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Feuding fanbois in a flap over piracy haven in new iOS 7 jailbreak tool

Controversy over Chinese app store

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The “evad3rs”, the crackers behind previous “jailbreaks” for Apple operating systems, have released software they say makes it possible to use an iOS 7-powered device with app stores other than Apple's.

Available here and billed as “Compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.4”, the software has already struck some hurdles.

Foremost among the software problems is incompatibility with some software offered in Cydia, the preferred app store for jailbroken phones. “Please always backup your phone before installing new tweaks from Cydia as your iPhone could be stuck in the boot process,” the evad3rs warn. “The situation will improve as developers will update their software.”

A bigger problem is an apparent split in the jailbreaking community. At issue is the Chinese version of the evasi0n software, which includes tools to access a local alternative app store called Taig that has been accused of allowing access to cracked apps from the official Apple App Store. Jailbreaking types feel it is ethical to make it possible to use iOS devices outside of Apple's walled garden but draw the line at piracy.

In this post the evad3rs also suggest that the Chinese version of the jailbreaking tool may include malware. Their post also describes a dispute with Jay Freeman, a developer who founded an app store for jailbroken phones called Cydia, over his role in making Taig's presence in evasi0n possible. Freeman denies that accusation and has explained what he's done and why on his @Saurik Twitter feed.

At the centre of the dispute seems to be that jailbreaks are rather lucrative.

With $100,000 up for grabs, Saurik's decision to help Taig publish a jailbreak is seen as reducing the rewards available to the evad3rs. That's seen as unfair because the various actors see jailbreaking as a legitimate activity that deserves fair recompense. ®

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