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Apple blocking Push on hacked, unlocked iPhones?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, July 13, 2009
News Categories: iPhone

Apple may be intentionally blocking users with hacked or unlocked iPhones from receiving Push Notification messages, according to a developer report. Czech developers PoweryBase, makers of the Push Notification-powered reminder app NotifyMe, report that the 5% of its customers using unofficially modified or activated phones were creating more than 80% of customer support requests, complaining that the application didn’t work as advertised. Upon closer inspection, PoweryBase discovered that these phones were not receiving a response back from Apple’s Push Notification Server (APNS), while normal devices had no such issue. “When the Push based application such as NotifyMe requests an ID from APNS, the server responds within a second and identifies the device with the unique token. From that point, the connection between APNS and user’s device is successfully established,” said Pavel Serbajlo, PoweryBase’s lead developer. “However, on a unofficially activated device, APNS keeps the application wait forever and does not provide any respond at all, keeping user wait infinitely or time out the connection, if the target application is capable of timing out.” The company is now implementing an in-application check to see whether or not data is being received back from the server and directing users to the app’s FAQ page if a problem is detected; the company is also discouraging users of hacked iPhones from purchasing NotifyMe. NotifyMe is available now from the App Store and sells for $4; a free version is also available.

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Comments

1

I hope apple is intentionally blocking jail broken and unlocked phones. They need to do something to stop that from happening.

Posted by Justin on July 13, 2009 at 11:07 AM (PDT)

2

“I hope apple is intentionally blocking jail broken and unlocked phones. They need to do something to stop that from happening.”

Why? You state this as though the answer were obvious.

Posted by David on July 13, 2009 at 2:29 PM (PDT)

3

I’m not sure this is intentional on Apple’s part. The first-generation iPhone didn’t support push e-mail from Yahoo unless it was on an official carrier.  This wasn’t a function of whether it was hacked/jailbroken or not, but rather which carrier it was running on.  My Rogers-hacked original iPhone handled Yahoo push e-mail fine when I popped in the original AT&T card and used it in the U.S., but consistently failed over Rogers in Canada.

I suspect that Apple uses similar technology for third-party app push notifications and has partnered with authorized carriers to specifically implement the technology to work over the cellular network.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on July 13, 2009 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

4

I have a jailbroken 3.0 running on AT&T and IM+ works perfectly.  However, my wife has my old 1st gen iphone, also jailbroken, 3.0 and on AT&T.  I had to use pushfix in order to get push to work on her phone.  Now it works great, with the major exception that receiving random messages from other jailbroken 1st gen iphones.  I managed to track down one of the people by his e-mail address, and he’s getting some of our messages as well.  It seems the trouble is with the keychain-2.db file.  I’ll be replacing it with the original from her phone to see if it stops the problem.

Posted by waitwhat? on July 13, 2009 at 4:14 PM (PDT)

5

Jailbroken 3GS here.  I use TrackThis for package tracking and my push notification are and have been working fine.  Perhaps NotifyMe is the problem after all?

Posted by Ian on July 13, 2009 at 7:35 PM (PDT)

6

They are talking about UNLOCKED iPhones, not jailbroken.

Posted by jbrandonf on July 14, 2009 at 7:41 AM (PDT)

7

Since the early days of push notifications I saw things like this coming. When Apple talked about deciding push notifications instead of offering multitasking to users their intentions where clear: They wanted to create a business on using your device to do more than one thing at the same time.

  Little ago Apple told the world that they decided push notifications against multitasking because it was “better for the customer”, and that multitasking was the easiest way to solve the problem, therefore not the best… But it was clear, Apple wants to get every single penny from you asking you to pay the most basic mobile phone needs and recreating old technological limitations solved generations ago.

What’s funny is that people is willing to pay for it.

I do love some of their gadgets, but I’m not willing to pay for things all others offer for free. That’s why I decided to go with the iPodtouch instead of the iPhone. It’s cheaper on the short and long term, it’s much faster (3G VS TOUCH 2ND GEN) , slimmer, better sound quality, and it perfectly does what the iPhone does best: ENTERTAIN, it even comes in a broader variety of storage capacities.

I don’t see push notifications going away or multitasking coming out soon. Now that Apple is already making money on a problem they did not wanted to resolve… I don’t see things changing soon.

Posted by Runner50783 on July 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

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