Mix: Disabling ‘bad’ apps, Apple patent, Aug. 22 iPhone country list finished [updated] | iLounge News


Mix: Disabling ‘bad’ apps, Apple patent, Aug. 22 iPhone country list finished [updated]

A configuration file discovered during a forensic examination of the iPhone 3G suggests that Apple may have the ability to disable unauthorized or malicious iPhone applications already installed on the device. Jonathan Zdziarski, member of the unofficial iPhone Dev Team and author of at least two iPhone books, found the file, along with a remote URL that Apple is using to keep a list of unauthorized apps. Zdziarski says, “This suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down. I discovered this doing a forensic examination of an iPhone 3G. It appears to be tucked away in a configuration file deep inside CoreLocation.” Currently no applications are listed in the file; it remains unclear whether Apple will use this list for remote deactivation of truly malicious apps, or for a more broad range of apps it deems unfit for use/sale.

Update: Daring Fireball’s John Gruber suggests that given the file is hidden in CoreLocation, this is most likely a blacklist for “preventing any listed apps from accessing Core Location,” as opposed to a list for complete disabling of apps.

A new Apple patent application suggests that the company may be working on a way to allow iPhone owners to access their iTunes libraries remotely. Titled “Remote access of media items,” the patent describes a system of loading metadata for “virtual media items” onto a portable media device — such as the iPhone or iPod touch — which can then access the virtual media items, the data of which remains stored in iTunes, over the air through a LAN, WLAN, Wi-Fi, or cellular data connection. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area. [via AppleInsider]

The rest of the countries receiving the iPhone 3G on August 22 have been announced. SetteB.IT reports (Translated link) that in addition to already-announced arrivals in Romania, India, the Philippines, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, four additional countries will see launches. Latvia and Lithuania will see the device launched on TeliaSonera’s LMT and Omnitel services, respectively, while T-Mobile and Orange will launch the iPhone in Slovakia, and SingTel will begin offering the device in Singapore. These latest additions bring that number to 21, and bring the total number of countries in which the iPhone will be available to 43 as of August 22.

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The ability to remotely disable apps good or bad is yet another precedent set by Apple.  This means that Box Office app that I am enjoying that they recently pulled from the store can also be nixed from my iPod with out warning.  Nice!  Just when I thought it was great that Apple was making great deals with media companies, now they are even thinking like them..  That’s what the media companies would love to do.. Just remotely kill anything they feel you shouldn’t have.  All of a sudden paying anything for any app just became risky business.  That $999.99 app you bought yesterday could become post vaporware at Apple’s will..  Will this stop me from buying apps..  No, but makes me nervous as a consumer.. Oh heck yes, very nervous.

Posted by Phoenixfury on August 7, 2008 at 2:07 PM (CDT)


Finally, my prediction of a “portable Apple TV’ may soon be coming true.

Posted by Galley on August 7, 2008 at 2:09 PM (CDT)


There are all ready several programs available that serve up your home media for use on your iPhone or iPod Touch, but none of them do it very well. It’d be nice if Apple stepped up to the plate and provided something that was seamless. Alas, for the moment, I think they’re too busy putting out other fires.

...And speaking of other fires, uhm, yeah. Apple your consumer relations over the last year or so have been abysmal. Do you honestly believe you’re doing yourself any favors by monitoring the apps on customer’s products? I guess you do, ‘cause otherwise you’d see what an absolute act of draconian mistrust it is. Come on guys. We used to be able to look at your idiosyncrasies as the mark of mad genius. Now they just smack of blind lunacy.

Posted by Miranda Kali on August 7, 2008 at 3:01 PM (CDT)


We need iPhone in Puerto Rico.

Posted by Luis on August 7, 2008 at 8:46 PM (CDT)


Umm.. isn’t this an invasion of privacy?
That’s got to be illegal… isn’t it?

I think Zdziarski should let us all know where exactly this information is stored, and how we can disable it. I don’t appreciate being spied on.

Posted by kloan on August 7, 2008 at 9:25 PM (CDT)


C’mon vodafone we want iPhone 3G in Turkey and Greece..

Steve don’t forget us..

Posted by Shady on August 8, 2008 at 3:58 AM (CDT)


EnGadget is now reporting that Zdziarski is wrong and cites John Gruber of Daring Fireball as saying that the “clbl” is the URL of the site stands for “core location blacklist” and is used to stipulate the software that users are prevented from accessing i.e Core Location”. So Apple is not doing anything wrong as it makes sense that they would not want the average joe to have access to CL.

Posted by Skrat on August 8, 2008 at 9:21 AM (CDT)

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