Apple approves first BitTorrent iPhone app

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK. Visit Macworld UK’s blog page for the latest Mac news from across the Atlantic.

IS Drive

Apple appears to have approved an iPhone application capable of managing BitTorrent downloads.

BitTorrent, a free, open source file-sharing application for distributing large software and media files, has wholly legitimate uses for businesses, organizations and individuals, but it can be used for sharing illegal files and infringing copyrights.

The iPhone application, IS Drive, allows users to check and manage downloads from ImageShack.us, which offers image hosting, free photo sharing and video sharing, along with the company’s paid download BitTorrent service.

TorrentFreak, a weblog dedicated to bringing the latest news about BitTorrent, claims IS Drive may have slipped through Apple’s approval process simply by avoiding using the term BitTorrent.

The application was previously known as Jack Torrents, and was available on the unofficial Cydia platform for those with jailbroken Apple devices.

“I’m on dangerous ground here, and I know that,” Derek Kepner, the developer behind IS Drive told TorrentFreak.

“I’ll probably add a search feature where it’s up to the user to manually add the torrent site they want. The app will not be designed to easily break the law and I hope no one intends to do so. But if a user is determined to break the law, what business is that of mine or Apple's? They could do the same in Safari anyway, right?”

“I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word ‘torrent,’ and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.”

Available from the App Store, IS Drive costs $5 and requires the iOS 4.0 Software Update or later. ImageShack Drive is a paid subscription service.

A video of IS Drive can be seen here and below.

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