Why We Still Need the iPhone App Black Market

A year ago, we said that no iPhone SDK meant no killer apps. It came, and the apps are here in staggering numbers. But many of the amazing apps and concepts we grew to love as unofficial apps aren’t here, and only about 100 of the 500+ apps at launch in the official store are really useful or desirable—the rest are dupes or just bad. There are no less than five apps to turn my iPhone into a flashlight, yet I can’t turn it into a 3G-powered Wi-Fi hotspot. Why? Because the SDK has more restrictions than Guantanamo—devs can’t
integrate with the OS and have to steer way, way clear of copyright and trademark issues—so the most innovative, game-changing apps might not ever make it to your squeaky clean iPhone. That’s why we need more than Apple’s official app store—we still need jailbreaking, Installer.app (now Cydia) and the best unauthorized third-party apps to make the iPhone an ultra-powerful open platform we really want.

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