OpenAppMkt: A Free App Store with No Jailbreak Required
As advocates for open mobile computing continue to press for the rights of iOS device owners to modify their own equipment
, one project is doing a neat end-run around Apple. OpenAppMkt
is a project that focuses on web apps, rather than code that requires the App Store - or a jailbreak - to install. In conjunction with new marketplaces like Rock Your Phone and Cydia, OpenAppMkt represents a vibrant new channel outside of Apple's control. And while Cupertino is still playing hardball about letting users install what they want on the iPhone, this is a valuable alternative for people who are afraid of breaking their warranties.
is a for-profit app store that's the brainchild of Bay Area developers Teck Chia, Flora Sun, and Tim Wuu. It's designed to parallel the App Store experience in many particulars, and as Xconomy's Wade Roush
points out, is a bit of a back-to-the-future for the iPhone. Before the App Store launched in July 2008, the only way of adding functionality to the device was through web apps. Apple actually still maintains a directory
of over 4,300 different web apps.
With Apple no longer able to assert that jailbreaking is illegal, there's likely to be more mainstream acceptance of app markets like Rock and Cydia. However, the warranty threat may dissuade a lot of people - particularly business users - from jailbreaking. One important role a channel like OpenAppMkt can play is to truly legitimize alternate ways of delivering content to iOS devices, and increase the pressure on Apple to do the right thing and open up.
OpenAppMkt can an be accessed from Mobile Safari, and conceivably most of the titles can be run on any mobile device. So their market could conceivably grow beyond the iPhone and include a range of smartphones.
I use BlackSwan's VoiceCentral
Google Voice client (or did
, before it broke under iOS 4), so there's a real niche for the added functionality that web apps can provide even alongside regular apps. Though I'm stoked to finally get MyWi running again - JailbreakMe
Source: Redmond Pie