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I’ve recently stumbled across a site that calls itself AppTrackr. AppTrackr has a list of apps that are released on the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Yet they claim that they do not condone piracy and suggest that app piracy is at a low percentage and should not be high enough to affect income for the developer.

I will be quoting a few sections from their about us page and make some common sense comments on these and hope that someone reads them and takes action against AppTrackr. In my opinion they are just one of many sites that make it easier for people to STEAL software that they would have otherwise had to purchase.

Apptrackr is a website which makes it easy for you to download and install cracked apps on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It’s the replacement website for Appulous, which served the same purpose for over a year but became sluggish and unmaintained prior to its end.

This is from the very first sentence in the about us page. Notice that they claim to make it easy for everyone to download and install cracked apps… Does this not aid piracy and at the same time promote it?

Most people will stumble upon Apptrackr and realize its potential for being a one-stop-shop for piracy; over fifteen-thousand popular App Store applications are available on apptrackr and organized so that you can find them without a hitch. Please understand, however, that piracy is not the intention of apptrackr. While far too many people use apptrackr to this end, we do not condone their actions. Apptrackr is for application trials, and nothing else.

This is sentence number 2. Again they advertise that over 15,000 popular apps are available for download. They claim that far too many people use AppTrackr for this purpose. Well I have some suggestions for you AppTrackr. Why not control your user base? Why not make them register for an account and display a disclaimer to warn them and inform them that they are about to perform software piracy and that they are STEALING from hard working developers that are trying to support their families.

If AppTrackr is only for Trials, then how about removing app’s from your site that have trial versions available on the App Store. If an app has a trial version available in the App Store then the full version should not be available on your site.

The App Store provides no global method of testing applications before you purchase them. When far-too-many applications on the App Store are complete and utter shit, consumer money is wasted on applications that are promptly deleted by the enraged, ripped-off customer. Although it is not our place to decide, we believe that money should only be directed to developers who show an interest in creating innovative, fun and imaginative applications that are worth the price we pay.

Often we are critized for allowing our users to test applications which are cheap. 99 cent applications don’t necessarily cost a lot, but when you purchase many lousy ones, you’ve wasted quite a sum of money. Apptrackr aims to save people money, not cost developers.

It’s undeniable that a portion of our community pirates rather than tests the applications that they install. We don’t condemn these users and strictly enforce against them for two reasons: 1) it is genuinely a disadvantage toward legitimate users to focus on our pirating users, and 2) piracy loses developers very little in most cases. Listen closely: pirates who do not choose to purchase the applications they install are not lost sales. They were very, very likely never potential customers in the first place. Piracy’s conversion rate is absurdly low, and developers know that.

Here are the next 3 sentences. AppTrackr believes that the customer should not be held responsible for making bad decisions. Let me explain this a bit further. AppTrackr is stating that customers spend loads of money on apps that turn out to be horrible and useless. Has AppTrackr taken the time to try and understand why customers spend loads of money on apps that are horrible and useless? Could it be because the customer was not as informed as they should have been? or maybe the customer did not perform enough research and or reviews about the app they downloaded?

Do you go to the grocery store and say, let me try that pickle before I buy the jar? Or how about a restaurant, can I have a trial steak before you bring the real one? Better yet, go to Best Buy, Game Stop or any other store that sells games… Are you able to go and purchase a game and return it and get your money back if you didn’t like it??? or any other piece of software for that matter? I didn’t think so… The most you will get is an exchange for the exact same copy and then only if the copy you have is damaged?

Do you go to a gaming store and just start randomly purchasing games without reading up about the games you are purchasing or asking around about them or searching on google for some reviews?

Why should it be any different on the App Store. Granted there are a lot of apps that are crap and completely useless and a total waste of money, but if you are the idiot that downloads them then don’t blame the developer for making a bad app.

I’ve seen this time after time, someone goes to download an app, they don’t like it, write a bad review and move on, the next person downloads the same app even though there is already a bad review, that person doesn’t like it, leaves a bad review and moves on. Then, guess what, yup the next person downloads the app completely disregarding the bad reviews and also leaves a bad review… These people are idiots and should not blame the developer. If they would have taken the time to read the reviews and done more research before blindly purchasing an app, they probably would have come to the conclusion that this was not the kind of app they should be purchasing.

pirates who do not choose to purchase the applications they install are not lost sales. They were very, very likely never potential customers in the first place.

And what the hell is this line about??? If the app was not cracked to begin with and sites like AppTrackr would not exist, then the person who was pirating the app would have had to purchase it in order to use it. With sites like AppTrackr making it sooooo easy to pirate apps, there is no reason for anyone to even attempt to legitimately purchase anything from the app store. If you think the numbers are low, I’ve got some facts for you to look at.

As a test there was an application that was added to the app store with Game Center enabled. Over the course of 2 days there are well over 80 people playing this game on game center and there have been 8 total downloads from the App Store… Can you do the math on this and tell what percentage you come up with?

Piracy is a huge issue and sites like AppTrackr set a bad example for the entire community. Pretty soon there will be no apps, no developers and no more iphones to hack because of all this piracy. All of these things exist only because everyone is getting paid. Would you go to work for free?? I’m sure no one would.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the above post. Would like to hear from developers as well as users that thing pirating is ok.