Apple Bans Wi-Fi Stumbler iPhone Apps – Blames Use Of Private APIs

WiFi stumbler apps purged from app store

After purging the App Store off iPhone apps with sexual content and rejecting apps with “minimal user functionality“, it appears that the Apple App review staff have now been eyeing the Wi-Fi stumbler applications.

Folks at Cult of Mac have noted that several Wi-Fi stumblers have now been removed from the App Store.

The list of banned iPhone apps include popular applications such as WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum and yFy Network Finder. In their message to the iPhone app developers, the iPhone app review staff have noted that the ban on iPhone apps is due to their use of private APIs to access wireless information. While Apple has not explicitly spelt out the private API in question, it is being speculated to be iPhone’s built-in 802.11 radio. 

Noting the ban on several Wi-Fi stumbler iPhone apps from the App Store, Three Jacks Software, the developers of the Wi-Fi Where app write:

“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….”

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.”

The developers have also indicated that going forward, their “only option is to look to the jailbreak market on Cydia.”

Cult of Mac notes that while Wi-Fi stumbler apps have been purged, other iPhone apps like JiWire’s Free Wi-Fi finder and WiFi Directory, which list the free hotspots in a region using the iPhone’s GPS are still available on the App Store. 

iPhone Apps like WiFiFoFum are among the earliest apps on the App Store and have been an extremely useful tool for iPhone users. But at the end of the day, it is Apple’s App store and they have every right to remove iPhone apps that don’t follow the rules. What are your thoughts on this?

[via Cult of Mac]

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  • Texas

    I'm glad to see more developers jump ship and end up on Cydia. Hopefully other app stores will gain momentum and lead the way for greater functionality and innovation.

  • xpedia

    The also banned the background check apps!

  • Shinken1


    I've been using wififofum since my ppc days!
    I use that app everyday. It's my #1 app.
    Now I'm pissed…..

  • Pay the people that JB the phones

    I think the jailbreak community depends on only one thing and that's jailbroken iPhones And as of today my 3.1.2 failed and I was forced to update. After checking all information there is no 3.1.3 avalible and without this JB And people like geohot moving onto other things the community will fail. I think we need to pay the people that jailbreak the phone a percentage of the sale price of the apps so if you buy a $10 app and you JB with blackra1n then geohot gets say $1, this would insure the community grows and continues to function, I know I'm glad I didn't buy any apps because now they would be useless.

  • TimW

    Follow what rules?? The ones they change or make up on the spot??
    Maybe it's an inside conspiracy where someone towards the top of the Appstore management team is secretly driving developers towards Cydia (or Android!!
    A Google spy!!!! 😉

  • You can downgrade to an earlier version if your SHSH is on file with Cydia…

  • Nl393a

    Hi jordandev, I am oneof those whose jb was lost when my phone locked up and I was forced to upgrade to 3.1.3. I'd be very interested to know if there's a way to downgrade to 3.1.2. Please tell me how. It will be greatly appreciated.

  • emmorel

    People, ever heard of redsn0w? I accidentally upgraded as well but then i just downloaded custom firmware 3.1.2 and followed redsn0w's directions. Took all of 5 minutes

  • rekuhs

    Um, mines 3.1.3 and it's jailbroken… used redsn0w

  • l0ser3.1.3

    Huh?that very impressive me. Coz even geohotz o devteam havent said bout that procedure.
    Could u please show us how u do it?thanks

  • so is it simply all the info that is pulled for a network, or just scanning for a list of networks in General…. where is the line drawn ?? I am curious as I need this functionality in one of the apps I am building… I love apple, but hate all the damn rules!!

  • jim

    I need a wifi app for my job. Every time I think I am going to like Apple they pull a bonehead move!