clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Piracy app Popcorn Time sneaks onto iPhones and iPads

New, 81 comments

No jailbreak required

Popcorn Time is probably the closest thing you can find to a "Netflix for pirates," and today it's becoming even more accessible by launching an app for the iPhone and iPad. Apple hasn't approved the app through the App Store, but Popcorn Time has found a way to sneak onto the two devices anyway. It's built an installer that you run on Windows (an OS X version is supposed to arrive in about two weeks), and it'll quickly load the app onto a connected phone or tablet. Notably, a device doesn't have to be jailbroken in order to install this version of Popcorn Time, which makes this app far more accessible than the one Popcorn Time has already been offering.

Apple hasn't approved the app, but you can still install it

We were able to get the app installed and running fairly easily. On the iPad, Popcorn Time looks almost identical to its app on the desktop. It presents you with a big grid of movie posters, and tapping on one will give you more information and the option to start watching it. Pressing play means that you'll begin downloading a torrent in the background, pirating the film as you watch it. The app builds in a VPN to help hide users' identities, though it'll likely result in slowed downloads, too. Like its desktop app, the goal of Popcorn Time for iOS is to make illegally downloading movies as easy as watching something on Netflix — and that's something that the movie industry and Netflix itself have reason to fear.

Apple has long maintained control over what apps can run on its platform, and it's been able to squash apps that slip through in the past. That means it's quite possible that Popcorn Time's easy iOS installer won't be around for long — but it's also possible that it'll just find another way through in the future. It's also worth remembering that, because this app hasn't been run through Apple, you're letting an app that hasn't been checked over for security issues access to your computer and iPad. The installer can be downloaded from Popcorn Time's website.

Popcorn Time is also using today's release to celebrate its one year anniversary. If the app wasn't enough, it also made this weird animation featuring popcorn people and movie references: