Andre Santis, an independent software developer, announced on Coin Desk yesterday that he is opening an app store that allows users to download and install any app they like on an iOS device. His team has also developed a standalone bitcoin wallet app that is now available to download.
This is an 'unapproved’ item developed by a third party as a product of the Birmingham, Alabama company, Avalonic, which is co-founded by Santis and his business partner Tyler Evans.
Is this a breakthrough for both iOS and bitcoin users? The app store is called ‘Bit Store.' The apps available are not web-based, but use a combination of HTML5 to render app interfaces and back-ends written in C. Santis states that you do not need to hack an iOS system illegally. They do not violate the Apple Store but are not approved either.
The apps are planned to be paid with Bitcoin and released to serve on any platform. The Bit Store beta only has just a few simple apps available, including the bitcoin wallet and a news aggregator/company directory. There is a ‘Wallet’ app that uses Coinbase for payment to any address and receiving bitcoin. The app allows for the listing in BTC and USD, so real time valuation can occur.
Since Apple is protective of its app Store and charges 30% for apps, Santis checked his procedures and boundaries. He has not received any notification from Apple attorneys. At one time Santis did work for Apple. When he attempted to develop an independent and cross-platform app platform, he realized that a bitcoin app could be developed due to the Apple ban on bitcoin wallet apps from its Apple store.
While working for Apple Santis did not sign a contract for non-compete and has had no indication all these months that Apple would legally bar him. In order for him to run an app for multi-platform of iOS, android and Windows Phone, Santis worked with three different programming languages: Objective C, Java, and C#.
He explains the technical situation as follows:
‘Apple can’t prevent our store’s existence because on iOS, Safari allows applications to be installed to the home screen. In the event that the implementation we currently have in place is compromised by an update we will modify our code to circumvent the update.
If our seamless implementation is still disabled by such a future update, which while possible isn’t likely to happen in the near future due to the damages this would cause to existing software that has existed since iOS 4, we would revert to an app store that you install with the ‘install to home screen method.
If we can install our store to the home screen, then we can install apps exactly, if not very similar, to how we are installing them now.'
Santis and Evans operate legally their Bit Store under Apple’s own rules to web applications that are free to add to their iOS Home screens. Here is Santis statement on the legal boundary that Bit Store maintains:
‘Apple’s own documentation states that, ‘A web application is designed to look and behave in a way similar to a native application.’ Although we are taking our implementation a few steps further than the average ‘web application.' 'In the end 'we could revert back to such a state and maintain our platform,' states Santis.
Those interested in finding out about this Bit Store can go to the Avalonic home page and be directed to a video explanation. Enthusiastic responses from reddit and twitter are asking Avalonic for other cryptocurrency apps like litecoin and dogecoin.
To find more information on Bitcoin view the list below in Author's suggestions and the video atop this article from the WSJ on how to buy Bitcoin.
Twitter: Victoria Wagner@victoriaross888