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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:23 PM   #1
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AMBER Alert for iPhone Now Available



Several weeks ago, we reported 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 to Apple and Steve Jobs two days ago in which he expressed his frustration with the App Store review process.
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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, 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
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:29 PM   #2
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why can't apple just explain why this stuff happens?
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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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!
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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tweetie (a twitter client) just got denied because twitter had foul language in it.

Link

all this crap really needs to stop.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:51 PM   #5
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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.

Last edited by guzhogi; Mar 10, 2009 at 03:06 PM.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 02:54 PM   #6
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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.

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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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:14 PM   #7
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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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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How many people at Apple HQ review all the iPhone applications? Three people? Twenty? Four hundred?
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by portishead View Post
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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:42 PM   #11
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An app just to show some info? An email would have suffice. At least, it would have been pushed.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 03:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg McBride View Post
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!!!
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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removed

Last edited by omahajim; Oct 7, 2010 at 10:19 PM. Reason: removed
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 05:17 PM   #15
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what?

"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 ...
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 06:09 PM   #16
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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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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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
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 06:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by geekmommy4 View Post
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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 07:02 PM   #19
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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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 07:19 PM   #20
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Thumbs down

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.
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 10:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by geekmommy4 View Post
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..."?
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 10:56 PM   #22
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I personally dont see the point of having an amber alert on the iphone...sorry
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 01:06 AM   #23
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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.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 01:38 AM   #24
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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.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 09:04 AM   #25
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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..
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