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About the 1st generation iPhone/push notification post: an apology


On Tuesday evening, in the leadup to the release of the iPhone 3.0 firmware update, TUAW ran a post that included wrong information. The post stated that first-generation iPhone owners would not be able to use the push notification feature of 3.0 and receive phone calls at the same time. This was incorrect with respect to the final 3.0 release.

Although the post was well-intentioned, the conclusions stated came from a source who had experienced a conflict between push notifications and incoming calls while testing a beta push-enabled application, and the source did not adequately confirm the issue with other iPhone developers or other push-enabled applications. Furthermore, the technical information in the post about how push notification works was not accurate.

As editors, we can blame the lateness of the hour and the excitement over the iPhone 3.0 OS release on not catching the mistakes pre-publication, but in truth, we made an error in judgement. Based on our confidence in the source, we didn't assign the same level of scrutiny to the post that our readers have come to expect (and that we have come to expect for ourselves), and for that we are sorry. Had the post been framed differently as "one user's story" rather than as a blanket technical explanation, that would have been a better choice; however, due to the NDA status of participants in the iPhone developer program, it was not possible to directly credit the source at that time; the 3.0 firmware had not yet been released.

Although we amended the post as soon as the mistake was realized and removed it from the front page within minutes, the nature of the Internet means that this misinformation is hard to erase. Our editorial policy dictates that we not "unpublish" or delete posts, once they appear on the site. Still, even removed from our front page, and even with our editor's note atop the post, we are aware that the post continues to be a point of confusion for readers.

TUAW's bloggers and editors strive to provide accurate information and to clearly distinguish conjecture or rumor from fact. In this instance, we got it wrong.

We are truly sorry for this situation. We understand that it reflects poorly on us as a site, to readers and to the community at large. As a result, we have strengthened our editorial resolve to do more vigorous checking of the technical details of posts, so that this sort of misinformation does not get published in the future.

As always, thank you for reading TUAW. Without your support, we wouldn't be here, and we are very much aware how important our credibility is to your continued readership and participation.

We look forward to continuing the conversation on this issue and responding to your questions and concerns. While comments on the initial post are closed, we welcome your feedback in comments here, via our tips line and on Twitter and Facebook.

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