Wi-Fi Sync and PC Free features in iOS 5, will finally allow Apple to cut the cord. They are also our favorite iOS 5 features as we’ve always longed for the day when iOS device such as iPad and iPhone won’t need a computer.
But folks at TUAW remind us that the Wi-Fi sync feature is not a new one for users who have jailbroken their iOS devices as jailbreak app – Wi-Fi Sync that we’ve covered last year, already allowed users to wirelessly sync their jailbroken iOS device with iTunes over a Wi-Fi network.
Apple had rejected the app when Greg Hughes – developer of Wi-Fi Sync had initially submitted the app to the App Store because of “security concerns“, which forced him to release the app on Cydia. It has been available on Cydia for the last 13 months for $9.99.
Apple’s feature not only gets the same name, but as you can see below, the Wi-Fi Sync icon also looks quite identical to the icon of Wi-Fi Sync jailbreak app.
Wi-Fi Sync 2.0 icon (left) and Apple’s Wi-Fi Sync icon (right)
The Register caught up with the UK-based developer to get his reaction. He had this to say:
“Obviously I was fairly shocked,” said Hughes, referring to his reaction on Monday when he saw the new feature promoted on Apple’s website. “I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that.”
The Register also reports:
He said an iPhone developer relations representative named Steve Rea personally called him prior to sending a formal rejection email to say the app was admirable, but went on to explain there were unspecified security concerns and that it did things not specified in the official iPhone software developers’ kit.
It is likely that Apple had already started working on the Wi-Fi Sync feature before Hughes submitted the app to the App Store, but the similarities have raised some eyebrows.
It is difficult to believe that Apple copied the feature from the jailbreak app – as the functionality has always been one of the most requested features by iOS users, but let’s hope that Hughes is rewarded by Apple in some way for being the first to introduce the feature. If you want the Wi-Fi sync feature before iOS 5 is released this fall, then you can purchase and install Wi-Fi Sync 2.0 from Cydia.
Do you think Apple copied from the jailbreak app? Please share your views in the comments below.