Rashiq Zahid has shared a web app today indicating which McDonald’s locations in the United States have a working ice cream machine. Zahid, a 24-year-old software engineer, was able to do this by reverse-engineering McDonald’s ordering API.
The app, which is titled McBroken, is dependent on each location actively updating the status of their ice cream machine. This tool is especially useful when you’re trying not to build your hopes up only to arrive at your nearest McDonald's and hear one of their employees deliver the dreaded sentence that we all know all too well: "The ice cream machine is broken."
As of this writing, McBroken is reporting that nearly 7.8 percent of McDonald's ice cream machines are broken. Philadelphia leads all cities with over 16 percent of its machines down, followed by New York at more than 15 percent.
According to The Verge, Zahid came up with the idea during a visit to a McDonald's in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin in July. After he was unable to order a McSundae through their touchscreen kiosk and from their mobile app because of an ice cream-related issue, Zahid realized "there must be something that can be done about this."
Zahid initially tried to create an API that would check on the availability of each location's ice cream machine by adding a McSundae to the cart once every minute, but it was blocked. He was able to figure out a workaround by including the frozen treat every 30 minutes.
Zahid's app isn't the first one that checks to see if ice cream machines in McDonald’s locations are in working order. Back in 2017, Raina McLeod released an app for iPhones, titled Ice Check, that allows users to check if they'll be able to get the treat at their local McDonald’s.