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MacRumors
Mar 10, 2009, 02:23 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/03/10/amber-alert-for-iphone-now-available/)

Several weeks ago, we reported (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/02/17/amber-alert-coming-soon-to-iphone/) on AMBER Alert, an iPhone application notifying users of law enforcement bulletins issued in response to certain child abductions.

After approximately a month of waiting for Apple to approve the application, the application's developer, Jonathan Zdziarski, published an open letter (http://www.zdziarski.com/projects/amberalert/email.txt) to Apple and Steve Jobs two days ago in which he expressed his frustration with the App Store review process.The App Store review process is non-responsive to a cruel degree, and unfortunately, a month is sadly only a small amount of time compared to some of my other applications that Apple has chosen to flat out ignore for three months or more. While spending time developing commercial applications only to face Apple's silence is frustrating, to have an application (like AMBER Alert) developed solely on a volunteer basis, and for such a good cause as finding kidnapped children - to have this non-profit application ignored is entirely insulting.Whether Apple got Zdziarksi's message or purely coincidence, AMBER Alert [App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=305574085&mt=8), Free[/url]] has been approved and is now available in the App Store.

We had also previously reported that Zdziarski would be making portions of AMBER Alert's code available for other developers to make their applications "AMBER Aware". Unfortunately, this is no longer possible due to restrictions necessitated by the application's use of a law-enforcement-only feed.

Article Link: AMBER Alert for iPhone Now Available (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/03/10/amber-alert-for-iphone-now-available/)



mikeinternet
Mar 10, 2009, 02:29 PM
why can't apple just explain why this stuff happens?

DavidLeblond
Mar 10, 2009, 02:34 PM
I'm experiencing the lag myself. v1.2 of my game has been under review well over a month and v1.3 is almost complete! Almost makes me want to cancel 1.2 and just post 1.3!

Drumjim85
Mar 10, 2009, 02:37 PM
tweetie (a twitter client) just got denied because twitter had foul language in it.

Link (http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/10/apple-stupidly-rejects-tweetie-1-3-for-foul-language-in-twitter/)

all this crap really needs to stop.

guzhogi
Mar 10, 2009, 02:51 PM
Just tried looking for it, and couldn't find it. Did the AMBER alert thing get pulled? Since I work in an elementary school, I'd like to know about this kind of stuff.

As for the people who say that Apple should allow more apps, I wouldn't mind it too much. However, at the first sign of apps not behaving well, people will start saying that Apple should put more restrictions. I also know that if Apple allows unsigned apps, but does something like open an alert that says something like "This app has not been signed. Are you sure you want to download? Download/Cancel", people would just ignore it, download the app, and then get mad at Apple when it messes things up.

In some ways, IMO, people want to be totally unregulated and no socialist programs, but can't regulate themselves so things get messed up and ask for help. And when things are regulated, things go really well, yet people keep complaining about how things are too regulated. The app store, USA politics, etc. But that's just my impression. Please don't flame me.

plumbingandtech
Mar 10, 2009, 02:54 PM
Just tried looking for it, and couldn't find it. Did the AMBER alert thing get pulled?

Sometimes it takes hours or a day to ripple thru the servers and show up. I have seen this with other apps and other announcements.

In some ways, IMO, people want to be totally unregulated and socialist programs, but can't regulate themselves so things get messed up and ask for help. And when things are regulated, things go really well, yet people keep complaining about how things are too regulated. The app store, USA politics, etc. But that's just my impression. Please don't flame me.

So true.

portishead
Mar 10, 2009, 03:14 PM
Amber Alert is a terrible resource. It needs to be updated to only allow only use for strangers taking children.

Most of it is boggled down with a parent taking their child back to Mexico. While I don't agree with this, it isn't NEARLY as dangerous and tragic as stranger kidnappings.

KingYaba
Mar 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
How many people at Apple HQ review all the iPhone applications? Three people? Twenty? Four hundred?

plumbingandtech
Mar 10, 2009, 03:30 PM
Amber Alert is a terrible resource. It needs to be updated to only allow only use for strangers taking children.

Most of it is boggled down with a parent taking their child back to Mexico. While I don't agree with this, it isn't NEARLY as dangerous and tragic as stranger kidnappings.

Actually almost all "false" amber alerts (the ones that it ends up being the other parent) end up fleeing inter-state.

Interesting dig about mexico though, it probably speaks volumes towards your mentality.

Drumjim85
Mar 10, 2009, 03:35 PM
As for the people who say that Apple should allow more apps.

It's not about apple allowing more apps. its about apple being consistent with what they will and won't allow. The things they've rejected make absolutely no sense. In the case of Tweetie. If they block it for twitter having fowl language, why don't they block, mail, safari, etc.

JP3G
Mar 10, 2009, 03:42 PM
An app just to show some info? An email would have suffice. At least, it would have been pushed.

Greg McBride
Mar 10, 2009, 03:50 PM
Just tried looking for it, and couldn't find it. Did the AMBER alert thing get pulled?

I couldn't get it to show up on my iPhone app store. This did the trick:

Launch iTunes.
Find the app.
Click the "Tell a Friend" button and send yourself an email.
Open the email on your phone.
Click on the link in the email.
It takes you to the app in the iPhone app store.

jfayngor
Mar 10, 2009, 04:22 PM
I couldn't get it to show up on my iPhone app store. This did the trick:

Launch iTunes.
Find the app.
Click the "Tell a Friend" button and send yourself an email.
Open the email on your phone.
Click on the link in the email.
It takes you to the app in the iPhone app store.


That worked for me!!!

omahajim
Mar 10, 2009, 05:03 PM
removed

cthielen
Mar 10, 2009, 05:17 PM
"Unfortunately, this is no longer possible due to restrictions necessitated by the application's use of a law-enforcement-only feed"

... what? What? I smell PR ********.

Really, no offense, I'd hate to have a child snatched up but AMBER Alert isn't the greatest resource ... but, what the hell does that statement mean? So other apps can't have access to the law-enforcement feed? Why not? Would a read-only feed kill them?

One could very easily sniff their wifi network while running this app and discover where the feed comes from ...

Marvin1379
Mar 10, 2009, 06:09 PM
I'm experiencing the lag myself. v1.2 of my game has been under review well over a month and v1.3 is almost complete! Almost makes me want to cancel 1.2 and just post 1.3!

Don't pull the interim update. We can be playing that for the month that apple is approving 1.3.

geekmommy4
Mar 10, 2009, 06:45 PM
Not to bash the developer, but you can sign up to get text messages when there is an Amber Alert in your area. Not sure why you would need anything else.

https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp

Aumz
Mar 10, 2009, 06:47 PM
Not to bash the developer, but you can sign up to get text messages when there is an Amber Alert in your area. Not sure why you would need anything else.

https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp

This App is just to get themselves and this service in the news, to use new technology/device...is that such a bad thing for such a good cause/service.

geekmommy4
Mar 10, 2009, 07:02 PM
This App is just to get themselves and this service in the news, to use new technology/device...is that such a bad thing for such a good cause/service.

I didn't say that it isn't a great cause. I've been receiving the Amber Alerts text messages for a couple of years. The app could be a nice addition but, like many apps, their usefulness is diminished by not being able to be run in the background.

natasha69
Mar 10, 2009, 07:19 PM
LOL! Maybe the app should have stayed under review longer. It has frozen my phone 3 times now just playing around with it. Went to Amber Alerts, then to Mssing Child Alerts, then Missing by State, selected California, and hit the home button after got nothing returned. FROZEN.

Rinse...repeat...same results. Even after resetting phone.

Eso
Mar 10, 2009, 10:46 PM
The app could be a nice addition but, like many apps, their usefulness is diminished by not being able to be run in the background.

Good point. What are you going to do, open the app every 4 hours thinking, "I wonder if a child just got abducted..."?

branjosef
Mar 10, 2009, 10:56 PM
I personally dont see the point of having an amber alert on the iphone...sorry

portishead
Mar 11, 2009, 01:06 AM
Actually almost all "false" amber alerts (the ones that it ends up being the other parent) end up fleeing inter-state.

Interesting dig about mexico though, it probably speaks volumes towards your mentality.

Maybe out in hickville where you live, but in Los Angeles a good number of them end up in Mexico. I have nothing against Mexicans, in fact I like them a lot. Why don't you site some statistics before you troll and accuse me of racism.

kas23
Mar 11, 2009, 01:38 AM
Good point. What are you going to do, open the app every 4 hours thinking, "I wonder if a child just got abducted..."?

This is a good point. Without push notifications, this app is basically useless. Receiving AA texts is much more practical.

That said, it is really sad that this developer had to raise a stink to get a good faith app into the App Store. This speaks volumes about Apple business model.

lftrghtparadigm
Mar 11, 2009, 09:04 AM
Maybe out in hickville where you live, but in Los Angeles a good number of them end up in Mexico. I have nothing against Mexicans, in fact I like them a lot. Why don't you site some statistics before you troll and accuse me of racism.

Don't combat him like that he's completely out of touch and will only get more so as you press the issue. Just let it go..

lftrghtparadigm
Mar 11, 2009, 09:10 AM
some great facts we can all agree on:

1. Apple takes a long time to approve apps

2. Developers don't like that

3. Apple does not care, $$$ is the same

4. Amber Alert is right up there with every other useless app, but that should not have any bearing on the approval process.

5. Useless or not, every App should be approved timely unless it grossly violates terms of use.

6. Apps should not be rejected from the App store. If a developer can develop, then they can read as well. Very few developers set out to violate the terms of the SDK in hopes that Apple won't notice or they'll gain publicity by being rejected, but those that do should be THE ONLY rejections. Which leads me to number...

7. Apple thinks its ok for them to censor App store content, the rest of the world does not.

brooksfow
Mar 11, 2009, 02:35 PM
Maybe out in hickville where you live, but in Los Angeles a good number of them end up in Mexico. I have nothing against Mexicans, in fact I like them a lot. Why don't you site some statistics before you troll and accuse me of racism.

Let me guess, you have friends who are Mexican?

portishead
Mar 11, 2009, 07:05 PM
Let me guess, you have friends who are Mexican?

You can guess all you want...

WestonHarvey1
Mar 11, 2009, 09:32 PM
Oh please... can he be any more self righteous? I've got a non-profit app! I'm better than you! Give it more priority than those evil money making apps! Childrens' LIVES are at stake!

I've they ever make a PRETENTIOUS(RED) colored iPhone and I see a guy running AMBER Alert in his car I'm going to stuff it full of kids and roll it the wrong way down the 405.

i-John
Mar 11, 2009, 11:05 PM
Actually almost all "false" amber alerts (the ones that it ends up being the other parent) end up fleeing inter-state.

Interesting dig about mexico though, it probably speaks volumes towards your mentality.
They aren't false Amber Alerts. Alerts are posted in these cases because the other parent isn't allowed to take the child.

You obviously haven't been in Texas, because probably about 90% of situations where one of the parents take the kid head for Mexico. It's not a state of mind, it's a state of where you are.

SFStateStudent
Mar 12, 2009, 10:09 AM
Amber Alert is a pretty nice app, but my iPhone crashed immediately after I installed the app. Took quite awhile to reboot, but everything has been fine since...:(

SuperKat
Mar 12, 2009, 03:31 PM
Not to bash the developer, but you can sign up to get text messages when there is an Amber Alert in your area. Not sure why you would need anything else.

https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp

Thank you for that link...

OneMike
Mar 12, 2009, 04:04 PM
Cool app would be more useful when/if push ever becomes available.

mmzplanet
Mar 12, 2009, 04:07 PM
I think its a good idea for an app. If anything it cant hurt (unless it breaks my iPod)