Over the past week, there was an app called Kimi that curiously outranked well-known streaming services, such as Netflix and Prime Video, in the list of top free entertainment apps for iOS. Now, Apple has pulled down the application… most likely because it gave users access to pirated movies. As Wired reports, Kimi was disguised as an app that tests your eyesight by making you play spot the difference in similar photos. In reality, it was nothing of the sort and instead contained bootlegged shows and movies, including recent blockbusters and award-winning films.

Its offerings, however, varied in quality in a way that’s familiar to those who used to look for shows and movies online before the advent of streaming services. Kimi’s copy of the Emma Stone-starrer Poor Things was apparently grainy and pixelated, while other movies available in high-quality copies had ads blocking the view across the top of the screen. The app was so easy to use: Viewers simply had to download it and fire it up to start watching. It was similar to the now-defunct service Popcorn Time, in that it made pirating movies as easy as watching Netflix. Popcorn Time shut down for good in 2022.

Apple prides itself on privacy and safety and on making sure the apps it makes available for download are on the up and up. When it revealed how it would comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), for instance, it said any alternative app store that makes its way to the company’s platforms will need to have stringent rules and moderation tools comparable to its own. Apple itself may have to start keeping a close eye on its App Store, though. Viewers have been expressing their discontent online on having to pay for too many streaming services to be able to watch what they want to, and it seems like more and more people are turning to piracy again.


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