I’ll be honest. I used to think iOS jailbreaking was on its way out. Sure, it made a whole lot of sense back when there was no official iTunes App Store, and perhaps it even had a place back when Apple ruled the app store with an iron fist, but who is really interested in jailbreaking their iPhone today?
As it turns out, a whole lot of people. Apparently the allure of running any app you want, in addition to running pirated software, remains alive and well. Highlighting the vitality of the jailbreak community, remember that iOS 5 was jailbroken within 24 hours of its debut on the iOS dev center this past June. Further illustrating the popularity of jailbreaking, famed iPhone hacker Nicholas Allegra – aka Comex – released a web-based version of JailBreakMe in August 2010 that enabled iPhone users to jailbreak their device simply by visiting a website and downloading some code; and in the 9 days it remained active, it was downloaded over 1.4 million times.
This past Summer, Apple hired Allegra as an intern, and while he undoubtedly is working to help secure iOS the battle against jailbreaking rages on.
Again, one of the problems with jailbroken iPhones is that it allows users to run pirated software, hurting developers and the iOS ecosystem in the process.
Recently, Apple issued a “take down” notice to AppTrackr, a popular marketplace for acquiring pirated iOS apps. Following Apple’s legal play, AppTrackr has taken to moving their servers to countries where copyright laws are, to say the least, not well respected.
It looks like Apple has begun to make the leap and crack down on cracked iOS applications. AppTrackr uses their installer tool called Installous to install cracked applications, and makes available applications like Apple’s Numbers, NOAA Radar US, Nike+ GPS, and more to those who jailbreak. Obviously with the wide range of applications that AppTrackr makes available, it could potentially hurt some of Apple’s sales.
In a blogpost addressing the issue, AppTrackr explains their strategy to skirt around Apple’s increased vigilence against jailbreak communities and the pirated apps that accompany them.