Saturday, October 02, 2010

BitTorrent-enabled app makes its way into the App Store

BitTorrent apps haven't made it into the App Store before, simply because Apple doesn't want anything even remotely connected to piracy in the store, despite the fact that BitTorrent has legitimate uses as well. According to TorrentFreak, one enterprising developer managed to sneak such an app in, by carefully omitting any mention of torrents. Of course, now that it's been outed, how long will it stay there?

Apple's statement on its policy in the past has been:
“Because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.”
The new app is called IS Drive. As of now it's still in the App Store. However, Apple isn't too happy when it learns things about apps it wasn't aware of.

IS Drive allows users of ImageShack’s torrent download service to control and add torrent downloads. It was formerly in the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhones as Jack Torrents. The app itself costs $4.99, and naturally you need a subscription to ImageShack's torrent download service, too.

Seriously, it's not a BitTorrent client, per se. It uses BitTorrent capabilities to be an ImageShack Drive Client. However, as the developer, Derek Kepner said:
“I’m on dangerous ground here, and I know that. I’ll probably add a search feature where it’s up to the user to manually add the torrent site they want. The app will not be designed to easily break the law and I hope no one intends to do so. But if a user is determined to break the law, what business is that of mine or Apple’s? They could do the same in Safari anyway, right?

“I always had the thought that if I didn’t call the app a 'torrent client,' Apple would probably let it through the review process. After all, there is no real torrenting happening on the client side. It’s *not* a torrent client. It’s an ImageShack Drive client.

“Plus, I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word ‘torrent,’ and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.”
Although he's correct in his assessment of Safari (after all, BitTorrent Inc. released a web interface for uTorrent earlier this year), Steve Jobs tends to discount that when saying "Android is for porn," ignoring how much porn can be accessed via Safari. That, therefore, may not fly with Apple. We'll see.





No comments: