As regular readers will know, we love the funky ‘Netflix for pirates’ app Popcorn Time, that is actually better than Netflix! And we are not alone, as the app is rather unsurprisingly gaining popularity all the time.
iDevice users, however, have until now been somewhat left out of the fun. A version of the app has been available for iOS, but installing it required jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad, something most users are understandably leery of doing.
Popcorn Time on an Android device
Of course, the copyright enforcers’ nightmare app is not available through the App Store, but the developers of popular PT fork popcorntime.se have now released a special installer program that allows iOS users to install the app from a Windows computer (an OSX Mac version is promised in the next couple of weeks) without the need to jailbreak their phones. According to an email from one of Popcorn-Time.se’s anonymous developers,
‘We’ve been [wracking] our brains to find a solution that will enable iOS users who don’t want to jailbreak their device…to also enjoy Popcorn Time on their iOS device… Our relentless pursuit for a solution led us to a fruitful collaboration with another group of brilliant developers who came up with the awesome solution of making an iOS installer…All a user will need to do to get Popcorn Time on his non-jailbroken iOS device is to download this software called ‘iOS installer’ to his desktop computer…connect his iOS device to the computer with a USB cable, and then just follow simple instructions that will download the app on the iOS device.’
The iOS app supports playback using a Chromecast or AppleTV. Users should always be aware that copyright holders take a very dim view of people using Popcorn Time to view the latest movies and TV shows for free, so we urge you to protect themselves with a good VPN service.
It appears that the team behind the iOS Installer have more than just allowing iOS users to access Popcorn Time in their sights, and have stated that their mission is to breach Apples ‘walled garden’, and allow iOS users to do as they want with the hardware they have bought and paid for. As one iOS Installer developer told WIRED,
‘We’re going into war against Apple with this iOS installer. The longer we keep this information to ourselves and not published, the stronger we’ll be in this war against them.’
This ideological aim is confirmed by the popcorntime.se team,
‘The team we worked with on this solution has already launched this website with one clear intention in mind: To fight the closed ecosystem Apple has created, screening and choosing for us what we can or cannot install on the devices we purchased and paid top dollar for.
The installer guys have no doubt that this will be a long journey, playing ‘cat and mouse’ with Apple that probably won’t like them breaking their closed eco-system. But seeing their work now and future updates for the installer they’re already working on, we’re sure they’re ready for any obstacle Apple will throw their way.’
Use of the Installer to jump the garden wall and install popcorn Time demonstrates proof of concept, and we can expect to see it used to install all sorts of third party apps in the future if Apple does not find some way to crush this threat to its lucrative closed ecosystem model (and it is sure to try…)