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Hackulous Shuts Down, Taking Its iOS Piracy App Installous With It (techcrunch.com)
12 points by suhailpatel 1785 days ago | hide | past | web | 21 comments | favorite

This underscores the fact that piracy isn't about the money; it's about availability and convenience. If only the app creators would make their apps available on some kind of easy-to-use online store where installation is a breeze, customers are automatically informed of updates they can download for free, and all this is provided for a few bucks an app, we'd see nobody resorting to using piracy apps like these.

How would you improve on say, the Apple app store? What you've described is what Apple has already created IMO.

  > What you've described is what Apple has already created IMO.

Remove censorship, certification process so anyone can upload their app if there is potential audience for that as long as it conforms to certain technical criteria.

If something is legal Apple has no right of preventing users using it and developers making apps for it.

Recent case - where an application delivering realtime information for US drone strikes was rejected.

Apple should be technical gatekeeper and not moral.

This is definitely a good thing. Support the developers. It takes a lot of time and effort to build an app. Surely a single dollar (usually) is not too much to pay. Im' still surprised how cheap most apps are for my phone ;o

The price of some apps is ridiculous though. I'm not defending pirates but look how much Anki costs on the App Store whilst being free on Android.

That's the developer's choice. Pay the price on the tin, switch to Android where they've chosen to make it free, or find an alternative. The market will sort itself out if it's truly priced too high.

Anki is the most expensive app I've ever purchased, and it was worth every cent. Buying that app let me support the developer, the iOS app, the Mac app, and his syncing service.

When compared to $0.99 games it seems expensive, but let's be realistic. It's good quality software, and on a desktop it would be worth that price. The difference is that it's 100x more convenient on iOS since it's always with me.

Watch a youtube review or read a review on it. If possible, test it out on a friends phone?

In a perfect world Apple would allow a trial mode for apps which would enable all features for X hours or X uses. But that's just Apple. It'll never happen. I heard though that MS does something like this for its apps? Or is it only for games?

$25 seems pretty reasonable to me if it's the sort of thing you find useful. How is that "ridiculous"?

Relative to the Android price. It seems unfair for iOS users to pay for development of the platform across all platforms.

The problem on Android is that a lot of countries still don't support payments for apps. In other words, on android you still can't use paid apps. You're limited to the free apps. That's one point where Apple really shines thanks to their already existing infrastructure for iTunes. I also think that's one of the reasons why devs flocked to iOS development in the first place. Millions of active accounts with valid creditcards attached to it is a tempting thing :p

Funny how people get up in arms about price differences like this, yet nobody ever suggests that the price of the cheaper one should be raised to remedy the situation.

Would the iOS price suddenly not be "ridiculous" if they charged $25 for the Android version too?

No, but why not go halfway? Lower the iOS price to half and raise the Android price to the same as iOS.

Why go halfway? $25 seems like a decent price for this.

While another App store (even used for pirated apps as well) is probably a good thing, and having fewer sources of software (less competition) is bad, I have to say: good riddance.

It wasn't exactly ethical, and even when used for semi-legitimate purposes (obtaining software "not available" in your region) it was slow, cumbersome and unreliable.

Honestly as a user, Installous totally sucked. The thing was rife with malware and it was impossible to tell which apps were legit and which were malware. I tried it a couple of time just to see what it was like (this was also before widespread app reviews) and although you could grab apps for free, it wasn't reliable or safe.

You tried a couple of times yet managed to come across enough malware to describe it as such? I've been using Installous for a long time and have never come across any "malware" on it.

Also, isn't iOS sandboxing designed to ensure no rogue apps cause havoc on the system?

There's nothing to stop code in an ipa from escaping that sandbox if the code isn't checked by Apple.

"That sandbox" is exactly what stops code from an ipa from escaping. Apple does not do a particularly deep analysis on the code in an app before approving it. They do a superficial check for use of private/deprecated APIs, which is pretty easy to bypass, and that's it.

It is possible to find holes in the sandbox, see for example the jailbreak.me exploit from iOS 4. But it's hard, and Apple will patch any holes that they find out about.

This is a point that people badly misunderstand, sadly. The sandbox is what keeps you, as a user, safe from malicious code. Apple's checks don't really help at all, aside from their ability to pull malicious apps after the fact. Apple's checks are there to ensure a basic level of functionality and avoid content Apple doesn't want to publish. They do essentially nothing for the security of the platform, and are not intended to.

And how would we know that has happened? The parent comment suggests it was obvious which downloads were malware just by using Installous.

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