Brno, Czech Republic - PoweryBase reports that after first seven sales days of NotifyMe, company’s server database statistics show about 5 percent of users using unofficially modified or so called “hacktivated” iPhones. 5 percent of these users generate more than 80 percent of customer support requests daily, claiming the application does not work as advertised. NotifyMe is a simple Push based application available on the iTunes App Store which reminds users of personal tasks and appointments using the Apple Push Notification Service. NotifyMe is already appearing in the United Kingdom, France and Australia App Store Top 10 productivity charts.
Although the European based develompent team is very concerned about customers’ satifaction, PoweryBase is unfortunately not able to help NotifyMe users with resolving the issue. Further investigation shows that Apple may be blocking Push Notification Service on purpose to fight users who break carrier monthly plan agreements and unofficially unlocking these subsidized devices to work with other carriers which Apple is not partnered with.
“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.”
While not responding to request if the client application is requesting unexpected data is common in small UDP based services, big infrastructures such as APNS usually respond with an error to let the users or 3rd party developers know what caused the connection to fail for further debugging. The described scenario might not be tested at Apple, or more possibly, the behavior is intentional.
PoweryBase reports that it has managed to find a way to warn users with modified devices by running a process on a sepearate thread which monitors if the token was retreived successfully. If the token request was not filled within 20 seconds, NotifyMe user is encouraged to read frequently asked questions at PoweryBase’s website to possibly prevent bad rating reviews.
In good intensions, PoweryBase does not recommend iTunes App Store users with unofficially activated devices to buy NotifyMe and possibly other Push based applications until there’s a modification in how APNS behaves with these devices or how it responds to unexpected requests.