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Thread: Winterboard in the AppStore?

  1. #1
    Exclamation Winterboard in the AppStore?
    Hi there,

    I am rather new to this community, but I want to bring something up that, I think, should be discussed.

    I would like to discuss the possibility of Apple allowing Winterboard, and themes, in the AppStore.

    Back when the first iPhone was released, third party apps were strictly forbidden. A lot of people wanted them, though, and they made them anyway. A huge community grew around the hacking of the iPhone to develop their own apps. So large was this community that Apple decided it was in their own best interests to give them an official voice. Thus, the AppStore was created, and all of those groups and individuals who were giving the products of their leisure time away for free are now making money from their labour. A mutually beneficial arrangement.

    Now, Winterboard and iPhone theming are strictly forbidden. A lot of people wanted it, though, and they made them anyway. A huge community has grown around the customizing of the iPhone interface. So large is this community, that it would be in Apple's own best interest to give us an official voice.

    If Apple allowed Winterboard (and other apps like it) to be sold in the Appstore, a section of the AppStore could be devoted to hosting and selling themes. Those of us who have made, and are making themes could turn a coin from the products of our leisure time, and Apple would profit as well. The whole idea of the iPhone was to revolutionize the mobile phone market, and allow it to do things that no other phone had done before. And yet, theming, something available on every other phone on the market, is forbidden. I say to Apple: We are already here. There are already hundreds of themes available. Welcome us with open arms, and we can both make money from our labour. A mutually beneficial arrangement.

    I'd like to hear what the rest of you think.

  2. #2
    Green Apple padsquad43's Avatar
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    who would wanna pay for a theme?

  3. #3
    plain jane vanilla (post count restored to FULL AWESOMENESS) cpjr's Avatar
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    Yeah, Apple wont give up that "control" and as stated, dont fix something that aint broke

  4. #4
    Padsquad, I would be delighted to pay a small price for the use of a good theme. It is the best way to show thanks. This is already available on almost every other mobile phone. You can go online and purchase a new theme for a couple dollars. It is a very popular thing to do.

    Cpjr, remember that allowing apps in general was "control" that Apple wasn't willing to give in the first place. I think it's possible to convince Apple to allow it, if we show them we want it.

    But do we want it?

    On the AppStore, I see a lot of comments like "1 star, this was free on Installer!". I know this is a hobby, and we want to share it, contribute to it, and receive the benefits of it without having to pay for it. I know that these AppStore spammers are the exception; there are bad apples in every bunch. However, if a person can take their hobby and make a living doing it, isn't that a good thing? Shouldn't we be proud of them, and be willing to thank them will a small gift of a couple dollars?

    I guess it depends on your point of view. That's what I want to know. What is your point of view?

    Personally, I am making themes so that I can use them, and so that others can use them. I want to share it for free, because the thanks I might get in return means a lot to me. But everyone wants to make money, and if I could eventually make themes and graphics for a living, I would love the chance!
    Last edited by Proserpine; 01-02-2009 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Fixed 1 Typo

  5. #5
    plain jane vanilla (post count restored to FULL AWESOMENESS) cpjr's Avatar
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    And everyone is entitled to their point of view

    The way I look at it is this....I dont see Apple allowing Winterboard because of a few reasons.

    1. Simply because it "masks" copyrighted images from Apple.

    2. It is "technically" considered editing Apple's own apps. Even in a small way.

    3. The way Winterboard runs in the background totally destroys all the "regulations" Apple has set in place with using the SDK and developing apps for the iphone. There would need to be a huge change in these "rules" to get it approved.

    Im not saying its impossible, just unlikely.

    Also, the creator (Saurik) has no interest in launching anything in the AppStore (At least not right now). So that'll kill it right there.

    I also 100% agree about giving back to the creators/devs who develop these apps and themes....alot of them have ways of taking "donations" for their work. And I think they totally deserve it. As someone who also like to create themes and who is pretty versed in Photoshop, etc....I know how much time and effort this stuff takes.

    I understand your POV with wanting to pursue this later and possibly make some $$.....But, look at it this way, since the iphone was released (basically)...people have been hacking it and creating themes for it.

    It would take EVERYONE charging for that kind of work, before anybody would "pay" for that kind of work. Know what I mean? There will go were they can get it for free. Even if Winterboard was released to the Appstore...and themes were being brought to the Appstore....

    You would still have a very large community of people doing for free....like they have been. Where there's a will, there's a way.
    Last edited by cpjr; 01-02-2009 at 06:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Livin the iPhone Life 461am's Avatar
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    Well for one, This would be a big hassle, legally speaking, for apple. Most of the images we edit are deep within the root directory, you open it up, you risk exploitation.

  7. #7
    Retired Moderator bhz1's Avatar
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    Exactly. Since Apple prides themselves on " user experience" by opening up the root files, it also opens up the increased risk of various "problems". As modders, we see these and most of us solve those. However, if the "masses" began to experience more instability of the device. apple/ ATT would see a customer service nightmare. What contributes to the "Apple user experience" is the ease of which the average person can utilize their products. Those of us who are able to and enjoy tinkering with our devices are not the issue.
    The fundamental issue is that IMO the iPhone is a mini mac, a computer, while it's average user thinks of it more as a cell phone with extras.

  8. #8
    Owner / Founder - ModMyi
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    Not to mention a support nightmare, with WinterBoard being WAY too powerful. For instance, I could make a theme which, when applied, would immediately clear pretty much your entire screen. How are you supposed to remember where to press to disable that theme? Etc... not too mention the subjectivity of "what's good enough" to get in the store. And Apple LOVES their "user experience" - changing that up would destroy that. They create their graphics to be pixel perfect, the same with their hardware. Allowing third party stuff in there would be a nightmare of man hours.
    .


    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A [select] [start] Kyle Matthews

  9. #9
    I admit I know nothing about hacking, so from what you guys are saying, it sounds like this would never happen, unless Apple made their own way to theme the phone, and screened every theme before release.

    In regard to people going where it's free, I think I disagree with you. Lets say, for example, that every theme in existence were available for $2 in the AppStore, AND for free through Cydia. Everyone on these forums, obviously, is going to get it through Cydia for free. However, a lot of people don't know how, or don't want to be bothered to Jailbreak their iPhone, and would gladly pay for a theme. In this respect, it would be advantageous for theme developers to sell their themes through Apple, and release them for free through Cydia.

    Apple could develop a limited app to theme the iPhone's system graphics (no mods, and no themes for third party apps). This would make AppStore theming plausible.

    I'm just playing Devil's Advocate at this point. I would never wish to sell a theme through this community. It would be rude and inappropriate, and it was never my intention. Through the AppStore, however, it would be appropriate.

  10. #10
    Owner / Founder - ModMyi
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    I would definitely agree that there is a valid and profitable /potential/ market for themes on the iPhone. However, the ability to REACH that market will most likely be a good way out - as Apple will never allow that to be marketed by anyone other than them officially, and it'll be tough to find a way to vend them to anyone NOT using AppStore.
    .


    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A [select] [start] Kyle Matthews

  11. #11
    Livin the iPhone Life 461am's Avatar
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    I hope you don't take any of this personally, just trying to make a point.

    What exactly would you theme with these limitations applied? For one, you can forget about theming the background, since that involves actually having something running constantly in the background, you can forget icons, since they interfere with third party applications. You can't mess with the system interface either, since that would interfere with apples apps. What exactly are we left with?

  12. #12
    461, you have a very good point. I think, what it comes down to, is that Apple has a proprietary user experience that it wants us to use, and it doesn't want us to modify it. I see this as terrible business practice. I don't want a boutique user experience forced upon me. I want to express my individuality and my creativity.

    Apple has come a long way in terms of allowing us some creativity. We can buy DRM-free from iTunes now. We can change our backgrounds in OSX. We can download programs that allow us to theme the operating system, and we can download skins for third party applications on OSX. Why not the iPhone? Don't we have the right to modify what we purchase? Don't we have the right to sell a viable service?

    So is the iPhone really a mini mac, as Bhz1 suggests? From Apple's perspective, it seems like a different environment altogether. Or at least, they're treating it completely different.

    Personally, I am beginning to wish I had waited for the G1. I am also having less and less respect for Apple.

  13. #13
    plain jane vanilla (post count restored to FULL AWESOMENESS) cpjr's Avatar
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    Well, the issue there is that Apple directly states in the "User Agreement" that you "Agree" on when purchasing the phone....that the "hardware" is yours, however Apple owns the rights to the "Software" on it. In legal terms meaning that you can ONLY do what Apple allows you to do with that software.

    However annoying and just plain crappy.....I leaves no bargaining chips to the users.

    And yes, Apple prides themselves on their "Fit and Finish" on all Apple products. Which shines through, nothing IMO is built a nicely as an Apple product, however it is this pride that...like you said...can also hurt them.

    But, maybe overtime it will change...it has already to a degree. Everyone has to "adapt" to a changing market in order to succeed.

    Oh, and dont feel bad about not getting a G1...trust me.

  14. #14
    Very well said, Cpjr. And about the G1, I'll take your word for it.

    Well, this certainly has been an enlightening discussion. Thank you all for partaking

  15. #15
    FYI apple already planned on releasing app store regardless of whether there is a huge amount of custom apps made by the hackers/modders or not.

  16. #16
    My iPhone is a Part of Me Chefanim's Avatar
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    If Apple would have just let us put a wallpaper on the springboard, that would have been nice, and I dont think too much to ask for.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish

  17. #17
    it would be nice, it allows for individualism.. sure my phone looks like everyone else who bought a white iphone, but you turn it on and its clearly not like yours..even though all ive done through winterboard is tap/clear lockscreen, user wallpaper, clear icons, 5 icon dock. just those little things have set my phone apart from average user.

    but as far as allowing themeing (is that a real word, or did i just invent one?) and a winterboard like program into the app store, i think one big issue to look at is licensing... for instance, my friend has the IM theme on his phone, which uses images that if apple were to create a theme, (unless it was created by the production company), royalties would have to go to both marvel and paramount (over and above the artist who created the theme). and of course, in order to make their money, they'd have to charge XX amount, (which from their perspective could be quite lucrative with movie tie ins, etc.), but would you be as apt to pay a good chunk of change for it, when someone here made something equally as good, for the low low cost of "look what i did, i hope you like it to"?

    but for the time being, its not in apples best interest to allow end users to manipulate the OS and accompanying software to meet that individuals wants...

    well, thats my take on it anyway

  18. #18
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    When I see one complete theme that doesn't leave have my apps out of the theme then I might be willing to get this application on the appstore, but until then I am still waiting for one fully functional theme

  19. #19
    nahh i don't wanna pay for themes... its fine.

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