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GamePop console to run iOS apps without using any Apple code

post #1 of 118
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A new TV game console dubbed GamePop will allegedly run iOS applications with virtualization, without using any of Apple's own code, potentially giving developers a new platform on which to offer their titles.

GamePop


BlueStacks, the company behind GamePop, said in an interview with AllThingsD that it has developed a virtualization process known as "LookingGlass" that is believed to be the first non-Apple device capable of running iOS software. BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma claims that this will be accomplished without using any of Apple's code.

iOS applications are run on the console through emulation software. Sharma said he doesn't know how Apple will react, suggesting he has not been in contact with the company.

In addition to iOS software, GamePop will also run titles written for Google's Android platform. But the Android support is based on Google's publicly available open source code.

iOS, however, is not open source, which is why iOS applications to date have remained exclusive to Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Sharma said that his company hopes to work with iOS developers to allow them to make their games available on the GamePop. He views it as another way for developers to monetize their creations.

The console will require a subscription of $6.99 per month when it launches later this year. BlueStacks has promised to have "hundreds" of iOS and Android titles available at launch.
post #2 of 118
Interesting. No clue how this happens without a law suit. Someone smarter than me want to chime in why not?

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post #3 of 118
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
Interesting. No clue how this happens without a law suit. Someone smarter than me want to chime in why not?

 

Who says there won't be? We're just hearing about this, after all.

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post #4 of 118

Step 1: Build an iOS emulator (likely stolen from an open source project)

Step 2: Build a small Linux box which runs said emulator

Step 3: Hijack the iOS ecosystem and charge people a monthly fee

Step 4: Sit back and rake in millions

 

What could possibly go wrong?

 
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post #5 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Interesting. No clue how this happens without a law suit. Someone smarter than me want to chime in why not?

If they aren't using any code belonging to Apple why should Bluestacks be sued by Apple? Perhaps the game developer could complain, but assuming he's getting paid what would be the issue? Apple might not like it but since iOS developers aren't precluded from developing apps for other platforms and assuming the game developer is OK with it where's the problem? It's tough enough for game developers to make a good living from smartphone apps and this may contribute a bit to their grocery budget.
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post #6 of 118
So ... exactly what is already available through Apple TV, but with an un-named, un-known, and as yet un-announced "controller" of some kind.

It might even suffer from the same problem iOS emulators do in reverse (incompatible controller) in that most iOS games are now coded for on-screen *virtual* controls, but this thing will then try to simulate that with a *physical* controller.

How is this better? How is it worth jumping on this bandwagon when they haven't even announced or shown off final hardware?

It would be cheaper to buy any one of the physical controller add-ons for your iOS device and would give you essentially the same experience in combination with an Apple TV.
post #7 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Step 1: Build an iOS emulator (likely stolen from an open source project)
Step 2: Build a small Linux box which runs said emulator
Step 3: Hijack the iOS ecosystem and charge people a monthly fee
Step 4: Sit back and rake in millions

What could possibly go wrong?

Since they're charging a subscription I'd be shocked if the game developer himself won't be getting a cut of it. If it's essentially being stolen from him they yeah sue the pants off 'em. I don't think that's gonna be the case tho.
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post #8 of 118
Well that won't end well...
post #9 of 118

I'm sure some where in Apple's TOS to developers it states that they are developing exclusively for iOS and all iOS devices, so if a hacker creating a game console violates that TOS, couldn't that be used in court?

post #10 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


If they aren't using any code belonging to Apple why should Bluestacks be sued by Apple? Perhaps the game developer could complain, but assuming he's getting paid what would be the issue? Apple might not like it but since iOS developers aren't precluded from developing apps for other platforms and assuming the game developer is OK with it where's the problem? It's tough enough for game developers to make a good living from smartphone apps and this may contribute a bit to their grocery budget.

 

If it requires the game developer to build a new copy of their app for GamePop and submit it, then they might have a case.  However, if it simply runs existing iOS apps without any changes, and apps somehow make their way onto GamePop without developers knowing about it, then there's a problem.

 
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post #11 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


If they aren't using any code belonging to Apple why should Bluestacks be sued by Apple? Perhaps the game developer could complain, but assuming he's getting paid what would be the issue? Apple might not like it but since iOS developers aren't precluded from developing apps for other platforms and assuming the game developer is OK with it where's the problem? It's tough enough for game developers to make a good living from smartphone apps and this may contribute a bit to their grocery budget.

 

I'm no expert, but I'm fairly sure that you can't legally virtualise an OS without the permission of the OS owners.  It's not about who owns the code underneath the virtualisation, it's about being allowed to run the OS in that way at all.  

I wouldn't worry about it anyway as the device seems kinda crappy and it's aimed at a very tiny segment of the market (people who like iOS and the games but are somehow still needing a physical controller instead of using the on-screen controls).  In other words, mostly old-school gamers, people who rip off games and use emulators etc.  This is also a shrinking market segment, so even if it gets off the ground it won't last long. 

post #12 of 118
i can't imagine apple would have to flip very many bytes in order to turn this into an android-only console.


"500 top mobile games on your tv" ... meh, i can already play everything i want on my tv ... it's called airplay.
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post #13 of 118
Theft
post #14 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

If it requires the game developer to build a new copy of their app for GamePop and submit it, then they might have a case.  However, if it simply runs existing iOS apps without any changes, and apps somehow make their way onto GamePop without developers knowing about it, then there's a problem.

How about if it makes it's way onto GamePop with developers knowing about it? Should that still be a problem? Isn't it their game idea?

Of course that's not enough details yet to know if or how they're paid,
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post #15 of 118
Doesn't this just promote app piracy?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #16 of 118
They have obviously never worked with Apple before. Never going to happen.
post #17 of 118
According to 9to5: "Looking Glass technology allows devs to simply easily port their IP from iOS to another platform"

So it is a recompile...not really running
post #18 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by grebonoj View Post

According to 9to5: "Looking Glass technology allows devs to simply easily port their IP from iOS to another platform"

So it is a recompile...not really running

Oh, well there you go. Problem solved, right?
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post #19 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


How about if it makes it's way onto GamePop with developers knowing about it? Should that still be a problem? Isn't it their game idea?

 

iOS apps have a cryptographic signature in them to prevent tampering.  If they've reverse engineered the app structure to make them work without modification on their console, then they're in a very greyish black legal area.

 
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post #20 of 118
If you can remember what became of Mac clone maker Psystar, then you can imagine what will happen to this company.
post #21 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Oh, well there you go. Problem solved, right?

 

Consider things from the standpoint of Apple: they've spent millions of dollars building an OS, ecosystem, programming APIs, developer tools, marketing it, etc.  Now someone comes along, likely spends very little creating an emulator and developer tools from existing open source projects, and wants to tap into what you've created.

 

If stuff like this is allowed to happen unchallenged, why would any tech company bother putting in the time and money to do R&D and, you know, actually create things, when others can just come along and hijack it?

 
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post #22 of 118
I can't believe they haven't made a post on this yet.
post #23 of 118
Originally Posted by THEMAC1NT0SH View Post

 

That's just Mac OS 10.7, the successor to Mac OS 10.8. 1wink.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #24 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Consider things from the standpoint of Apple: they've spent millions of dollars building an ecosystem, programming APIs, developer tools, marketing it, etc.  Now someone comes along, likely spends very little creating an emulator and developer tools from existing open source projects, and wants to tap into what you've created.

If stuff like this is allowed to happen unchallenged, why would any tech company bother putting in the time and money to do R&D and, you know, actually create things, when others can just come along and hijack it?

So you're saying the game belongs to Apple and the developers shouldn't be allowed to sell it anywhere else? Sounds silly doesn't it? Just because the folks at Bluestacks were inventive enough to find a way of making it easy for the devs to reach a new audience, avoiding a complete re-code on their part, it's wrong?
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post #25 of 118
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Originally Posted by grblade View Post

If you can remember what became of Mac clone maker Psystar, then you can imagine what will happen to this company.

That crossed my mind too, except in Psystar's case, the company was violating Mac OS X licensing terms. This console allegedly doesn't run any Apple code, so it's not clear to me what laws if any are being broken. If it requires a recompile, then it's little different than porting games between platforms, and it would be somewhat misleading on their part to advertise that it "runs iOS games," because it could lead their prospective customers to believe they're buying a product that can run ANY iOS game, not just those that have been specifically ported.

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post #26 of 118
Apple sue-ball arriving in 3, 2, 1, ...
post #27 of 118
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That's just Mac OS 10.7, the successor to Mac OS 10.8. 1wink.gif
[/quote

This ones a long shot but maybe 7 new things, but probably not.
post #28 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

iOS apps have a cryptographic signature in them to prevent tampering.  If they've reverse engineered the app structure to make them work without modification on their console, then they're in a very greyish black legal area.

Seems they're saying they do have to modify it to run on their system. They've just invented a way to remove the extra effort from the devs to do so.
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post #29 of 118

I expect a cease and desist letter is already on it's way.

post #30 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


So you're saying the game belongs to Apple and the developers shouldn't be allowed to sell it anywhere else? Sounds silly doesn't it? Just because the folks at Bluestacks were inventive enough to find a way of making it easy for the devs to reach a new audience, avoiding a complete re-code on their part, it's wrong?

 

Amazing how you can put words into my mouth.  I didn't say Apple owns the apps created for iOS.  And I don't have a problem with the lack of reworking your app code to have it run on another platform.  Heck, that was the whole point of Java programming language and the JavaVM.

 

The problem here is that they haven't actually done the work innovating and building a new platform for apps -- they've created an iOS emulator explicitly for the purpose of quickly and cheaply making money off of something Apple has spent a lot of time and money creating.  Emulators have always been in a legally grey area for this very reason.

 
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post #31 of 118
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Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Interesting. No clue how this happens without a law suit. Someone smarter than me want to chime in why not?

Apple didn't write the apps nor owns them
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post #32 of 118
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Apple didn't write the apps nor owns them

 

You're just joking at this point.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #33 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Amazing how you can put words into my mouth.  I didn't say Apple owns the apps created for iOS.  And I don't have a problem with the lack of reworking your app code to have it run on another platform.  Heck, that was the whole point of Java programming language and the JavaVM.

The problem here is that they haven't actually innovated and actually built a new platform for apps -- they've created an iOS emulator explicitly for the purpose of quickly and cheaply making money off of something Apple has spent a lot of time and money creating.  Emulators have always been in a legally grey area for this very reason.

Well of course Bluestack innovated! It doesn't happen by magic.

So let's make you an underpaid game dev instead of someone protecting Apple's back. Should you be able to put your game in any app store or on any platform regardless whether it requires a new coding effort from you personally? If not, why?
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post #34 of 118
Incoming lawsuit in 4.. 3.. 2..
post #35 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Consider things from the standpoint of Apple: they've spent millions of dollars building an OS, ecosystem, programming APIs, developer tools, marketing it, etc.  Now someone comes along, likely spends very little creating an emulator and developer tools from existing open source projects, and wants to tap into what you've created.

If stuff like this is allowed to happen unchallenged, why would any tech company bother putting in the time and money to do R&D and, you know, actually create things, when others can just come along and hijack it?

Doesn't seem like they're tapping into anything Apple created. Apps are created by 3rd party devs and I'm sure they'd welcome the extra income.
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post #36 of 118

But I must say that is a very convincing picture.

 

Also, do you mean the predecessor to Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), which is Lion? I'm sure that Apple never really use number logos for Mac OS X.

 

That means that picture is quite real to me.

 

P.S. That '7' logo does look quite pleasing; I hope iOS 7 is promising...

post #37 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


So let's make you the game dev instead of protecting Apple's back. Should you be able to put your game in any app store or on any platform regardless whether it requires a new coding effort from you personally? If not, why?

 

FFS, you miss my point entirely with your spin.  It's not about the freedom of devs to have their apps/games run on multiple platforms, it's about whether it's legal for a company to leech off the work done by another company by emulating the technology they've created.

 

FWIW, I do create apps for iOS (as well as other platforms), so I'm well aware of the effort it takes to port apps.  I'm wholly supportive of anything which makes that easier.  I'm just not supportive of doing it at the expense of others because I also know how difficult it is to build something from scratch.

 
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post #38 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're just joking at this point.

Explain to me how they do.
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post #39 of 118
Of course you can virtualise an OS without permissions from the manufacturer.

You simply create a set of APIs that mimic the signatures of the APIs that Apple provide.

That's what the ReactOS project is aiming to do with Windows NT.

The application will have no idea it's not running on Apple's architecture.
post #40 of 118
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Explain to me how they do.

 

Do I really have to post the dancing image again? Stop playing stupid.

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