The somewhat unexpected shutdown of Hackulous’ community, and the corresponding departure of related tools like Apptrackr and Installous, left iOS app pirates in something of a panic: many of those who jailbroke their devices expressly for ill-gotten goods suddenly lost one of their main sources. While they haven’t earned much sympathy, they’ve also triggered a surge in services that don’t require a jailbreak at all. Months-old pay service Zeusmos has seen a spike in popularity, but more recent upstart Kuaiyong is drawing the most attention. It’s offering others’ commercial releases through the web, for free — and on a scale into the thousands of bootleg installs per app, suggesting that it may be abusing enterprise policies rather than Zeusmos’ apparent reliance on developer slots.
There’s no immediate sign of a crackdown, but those app writers concerned about their revenue might take consolation in knowing that the risks might outweigh the rewards. iTunes syncing breaks the moment a pirated app reaches a device, and there’s no guarantee that every copy will be malware-free. Zeusmos also claims to be clamping down on questionable sources in an attempt to steer users towards homebrew apps. Even with those disclaimers, it’s still possible that Hackulous’ end may have created more problems for some developers than it solved.