This post will not come as a shock to most, as we are now accustom to apps being being copied in one form or another, however this current rip-off has moved things up a notch.
For those not familiar with Etchings: Etchings [App Store Link] from developer MindSea lets you create etched illustrations from any photo, has eight styles that you can tweak to fit your image, and offers an easy and fun way to turn your photos into a unique works of art.
So what's the rip-off? Well about a week ago, a new app appeared in the "Entertainment" category on the App Store called "Awesome Photo FX". Awesome Photo FX slipped under my radar, however if did not slip under the radar of Etchings developer Bill Wilson. Bill noticed that app had some striking similarities to his own app, so bought the app to take a closer look. Low-and-behold Bill discovered that the developer going by the name of "Duan hucai" had not just copied the idea, but had hacked the binary, made a few cosmetic changes, resigned it, and then uploaded it as "Awesome Photo FX". In an email from Bill, he said "I opened up the .ipa file and found all of our artwork, GPU fragment shaders, out compiled user interface files, everything, etc. Of course running the app, everything is identical (a few graphics have changed) even the output resolution is 1200x1200, filter names and output are identical."
Bill has filed an Apple infringement form, so hopefully this app will be removed from the App Store shortly, but between now and then, just stay clear of this app, and take care when spending your hard earned cash.