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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Hajas’

Apple’s Love/Hate Relationship With iOS Jailbreaking

June 13th, 2012 06:00 admin View Comments

This week, as developers converge on San Francisco to find out what’s next for Apple’s hardware and platforms, there’s another discussion going on in the background: What does iOS 6 mean for the jailbreak community? Did Apple borrow any ideas this time? How soon will we see an untethered jailbreak for iOS 6? 

The relationship between Apple and the developers who seek to crack wide open its mobile ecosystem is complicated. On one hand, the Cupertino giant implicitly discourages the practice of jailbreaking by voiding the warranties of any devices that appear to have undergone the procedure. In its support documentation, Apple “strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks the iOS.” 

Yet at the same time, Apple hasn’t been shy at borrowing heavily from the jailbreaking community – whether it be in the form of ideas or actual developers. 

One of the more well-known examples of Apple’s idea-nabbing came last year in iOS 5. Notification Center, one of that update’s most beloved features, bore a striking resemblance to a feature that was already available on jailbroken devices. Not only did Apple appear to lift the feature, but it also nabbed the developer responsible for creating it in the first place. In June 2011, Peter Hajas started working at Apple‘s headquarters in Cupertino. 

A number of different tools have been available for jailbreaking iOS, but by far the easiest one to use was the browser-based, now-defunct JailbreakMe. Last year, its creator Nicholas Allegra (better known as Comex) made headlines when he started an internship with Apple, making him the fourth well-known jailbreak developer to work for the company. 

Some of the formerly jailbreak-only features that have found their way into iOS over time include multitasking, lock screen widgets, personal hotspots, WiFi syncing to iTunes, copy and paste, and folders for apps. Even the notion of running apps on the iPhone was familiar to jailbroken users by the time Apple officially unveiled its own App Store. 

While some iOS hackers resent having their hard work copied without credit, not everyone sees it that way.

“Personally, I have no issues with that,” says Cydia creator Jay Freeman. “If the feature is good, then Apple should integrate it.” 

Despite its official disapproval of jailbreaking, the practice does provide something of an experimental ecosystem from which Apple can draw lessons without exposing its larger customer base to apps and features that may be unpopular or not entirely polished.

In Apple’s preview of iOS 6 yesterday, we saw a few more examples of features that jailbroken users have enjoyed for some time. FaceTime over 3G, pull-to-refresh in Mail, “do not disturb” mode and the ability to post social updates from Notification Center are just a handful of examples. On Twitter, many users openly wondered whether it was worth keeping their device jailbroken since so many of their favorite tweaks seemed to be included in iOS 6. 

For their part, the iOS hackers aren’t wasting any time cracking open the new operating system, or at least trying. Within 24 hours of the iOS 6 developer beta being made available, jailbreak hacker MuscleNerd succeeded in completing at least a partial jailbreak of it. 

Despite this speedy progress, a publicly available, untethered jailbreak for iOS 6 may still be a ways off. That’s because Apple has apparently fixed some of the bugs that made the current breed of jailbreak tools possible, and as MuscleNerd tweeted, Cydia doesn’t work on iOS 6. 

As for whether Apple has a death wish for the practice of jailbreaking, Freeman is skeptical. The company hasn’t been quick to act, even though iOS 5 supports over-the-air (OTA) updates that would make it very easy to do so.   

“It would be possible for Apple to pretty quickly squelch things like Absinthe,” says Freeman. “When the tool is released, find and fix even just one of the numerous bugs it uses, and push out an OTA.”

It will undoubtedly be a very busy summer for iOS developers of all stripes.    

 

Lead photo by Stephen Heywood.

Source: Apple’s Love/Hate Relationship With iOS Jailbreaking

Apple Hires Comex – iPhone Hacker Behind Popular Jailbreak Tools Like JailbreakMe, Spirit As An Intern

August 25th, 2011 08:13 admin View Comments

Comex

Comex – developer of some of the most popular jailbreak tools like JailbreakMe and Spirit has just announced that he is joining Apple as an intern.

Comex had recently released JailbreakMe 3.0 – one of the easiest solutions to jailbreak iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for iOS 4.3.3, which used a userland exploit to jailbreak and install Cydia on an iOS device using mobile Safari. Apple had to release an iOS 4.3.4 software update to patch the vulnerability.

Comex announced the news via the following tweet:

It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored. So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.

Forbes had unmasked Comex as Nicholas Allegra, a 19-year old Brown University student from Chappaqua, New York who stays with his parents. Allegra describes jailbreaking as “like editing an English paper… You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.â€

Charlie Miller, a former network exploitation analyst for the National Security Agency had this to say about Comex:

“I didn’t think anyone would be able to do what he’s done for years.”

“Now it’s been done by some kid we had never even heard of. He’s totally blown me away.â€

He hasn’t mentioned what he will be working on at Apple, but we won’t be surprised if he joins Apple’s security to prevent hackers making use of exploits used by him in JailbreakMe and Spirit.

It’s good to see Apple hire talented hackers like Allegra even though he was part of the jailbreak community. It is not the first time someone from the iPhone jailbreaking community has joined Apple. Apple had hired Peter Hajas, developer of jailbreak app – MobileNotifier that revamps iOS Push notification system.

This is a blow to iPhone jailbreaking community’s cat and mouse with Apple, but we are sure that members of the iPhone Dev team, Chronic Dev team or some kid we had never heard of, will rise up to the challenge.

Good luck to Comex for his internship at Apple!

[via Twitter (Comex), Forbes]

Source: Apple Hires Comex – iPhone Hacker Behind Popular Jailbreak Tools Like JailbreakMe, Spirit As An Intern

Jailbreaking Convention MyGreatFest Brings iPhone Hacking to Mainstream

July 7th, 2011 07:40 admin View Comments

CydiaJailbreaking, the act of hacking an Apple mobile device to allow for the installation of unapproved, third-party apps, is often seen as a niche activity undertaken by only a small subset of users. But the truth is, when you’re dealing with Apple devices, even a small subset equates to a large number. According to Jay Freeman, who runs the largest jailbreak app store Cydia, around 10% of all iPhones are jailbroken. In total, he says there are approximately 10 million jailbroken devices in the wild, including iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices.

And now, this rapidly growing user base will have their very own conference: MyGreatFest, the world’s first convention for the jailbreaking community.

Jaibreaking Goes Mainstream

Jailbreaking, once the domain of hackers and the tech elite, has rapidly become a force to be reckoned with. It attracts a much wider crowd these days, thanks to easy-to-use tools put out by both individual hackers and teams of hackers, some, like the recently launched JailbreakMe.com, which don’t even involve software downloads. In fact, with the new JailbreakMe website, all a user has to do is open the URL on their mobile device to begin the jailbreaking process.

The benefits to jailbreaking are plentiful. Although the activity has been associated with application piracy in the past, many jailbreakers simply want access to the apps that Apple rejected or wouldn’t permit in the App Store. In the past, these have included things like mobile hotspot tools, themes, widgets, replacements or upgrades to core apps, changes to the device’s default functionality and other such tweaks. But more importantly, jailbreakers have a sense of control over their devices, and a sense of ownership.

If there’s something a device doesn’t do that you wish it would, there’s probably a jailbreak “app for that.”

Even Apple itself seems to be warming up to the jailbreaking community as of late. The company recently hired well-known jailbreak app developer Peter Hajas, whose “Mobile Notifier” app appears to have served as the inspiration for iOS 5′s new notifications center. Does that mean the jailbreaking scene will now be the testing ground for new iOS features? Considering the wide range of innovations that emerge there, we hope so.

MyGreatFest

MyGreatFest: The First Ever Jailbreakers’ Convention

For those who have watched the community from the sidelines, following well-known personalities like @saurik or @P0sixninja on Twitter, the new jailbreaking conference MyGreatFest will put them up close and personal with their favorite hacking idols. And for fellow hackers, who often jockey for position among their peers, as hackers tend to do, it will offer a venue where they can show off their skills, maybe even get into a coding grudge match in front of a live audience. Meanwhile, fans who really want to meet the hackers one-on-one will have the opportunity to buy tickets to a VIP area where they can “have lunch” with the developers, or just hang out and chat.

There will also be a series of presentations from big names in the jailbreaking community, where they will tackle subjects like the piracy problem, and whether or not DRM (digital rights management) should be included in the jailbreaking tools provided to mainstream users. In addition, the event will offer Q&A sessions, giveaways, vendor booths and everything else you would expect from a traditional conference.

First Official iOS 5 Jailbreak May be Revealed at MyGreatFest

Craig fox

And there may be one more big event at the upcoming show: the first official iOS 5 jailbreak, says MyGreatFest organizer Craig Fox. Although the beta of the OS has already been jailbroken, until the commercial release, there’s no way to know if the exploits used will still be available when the new iPhone launches.

However, there’s a good chance the next iPhone will arrive before the conference’s start date of September 17th, 2011 in London. Fox says that if that’s the case, it’s very likely we’ll see the new iPhone jailbroken right there at the event.

Interestingly enough, Fox (pictured, right) isn’t a developer, hacker or event planner by trade – he’s a carpenter. Cearly, a jailbreaking enthusiast, too. It’s a testament to him that he’s been able to pull this event off at all, much less attract the big-name developers as both speakers and attendees.

The London event is only the beginning, Fox tells us. By October, he will be ready to announce the dates of future events here in the U.S., as he plans to bring MyGreatFest to both coasts by 2013, starting sometime in spring 2012 with an event in the San Francisco Bay area.

In the meantime, despite the distance, the first jailbreakers’ convention has attracted a wide audience of attendees. Tickets have have been sold all over Europe, North America and even India and Singapore. For those who can’t make it, sessions will be both livestreamed and posted to YouTube.

The conference has a very grassroots feel, which is makes sense, given that jailbreaking itself is very much a grassroots movement. But now that jailbreaking has its own convention, Apple is stealing jailbreak app developers, and the jailbreaking user base is numbering in the millions, this activity is rapidly losing its niche status in favor of mainstream success.

Still, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you ask us.

For more info on the event, check out MyGreatFest.com.

Source: Jailbreaking Convention MyGreatFest Brings iPhone Hacking to Mainstream

5 iOS 5 Features Inspired By Jailbreak Apps / Tweaks

June 13th, 2011 06:19 admin View Comments

iOS 5

iOS 5 unveiled at last week’s WWDC 2011 Keynote address includes more than 200 new features. Some of the major features include iMessage, revamped notification system, PC Free, Wi-Fi Sync etc.

Last year, features such as Folders, Multitasking introduced in iOS 4 were inspired by the jailbreak apps such as Categories, ProSwitcher etc. and not surprisingly, some of the new iOS 5 features seem to be also inspired by jailbreak apps or tweaks.

Here’s a list of features that are already available to users who have jailbroken their iOS devices:

Revamped Notification System:

The revamped notification system in iOS 5 seems to be inspired by MobileNotifier, which in turn was inspired by Android, while . Interestingly, Apple has hired the developer of MobileNotifier – Peter Hajas. He is working now in the iOS apps and framework team.

Wi-Fi Sync:

Jailbreak app – Wi-Fi Sync already allow users to wirelessly sync their jailbroken iOS device with iTunes over a Wi-Fi network.

The similarities between iOS 5’s Wi-Fi Sync feature and the jailbreak app has raised some eyebrows.

Volume button to take Photos:

Jailbreak tweaks such as FastSnap, SnapTap already allow jailbroken iOS device users to use volume buttons to take photos.

FaceTime over 3G:

It looks like Apple will enable FaceTime video calls over 3G in iOS 5, which is currently restricted only over Wi-Fi.

Jailbreak tweaks like My3G already allow iPhone 4 users to make FaceTime video calls over 3G.

Delete Individual Calls:

iOS 5 will finally allow users to delete individual calls, which is currently possible using a jailbreak tweak called Call Delete.

We’re still in the process of discovering the 200+ new features in iOS 5, so we won’t be surprised if more features are added to this list.

Meanwhile, the jailbreak community is already busy working on jailbreak apps and tweaks for iOS 5. We’ve already seen jailbreak tweaks such as UISettings and custom widgets for Notification Center for iOS 5.

Though some are accusing Apple of stealing these ideas from jailbreak developers, we think it’s good to see these features make it to the official iOS 5 feature list so that users who are not technically inclined to hack their iOS device can also enjoy these features.

What do you think? Please share your views in the comments section.

Source: 5 iOS 5 Features Inspired By Jailbreak Apps / Tweaks

Apple Hires The Guy Who Hacked Together A Better iOS Notifications System

June 3rd, 2011 06:52 admin View Comments

Back in February, I wrote that MobileNotifier (a replacement notifications system for jailbroken iOS devices) would be the one thing that would make anyone want to jailbreak — and I stand by it. Months later, my iPhone is still jailbroken, almost solely so that I don’t have to go back to Apple’s built-in system.

It seems I’m not the only one who was impressed. Sometime in the last week or so — just days before they announce iOS 5, which is expected to come complete with a new (and hopefully less terrible) notifications system — Apple has pulled MobileNotifier’s developer, Peter Hajas, under their wing.

Whispers of the hire began a few days ago, when Hajas announced that he was “taking a break from MobileNotifier… for a while”. He couldn’t give a reason for his hiatus, but added that “it’s worth it. Trust me. If you look around hard enough, you’ll probably figure it out.”

Ever so coyly, he signed the post with “Until then, stay hungry and stay foolish”, an ultra-geeky reference to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement speech.

So, a subtle quoting of Apple’s CEO — could be a hint, could just be a rather strange choice of references. Not really enough to go on, either way. Then Redmond Pie dug up the following tweet sent by Hajas, which has since been deleted:

@brittaahh I’m glad you like it! I’ll see what I can do :) I will be back for a few weeks, then I’m off to work in CA at a “fruit” company.

Fruit company, eh? We’re pretty sure Peter isn’t talking about his new gig at Farmer Joe’s Fig Farm.

We asked a few of our Apple sources; while they’d heard his name around campus, none had actually seen him lurking about yet. So, we turned to the world’s favorite stalking-tool-in-the-cloud: Facebook.

Sure enough, Hajas has just added “Apple” to his list of employers, citing an Intern position beginning in May of this year:

So, why “Intern”? It’s par for the course with Apple. They seem to consider it something of a dry run; sort of their way of testing how well newbies mesh with the current talent and how skilled they actually are before giving them access to source code repositories or a fancy title. Of the many Apple iOS/OS X developers I’ve met over the years, every one of them started off as “Intern”.

Good choice, Apple.


Source: Apple Hires The Guy Who Hacked Together A Better iOS Notifications System

Apple Might Have Hired Developer Of Popular Jailbreak App – MobileNotifier

June 3rd, 2011 06:12 admin View Comments

MobileNotifier

Last week, Peter Hajas – developer of jailbreak app – MobileNotifier that aims to revamp iOS Push notification system surprised us by releasing the fifth beta version of MobileNotifier after announcing that he’ll be taking a break due to “other opportunities and priorities currentlyâ€.

This had led to speculations that Peter was joining Apple to work on iOS Push Notifications, which has been maligned for being intrusive and modal.

Last week, Peter had this to say in his blog post:

I can’t say why, but it’s worth it. Trust me. If you look around hard enough, you’ll probably figure it out.

I hope you guys understand, and I look forward to bringing you more awesome, great, free open source software in the future. Stay tuned for some amazing things!

If you absolutely must get in touch with me, send me an email.

Until then, stay hungry and stay foolish.

Redmond Pie speculated that he was joining Apple as the last sentence “stay hungry and stay foolish†was the famous way Steve Jobs ended his Stanford commencement speech in 2005.

Earlier today Redmond Pie discovered the following tweet that he had sent to one of his followers quite sometime back (and later deleted):

@brittaahh I’m glad you like it. I’ll see what I can do :) I will be back for a few weeks, then I’m off to work in CA at a “fruit†company.

The tweet seems to strongly suggest that he is joining Apple as there is just one “fruit†company in CA, unless he is trying to take us for a ride by dropping these Apple related hints.

If it’s the case then it is great to see Apple hire talented developers like Peter even though he was part of the jailbreak community.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Steve Jobs inspiring speech then check it out below, it’s a must watch.

Source: Apple Might Have Hired Developer Of Popular Jailbreak App – MobileNotifier

MobileNotifier: Jailbreak App That Aims To Revamp iOS Notification System Updated With New Features & Improvements

May 11th, 2011 05:40 admin View Comments

MobileNotifier

Peter Hajas – developer of jailbreak app – MobileNotifier continues to rollout new features and improvements. He has just released the fourth beta version of MobileNotifier on Cydia.

MobileNotifier aims to revamp Apple’s iOS Push notification system, which has been maligned for being intrusive and modal.

MobileNotifier beta 4 includes the following new features and improvements:

- Brand new alert style that lives in the doubleheight statusbar. Takes unobtrusive notifications to the next level!

- Totally redone lockscreen view. Tap the bar to see a preview of your pending notifications!

- Intelligent alert dismiss – alerts from the same sender are dismissed if you take action on one of them. Way easier to deal with!

- Significant performance and bug fixes. Way faster, way less memory and battery footprint, way friendlier to your device!

- And more! Lots of fun surprises in this release that users will enjoy!

MobileNotifier is inspired by Android’s notification system so unlike iOS’s push notification system, MobileNotifier prevents notifications from interrupting you and allows you to access your notifications from a drop-down drawer. You can also access the notifications from your iOS device’s lock screen.

You can checkout the demo video to see how MobileNotifier works:

You can also checkout the interview of Peter Hajas where he explains the new features and improvements MobileNotifier in beta 4 (you can skip to 07:05 to checkout the demo of beta 4):

You can install MobileNotifier for free from Cydia by following these steps:

Source: MobileNotifier: Jailbreak App That Aims To Revamp iOS Notification System Updated With New Features & Improvements

MobileNotifier: Jailbreak App Aims To Revamp iOS Push Notification System

February 28th, 2011 02:48 admin View Comments

White iPad 2

Apple’s Push Notification system has been maligned for being intrusive and modal. iOS competitors on the other hand have been doing a good job on this front of late. HP’s webOS for example has a banner notification system that has been widely acclaimed.

We’ve also heard rumors that Apple is acquiring a small developer to help them fix the Push notification system.

If you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then you probably don’t have to wait for Apple to fix it as developer, Peter Hajas has released a jailbreak app called MobileNotifier, which is pretty cool.

Mobile Notifier is inspired by Android’s notification system so unlike iOS’s push notification system, MobileNotifier prevents notifications from interrupting you and allows you to access your notifications from a drop-down drawer. You can also access the notifications from your iOS device’s lock screen.

Peter has also cleverly used the unused area when you activate the multitasking switcher for the Alert Dashboard to show the pending alerts/notifications.

You can checkout the demo video of see how MobileNotifier works:

Peter has recently released the third beta version of MobileNotifier, which you can install from the Cydia App Store by following these steps:

  • Launch Cydia from your jailbroken iOS device homescreen.
  • Tap on the Manage Tab and then tap on Sources.
  • Tap on the Edit button and then tap the Add button to add the following repo URL: http://phajas.xen.prgmr.com/repo
  • After it is successfully added, tap on the Search tab and search for MobileNotifier.
  • Tap on MobileNotifier from the search results
  • Then tap on the Install button and then Confirm to install it on your iOS device
  • You will be prompted to Restart SpringBoard, tap on the button to proceed.

That’s it, you should now be able to use the revamped notification system courtesy MobileNotifier.

As always, please don’t forget to tell us if you like it.

[via Peter Hajas, thanks Jeff for the tip]

Source: MobileNotifier: Jailbreak App Aims To Revamp iOS Push Notification System

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