version’s source available here. This is my first attempt at an AppleScript Droplet (which seems like a dying tech) so if you see something that could be done better, let me know!

Usage instructions:

  1. If you don’t know the location of the IPA (app) you’d like to uncrush, open iTunes and click the apps tab, right click on the app you’d like and click “Reveal in Finder”
  2. Drag IPA onto the App Uncrusher
  3. It’ll take up to a few minutes to finish and you’ll have a folder called “APPNAME images” on your desktop that should be full of pngs.

Be ethical with this. Don’t steal another app’s images and call them your own.


NSDateFormatter *dateFormatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init];

[dateFormatter setDateFormat:@"YYYY-MM-dd"];

I’ve enjoyed PHP’s date() documentation but have yet to find comprehensive documentation for NSDateFormatter. I have not verified all of the following so if you find an error, leave a comment and I’ll try to get it fixed as quickly as possible. A ton of this information was gathered from Alex Curylo.

Character Description Example Returned Value
a Ante Meridiem and Post Meridiem AM/PM
A Millisecond of the Day 0..86399999
c/cc Numeric representation of day of the week 1..7
ccc Abbreviated day of the week Sun, Mon, Tue…
cccc Written day of the week Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…
d 0 padded Day of Month 1..31
D 0 padded Day of Year 01..366
e Day of Week with leading zero 01..07
E..EEE Sun, Mon, Tue…
EEEE Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…
F Week of Month, first day of week = Monday, with leading zero 1..5
g Julian Day Number (number of days since 4713 BC January 1)
G..GGG Era Designator Abbreviated BC, AD
GGGG Era Designator Before Christ, Anno Domini
h Hour (12 hr) with leading zero 1..12
H Hour (24 hr, starting at 0) with leading zero 0..23
k Hour (24 hr, starting at 1) with leading zero 1..24
K Hour (12 hr) with leading zero 0..11
m Minute with leading zero 0..59
s Second with leading zero 0..59
S Rounded sub-second
v..vvv General GMT Timezone Abbreviation GMT
vvvv General GMT Timezone Name Atlantic/Azores
z..zzz Specific GMT Timezone Abbreviation
zzzz Specific GMT Timezone Name
Z RFC 822 Timezone +0000
L..LL Month with leading 0 01..12
LLL Month abbreviation Jan, Feb, Mar…
LLLL Full Month January, February, March…
w Week of Year, 1st day of week is Sunday, 1st week of year starts from the last Sunday of last year, with leading zero 01..53
W Week of Month, 1st day of week = Sunday, with leading 0 01..05
M..MM Month of the year 1..12
MMM Month Abbreviated Jan, Feb, Mar…
MMMM Full Month January, February, March…
q..qq Quarter of the year 1..4
qqq Quarter abbreviated Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4
qqqq Quarter written out 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter…
Q..QQ Quarter of the year 1..4
QQQ Quarter abbreviated Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4
QQQQ Quarter written out 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter…
y/yyyy Full Year 2012, 2013, 2014…
yy..yyy 2 Digits Year 12, 13, 14…
Y/YYYY Full Year, starting from the Sunday of the 1st week of year 2012, 2013, 2014…
YY/YYY 2 Digits Year, starting from the Sunday of the 1st week of year
u Year