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]