WiFi-Where Removed from the App Store

It appears the recent Apple crackdown on apps has spilled over to Utilities as well. Yesterday we received an email from Apple stating that WiFi-Where has been removed from the app store because "...There are no published APIs that provide the ability to manipulate the wireless connection or the show level of information regarding the wireless connection as demonstrated in the application...."

It also appears that similar products like WifiTrak, WiFiFoFum, yFy Network Finder, WiFi Get, eWifi, WiFi Analyzer have also been pulled as well.

This is very frustrating. WifiTrak and WiFiFoFum have been on the app store since its very early days, and for the longest time no other apps appeared. It looks months of trying and re-trying before WiFi-Where was approved. Starting in November 2009, we started seeing these new apps appear. We took this as an indication that maybe Apple had decided to allow WiFi apps, and began re-submitting WiFi-Where until it was approved in January 2010.

WiFi-Where was a baby on the app store and not ranked anywhere, yet all the user feedback we've gotten has been very positive.

I find it quite ironic that Apple removes these very handy, very useful apps from the app store when there are so many useless gimick apps that just pollute the App Store pages. I'm not going to list any names, but its not hard to see that this trend.

We would like to thank all the users who've purchased WiFi-Where. We hope you continue to enjoy it! Going forward, our only option is to look to the jailbreak market on Cydia.

- Three Jacks Software

Time to switch to Android

Hey developers, tired of apple's tight squeeze on your balls??

No app for that

At the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine (wigle.net), a database and mapping system for "Net Stumbling" or "War Driving" hobbyists, we've seen the iPhone provide a low barrier-to-entry for this hobby. It combines a GPS with a Wifi radio, but it can only work when apps like Wifi-Where, WiFiFoFum and others are allowed to exist.

These apps were inspected for months before finally getting through the nebulous App Store approval process. Some have been available for months or even years. Now, arbitrarily, they are banned. If they use API calls that Apple didn't want them to, why were they approved? Why weren't the developers contacted behind the scenes to address any fiddly technical issues Apple might foresee?

As users all we see is a useful app, that was paid for, that now can not be updated. We can't find the least used frequency channels to set our access points to, can't take surveys of campus wireless coverage or find rogue wifi on a corporate network. And we can't help with wireless mapping projects. There's no app for that.

-bobzilla, http://wigle.net

Are some of us that naive?

Ok, I know it can be really, really, hard to accept the notion that AT&T is influencing or dictating to Apple what they want or don't want to be available on the Apps Store. Last October they reluctantly agreed or should I say, they were forced to implement net neutrality by making available apps that will offer VOIP and that'll use 3G. Isn't it all plausible this is just a back-door way of Apple and AT&T of reducing the number of apps that will dip into AT&T's profits and any cell phone provider for that matter by forcing people to use their data or subscribe to a data plan if they don't have one? Removing these effective and enhanced wifi stumblers is just one way they can make it difficult and using API as an excuse.

I know it's easier to sit back and believe whatever one is told, especially from our beloved god, Apple. However, bear in mind that denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

WiFi Where removed from Appd Store

"...There are no published APIs that provide the ability to manipulate the wireless connection or the show level of information regarding the wireless connection as demonstrated in the application...."

What did the rest of the letter say? Perhaps the reason for Apple's action was there.

WiFi Where removed from Appd Store

"...There are no published APIs that provide the ability to manipulate the wireless connection or the show level of information regarding the wireless connection as demonstrated in the application...."

What did the rest of the letter say? Perhaps the reason for Apple's response was there.

Apple's Reasons

There wasn't really much more in the email from Apple. All the WiFi scanning applications on the app store used the same set of undocumented function calls. According to the letter of Apple Law, that is against the rules. However, the original two WiFi stumblers (WiFiTrak and WiFiFoFum) have been on the App Store since its early days.

On iPhone OS 2.x, the methods in questions *were* located in a private framework. In OS 3.x, Apple moved them to a public framework, however they are still undocumented and thus against the rules.

We began submitting WiFi-Where in the summer of 2009, and after a handful or rejections, we had basically given up. It wasn't until Nov/Dec 2009 when we saw a couple other WiFi scanning apps appear that we renewed our efforts. I think it was WiFi Analyzer that I saw appear in early November 2009. We assumed this meant Apple had changed their tune, but alas they have not.

This is rediculous

I am a network engineer for my company and I use WiFi scanners for my job almost daily.

Which would I rather do, pull out my iPhone or my laptop?

This is a huge crock.

I'm mad

This is retarded. Last year, they made lars bergstrom, the creator of the free wifitrak version pull the app. Everyone was scrounging to find an alternative and they finally decided to download these other apps which cost litte, still they were not free. Now, Apple decides to pull the plug on these apps. Will the developer return people's monies? I dont think so.

Personally, I am kicking myself now because I am waiting for the next gen iPhone. I sold my original 3G and I was planning to download this app (Wifitrak) and pay the $.99 which was so useful. Had I downloaded the app onto my PC, I at least would've had it. Then again, Apple would have introduced some firmware update like they did in version 3 that would kill the app.

And as far as unlocking goes, please. With tactics like this, and AT&T cracking down on the users who use over 1 GB of data a month (everyone loses) we all should jailbreak our iPhones just to show our resentment toward how Apple is doing business. And the more I think about it, the more I really dislike Apple, who are reminding me of Hitler. Maybe I won't get the iPhone afterall?

BTW, another poster recommended emailing Phil Schiller and complaining to him, but what is his email address?

Blame at&t, not Apple

I think this move is done by at&t, not Apple.

Even though Apple discourages these type of apps, because Apple already has built in wi-fi scanner app built in the setting section of the app, they have usually left alone.

This is somewhat not Apple like action, and I have to say at&t forced Apple again to remove the apps, because it could hurt 3G experience at&t's been advertising for while.

My dad's friend works for the FCC, and he's been assigned to the Apple/Google/at&t thing. What he found during the investigation so far, is that at&t completely dictates the app store from ground up, not Apple, as promised. This is why he threatened at&t to stop this practice, or face huge fine, and a potential hearing by FTC for anti-trust.

Now, it looks like at&t's been at it again, and FCC is furious.

My suggestion: Even though it's frustrating, don't give up on App store. Send it back to Apple, and try emailing Phil Schiller. (who actually sends more detailed reply than Steve Jobs, who usually sends one line reply)

Also, don't send app to Cydia. Even though many argue that it's a great store, the mechanism to get to the store requires Jailbreak, and (as a student also studying legal in electronic copyright), the method used in jailbreak requires the encryption in iPhone OS to be modified, and under DMCA, it is against the federal law to bypass encryption.

Please move to Cydia!

Please move to Cydia!

OR

You could develop for Android where you would not have these problems

Blast Apple

It sucks they have taken your app off the app store. I really do hope you will continue to support it on the underground. Yesterday I was just stumbling around the app store looking for an app I could use to scan networks with for wigle and I saw yours. Bought it when I saw you could upload straight to wigle.net. Figures it would come off the store the next day!
Anyway, if you can get it back up on Cydia, I'd be happy to buy the next version all over again. Now that you are free of the Apple Chains, I wonder what other features you can add :]

Peace,
Grimpickle