Popcorn Time, the “Netflix for piracy”, is now available on iPhones. Which begs the question: Why would you want Popcorn Time on your iPhone?
In case you missed this feature from last month, Popcorn Time is one of the more fascinating stories on the internet at the moment. It is a torrenting service enabling people to find and access just about any video content online without paying for it. The slick user interface looks and feels totally legal, avoiding that shadiness other illicit file sharing services are renowned for.
Netflix has expressed concerns publicly about it. The big Hollywood studios are also not thrilled about its existence. But since it is an open source project that has spawned multiple “forks” (groups copying the code and taking the project in a new direction), Popcorn Time is proving very difficult to stop.
One of those “forks”, Popcorn-Time.se, has come up with a way to make a Popcorn Time app available on Apple mobile devices, without the need for them to be “jailbroken”. Unsurprisingly, the app is not suddenly available through Apple’s official app store. But an email sent by the anonymous developers of Popcorn-Time.se to Quartz explains that users can now download an installer for their desktop computer and connect their device to the computer to transfer it over.
Why anyone would want to watch a movie on their iPhone, big screen or not, is beyond me, but it could prove a very attractive feature for iPad users of the service. The anonymous developers confirmed the update will allow people to transmit content from their phones through their TVs using an Apple TV set top box. (Something similar does exist for Android devices, which have had this feature for a while).
In any case, getting around Apple’s notoriously strict walled garden is an impressive technical feat. Wired has a good analysis if you’re curious to learn more about that.