iOS users can now stream movie torrents

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

October 7, 2014

iOS users have until now been somewhat left out of the Popcorn Time party. Dubbed ‘Netflix for pirates’, this elegant app (available in various incarnations for Windows, OSX, Linux and Android, and now iOS) allows you to seamlessly stream movie and TV torrents direct to your computer, TV or mobile screen.

Time4Popcorn iOS app (jailbreak required)

This popular (and also somewhat controversial, but that is not something we will get into here) fork based on the open source Popcorn Time code is now available for iOS devices, although they need to be jailbroken (available through the Cydia platform) for it to work.

The Time4Pocorn devs however explained to TorrentFreak that they are working on a solution for non-jailbroken phones, but this is not yet ready

The desktop and Android versions of the app support AppleTV, Chromecast, and have a free VPN built-in (although the provider keeps logs, which limits its usefulness) – features which are at present missing from the iOS app.

According to TorrentFreak the app works well as long as sufficient bandwidth is available, and the devs have released the code as open source (GPL V3 licence).

MovieBox (no jailbreak required)

Not directly related to Popcorn Time, the MovieBox app performs a very similar job – streaming movie and TV torrents directly to your iOS device, except that it does not require the device to be jailbroken.

The MovieBox website is in Chinese, but Lifehacker provides the following installation guide:

  1. ‘Go to Settings > General > Date & Time and change the date to September 16
  2. Open Safari and go to
  3. Tap the green button to download to MovieBox
  4. Open MovieBox
  5. Return to Settings > General > Date & Time and turn on Automatic’

Judging from reader’s comments on the Lifehacker page the app works well, and Airplay is even supported. One installed, everything is available in English.

Do remember that whichever app you use the streamed data will look to an observer like BitTorrent traffic (which it basically is, even if you are streaming rather than downloading) , and like BitTorrent traffic  it can be easily traced to you unless you protect yourself using a VPN.

Authors note: I am afraid that I do not possess an iOS device to test these apps on, so this article simply passes on information from other (reputable) sources.

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