I’m sat rubbing my eyes just to be sure, but it’s true – Apple has allowed a BitTorrent app onto its iOS App Store. Available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, IS Drive is sold as a tool for managing ImageShack downloads which just happens to work using BitTorrent.
For those living under a rock for the last 10 years, BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing system where file transfers are completed using multiple sources – theoretically allowing faster downloads as each person must also allow the file to upload simultaneously (at least in theory). Plenty of legitimate companies use this for all sorts of things such as propagating game patches and software updates. The issue is that the protocol is also perfect for sharing file illegally and as such has received more than its fair share of negative press over the years with many ISPs throttling or even blocking the services altogether.
What’s so surprising here is that Apple has allowed IS Drive onto the App Store when they’ve previously not accepted such applications. When your stores are full of music and video it doesn’t benefit you to allow apps that facilitate the illegal downloading of said music and video!
So how did it get accepted? It’s possible that Apple’s recent relaxation of its App Store rules is to thank – other developers have had apps accepted that would previously never see the light of day such as the ones using Google Voice.
The developer behind IS Drive told TorrentFreak ‘I always had the thought that if I didn’t call the app a ‘torrent client,’ Apple would probably let it through the review process.’
A quick flick through the app’s description says this might be the case – and a day later it’s still there.
$4.99 (View in iTunes)
Released:Sep 30, 2010
Size: 1.3 MB
© 2010 Derek Kepner
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.