IPA – iOS application archive
The iOS application archive file is an executable zipped file that can be used to install an iOS app on a variety of iOS devices including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It is usually an encrypted file that could only be installed on an Apple device.
The .ipa files are nothing but a zipped archive of programs written for iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad. The .ipa files could be decompressed by changing its extension to “.zip”. Since .ipa files don’t support the x86 architecture, they could not run on an iPhone Simulator.
To get an “.ipa” file for a particular app like a game, news program, utility or any media software, you need to go to an Apple iTunes App store and download a particular file. To install this app on your apple device, you need to connect your apple device to a computer system and access it with iTunes.