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back to article Apple yanks Wi-Fi detectors from iTunes

Wi-Fi hotspot detecting applications are the latest on Apple's list of verboten apps, and even developers are being left in the dark as to why. Wi-Fi detection is something of a niche: there were never more than a handful of such applications in iTunes. But now even those have vanished as Apple decided they were using a "private …

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FAIL

Welcome to the world of Apple

They are slowly showing more of their real face, and it keeps looking uglier.... We urgently need an icon of Jobs with a small black moustache and a raised right hand....

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Not the entire hand, just...

"We urgently need an icon of Jobs with a small black moustache and a raised right hand...."

Under these circumstances I'm more picturing Steve with an upraised middle finger.

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WTF?

An application with practical use

I use a wifi detector app to determine wifi range issues and possible conflicts with neighbours wifi. This is one of the most useful apps I have and Apple have decided it's a no-no? Bad form I say!

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Android has you covered

Those scanners are really a godsend to find a halfway clear channel when customers have >20 WiFi networks nearby.

Nicest I've seen so far (and another reason apart from general freedom and real Multitasking that I'm glad I switched from jesusPhone to an Android Milestone) is WiFi Analyzer.

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WiFi detectors work fine in Android...

'cummon guys, join the Android crew: IMHO better 'phones and nice, open, unlocked-phones with both supported marketplace & unsupported marketplace apps available - AS STANDARD!!

Cheers!

Phillip

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FAIL

Serves you right

Every penny you throw at Apple only strengthens their grip. Sucks when they tear off something you actually want, isn't it.

Enjoy your 7000 fart applications.

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FAIL

nice and open..

Unless you want to tether properly over wifi without having to run some lameass special kludges on the client machine (this is the sole reason why I won't buy an Android device).

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Bronze badge
Go

tethering on android

i can tether mine as a wifi hot spot without any client based software. you need to re-investigate how its done :)

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huh?

if by "lameass cludges" you mean "installing the network driver" then guilty as charged....

please explain how any other device can manage IP connectivity over a USB cable without needing a driver

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Just works on Android (at least it does for me)

Kludge? I just plugged my HTC Hero into my Netbook (Ubuntu) and it just worked. The OS just sees it as a wired Internet connection, no setting changes required anywhere. Just launched Firefox and the web worked immediately.

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Gold badge

Enjoy...

"Enjoy your 7000 fart applications."... while you can. I'm sure soon enough Jobs will decide they are too juvenile and pull them from the app store.

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Jobs Horns

Pulling (my finger or) fart apps

I expect he'd pull those apps if one of his pep speeches was interrupted by a significant part of the audience pulled out their iPhones and iPods, cranked up the volume, and let 'em rip. (hint, hint)

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FAIL

Never

Jobs would never pull those apps from the store! They help add (pad) those app counts with zeroes! "Over 100,000 Apps! There's an App for that!" (as long as you're looking for a fart app or something equally younger than 12)

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WTF?

The Lord Giveth

And the Lord Taketh Away.

Freakin' Nazis Man, Freakin' Nazis!

Gibber

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Jobs Horns

Whiny Little Maggots Hit With Cluebat

"Only applications that actively scan have been pulled"

Two words : "battery life". Here's another two : "user experience". And another two "Control Freak", and finally, two more "Steve Jobs". Getting the picture yet ? No ?

"though Apple has apparently declined to explain exactly what rule the scanning applications are breaking."

Much as I hate to leap to their defence, they have in fact explained exactly what rule the scanning applications are breaking.

Here's the fucking great big clue :

"We received a very unfortunate email today from Apple stating that WiFi Where has been removed from sale on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information,"

The SDK agreement accepted by every registered developer very specifically prohibits the use of private frameworks.

Recently, though, the app store peeps have been slack in enforcing several of the rules, this one included, and this is very much a 'tidying up' effort to make sure that all the rules are applied, even if that means retrospectively rejecting apps.

Yes, it is indeed a bummer, and yes indeed, it will royally piss off developers who had previously had their apps accepted, and yes, Apple are a proper mardy bunch, prone to hissy fits and fickle as buggery. This however is not news.

The moral of the story is a simple one : READ THE FUCKING DOCUMENTS. These developers should not be surprised that their apps are being pulled, they should have been surprised to get them approved in the first place.

Clearly neither the effected devs, or the article's author have bothered their arses to RTFM before whining. Fail.

This is particularly stupid on the part of the devs, because in their case they made a legally binding agreement with Apple based entirely on a document that they clearly either haven't read, or have failed to understand. So no sympathy what so ever.

If you're going to play with big boys you need to get your fucking shit together, y'know ?

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re: Whiny Little Maggots Hit With Cluebat

i like you...my kida sysadmin:)

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Customers and developers both...

... Are hit with clue 2*4.

If you want to develop for, or use, a device you have conrol over then don't buy Apple.

Yes the iPhone does look like a cool device -- but it's a locked-down and neutered device. If you develop for, or own, an iPhone you should expect this -- you patent-lawyer-funding gits!

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Jobs Horns

Free data transfer is business piracy...

...or so Apple would have us believe. God forbid you get to access the internet without them getting a piece of that pie.

This is just plain sad and pathetic. And another reason to steer clear of all things Apple.

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Jobs Horns

This is why I'll never own an Apple product.

I'm just not their target market. ;)

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Jobs Horns

Agreed

At least after my 120gb black iPod classic dies. Never been "appy" but the fact the thing likes skipping in the middle of my music sort of ruins the awesome of having more space then I can possibly use.

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Paris Hilton

hmm

Apple can suck on my big BlackBerry.

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Thumb Down

Once again there ISN'T and app for that.

Title says it all, really.

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Jobs Horns

Private frameworks

"Apple has apparently declined to explain exactly what rule the scanning applications are breaking."

They're breaking the rule that says "Thou shalt not use private frameworks". I would have thought this would be obvious.

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Joke

But are...

...the fart apps safe.

Please tell me we won't be losing those anytime soon?

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if they used a private framework

then why were they able to launch on appstore, since that's one of the tests they do?

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well

that does sound a bit too serious for a rich kids toy.

Best if it sticks to farting and burping.

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FAIL

Yet another reason

To Jailbreak.

Like I wanted an app to turn my bluetooth off without going through five different steps.. is there an app in the app store? No, because you need to use 'private frameworks' to fricking do it.

Luckily, I found plenty of apps on Cydia that do the job perfectly, as well as an alternative to the Wifi scanner mentioned in the article.

Apple are due to crack down on all apps that use 'private frameworks'. It's against the App store rules, so the developers know they've done wrong incorporating it into their apps and would have known it was only a matter of time before Apple picked up on it, but this is still pathetic anyway.

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Jobs Horns

Shome mishtake shurely

I would say that's a reason to buy a different frickin phone. Why the hell do people who have such a problem with the restrictions even have an iPhone in the first place ?

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Jobs Horns

Killing their own business ?

The long term impact of apple apparently randomly pulling apps from the iphone and soon the ipad, is that investors and companies who make the apps have an uncertain future. They can make an app which is accepted and put on the app store and make money and at an unknown point in the future it could be pulled meaning the odds of getting ROI is low.

It would make me think twice about investing in the iPhone app store.

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Stop

It's been in the dev T&Cs since day one

You're not to create apps that use undocumented API calls. Simple as that. Apple find out that you've been doing just that and your app gets pulled. Making a song and dance of things isn't going to get them put back.

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Joke

Vetted applications

...and since day one, Apple personally vets all the applications to "protect" their users. The vetting process, and the delay it causes are well known about.

So how did they manage to update their app so that is now uses private frameworks, and get the updated version onto the app store without going through Apple? (for Apple to then find out and pull it). And why did they change their app so that it now uses private frameworks, when it obviously worked fine originally without them when Apple vetted it?

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unless you are Google.

Google did it with the proximity sensor in the voice search and got away with it. There's probably a public API for the prox sensor now, but there didn't used to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Bah!

I always hated Apple, but having found that the 3GS was the best handset on sale the last time i was in the market for such a thing, i bought one.

Im beginning to think that come the time when its to be replaced, i'll be jumping ship, unsure who to really. Nexus One is a nice handset but lets be honest Google arent exactly angels themselves.

Apple just seem to get barmier by the day, i mean the boobs thing i could kind of see the point of; smut isnt really good for the image. But this? And more to the point, whats next?

Bah....Cup and string it is then!

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Thumb Up

required

I guess this means that WiFi detectors can't be banned from the Android Market, because Apple will sue.

'We banned 1st, we can't sit idly by and watch our competitors steal our banstick.'

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Jobs Horns

<title/>

No company should punt their wares on the App Store. The sheer volume of cases like these where Apple arbitrarily remove businesses' income streams and constantly shift the goalposts in terms of what is and is not allowed should be a clear warning to developers. Who knows what next week's naughty list will contain?

Apple are the new PayPal.

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FAIL

Only not

"cases like these where Apple arbitrarily remove businesses' income streams and constantly shift the goalposts"

Only they didn't do it arbitrarily, this is an enforcement of the developer agreement which the developers ought to have been aware of. So not arbitrary. And it's always been there, so no moving goalposts either.

The iPhone is a closed platform which belongs to Apple. Period. People who have a problem with this can buy and develop for a selection of other mobile platforms, rocket science it most certainly is not.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Only not

"Only they didn't do it arbitrarily, this is an enforcement of the developer agreement which the developers ought to have been aware of. So not arbitrary. And it's always been there, so no moving goalposts either."

An argument that would stand up if Apple hadn't 'reviewed' and approved the app for sale in the first place.

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WTF?

Can someone please explain...

What the hell these "private frameworks" are, and why they are such a big deal?

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Private frameworks

They're function calls that an application can use to do things.

If they're private, it means that Apple don't want you to use them. The idea is that Apple haven't decided if they're going to change them, if they're going to be available in future products, etc.

It's similar to Microsoft when they used undocumented APIs in their own products and it was deemed anti-competitive but Apple are a rule unto themselves.

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Not very similar at all.

Not parallel, just kind of broadly dealing with the same category. Were Apple selling these kind of applications using these undocumented calls competing with applications that were prohibited from using those calls, then the situation would be closer. But as far as the article is concerned and based on rumors heard elsewhere, even Apple developers are forbidden from using internal calls at the application layer, for precisely the same reasons external developers are: they may change at any time, without notice, and "This application is incompatible with X.Y release" Is Not On.

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Anticompetitiveness

"It's similar to Microsoft when they used undocumented APIs in their own products and it was deemed anti-competitive but Apple are a rule unto themselves."

No, it's Microsoft who were the law unto themselves. There's nothing illegal with using undocumented APIs or using DRM to create a closed platform, unless you happen to be in a monopoly position, when different rules apply. There are plenty of other MP3 players, smart phones, app and music stores, mobile phone operators, game consoles, etc. out there, so nothing is forcing you to use Apple's (or anyone else's) products if you don't want to.

Microsoft got into trouble because they abused their monopoly position (eg. by illegally restricting what OEMs were allowed to do) and were found to have broken competition law on several different occasions, in both the USA and Europe.

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Same but different

So it's the same behaviour but it's not wrong when Apple does it as it is not yet a monopoly?

That's not *much* of a justification really, is it?

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Please ...

"..nothing is forcing you to use Apple's (or anyone else's) products if you don't want to."

Let's please stop using this statement in any comment that goes on to reference Microsoft and their monopoly, shall we? You are always free to use any product you can get, and that has always included Microsoft's products ... in that you have never *had* to buy Microsoft products, there have *always* been alternatives.

So let's all acknowledge that (1) nobody is "forcing" anyone to do anything in any event, (2) Microsoft is a convicted monopolist and (3) Apple is heading down the same road, but will never get there because Jobs doesn't want a company that big ... he prefers marketing to a cult: It's easier, and in all of recorded history there has never been a successful uprising perpetrated by cult members against their God.

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Badgers

Competition law

The kind of thing Microsoft used to do is say "Windows can only access a file share via SMB, and we won't license SMB to you if you plan to sell a fileserver that runs Solaris or Linux rather than Windows Server", or tell PC manufacturers "we'll only let you install Windows on your machines if you buy a copy for EVERY machine you sell, even if your customer wants to run Linux". So yes, they did force people to buy Microsoft products.

Having a monopoly or not is everything. Before you say Apple is forcing you to use the iTunes store to make online purchases, remember that competition law isn't there to directly give CONSUMERS a choice on any particular platform but is there to ensure there are no unfair blocks preventing a new MANUFACTURER entering a market. There are plenty of other successful music and video stores, eg. Amazon, so by definition the iTunes Store can't be anticompetive.

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FAIL

The only app

The only app I ever found the need to whip out the credit card for, I'll be rather upset if that app disappears from my ipod. I use a wireless scanner to track down unauthorised access points on our campus.

Fortunately my forray into android development was rather 'fruitful'. Can't wait to get my hands on a gPhone.

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Jobs Horns

Not just Android, WM too

I currently have a WM phone (I'll be getting an Android one in the next few weeks too), and apps like WiFiFoFum work wonderfully and have been very useful.

It really should tell people something about Apple when even a Windows powered device is a more open platform.

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Megaphone

The full rule that developers have broken

Thou shalt not use private frameworks... but Apple will look the other way until the Great Steve Jobs decides that AppStore's market share is above the magic threashold.

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Stop

Stop ranting

I think this whole discussion can be summed up as:

Non-iPhone developers: "Can't believe Steve Jobs's control freakery, should have got an Android, arbitrarily remove businesses' income streams, constantly shift the goalposts, rant, rant, rant..."

iPhone developers: "They used private frameworks. Wow. Why did they do that?"

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Private APIs

To be honest I have very little sympathy with the developers.

Apple have NEVER made it a secret that if you use private API calls in your apps then expect to be rejected or pulled from the App Store.

They only wasted their time because they didn't listen to what apple said and what their user agreement said

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Badgers

Thing is

Maybe the app(s) shouldn't have been there in the first place but they were.

Unless they were illegal in some way, why delete what is a revenue stream for the developer and the publisher? Apple often just leave me scratching my head.

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