New app services make piracy easier on iPhone and iPad, threatens iOS developers
Life for app developers just got a bit more difficult. After a fairly successful campaign against pirated iOS apps in 2012, developers are now faced with new services that make iPhone and iPad piracy easier and more straightforward.
Zeusmos and Kuaiyong are two newly launched services that enable one-tap, instant installs of pirated apps on any iOS device. This allows users to bypass having to jailbreak their device to use run pirated apps. Zeusmos is offered for free on already jailbroken devices, but offers a small fee for those which are not yet jailbroken. Basically, it's charging users to download pirated apps.
The developer of Zeusmos is a 15-year-old who remained nameless in The Next Web report, but defends that the service is just a way to "try before you buy" or enable homebrew apps without having to buy an annual Apple developer license. The report claims the creator seemed "unapologetic" for its side effect -- enabling piracy.
And the piracy is taking its toll on app developers. Just last month mobile developer Hunted Cow shut down the servers for its iOS game Battle Dungeon after only a week due to a startling 90% piracy rate (via Pocket Tactics).
“After a pirated version of the .ipa surfaced on the net, we saw around ten times the amount of people joining the game compared to the amount of sales,” Hunted Cow director Andrew Mulholland told Pocket Tactics. Battle Dungeon's multiplayer required servers to host matches, which Hunted Cow had to pay to maintain. Mulholland maintains that if they were all legitimate sales, it would've given the developer the resources needed to work on it further.
So next time you think of installing that free, pirated app, stop and think of what it does to the developer who is probably trying to make a living from it, and the possible consequences it could have on the future of iOS app development.