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Hacked iPhones get Podcaster app

Developer sells banned app on Cydia Installer

The Podcaster application for iPhones, which was banned by apple, has now been made available to 'jailbroken' devices.

Developer Alex Sokirynsky began selling Podcaster through the Cydia installer last week to iPhone owners who have jailbroken their smartphones, or hacked them to accept unauthorised third-party programs.

Apple declined to sell Podcaster in its App Store, which led Sokirynsky to use Apple's own Ad Hoc distribution service to sell over 1,000 copies of Podcaster at $9.99 (£6) each.

Within days of launching Podcaster via Ad Hoc, however, Apple blocked Sokirynsky by shutting down his account. Ad Hoc was designed by Apple as a low-volume channel for distributing iPhone applications to beta testers, or for rolling out custom iPhone software within an enterprise.

Since its release on the Cydia installer, Podcaster has been downloaded more than 16,000 times, Sokirynsky said. He is offering a 14-day free trial, and selling activation codes for $4.99 (£2.85).

"It took less than a day to rework Podcaster," he said, referring to the time it took to tweak the application for Cydia, an open-source iPhone application installer.

The new price is only half of what he was charging when he was distributing Podcaster via Ad Hoc. "I had to charge $9.99 before because it took so long (20 minutes) to set up each user," Sokirynsky told a user last week on Twitter. "With Cydia, I don't have to do anything."

After Apple bumped him from Ad Hoc, Sokirynsky said he would port Podcaster to other mobile phone operating systems, including Google's Android, which will power the T-Mobile G1. These plans now seem to be on hold, however.

"I did download the Android SDK but I have not had any time to work with it," Sokirynsky said. "I am actually working on a new app for the App Store [but] I am staying away from Apple's core business plan completely."

According to Sokirynsky, Apple turned down Podcaster because it duplicated some of the functionality of the company's iTunes music software.

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