GamePop console to run iOS apps without using any Apple code

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Interesting. No clue how this happens without a law suit. Someone smarter than me want to chime in why not?
  • Reply 2 of 118
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 3 of 118
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member


    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?

  • Reply 4 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    andysol wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 118
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    auxio wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 118
    Well that won't end well...
  • Reply 8 of 118
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member


    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?

  • Reply 9 of 118
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 118
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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. 

  • Reply 11 of 118
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 118
    Theft
  • Reply 13 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    auxio wrote: »
    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,
  • Reply 14 of 118
    Doesn't this just promote app piracy?
  • Reply 15 of 118
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    They have obviously never worked with Apple before. Never going to happen.
  • Reply 16 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
  • Reply 17 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    grebonoj wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 118
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 118
    grbladegrblade Posts: 85member
    If you can remember what became of Mac clone maker Psystar, then you can imagine what will happen to this company.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member

    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?

Sign In or Register to comment.