They tried to make nice with Apple, to no avail. Now Israeli startup Tawkon says it will get an app that estimates radiation levels onto iPhones the hard way: Via Cydia, which provides content for jailbroken phones.
On the official Tawkon blog, the company says it held discussions with Apple executives, "who praised our app functionality and graphic appeal, and explored various technical solutions with us to overcome API restrictions and get tawkon onto the App Store."
But Tawkon claims its app was rejected by Apple CEO Steve Jobs last August in a curt e-mail to Tawkon cofounder and CEO Gil Friedlander, supposedly sent from his iPhone, saying simply "No interest."
Tawkon said, "If ]Jobs] used tawkon, he'd know that most of the time the iPhone doesn't reach its maximum labeled SAR levels. However, when it does, it's very easy to lower exposure by heeding tawkon instructions -- like 'go back' to previous location, 'activate speakerphone' 'hold your phone vertically,' or activate headset while traveling fast, among other actions."
The tawkon app is already available for BlackBerry devices via Research In Motion's App World and for Android phones via the Android Market. Now Tawkon is providing a link to a site that shows how to jailbreak for forbidden apps via Cydia. Jailbreaking isn't illegal, but it voids the iPhone warranty.
Tawkon doesn't measure actual radiation since no phone is equipped with such a sensor. Instead, it relies on a mix of information -- location, proximity to cell towers, weather, hardware version, and Bluetooth functionality -- to determine if the level is high or low.
Although recent studies, including one published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, have suggested that long-term exposure to the electromagnetic radiation of mobile phones affects the brain, it has yet to be proven.
"This seems to come and go in waves," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group. "With general concerns surrounding radiation increasing, I expect it wouldn't take much to have something like [tawkon] take flight, but, for now, cell-phone radiation isn't pulling that much interest."
How Does It Work?
Asked via e-mail whether the app could be considered reliable without measuring actual radiation, Tawkon cofounder Amit Lubovsky said "we are actually interfacing the cellular protocol stack (using what's called 'private APIs'; that's why we haven't been approved to the App Store) that manages the baseband (modem) on the mobile phone."
He added that tawkon extracts different radio-frequency parameters that, together with position and usage of the phone (with or without headsets or speakers), are analyzed by the company's algorithm to calculate a specific absorption rate.
"Before launching our clients, the software goes through a long calibration process in an RF lab (un-echoic chambers, base-station simulators, SAR machines, etc.)," wrote Lubovsky.
Enderle recommends the use of headsets or speakers whenever possible because "it often takes years before adverse problems are identified and traced back to the source."
Posted: 2011-03-24 @ 3:01pm PT
We care about your health too Steve.
Get well soon.