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  • Developers Outsmart Apple Get "Lock Screen Weather App" Into App Store



    Displaying information on iOS’s lock screen is old hat for jailbreakers, but Apple appears to have approved an App that brings weather information to the lock screen of non-jailbroken devices.

    Apple normally doesn’t allow applications, even their own, to display information on the lock screen. Apple’s own weather widget in the notification center can’t even display information on the lock screen. How “Lock Screen Weather App” pulled a fast one on Apple is actually quite simple.

    The app actually plays a silent song through the built-in iPod app and then displays the album art in the lock screen. However, the album displays the weather forecast based on your location and comes complete with a five-day outlook. The workaround manages to side step Apple’s rules regarding the lock screen and how apps interact with other programs.

    Sadly if the this app is activated no other audio can be output through the device’s headphone jack. So users must weigh their need to know the weather against their love of music as both aren’t mutually inclusive. Also, because the music player is constantly "playing", even if that playing is inaudible, battery life might take a hit.

    Lock Screen Weather App is currently available in the App Store for $.99, but knowing Apple they could rewrite the rules and pull the app before the weekend is out. Then again, Apple did approve an app titled “Lock Screen Weather App.”

    Thanks to Dennis for the tip!
    Source: iDownloadBlog
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Developers Outsmart Apple Get "Lock Screen Weather App" Into App Store started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. dfheje's Avatar
      dfheje -
      If its playing music, doesnt that drain the battery?
      Pretty damn smart though.
    1. Hillefied's Avatar
      Hillefied -
      There are several things wrong with this "legit" app. It uses the play function of iPod so when listening to your iPod and you lock your phone, your music stops and the background audio from this app starts playing and won't stop until you open iPod and start playing a song. There are also no iPod controls when you double tap home button at lockscreen or for iOS 5+ there is no camera shortcut next to slider.

      And yes, @dfheje, That also brings up battery issues with using the iPod play function. When I tested it, the "play" icon in the status bar appeared and that tells me that the phone is processing the iPod play function in the background using battery life.

      Also, many have reported that their iDevice screens won't completely shut off. It will dim, but not sleep.

      This is not a very good app. It's nice to see some jailbreak functionality appear legitimate however brief this may be, but this app is poorly constructed and downright annoying. IMHO.
    1. oneduality's Avatar
      oneduality -
      I fail to see this as a surprise.. doesn't the pandora app display album art on the lock screen when it's backgrounded? .. this app gets away with it by doing the same kind of thing.. it uses nature sounds or a "silent" track to play audio and then display "art" on the lock screen, the art just happens to be the weather..

      What's the shock?
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      I saw an app a few days ago for animated lock wallpapers
    1. Orby's Avatar
      Orby -
      Quote Originally Posted by oneduality View Post
      I fail to see this as a surprise.. doesn't the pandora app display album art on the lock screen when it's backgrounded? .. this app gets away with it by doing the same kind of thing.. it uses nature sounds or a "silent" track to play audio and then display "art" on the lock screen, the art just happens to be the weather..

      What's the shock?
      The API that allows for third-party apps to display imagery on the lock screen was build for, and intended for use only to display the currently playing music's album art. Using it to display other static (but automatically updating without user intervention) images to display other things like the weather is unprecedented as far as I'm aware on stock iOS.

      It's ingenious albeit necessarily flawed. That being said, this app won't last any longer on the App Store than MAME did, I have a feeling.
    1. Hillefied's Avatar
      Hillefied -
      Quote Originally Posted by oneduality View Post
      I fail to see this as a surprise.. doesn't the pandora app display album art on the lock screen when it's backgrounded? .. this app gets away with it by doing the same kind of thing.. it uses nature sounds or a "silent" track to play audio and then display "art" on the lock screen, the art just happens to be the weather..

      What's the shock?
      That this is the first blatant approved App to mimic what jailbreakers have had for 5 years. Apple is getting lax on their App screening process.

      You say Pandora provides album art, but what you may not realize is that Pandora is sandboxed by Apple in the iOS to allow such capabilities. Pandora wastes less battery life and it uses a persistent network connectivity to stream music. iHeartRadio, AOL Radio, Slacker Radio, and others all do the same thing.

      This weather app doesnt appear to be sandboxed. It almost seems like it overwrites or under-prioritizes Apple iOS functions.
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hillefied View Post
      That this is the first blatant approved App to mimic what jailbreakers have had for 5 years. Apple is getting lax on their App screening process.

      You say Pandora provides album art, but what you may not realize is that Pandora is sandboxed by Apple in the iOS to allow such capabilities. Pandora wastes less battery life and it uses a persistent network connectivity to stream music. iHeartRadio, AOL Radio, Slacker Radio, and others all do the same thing.

      This weather app doesnt appear to be sandboxed. It almost seems like it overwrites or under-prioritizes Apple iOS functions.
      If/when the app gets pulled I'm going to reach out to the devs and see if they'll disclose their development process. It'll definitely be interesting to see if Apple gives them an explanation as to why they were removed if they ultimately do...
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Wow. Pretty terrible reviews on this app.
    1. s0ulp1xel's Avatar
      s0ulp1xel -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      I saw an app a few days ago for animated lock wallpapers
      It's awesome!!!
    1. jrrtps's Avatar
      jrrtps -
      Uh! La! La! One more copy from android devices this is became funny!!!!!
    1. dxe's Avatar
      dxe -
      App works great - in settings you can turn off the music so battery drain is not a concern..

      One thing I noticed is that I got an email from apple after the purchase:

      Dear YourNameHere

      Your Apple ID, myid.apple.com, was just used to purchase Lock Screen Weather from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.

      If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not make the purchase yourself.

      If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.

      Regards,
      Apple
    1. rocky5's Avatar
      rocky5 -
      It's a pity half the tits that left reviews haven't the first clue on how this is achieved I mean there moaning that if you remove it from the multitask dock it stops working lmao, there giving this app a bad rating because there clueless.

      The app devs should have had something in there description saying for more information on how this application works please check out our site.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      I was excited about this until I read that it's really running music 24/7. Then I quickly lost interest.

      Also, apparently it's over 20mb, so I couldn't download it until I get to a wifi spot, which by then it'll likely be gone.
    1. Dainelli's Avatar
      Dainelli -
      Quote Originally Posted by dfheje View Post
      If its playing music, doesnt that drain the battery?
      Pretty damn smart though.
      First thing that crossed my mind as well..
    1. ericwall's Avatar
      ericwall -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hillefied View Post
      There are several things wrong with this "legit" app. It uses the play function of iPod so when listening to your iPod and you lock your phone, your music stops and the background audio from this app starts playing and won't stop until you open iPod and start playing a song. There are also no iPod controls when you double tap home button at lockscreen or for iOS 5+ there is no camera shortcut next to slider.

      And yes, @dfheje, That also brings up battery issues with using the iPod play function. When I tested it, the "play" icon in the status bar appeared and that tells me that the phone is processing the iPod play function in the background using battery life.

      Also, many have reported that their iDevice screens won't completely shut off. It will dim, but not sleep.

      This is not a very good app. It's nice to see some jailbreak functionality appear legitimate however brief this may be, but this app is poorly constructed and downright annoying. IMHO.
      With crApple's insane App Store regulations, it is amazing how few ways there are to accomplish this. I am surprised they were able to do it at all!
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      exactly its smart it aint gonna be perfect geez it is 99 cents after all
    1. oneduality's Avatar
      oneduality -
      Quote Originally Posted by dxe View Post
      App works great - in settings you can turn off the music so battery drain is not a concern..

      One thing I noticed is that I got an email from apple after the purchase:

      Dear YourNameHere

      Your Apple ID, myid.apple.com, was just used to purchase Lock Screen Weather from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.

      If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not make the purchase yourself.

      If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.

      Regards,
      Apple
      I never got such an e-mail .. but anyway

      You can't disable the music, you can only set it to "silence", it's still playing a track and therefore still wasting battery life, it's just that the track it's playing has no sound... it's a silent track just looping.
    1. Hillefied's Avatar
      Hillefied -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      If/when the app gets pulled I'm going to reach out to the devs and see if they'll disclose their development process. It'll definitely be interesting to see if Apple gives them an explanation as to why they were removed if they ultimately do...
      Get back to us on what they say if/when they reply
    1. steveken's Avatar
      steveken -
      Absolutely nothing new about this. There is an app I just downloaded for Free called "Weather Lock Screen Free". There are other ones too if you look for "lock screen weather" on the search page.
    1. Hillefied's Avatar
      Hillefied -
      Quote Originally Posted by steveken View Post
      Absolutely nothing new about this. There is an app I just downloaded for Free called "Weather Lock Screen Free". There are other ones too if you look for "lock screen weather" on the search page.
      This App is not the same as the others listed when I search in the App Store. The others just create images that are set as wallpaper. This App puts live weather info on the lockscreen. That is very much "new" in terms of Apps working "outside the box" of iOS.