How to upgrade Manga Rock using in-app purchase for jail-broken iPhone/iPod touch, and some other ethical issues…

First of all, for those of you who find in-app purchase troublesome, we want to say that we share the same concern. After many nights conceptualizing Manga Rock, we decided to implement In-app Purchase as the better way to improve user experience, due to two main reasons:

  • Our manga source, OneManga.com, is free for everybody. Therefore, we feel that we need to allow our users to read manga online for free, because we simply do not own the contents! We even throw in there our advanced viewer to deliver a good manga experience with features such as swipes, double tap, orientation etc. and better yet, it’s ad-free, unlike many other free manga readers right now. Other than that, in-app purchase provides an unannoying way to introduce our other wonderful features to you.
  • With the traditional way of purchase where there are free and paid versions of an application, users who find our free app good enough will have to exit our application, go to App Store to purchase and download the paid version. In-app purchase helps reduce all those steps.

However, there are some minor disadvantages on both Not A Basement Studio’s side and on our beloved customers’ side:

  • We face difficulties with our competitors where they can download our app for free as many times as they want, then under-rate us, give customers a distorted view of how good our application actually is. We, on the other hand, cannot defend ourselves or do the same thing as we have to pay in order to rate their apps (however, we are not unethical enough to do so, thanks to Ethics course). In the end, we hope what is right will be right, and users will understand and find how truly awesome our app is.
  • On the technical side, In-app purchase is the “killer” of jail-broken devices. Apple uses some kind of device ID that jail-broken devices are unable to provide. Don’t cry folks! Fortunately, we have found some kind of work-around so you can purchase and enjoy Manga Rock (we do not encourage jail-breaking though)

There are 2 methods out there, depend on whether your device has AppSync in or not.

Verify whether you have AppSync

  1. Launch Cydia, go to tab Manage, click on Packages

If you HAVE AppSync:

  1. Find AppSync in the list and click on (enter) it
    (Unfortunately, I don’t have AppSync on my device for a screen shot here!)
  2. Modify –> Remove
  3. Uninstall and re-download Manga Rock
  4. Perform In-App Purchase

If you DO NOT HAVE AppSync:

  1. Uninstall Manga Rock
  2. Use a SSH software to connect to your device, or use any iPhone apps to browse through system files (iFile, DiskAid, iPhoneBrowser…).
    I am using iFile for this demonstration.
  3. Navigate to /private/var/stash/libexec.xxxxxx/ (xxxxxx should be any random 6 characters depends on your device)
  4. Rename installd to installd.new
  5. Rename installd.backup to installd
  6. Reboot or respring your iPhone
  7. Re-download Manga Rock and perform In-app purchase
  8. Voila! Enjoy Manga Rock!

    From here, you still need to do one more thing: go to your file browser and rename all the files back:

  9. Rename installd to installd.backup
  10. Rename installd.new to installd
  11. Reboot or respring your iPhone.
    You will have to redo all the steps every time you reinstall Manga Rock or any other apps with In-app Purchase.

Good luck and enjoy Manga Rock! ;)

(This demonstration was tested with iPhone firmware 3.1.2, jail-broken with geohot’s blackra1n method)

P/S if you like Manga Rock, or this post, or just want to know us better, become a fan on our Facebook Fan Page

Updated!
We have now confirmed that these methods DO NOT work on iPod touch devices running firmware 3.1.2 and jail-broken with geohot’s blackra1n, as installd.backup cannot be found.

However, not all hopes are lost :P Thanks to Cole™ we have got the solution for JB iPod touchs’ users. If you are one and would like to support Manga Rock, please (1) go to iTunes and update your firmware to 3.1.3, (2) jail-break your devices with Spirit, and (3) redo the steps stated in the upper part of this blog.