Ethics of hacking a Paid .APK when the developers aren’t delivering.

I just wanted to get a gauge on the community’s attitude towards hacking a paid application. Not for the intent of making it free, but for the intent of making it work!

You see, There’s an app out there called “Escort Live!”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great app as it integrates with your radar detector and laser jammers while driving… but it’s rife with issues that the company just hasn’t been able to address… see the following forum for more information on that:

[url]http://escortradarforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=47[/url]

So… I made a post to try and help the community out by decompiling the 2.04apk hosted on their site… not even their latest version… with Virtuous 10 Studios, and Informed the community of the Sloppy Dev work, and that I would try to fix the issues with our specific phones (Motorola based).

2 days after that post was made…

Banned for Helping Escort Live Android

They then pulled the old .apk’s off of their site, so I’ve conveniently uploaded it here for everyone to decompile and see the terrible coding for themselves:

http://www.megafileupload.com/en/file/408672/Escort-Live-2-0-4-apk.html” title=”Escort Live 2.04.apk

I don’t have enough of a post count on XDA to make a dev project out of this, but as soon as I do then I’ll post the progress on of the project on github.

If anyone would like to join in the effort to give PAYING CUSTOMERS a functioning apk to use with their phones… volunteers are more than welcome, especially those with java / json / xml experience.

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16 thoughts on “Ethics of hacking a Paid .APK when the developers aren’t delivering.

  1. Brian says:

    Good luck with this… I support your efforts. This app has a ton of potential that has wasted more than enough time getting the kinks worked out considering the time-lapse in conjunction with existing bugs remaining to exist. I am an existing EL user and have decompiled the apk as well. Keep us posted… I will be following this closely and am excited to see how it progresses in your court. I mean seriously… I’d love to see EL use Google maps and actually adjust automatically to portrait and landscape as well as day/night modes!

    • pcabibi says:

      Thanks for your comment, Brian! I’m excited as well.

      • Brian says:

        You bet! Let me know if there is any testing you would like me to help with. I make a couple trips a week totaling 10hrs of drive time (5hr each way). I’d be more than happy to help where I can.

        Just some other random information… I have seem some pretty solid information that Apple is looking to buy Waze and also, along that same vein, EL notifications are being posted to Waze as well. Looks like Waze is using the EL notifications. I have confirmed that the posting is happening with no doubt across apps. More information here: http://www.radardetectorforum.org/showthread.php?t=17686

      • pcabibi says:

        Wow, no wonder why EL was giving out a “Cop Spotted” alert every time you encountered a KA band or K band. They were doing that so it went to waze. Hold up, I have all the .apk’s from 2.04 on up… I’m going to decompile the latest one and see if a cop report activity is being initiated, just not displayed anymore. I bet that’s what they’re doing.

  2. pcabibi says:

    hahaha perfect information. Thanks for it. I’ll look into it and absolutely keep you in mind for testing. Unlike Escort, I’d like to follow proper UAT procedures šŸ˜‰

  3. pcabibi says:

    To be honest, Brian, we’re probably going to be doing nightly builds. Just keep your eye on this page and there will be links to them as soon as the first nightly is completed.

    • Brian says:

      Proper… it would be a breath of fresh air just to see any UAT or attempt at SDLC at all. šŸ˜‰

      Excellent news on the nightly builds!

  4. Rob says:

    Long time Escort user (since 1984 actually) and although I can’t help with the coding aspect of this I’d certainly volunteer to help work the bugs out of it with my Redline and EL.

    • pcabibi says:

      Right on Rob. We’ll have our first nightly out soon and I’ll link to it on this page.

      • Rob says:

        Great! I’m sure you’ve probably seen that the new update they rolled out last night is so bug-filled that it crashes constantly. They need to hire you to fix this…whoever they have certainly isn’t capable of getting it done right.

  5. pcabibi says:

    yea, I giggled at their ambiguous “change log”. “minor bug fixes” is like saying “we did something but we’re not going to tell you what we did, just trust us”

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  7. francky says:

    I am the developer of the YaV1 app for V1. I have also de-compiled the obfuscated escort apk. What a mess to clear up.
    I was wondering if you have isolated the BT messages / structure ?

    • pcabibi says:

      Isolated? no. Followed all the separate libs / modules / etc in order to build some type of topology/ERD to make sense of the entire structure… got frustrated and gave up. I think I have a guesstimate of 70% done, but the variable names and lack of comments make it extremely difficult because I had to track down every bluetooth related piece of code and follow the yellow brick road to see where each one led… and there are about as many declarations as there are calls!

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