I know that many mobile users love to be able to sideload apps, to their devices, especially if it means avoiding paying for it. IOS users, who want to eat their cake and have it, want all the niceness of the platform, plus all the liberty of other less restricted platforms. This is often achieved by jailbreaking the device and installing apps via 3rd party depositories. Well, the ability to do that seems to be going down the drain fast.
First it was Installous. Now, Kuaiyong and Zeusmos. These services have all shut down in recent times. I find the timing suspicious and refuse to believe that it is a coincidence. My Spider Sense tells me that Apple is behind this, directly or indirectly. If only the darn Spider Sense would do more than tingle and give me greater details!
Anyway, the question is, Is this recent shutdown of sources of pirated iOS apps a good move? In my opinion, it is. I am not a developer, but I am a creative in many other ways, and I know how painful it is to have slaved away for weeks or months to create something and see others deny one of rightful income due from one’s labours. Cleaning up 3rd party piracy on iOS means that Apple developers can enjoy better returns. At least in theory.
The situation is much worse on Android. While I had the BlackBerry PlayBook, I sideloaded Android apps. Many were free apps anyway, but I ran into quite a number of otherwise commercial apps that were available for free via sideloading. The developers of those apps get nothing each time their works are downloaded and installed. I am not sure if we will ever see greater control in favour of Android developers due to the platform’s more open nature. Windows Phone is a more controlled environment and should offer a greater level of developer protection, but who knows what levels of piracy will occur there as it gains traction?
Of course, who knows what tomorrow will bring? Three 3rd party iOS depositories have been shut down. Five could spring up in their place. Actually, one good replacement is more than enough. Still, for now, iOS developers must be a little happier.