• Piracy Detected. Your Cracked App is Now a Demo.

    The war between iPhone developers and app crackers continues . . .

    Ben Chatelain the developer behind the App Store app Full Screen Web Browser has taken steps to prevent piracy of his app. Just days after the initial app release on the App Store Ben received notification via a Google Alert that his app had been pirated and the cracked copy was being distributed by Appulo.

    Frustrated by the events Ben went on a mission to stop cracking of Full Screen Web Browser (App Store link). He checked out informative posts about making an iPhone app crash if cracked but was hesitant to enable the measures because he didn't want the application to crash for legitimate users or crash during the App Store review process and subsequently face rejection from the App Store.

    After some thought Ben came up with the solution that he is utilizing now. The application looks to see if it has been cracked and sends pings to a server with a device identifier (UDID) so that illegal usage can be tracked. If the app has been cracked the server controls a demo period with ten runs after which the the application shows a message allowing you the option to quite or buy complete with a guilt trip "Purchasing a legal copy helps support independent software development and will help me feed my 1-year old baby."

    With App Store application cracking running rampant and many developers up in arms over the issue we will be sure to see more and more measures like this taken in the future.

    edit: In case I didn't make it painfully obvious this allows you to try (the cracked app) before you buy. Apple needs to get on it and implement a demo system in its App Store already.
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