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  • Piracy Detected. Your Cracked App is Now a Demo.
    The war between iPhone developers and app crackers continues . . .



    Ben Chatelain the developer behind the App Store app Full Screen Web Browser has taken steps to prevent piracy of his app. Just days after the initial app release on the App Store Ben received notification via a Google Alert that his app had been pirated and the cracked copy was being distributed by Appulo.

    Frustrated by the events Ben went on a mission to stop cracking of Full Screen Web Browser (App Store link). He checked out informative posts about making an iPhone app crash if cracked but was hesitant to enable the measures because he didn't want the application to crash for legitimate users or crash during the App Store review process and subsequently face rejection from the App Store.

    After some thought Ben came up with the solution that he is utilizing now. The application looks to see if it has been cracked and sends pings to a server with a device identifier (UDID) so that illegal usage can be tracked. If the app has been cracked the server controls a demo period with ten runs after which the the application shows a message allowing you the option to quite or buy complete with a guilt trip "Purchasing a legal copy helps support independent software development and will help me feed my 1-year old baby."

    With App Store application cracking running rampant and many developers up in arms over the issue we will be sure to see more and more measures like this taken in the future.

    edit: In case I didn't make it painfully obvious this allows you to try (the cracked app) before you buy. Apple needs to get on it and implement a demo system in its App Store already.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Piracy Detected. Your Cracked App is Now a Demo. started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 64 Comments
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      ONE YEAR ago people...... http://www.modmyi.com/forums/3rd-par...ch-iphone.html

      I told ya a year ago you better know what your phone is doing at all times. Not for this purpose specifically, you never know what is loaded in these apps..... you just accept everything is great.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      well I said b4 I feel cheated from netshare and apple. Basically I brought it on my phone then apple removed it and I lost out with no help from either company. I use crack sw to try and have since brought beatmaker 12 and allowance this week. I do buy apps but only if I can try first. I want to buy mobile cam viewer for work but can only try standard cracked version not enterprise and since I can't try, I won't buy. And the thing is my work will pay 4 it!
    1. kpace1's Avatar
      kpace1 -
      What people are forgetting is there are alot of people who really just want to try before they buy, and i know its been said before about having so many apps i paid good money for that just stay dormant in my itunes app library, and reading a fantastic description of the app and a few screenshots just isnt enough to know if you would like it or not.

      I've tried out many apps and paid for them legitimately through the app store for 1. with all the ****** apps out there, if i find something i like and will use i will want to pay them the money they deserve. 2. having the automatic updates just makes having the app so much nicer 3. its just the right thing to do.

      Apps ive tried out first and bought after include beejive, fieldrunners, holdem, photogene picoli, camera bag, panorama, colorsplash, ocarina, translator, quad camera, dynolicious, and zen bound just to name a few... not everyone steals...we just want a better way to see your product before handing the money over
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      You do know that if you don't like the app, you can get a refund!

      But I tend to go the cracked app way to try them first plus it's a good way to know of the apps still being developed or the devs given up on it.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by se23 View Post
      well I said b4 I feel cheated from netshare and apple. Basically I brought it on my phone then apple removed it and I lost out with no help from either company. I use crack sw to try and have since brought beatmaker 12 and allowance this week. I do buy apps but only if I can try first. I want to buy mobile cam viewer for work but can only try standard cracked version not enterprise and since I can't try, I won't buy. And the thing is my work will pay 4 it!
      I started using cracked apps on PCs before a lot of people on this forum were born for that precise reason. I used to have to justify every purchase and the only way I could do that was get a cracked copy of a program, see what it did and then show the FD how I could save the company money. It took quite some time before he told me I had carte blanche to go out and buy any software I wanted as I saved the company money everytime I bought something!
      These days there is a lot more ' try before you buy' and developers try and give 'added value' to those that pay.
      Not always the case but I am a firm believer that if someone has given you something you want you should give something back - and in most cases that means paying!
      [Edit] I took so long typing this there have been 2 posts which I hadn't read[/edit]
    1. greenstretracer's Avatar
      greenstretracer -
      Since there's always going to be a "way around" I think that developers need to spend less time trying to stop cracking and more time coming up with a better business model. For example, many online services are only free because they are supported by ad revenue. I am sure there can be a way for devs to make money off of apps that does not include users paying.

      I myself have 2-3 ideas of how this can be done, unfortunately i am a law student with a finance background and no programing experience so my ideas will just stay ideas haha.
    1. AAAARRRRRRGGGGG's Avatar
      AAAARRRRRRGGGGG -
      good for this developer! this "cat and mouse" may seem like it's a counterproductive war between the haves and have nots, but on the other hand, us living creatures usually come up with our best work when it's out of necessity. i mean come on, how many cool ideas and technologies have we seen developed as a result of this one particular "[money for me] VS. [information for everyone]" battle? we usually only really see how our own side benefits from this (which ever side that may be), but i like to see an example of how our little game is providing opportunities for all involved.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by greenstretracer View Post
      I myself have 2-3 ideas of how this can be done,
      There are hundreds of different ideas which have been tried and some work better than others - there is no 'one size fits all'.

      If there was everyone would use it!
    1. Cody Overcash's Avatar
      Cody Overcash -
      Quote Originally Posted by kpace1 View Post
      What people are forgetting is there are alot of people who really just want to try before they buy, and i know its been said before about having so many apps i paid good money for that just stay dormant in my itunes app library, and reading a fantastic description of the app and a few screenshots just isnt enough to know if you would like it or not.

      I've tried out many apps and paid for them legitimately through the app store for 1. with all the ****** apps out there, if i find something i like and will use i will want to pay them the money they deserve. 2. having the automatic updates just makes having the app so much nicer 3. its just the right thing to do.

      Apps ive tried out first and bought after include beejive, fieldrunners, holdem, photogene picoli, camera bag, panorama, colorsplash, ocarina, translator, quad camera, dynolicious, and zen bound just to name a few... not everyone steals...we just want a better way to see your product before handing the money over
      The developers are well aware. Notice Ben (the developer) made his app a try before you buy after it is cracked instead of just crashing
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      It is a vaialnt effort from a dev, but I think the average person who cracks and gets "busted" in this manner will just tell the dev a big F U and give less of a crap about his 1 year old baby. Doubt it will bring any increased revenue. I mean who says "Damn, he won't let me still his stuff. I guess I will buy it from him instead."

      As others have said, if this becomes mainstream it will have a work-around. Put less time in to keeping people from stealing and more time into making people actually want to buy... that is a method the industry doesn't yet truly see value in.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      will just tell the dev a big F U and give less of a crap about his 1 year old baby.
      And I thought I was cynical!

      People that don't care for anyone but themselves will always exist and more pity them.
    1. wearmaize's Avatar
      wearmaize -
      Pay the developers some respect, guys. I understand that paying $10 for apps when they are first announced by the big names (SEGA, EA, etc.) only to see the price go down in a few days is annoying. I personally regret buying Crash Bandicoot and Super Monkey Ball for $10 each. But if an app is $1, remember that a developer spent lots of time developing it. Besides, $1 doesn't buy anything these days anyway.

      (Just remember to contribute the app back to the hacking community! )
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by wearmaize View Post
      I understand that paying $10 for apps when they are first announced by the big names (SEGA, EA, etc.) only to see the price go down in a few days is annoying.
      $10 is hardly a lot - and you pay to be the first. If you don't want to pay a premium then wait.

      Isn't that a horrible thought? If you think like me then you shouldn't complain about the premium. If you don't want to pay the premium just wait for awhile after the app comes out.

      We all have a choice - and do you blame them for playing the market?
    1. carlbgc's Avatar
      carlbgc -
      The trouble is, most of these alternate web browsers are absolute ****. Good that he still gives you a trial period to make sure his browser is actually usable.
    1. wgm214's Avatar
      wgm214 -
      I've used one cracked .app on my phone. I'm really sorry guys but I *needed* I am rich. Besides I don't mind hurting that devs sales
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      If you are rich why not pay for it? I don't understand.
    1. nimavafi's Avatar
      nimavafi -
      The guys over at BiteSMS had the same thing with a message popping up on cracked versions stating its pirated and it would just shut down the app. Few days later, crackers got around it. But eventually most people don't want to play the 'cat and mouse' game and buy the app so they don't have to wait for a newer version to be cracked or deal with the "phone home" aspect.

      The dev of MySMS took it a step farther by actually corrupting the file systems of many iphones with pirated versions of his software. This happened with no pop-up warnings, and caused hundreds to have to restore (to say they deserved it is a slippery slope). But I think this method of a pop-up saying "Hey Thief, you should pay for this..." is the right thing to do. Other devs(outside the appstore in the wild wild west of Jailbreak) might not be so nice....
    1. kpace1's Avatar
      kpace1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cash7c3 View Post
      The developers are well aware. Notice Ben (the developer) made his app a try before you buy after it is cracked instead of just crashing
      And what ben did was okay, all alot of people want is a way to see if its worth your money before you buy it...although his words could be modified a bit
    1. Masterz1337's Avatar
      Masterz1337 -
      I can't believe this is even an issue. The people who are supporting cracked apps are just proving to apple that jailbreaking is something that is actually hurting the company, and needs to be stopped.
    1. SERBIAN's Avatar
      SERBIAN -
      Quote Originally Posted by nimavafi View Post
      The dev of MySMS took it a step farther by actually corrupting the file systems of many iphones with pirated versions of his software. This happened with no pop-up warnings, and caused hundreds to have to restore (to say they deserved it is a slippery slope). But I think this method of a pop-up saying "Hey Thief, you should pay for this..." is the right thing to do. Other devs(outside the appstore in the wild wild west of Jailbreak) might not be so nice....
      I'm a small shareware developer myself /not for iPhone/ and, of course, Im against pirating...But that dev of MySMS, if he really did what you said, crossed the line and should be put on trial and bashed forever from developer and every other community.. There was a similar attempt few years back on Mac platform by one dev and his small shareware...Basicly he put the malicious code within the app which have been used to delete Home folder if entered serial was pirated...He was bashed all over net and also few people took a lawsuit on him /people who put the wrong SN by mistake and lost their Home folder and valuable data/... NOBODY has the right to f**k up with other people hardware and data.. Thats not the fight against pirate's, thats the crime much bigger than pirating... IMHO...

      As for cracking apps in general..I really dont see the point of cracking the 1$ app, even though Im coming from, lets say, not that rich country... On the other hand, I really dont see the point to price the software few thousand $ .. I mean its not the cure for cancer or eternal energy source for God sake .. Yes, with lot of apps people makes money..True..But so what? Is that a reason to sell that for 2.000$ with paid upgrades, patches and whole lot other bulls**t? I don't think so..Those overpriced goodies /apps, houses, branded "high fashion" clothes etc./ brought us where we are now - in deep s**t called recession ..