If you’ve been looking for a way to get streaming movies for free on your iPhone or iPad, you’re in luck. The time has come — but Apple is not happy about it, to say the least.
In fact, the developers of the torrent movie streaming app Popcorn Time had to figure out a way to get around Apple’s strict firewall that prevents any app from becoming available for the iOS without approval from the Cupertino, California-based technology giant itself.
Until now, the only way to install unauthorized apps on iOS devices was through the process known as “jailbreaking,” in other words, modifying an iPhone to disable Apple’s strict software restrictions. However, that process instantly invalidated any warranty the device had with Apple.
But new software known as iOS Installer debuted last week, allowing pretty much any app to be added to an iPhone or iPad without jailbreaking — and without Apple’s official seal of approval.
The app appears to have been designed specifically with Popcorn Time in mind. Apple’s rules are clear in rejecting “apps that enable illegal file sharing.” And that, its critics say, is exactly what Popcorn Time is designed to do.
Popcorn Time started about a year ago as a website that took the same torrents available for illegal download through sites such as Pirate Bay and RARBG, and instead of requiring movie watchers to wait the lengthy period it takes to download a movie file, allowed the movies to stream more or less instantly.
With an interface that’s at least as attractive and well-organized as Netflix itself, Popcorn Time immediately gained the nickname “Netflix for Pirates,” because it made viewing illegally pirated films as easy as watching streaming movies on Netflix.
Easier, in fact, because unlike Netflix which charges $8.99 per month, Popcorn Time charges — nothing.
But it wasn’t until last week that Popcorn Time released an app for iOS, although a version has been available for Android systems for a while. Now the shadowy makers of Popcorn Time and iOS Installer are steeling themselves for a fight — with Apple.
“The team who made this whole installation on non-jailbroken iOS devices possible is getting ready for battle,” an unidentified Popcorn Time rep told the site Mashable. “They have no doubt that Apple won’t take it lightly that the walls of their closed app garden have been broken into, so they’re readying for a long, tedious war.”
Of course, downloading or streaming pirated movies is completely illegal and users do so at their own risk. But Mashable has published instructions for installing Popcorn Time on an iPhone or iPad, available at this link.
[Image: Popcorn Time Screen Capture]