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Underground App Store Courts the Jailbroken 295

Posted by kdawson
from the bring-down-the-towers dept.
PainMeds writes "Apple's stepped-up and controversial rejections are helping to foster competition in the app store marketplace. According to an article by Wired, developers aren't taking AppStore rejection lying down, but are turning to the hacking community's repository system for the iPhone to launch an app store of their own. The 4-month-old Cydia store is yielding notably higher sales for a few application developers than Apple's AppStore, and is reportedly running on over 4 million Apple iPhone devices, with perhaps 350,000 connected at any one time. In this store, developers are distributing applications they've written that push the limits of Apple's normal AppStore policies, with software to add file downloads to Safari, trick applications into thinking they're on Wi-Fi (for VoIP), and enhance other types functionality. You'll also find the popular Google Voice application, which was recently rejected by Apple. Third party application development has been around since 2007, when the iPhone was originally introduced, and became so popular that O'Reilly Media published a book geared toward writing applications before an SDK was available. The Cydia store acts as both a free package repository and commercial storefront to third-party developers."
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Underground App Store Courts the Jailbroken

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  • Re:The Obvious Truth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Onaga (1369777) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:03AM (#28986219)
    Not entirely true. Ask the recent defendant who now has to cough up close to $700,000 for his piracy. While being a nice customer might not pay, breaking the law might cost a lot more. Yes, yes, the law might be stupid, but it's still the law.

    To date, I have never been able to get out of a speeding ticket by telling the magistrate that the speed limit should be 65 instead of 55 on that highway.
  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:07AM (#28986249)

    "I'm somewhat inclined to believe the only reason Apple are so hell-bent on denying you service with any carrier of your choosing is due to their exclusive (and soon-up-for-renewal) contract with AT&T."

    That and their control fetish.

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:10AM (#28986283)
    Really? I haven't jailbroken my iPod Touch and I'm quite happy with it. The only complaint that I have with it is that it's a first gen and not a second gen (and thus lacks the hardware that the second gen has). On the software side, it's doing everything I want it to do, quite nicely. So, I'm curious (and not trying to be a smartass even though it comes easily to me), what am I missing? Beyond "freedom" and "control of my device" since I feel free to use it and control it as I want already - what am I missing that jailbreaking my device could offer?
  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mini me (132455) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:35AM (#28986557)

    Have you read any comments in the App Store? The average iPhone user has no idea how to read.

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:00PM (#28986859)

    ...how hard is a jailbroken device to maintain over time? I understand the initial process is fairly simple, but with most hacks maintenance and keeping it hacked can be difficult (witness hackintoshes when OS updates come out, Tivos when the kernel is updated, etc). Can anyone comment on how hard it would be for an "average user" to not only set this up, but keep it running over time?

  • Re:The Obvious Truth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:01PM (#28986873)

    No, that's part of my point - copyright infringement has been blown out of proportion with bought and paid for legislation by the media companies to push it up to the levels of a felony, with repercussions far exceeding the real damages of the crime.

    The point is though, that is *is* a crime, silly restrictions or not, to share your music that way, and it always has been. Fair use doesn't include burning your collection onto 10,000 CDs and handing them out for free in the street. This is a point that I do agree with the music industry on (shudder). You should be able to use your music on any device you own though, and give it to a friend, or your family, or use it on home movies you've made, or non-commercial stuff and so on.

    While the argument that there's no financial loss to the industry since the files are copied and no physical theft occurs, and the people doing it wouldn't have bought the music anyway is sound, the law about copyright has always existed.

    What's really silly is that you can get a $700,000 fine for doing it. If I went into a shop at night and stole all of their CDs in the back of a van, I would not be facing a $700,000 fine, and that really is causing major financial losses to a business.

  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sentax (1125511) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:04PM (#28986899)
    I kinda disagree. I showed my jailbroken iPhone to one of my computer illiterate friends and he was impressed with the Winterboard themes, said I should show him how, which I agreed, and said the next time I'm at his place I'll show him. Come a few weeks later, I see him and guess what, he jailbroke it himself... So, I think the average Joe's are even getting sick of the Apple restrictions and are willing to stick their head out there a bit to try this cool jailbreaking.
  • Re:The Obvious Truth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:10PM (#28987001) Journal
    ...maybe because releasing something that has so few protections that it screams "copy me and forward to everyone you know" would require an absurd price to be economcially viable to release. DRM the way EA does it I can oppose 100%, but DRM the way Steam does it I'll warily accept*. Any realistic company would set the price of their product based on projected REAL sales, taking into account the rate it gets copied/shared. I can see a problem when DRM-laden games are the same price as less-restrictive ones, but if a game with 3 installs was $15 I would consider buying it.

    I agree with the notion that games should be playable indefinitely, but the reasonable part of me knows that I recently paid for concert tickets, and that certainly isn't indefinite entertainment. I realize a longer concert directly costs the producer, while you playing Zelda 20 years after buying it doesn't cost Nintendo anything directly, but my willingness to pay should be based on how I value the product, not the cost to make it. If copyright was fixed so media enters public domain in a reasonable time, restrictive DRM would make perfect sense, as it makes ownership during copyright more exclusive. Yes, unbroken copyright is an ideal that I don't expect to see any time soon, but same goes for elimination of DRM.

    *We've seen the Steam DRM debate dozens of times and I don't mean to trigger another. I hope we can agree it is one of the better DRM setups out there, if only as a lesser evil.
  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:17PM (#28987083)
    Unless someone figured out how to take advantage of the huge SMS vulnerability in iPhones and caused a viral jailbreak to occur.
  • Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by analog_line (465182) on Friday August 07, 2009 @01:14PM (#28987757)

    Not everyone that can jailbreak an iPhone does either.

    Now, a possibly relevant caveat is that I didn't actually go out and buy mine (gift from my Apple-fan father, after I said don't bother giving me one, since I don't care about it) but I honestly don't see the gain in jailbreaking it. I'm not planning on leaving AT&T (they're a hell of a lot better than Sprint in my experience, which gave me nightmares for years. I don't care how good they are rated right this second, they would have to basically hand me a bag of $100 bills for me to sign back up with them at this point). When things go wrong with the phone, I want Apple and/or AT&T to be the ones on the hook for fixing them.

    And frankly, Apple approving all the software in the App store, while slimy doesn't particularly matter to me, because there's no way I'm ever buying any software for any phone, whether it's an iPhone or a Pre or a Blackberry or an Android phone. On top of that, while I certainly don't trust Apple to have my best interests at heart, I see no reason at all why I should trust any of these unofficial app stores any more, especially since I have to allow them to do whatever they damn well please with my phone in order to use their "service". Frankly, I think the FCC investigation is possibly the best thing to happen to the iPhone. I figure there's very little chance that Apple will be forced to allow any unsigned code whatsoever to run (which would pretty much mean I sell off the the phone and get one that isn't an invitation to data theft), but a very good chance that the black box in the approval process will be torn apart, some Apple executives embarassed, and some changes made.

  • Re:The Obvious Truth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:50PM (#28989837)

    Ditto here. I got pulled over and ticketed on an obvious speedtrap-- a State highway (State prescribes 50 MPH) on a straight, perfectly safe, stretch of road. For some "mysterious" reason, the speed limit turns to 35 MPH right before a perfect spot for a cop to hide, then about a half mile down goes back to 55 MPH. Went in front of the judge with some photos of the road, and a citation of the State law, and got off.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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