Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Selling Your Slots

Andy Baio writes for Wired on the growing unofficial UDID activation scene:

For a small developer, unauthorized activations are a lucrative business that’s likely worth the risks. UDID Activation publishes their order queue on their official site, which shows more than 2,300 devices activated in the last week alone. At $8.99 for each activation, that’s more than $20,600 in revenue, with $2,277 paid to Apple for the 23 developer accounts. Their homepage claims that more than 19,000 devices were activated so far, and that’s only one of several services.

That’s an enormous profit for what is very little risk. As many of the site operators note, Apple doesn’t police this scene. As noted at MacStories, this has created huge problems for developers:

The negative side-effect of spreading iOS betas to users who aren’t willing to treat them for what they are — betas — is, instead, a worrying amount of iTunes reviews for apps that can’t be updated for iOS 6 yet.

There are a number of apps that function poorly (or not at all) in iOS betas, and every June, a bunch of developers get one-star reviews from people who don’t understand the distinction.