Popular movie streaming service Popcorn Time has released an app for iOS which can be used by non-jailbreakers.
For the uninitiated, Popcorn Time is a hugely popular movie streaming service that lets you watch movies of questionable origin. Dubbed ‘Netflix for pirates’ it’s now available to every iOS user, whether they’ve gone to the trouble of jailbreaking their device or not.
You won’t find this on the App Store however. You’ll need to download a .exe file to a Windows PC and follow the on-screen instructions to get it working on your iOS device. Upon completion you’ll have access to a boatload of movie and TV content, which will stream to your iPhone or iPad using the BitTorrent protocol.
Related: Popcorn Time adds Chromecast and VPN secrecy for WindowsThe service has been available on Android for some time, but the team behind it required the help of a separate group of developers to successfully get passed Apple’s tight hold over app installations, and together they came up with an installer which allows folk to load the unapproved app on to their device.
With an interface much like Netflix, the service is easy to use. Throw in the £0.00/month fee and, provided you don’t care about the profit margins of rights holders/potentially breaking the law, the attractiveness isn’t hard to see.
The original service was started by a team of developers in Argentina as a response to the lack of real digital options for users looking to legally stream content. They bemoaned geo-locks and restrictions and claimed that the movie and TV industry was failing to embrace the world of technology at its fingertips – preferring instead to condemn the creators of various systems as pirates.
Unfortunately for the team, the industry opted to flex its muscles, leading to the original project voluntarily closing its doors in March of last year, but being an open source joint, other devs took up the reins and rode in a few different directions – one of which being the aforementioned iOS breakthrough.
How long Popcorn Time can keep its head above water remains to be seen. Netflix singled the service out as a threat in a shareholder letter earlier in the year and UK ISPs, at the behest of rights holders, are increasingly upping their game when it comes to blocking the latest Pirate Bay wannabe on the block.