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I didn't think I'd be writing about an alternative App Store this week, let alone one that is open source, operates via a server app installed on your Mac, and doesn't require any kind of jailbreak at all. Here we are though! ๐Ÿ˜‚

The way it works is very clever (the details are in the accompanying blog post) but I can't see any way that this lasts very long before being shut down. I mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago that one thing Apple have been 100% consistent with is that they will fight anything that even looks like it circumvents the App Store. Alt Store doesn't just look like it circumvents it, it flaunts it. Combine that with the fact that this has already had a significant amount of publicity, and that the preview comes with an emulator that runs games from a notoriously litigious company and I predict that there are already meetings happening in Cupertino about how best to deal with it.

I think everything that promotes discussion around the pros and cons of the Apple controlled iOS ecosystem is worthwhile. I'm not personally particularly interested in mechanisms for side-loading apps, but I know a great many people are. This project will certainly fire up those discussions again, and I do wish Riley good luck with it!

That said, I do hope that whatever Apple do to fight this doesn't make our lives as iOS developers any harder. I won't make any predictions on how they'll attempt to counter it, but I'll be amazed if they don't try.

Dave Verwer

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