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Hackulous: The Reasoning Behind Cracked Apps and How They Affect Developers

Hackulous: The Reasoning Behind Cracked Apps and How They Affect Developers

Posted August 5, 2010 at 8:54pm by iClarified
Chinese (Simplified)
Dissident from Hackulous explains the reasoning behind cracked iOS applications and their effect on application developers in a guest article on TorrentFreak.

You can head over to TorrentFreak to read the entire article or read some highlights below...

In 2008, Apple unveiled the App Store, a virtual marketplace for developers to sell their applications via an Apple-controlled channel. Since the beginning, one of the key missing features of this store has been a trial service, or even a refund policy. Considering that many competitor products have had these policies for years, some would expect them to be unquestionably employed by Apple, yet two years later in 2010 people are still being swindled by sub-quality applications. The iPhone “cracked app scene” started from the idea of people being able to trial apps before sinking their money into them; an especially useful and welcome exercise considering that such a large number of apps on Apple’s App Store are pointless, underdeveloped, overpriced, and with deceptive descriptions to boot.

Dissident presents four important details that "demonstrate that Hackulous’ brand of activity is not causing as much damage as the Dev Team and everyone else may think".

1. Most of the pirates who use our services do so because they simply cannot afford to purchase the applications. One of the prominent members of the Dev Team, planetbeing, described the pirates who use our software as “predominantly in their early teens where money is scarce and time is abundant.” Since these users have never had any intention or capability to purchase the applications whether or not cracked versions are available, developers of these apps are losing significantly less than what they believe they are to these people.

2. Another portion of our pirates are those who have the capability of purchasing iPhone apps, but not the desire. These pirates typically do not “need” any particular application for free, they just want whatever application that can provide a certain level of entertainment for them. They are not so much making the choice between purchasing or pirating software A, but rather making the choice between pirating software A or B. So again, the profit lost attributed to this tribe of pirates has been overestimated; these pirates would not have forked over their money anyway, they would just move on.

3. Over three million devices are running our software, Installous, to download and install cracked iPhone apps. The people using these devices are Apple customers who are likely to purchase another device, purchase new Apple products, or refer their friends to Apple. As I have stated before, the people who use our services to trial iPhone applications actually help Apple more than they hurt it....

4. Piracy also helps to expose an application to the masses, much like music piracy helps artists and bands get more publicity. Without cracked app sites like apptrackr, a lot of applications would be left languishing in the pits of the App Store among the rest of the 240,984 apps (at last count) available. Only the top 100 free and paid apps and the top 10 free and paid apps in each of the 20 genres, summing up to 600 apps, get any considerable notice. A large number of apps only get to enjoy recognition from the people within the developers’ circle of influence. When they are placed on apptrackr, however, they are exposed to an extensive audience which make up millions of unique visitors a month....

Let us know in the comments what you think of his arguments. Are cracked apps a legitimate way of trialing an application?

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Hackulous: The Reasoning Behind Cracked Apps and How They Affect Developers
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Comments (35)
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Totort33 - November 15, 2012 at 9:57am
Agustín Vásquez H
Agustín Vásquez H - August 7, 2010 at 2:16pm
I can afford buying apps, in fact I have done that, but I live in Santiago, Chile and buying gift cards over eBay to some one in the US wait to arrive and then to use it to buy Apps in iTunes it's really more work and time demanding that just Jailbreak and simply use Apptrackr. These sites are a SALVATION in countries without a App store or a reduced version of it like in Chile. UP FOR HACKULOUS!!!
Crackhead - August 7, 2010 at 9:30am
I use cracked apps for everything, but i delete the when i get bored of apps lol
Giggyman - August 7, 2010 at 12:40am
If it weren't for the vast piracy of Windows 3.11 in the 90s, Microsoft wouldn't be as widely accepted as the PC standard worldwide. In fact, piracy can sometimes be viewed as a form of free advertising, and free testing for security debugging as well.
gazon - August 6, 2010 at 8:23pm
After jailbreak comes Unlock. And this is the only reason why I wish to jailbreak: to get rid of the policy of my carrier and to be able to have other carrier when I am traveling. Otherwise, I have no problem to pay my app.
Nt02 - August 6, 2010 at 1:23pm
So here's where the Android Marketplace is superior to the App Store. Android has a 24 hour app return policy. Most of the hacked apps are so people can try them out before dropping cash into a bad app. If the App Store offered such a return policy, you would see less activity on the hackers side.
Guy E
Guy E - August 6, 2010 at 12:31pm
I don't agree that the hacking of software has no importance or effect on the developer. Since apps on the tunes store sell for relatively low amounts of money (try to compare to pricing for PSP's, PS3's, Wii's etc..) kids that cannot buy the software or games by themselves could ask for iTunes credit (ITMS cards) to purchase their games. And lets face it for the price of one console game they could get a bunch of iPod touch (or iPhone Games). Regarding issue 2 the fact that those people wouldn't buy the software anyhow doesn't make it right at all! If someone doesn't feel like paying for a twinkie does it give him the right to walk into a 7-11 and leave with a twinkie or another snack without paying? Those pirates are using the software without paying for it. If they don't want to buy it let them use free apps or light versions!! The reasoning itself is not well presented and doesn't make sense! You don't want to buy it don't steal it, plain and simple! The argument in 3 that by recommending the platform or buying more devices (due to piracy)might help Apple on the long run but on the other hand it hurts the developers even more! Basically that trend will add yet another person to use pirated software and take more revenue away from developers! If I see a person using a cool app for free (pirated) what is my incentive to buy that software? This whole train of thinking adds more ammo to Apple strong hold on the app store and the restrictions that are put on developers. BTW I am not a programer or a developer just a person with common sense the arguments presented extremely weak and parallel to "I didn't feel like walking so I jacked the car!" Since I didn't run anyone over no harm is done!!
John - August 6, 2010 at 1:08pm
You are missing the main argument which is that buying apps from the App Store is like buying a new car without being allowed to test drive it, return it, or even confirm its description.
Been taken before
Been taken before - August 6, 2010 at 11:29am
I have looked for specific apps that provide a particular function. A number of times I have read the reviews and reflecting back I swear they must of had their friends all write reviews because the app absolutely sucked. Try before you buy, great idea. Installous - is a by product of the app store business model. Apple can brag all they want about have billions of apps in their store, but how many of them are viable? In my experience i would say 25% are worthy of purchase and the rest should be free. I think what we will see is free apps riddled with iads. Why do some here think jailbreaking and unlocking is piracy?
Nt02 - August 6, 2010 at 1:25pm
I'd even take it down to 10% of useful apps. Plus even though Jobs said that they don't approve apps that crash - what about EA games, or other major developers? Those apps crash all the time and are the most expensive apps in the App Store.
San20176 - August 6, 2010 at 11:19am
This has being a great idea. I like to try this applications fully before buying it. I had purchase tons of useless apps with promises of doing this and that and only to find out that they don't do exactly what they are supposed to do. In this method i had help apple get more costimers since all of my family had purchase and iphone except for obe lil freak who won't let go of her G1. We went fron 1 iphone to 16 iphones in one month. Thanks hackulo i love what your are doing and i also donated so you guys can keep up the good work.
HY - August 6, 2010 at 10:06am
Not sure if many realize this since Apple does not advertise it well but you can actually get a full refund for any app you buy if you return it within 30 days of purchase.
Apps - August 6, 2010 at 10:41am
Exactly how do you go about getting a refund for an app? Can you please give more information as I would like to get a refund for apps that I purchased recently, thanks!
Jeff - August 6, 2010 at 10:47am
PLEASE DO!.. The big reason I use Cracked/Hacked Apps is to see if it will do what I want. I have purchased ALL the APPS I use and delete those I don't or do not work for me. I'd like more detail on a REFUND as this would do fine for me...
ja - August 6, 2010 at 1:19pm
this is not true, there is no refund policy on apps.
Nt02 - August 6, 2010 at 1:27pm
You're mistaking the iphone with apps.
HY - August 6, 2010 at 1:42pm
I'll look for the link later on today and post it but if you go to your iTunes there is a link for it. Look under contact us. I know this because I sell apps and have had a couple of returns.
Jamie - August 6, 2010 at 9:25am
The dev team condemn the pirates yet they put their efforts into jailbreaking and unlocking? How much have developers in the app store lost out because "there's a free app that does the same thing in cydia"? I'm with the pirate on this one!
exposer - August 6, 2010 at 4:38am
how many people here have referrd a friend to cracked apps after they were told that they paid for it? These people would probably buy again before they found out the way to get them for free. Obviously im pro cracked apps, im jus sayin
marco antonio perez castellanos
marco antonio perez castellanos - October 4, 2010 at 11:49pm
no tengo nada ke decir pero espero ke esto sirva hola
Noman - August 6, 2010 at 1:55am
Spot on! Without piracy E.g. Adobe or even Microsoft would not be were they are now without piracy. They should give out bonuses to people making the software available for all. I used to use onoy pirated software from os to apps - mainly because i could not afford and i wanted to learn the sw. Now i buy everything I use and like. Adobe got their money back many times - all my employers trought out the years been sponsoring me adobe suites etc. So did i do harm by using pirated Photoshop when i was younger? You corporate guys should be more than grateful for the community!
Jess - August 6, 2010 at 1:06am
I love installous! It's the 1st thing I put on. Screw anyone else who wines about it. Just for this going to go download some "free" paid apps! :)
Dinozilla - August 5, 2010 at 11:52pm
if it leads to abuse, then yes... but to me as a user some app which i not regularly in use, yet i find it overpriced, i use crack some app i tried, finally satisfied, then i spotted promotion with discount, i remove the crack, purchase the app/game. It works fine for a legit user who after trial, satisfied, and willing to pay with an acceptable price With so many apps out there(although most is minimal features, or some is practically useless), not just features, pricing decides customer group. I bought unsatisfied/useless app before, i am enjoying the way i can test the app with crack app now..
Sup - August 5, 2010 at 10:16pm
Long live INSTALLOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mark J.
Mark J. - August 5, 2010 at 9:35pm
What kind of Privacy do they talk abouT? Planetbeing & Comex talk about shutting down Installous? Why? What the fck are they talking about. They Hack Apple Privacy. So what are they doing at that time? Why these hackers hack Apple Privacy and jailbreak and Unlock i-Devices. Why no one says anything at that time. It is insane to shut down installous. Grow grow grow . Installous grow more.
ikkviper - August 6, 2010 at 12:11am
What the dev team does is not illegal. Cracking and installing a paid for app and then not paying the developer for all the hard work and time they have put into an app is and will always be illegal.
boreddrummer - August 6, 2010 at 9:12am
not that i disagree, but let's face it, there's so much crap in the app store that need's to be paid for, and how many reviews do you see saying 'not as described, want my money back' etc etc. in those cases it's scandalous the developer has been paid for such a piss poor job
elko - August 6, 2010 at 9:18am
$1 app time 4-5 million users =$ 4000000-5000000 dollars for many bad apps
Jaylou180 - August 6, 2010 at 9:25am
They are thinking of the future. If the jailbreaking community is to move forward and apple is made to allow jailbreaking by letting cydia be installed let say by iTunes. The only defense apple has is to say it allows pirating of apps. The other excused they can make up can't hold water. Now the other side of the coin is I use copied apps to test and I usually buy them if I like them.
boreddrummer - August 5, 2010 at 9:34pm
i agree, as a web developer, if i were to create a particular website providing a service, i'd rather have (for argument sake) say 1,000 people visiting and using it for free then next to nobody using it as a result of a fee. In addition i can't deny the logic that installulous and pirates don't really affect the revenue of an application, it's money that would not have been spent had the hacked application not been avaliable, so again as a developer if my income wasn't effected either way i'd rather have more people using my application, if for nothing else but the self satisfaction knowing that people enjoy it and want to use it (it can even be used to provide greater and more accurate feedback due to the larger market) and finally as vang has said, many use it on a trial basis, which if anything increases generated revenue as it encourages people to buy, people that otherwise would not have taken the leap of faith based solely on the application's description/screenshots/reviews. I have used installulous many a time, and if i feel a developer has provided a genuine service to myself and real thought and effort has clearly been made (which can't be said for many an application) then i make sure to purchase the app and reward the developer for those efforts. i think apptrackr/installulous get's bad rep due to the simplistic thought process of 'people using and not paying' that immeditatly springs to mind for developers, but if thought about closesly i really don't think it's derogatory, and quite possibly the opposite
thejett - August 5, 2010 at 9:21pm
I have downloaded apps before, but I have only used it as a trial service for such apps as "quickoffice", "motionxgps", or "imovie". I now own all of these apps and did purchase them within 30 days of using them. I have also NOT purchased several apps after I tried them, but have also deleted them from my phone as I found them annoying and worthless. Again I also am against piracy but do use it for trial use of apps. The problem is that Apple monitors apps for security, but not for value. How many "sex position" apps or "fart makers" does a store need?
Rooboy - August 6, 2010 at 12:37am
I am in agreement, I use Installous and App Sync to demo apps that I am not sure I will find any real value in. Blame Apple (for all their good intentions) for this, if they would simply allow you to download a fully functioning version with a 30 day trial period, I think a majority of people would go legit. Nothing is worse than paying for something full of promise but short on delivery. Its not the value of the software to me, its the principle of how the store is run.
Vang - August 5, 2010 at 9:18pm
Yes it is. I use it mainly to trial. If I do like a app I will buy it from the app store. No sense of downloading a pirated copy and receive no legit upgrade as all developers do. It really helps. So far I have spent well over $400.00 on just apps. Since iPhone 2g. I try to get a trial before I buy though.
thejett - August 5, 2010 at 9:23pm
Yeah, I have spent much more since trial use of apps. I used to only get freebies, but since I could trial I have spent quite a bit on apps.
Mertin - August 5, 2010 at 10:12pm
Installous has legit updates now. Sometimes like five minutes after they appear in appstore. Grow installous grow!
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