Surprise! Apple has pulled yet another app from the shelves of its iPhone AppStore. As part of their apparent push to clean up the AppStore for the sake of wholesomeness and compatibility, Apple has suddenly and inexplicably given WiFi-detecting apps the boot from the largest and most prolific mobile app store on planet Earth. These apps, which use the iPhone’s WiFi radio to actively scan for nearby wireless hotspots, are no longer available. Meanwhile, another boob app has found its way onto the AppStore.
In true Apple fashion, the apps were banned without so much as a decent explanation to the apps’ respective developers. According to one developer, Apple contacted them to let them know that their WiFi scanner app is no longer welcome in the AppStore due to its use of some sort of “private framework” to find hotspots. The ban includes all apps that actively detect WiFi networks. Those that help you find nearby networks by way of a hotspot database are still good to go and can still be downloaded.
Apple is keeping mum on why – aside from the mention of a vague “private framework” – the apps are being banned. The Register posits that Apple is working to make all AppStore apps cross-compatible between the iPhone and the upcoming iPad. Assuming the iPad lacks the framework that these WiFi scanner app use, it would make sense that Apple not allow apps that won’t work on all their iPhone OS devices.
Again, the eaten-fruit company can do whatever they damn well please. It’s their business and they’ll run it however they see fit. But, when their silence and unwillingness to work with developers starts to affect small time iPhone app makers’ paycheck, we have a problem. Is it too much to ask for a more detailed explanation as to why a certain app got kicked out?