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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fixing My iPhone's Push Notification

It took me a few days to realize that ever since I've re-jailbroken my iPhone, my push notification service had been broken (pun not intended). It dawned on me when I discovered that my WhatsApp messages were received only when I launched the app. It was the timestamps on those messages that showed they were sent much earlier before I received them upon launching the app that made me realize so.

Initially, I thought it was just the WhatsApp server having gone all screwy, but when my alarm bells started ringing upon the realization that the situation has remained the same for days and I tested my Lioness' WhatsApp and saw that she could receive the push notifications and the messages on time, I couldn't help but acknowledge that mine was kaput.

So it took me a few days doing an indecent amount of research online and reading about the things other folks did in making attempts to rectify the problem. Nothing helped except for just one thing: PushFix. Lots of folks swear by it and so far, it's the only known effective way to resolve the issue - and you have to pay USD $5.99 for it.

Apparently, push notifications break when an iPhone loses its unique 1024 bit certificate and PushFix provides a unique certificate for your phone after you pay for it. It works by using your phone's unique IMEI series of numbers to identify your phone and providing a certificate for it.

And apparently, multiple restores via iTunes can give rise to this problem, even on non-jailbroken iPhones, as folks on the Net have reported. So if you are thinking you are all legit & high & mighty because you are holding an un-jailbroken iPhone, wipe that smirk off your face since this could happen to you too. Come off it, Apple doesn't love you that much. And for that matter, jailbreaking is not illegal.

What it means when it comes to your phone's unique IMEI is that you only need to pay for PushFix once and should the same phone with the same IMEI ever requires PushFix again, like say, when your push notification breaks again after subsequent re-jailbreaks on newer firmwares in the future, you don't have to pay for the service again to re-fix the issue. Handy.

Since not being able to receive push notifications is like always being the last to know about the party as well as always being the last guy to turn up at the party, I had to nip this pain in the butt right in the butt.

So I went to PushFix's site, paid for the service using PayPal after keying in my phone's IMEI so that PushFix can identify and acknowledge my phone, fired up Cydia and added the following repository source:

PushFix's Repo added

PushFix installed
Once the PushFix repo has been added, I went into it, looked for PushFix within the repo page and installed it. I then launched WhatsApp (and it prompted me to allow for its push notification service of which I responded with "Where in blazes have you been all these while?"), altered some settings in it to 'wake' its notification service up just to deal it a more assured double-whammy kick in the gut, closed the app, grabbed my Lioness' iPhone and used it to send a string of WhatsApp messages to my own phone and VOILĂ€!!

My push notifications worked (tested on all 3 Edge, 3G and Wifi connections) and I was back in telecommunication business. And just as a side-note, sending messages to myself can kinda build some self-awareness along the way, I figured >:)

Not just WhatsApp, but all of my apps with push notifications are now working without a hitch. Good fuckin' riddance to always having to go through the hassle of blindly checking my social interaction and communication apps every 30 minutes just to see if I've received new messages like a paranoid. What if my friends thought I was being proud or girls thought I was playing hard to get just because I couldn't respond to them in a timely manner, Sheesh! No more of such bull crap :)

By the end of it all, my PayPal receipt stated a bill of SGD $7.63 after an exchange rate conversion from USD. This is the very first time I have to pay to troubleshoot my phone but hey, it's just a tad more expensive than a bottle of Heineken and definitely cheaper than a packet of smokes. Gee, peace of mind can still come cheap these days.

If you are finding yourself having to tango with a broken push notification service, trust me on this, I did my fair share of research and tried everything. I still cringe at the thought of the amount of time and experimental misadventures I had to go through looking for a fix. Through it all, Pandora (that's what I named my iPhone and I've decided that she's female) had to suck up all the abuse I had to throw at her in stride, the poor thing.

If I have to retire her some day, I'll give her something on par with a state funeral in her honour since among all the phones I've owned (smart phones and stupid phones), Pandora has been the phone which is 'closest' to me in terms of the amount of interactions I've had with and through her and the amount of workload I've squeezed out of her, like this blog, for example.

So when it comes to fixing broken push notifications, only PushFix works. For now.

And by all that's enlightening, I learned lots of new things regarding the finer intricacies of how the iPhone and the services associated with it actually work through this experience. The next thing I think I should do is to think of ways to capitalize on the extra knowledge gained and do something useful with it..

And you don't have to worry about security issues because the certificates don't reveal information about your phone. It took me less than 10 minutes with PushFix, so spare yourself the time, trouble and hassle if you are running late for the party on your own iPhone.

And in other news, I went to the salon just now to do something that involved my hair having to drink up loads of chemicals. I will not be able to dye it until a week later (better still, 2 weeks). Bugger that, the long wait for a 'purple haze' to envelope my head again is gonna be an excruciating one. Oh well, at least my hair is smelling really good right now after the salon session.

* Sniff Sniff *

- De Lion Speaks

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