Apple, which has in the past refused entry for torrent based iPhone apps into its “walled garden” has in a surprise move approved a BitTorrent app called IS Drive for iPhone and iPod Touch, which allows users of Imageshack’s torrent download service to control and add torrent downloads.
Apple disallowed torrent applications to its App Store in the past as “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.”
This is precisely why this approval has come as a surprise to many.
That said, Apple has been facing constant criticism because of its draconian App Approval process. It was just recently that they seem to have eased up a bit and (finally) approved Google Voice apps to the App Store.
This also seems to be a classic example of how one can “get around” the App Store approval process. In case of IS Drive, it’s creator Derek Kepner described the app to be a tool that can be used to manage Imageshacks Bit Torrent services. To be more precise, he has projected it as more of a download manager – than a torrent application. He did not mention the word torrent in the description of the iPhone app, which the App approval staff would have probably picked up.
What is pertinent to note here is that at the end of the day, IS Drive can actually be used to download illegal content from other torrent sites like IsoHunt and Mininova, although Kepner claims that he has made it kinda difficult to achieve. His philosophy seems to be, if you are hell bent on downloading illegal stuff, no one can stop you – even Apple.
Here’s the video of IS Drive at work:
IS drive will set you back by $4.99 (iTunes link) and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It works with only ImageShack’s paid subscription service.
It remains to be seen if it will pulled from the App Store. Do you think Apple will remove it from the App Store? Tell us in the comments.
As we had expected, Apple has removed IS Drive from the App Store. Clicking on the iTunes link now gives an error message saying “Your request could not be completed”.
Macworld reports that Developer Derek Kepner is going to challenge Apple’s decision as he believes there are legal and legitimate uses for file-sharing software.
Thanks duston for the heads up!
[Mashable Via Torrent Freak]