• Apple Pulls All WiFi Stumblers from App Store

    Apple has unexpectedly removed a number of utility apps that detect WiFi networks, and even the developers of those apps are unclear as to the reason why Apple suddenly finds them so unacceptable. According to a report in Softpedia, WiFi stumblers like WifiTrak, WiFiFoFum, yFy Network Finder, WiFi Get, eWifi, and WiFi Analyzer vanished from the App Store overnight. The reason given was that the apps were using a "private framework," though details on this weren't provided. A developer at one of the companies affected said that they would pursue re-releasing the app on Cydia.

    A framework is a directory of resources inside the iPhone SDK that devs link to in order to build apps. Because it's a shared resource, multiple applications can reuse code without having to build it from scratch. However, not all the functionality that devs want are available in the native frameworks. The rub, though, is that Apple prohibits the use of third-party frameworks on the iPhone, which is apparently (at least according to Apple) the rule these apps fell afoul of.

    A developer with the username of "codemonkey57" posted on the Three Jacks Software company blog about a "a very unfortunate email" they had gotten from Cupertino saying that their WiFi-Where app had been dropped. "WiFi-Where has been removed from sale on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information," the message reportedly read. The developer expressed the hope that the same functionality of the unnamed private framework would be made available in a future release of the SDK.

    The developer observed with some understandable frustration how Apple chose to remove "very handy, very useful apps" when there are "many useless gimick apps" on the App Store. They have not given up, though: they will keep making WiFi-Where, and - in a clear challenge to Apple - note that their "only option [will be] to look to the jailbreak market on Cydia."
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