The future of Lockinfo [jailbreak]

David Ashman is a well known jailbreak app writer with his Lockinfo package from Cydia. Almost everyone who jailbreaks has, or has heard of, Lockinfo. He attended the WWDC keynote today, and to say the least, he feels ripped off.

Apple finally figured out that you need to do more than show a big blue popup on the lockscreen to provide users with useful information. What they added is a direct rip off of Peter Hajas’ MobileNotifier (at least he got hired by Apple). But what is it missing (at least based on early views… I’ll admit I don’t have the developer seed yet):

No emails on the lockscreen. (Redacted… screenshot shows it)
No quick previews.
No direct replies via integrations with other apps.
No status bar icons.
No plugin API.
No weather (on the lockscreen).
No RSS feeds.
No Twitter integration.
No Facebook integration (coming soon).
No favorites quick dial/text/facetime.

He goes on to say that Apple did make it look pretty, but it's still lacking some of the major conveniences that he, himself, has implemented into his own jailbreak package, such as quick previews, direct replies, and drop down lists.

These are just a few of the things he has posted in his latest blog. He says he will continue to develop for Lockinfo and keep pushing out updates. To read his entire blog post, hit the link at the bottom of the post.

What do you think of Ashman's comments? Do you think he is valid in stating this? Do you feel as though Apple ripped off his idea? Let us know in the comments.

[Lockinfo blog]

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Reader comments

The future of Lockinfo [jailbreak]

36 Comments

As soon as I saw a picture of the lockscreen... the first thing I thought of was LockInfo. It looks EXACTLY like it. c'mon Apple... at least give credit where credit is due.

You can't 'rip something off' when you've hired the person you are ripping off from. In fact, I think thats the exact opposite of ripping off.
His complaints are fairly valid, but, one thing I've never liked about LockInfo is that it does far too much. My lock screen is my lock screen, I don't wish it to be another home screen with all sorts of goings on. The developer might claim otherwise, but I don't think Lockinfo is for people who want better notifications, its for people who want widgets on their lock screen. Big difference.
Also, what about the image of Stocks and weather displayed? Or is that only on the notifications page when you open it up?

I agree with many things you stated. I think that Lockinfo didn't get ripped off entirely if the app or idea isn't patented. iOS is intellectual property of Apple, Inc. and they can do what ever they want to it. For a jailbreak developer to complain is kinda funny. Yes, I feel sorry that Apple "ripped him off" but like I said if he would've patented the app or idea then he could have something to complain about.
P.S. The "the image of Stocks and weather displayed" is the new notifications.

While I don't feel that there's anything wrong with jailbreaking, I do have to agree that it's hard to feel sorry for the LockInfo author. How do you "rip off" an idea that's obvious, and has been implemented in tons of devices other than iOS devices? If they stole his code, that would be one thing. But it appears that they just implemented the same functionality in their own way, and that's not "ripping off" LockInfo.

Umm...no. You cannot do whatever you want with your own IP if that whatever is INCORPORATING SOMEBODY ELSE'S IP! That is exactly why Apple is suing HTC, why Kodak is suing Apple, and why Apple and Nokia are suing each other.
You an argue that the entire concept of software patents is BS (and I'd probably agree), but, right now, them's the rules of the game.

I'm afraid he can't claim any real unique IP on Lockinfo. Lockinfo incorporates a lot of different things in one place, and does it best out of the apps I've seen on cydia, but it's all been done, largely on Android handsets, before.

I'm glad to see some good conversation about my blog post. I'll admit that I am frustrated that apple has implemented so much of what made LockInfo a valuable product for the iPhone community but i don't want people to think I'm complaining. The point of the blog was to emphasize the differentiating features of LockInfo and to let the devoted users know that I will be continuing to enhance and improve the product.
I've made every effort to let LockInfo meet the needs of people that want simple notifications on their lock screen and to meet the needs of people that want ultimate control and configurability over their notifications. The balance between the Apple "it just works" mantra and the desire of jailbreakers to configure everything on their phones is a difficult one that I hope LockInfo meets.
Apple's notification center is a great play for updated notifications. No doubt about it. But I think that LockInfo still offers many compelling features to make it a great product for the Jailbreak community.

I could be wrong here, but his idea (even if it means combining other pre-existing tools in one place) is HIS idea and hence is his IP. Patented or not is another story, probably what's required if he were to take it to court. But knowing American justice system, as crap as it is, it may just do the right thing.

for someone who has never jailbroke and used LI would not know the difference. so this will be the latest and greatest in the TeamPure world and it looks like it will work fine

maybe lockinfo should sue apple bc their "new feature" has the "same look and feel" as this gentleman's software

No he wouldn't be able to, because cydia was made to better the iPhone. If apple takes ideas from there and makes them better, that is the best thing that can happen to your app or tweak. So everyone gets to experience it.

It's obviously just like lock info it's the exact same basically BUT...what can you do about it?? Phones jailbroken so all the hype about this update isn't that great

Pretty baffled that commenters think "lockinfo" was ripped off, when apple hired it's creator to design their new lock screen.

Apple hired Peter Hajas, creator of Mobile Notifier. They did not hire David Ashman, the creator of LockInfo.
While Ashman's app may have filled a hole in the current iOS, I don't think you could call it a unique, patent-able ide -- other smartphones have been doing this sort of think for years.

I think Ashman just wants a crap ton of info all over his device... I hated LockInfo when I used it because it did WAY TOO MUCH. I would much rather have my notifications go to the actual app involved, not some new thing that is half notification, half app and master of none.
TL;DR he claims to be complaining about what Apple's app is missing, when really he's just advertising for his own app.

Being a user of LockInfo myself, the feature I would miss the most is the lack of weather information in the lockscreen. It's not about wanting widgets - I really couldn't care less about those.
I think his criticism is valid. Anyway, you should read it as "Yeah, Apple rebuilt notifications but hey! You still have reasons to want to buy my app! Can't think of any? Let me help you."
Nevertheless, the lack of quick reply at this point is a major setback - we should have those for social networking too!

Soooo, why exactly would he WANT Apple to add all the functionality of his app? I don't get it, he's complaining that Apple ripped off his idea, but then claiming they failed to implement his ideas and that LockInfo is still much more useful. Shouldn't he be pleased that his app didn't get overshadowed and made pointless???

I think his complaints are valid; but it's cool - that'll just inspire him to add even more cool functionality to an already kick-@ss jailbreak product. I'm a LockInfo user, and it was the MAIN reason I jailbroke in the first place. I'll give iOS5 a chance to convince me, but I'll support Ashman no matter what.

Ashman's LockInfo is fantastic! Apple's new notification center is a complete rip of it and it's obvious when you look at them both.
Saying that LockInfo does "too much" (seriously?!) makes your argument invalid. Try using the settings.
Best thing to come from this is that Ashman will make LockInfo even better. Keep up the great work Ashman!!
Apple should've taken the time to rip-off BiteSMS also. :)

I honestly don't like LockInfo. I would like the weather and some vague information on numbers of items (mail, IMs, etc) but I do not want it to be a free gateway for people to see my personal information! The lock screen is to lock that stuff away, not show it.

First thing when I saw it, I though lockinfo lol
He's valid for saying this, but he should've patented it or something.

It appears to me that the notification system doesn't show the number beside each app like LockInfo does. Can you collapse each section like in LockInfo?

Hey, how do you think Marco Arment feels now? Or the ToDo app developers? Or camera/photo app developers? Or any number of the features Apple has put in that has superseded someones app, hack or whatnot.
It's the nature of the game. If you are filling a hole in some behemoths system, the first thing you should be aware of is that the behemoth may fill that hole and knock you out.

Seriously. How ignorant can you guys get (all you saying he got hired) or can you just not read? School anyone?
David - the creator of Lockinfo - DID NOT GET HIRED by Apple.

Oh no. You're the chump for willingly believing, and aiding and abetting in propoganda. You're just fooling yourself.

I've really enjoyed using LockInfo over the last year as it filled in the gap between my old Windows Mobile 2002/2003/2005 devices and the iPhone: showing you UPCOMING APPOINTMENTS in a sane manner.
I haven't seen any lock screen demos yet that persuade me that anyone at Apple actually keeps up with meetings, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised. (otherwise, I'll stick with LockInfo!).

Amen.
LockInfo is my favorite JB tweak.
Being able to see tweets, news feeds, email and SMS as well as Calendar events and ToDo's with one touch of the home button is amazing. Being able to customize all of these features
is awesome.
As a 3-year iPhone veteran, I'd have a tough time living with anything less.
Keep up the great work David.
Along SBS and BiteSMS, and to a lesser extent BossPaper, LockInfo will keep me JBing until iOS catches up.

I don't get what people mean by lockinfo shows too much? You can completely customize what you want to see and if it's displayed. You can actually keep it hidden (I'm not sure apple's implementation does so?). The way I see it is that apple created a crippled version of lockinfo.

There are a lot of comments about how Android does this, and has for a while. Maybe people don't know that LockInfo and Intelliscreen both did this before Android existed.
Yes, that's right, all of this talk about how iOS 5 rips off Android is actually about how Android ripped ideas from iOS Jailbreak devs.
I've been jailbroken since 1.1.3 on my iPhones and have used Intelliscreen, Cygets, and Lockinfo (current winner is Lockinfo). When 1.1.3 came out Android was just a wet dream from Google. When the App Store rolled out, Google was still begging cell phone companies to use Android.
The original idea of Cydia and jailbreak was to provide functionality that Apple was failing to provide. It wasn't about $. The Cydia Store came about very late in the game. The fact that Apple is willing to provide that functionality now, and have even gone as far as hiring some of the talent out there working on it already, should be applauded, not ridiculed.
I will continue to jailbreak as long as functionality that I want is not provided by Apple, which will probably be a very long time.

The new notifications by Apple maybe elegant but Lockinfo is clearly more practical. I have used Lockinfo since 3G and the new update for the iPhone 4 is the reason why I keep Jaibreaking. Thanks Dave Ashman...keep staying ahead of your competitors. Apple should have hired you.