Apple removes Wi-Fi scanners, 'minimum functionality' iPhone apps

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple this week continued its crackdown against what it feels are substandard applications in its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, this time removing Wi-Fi scanners and software it said has "minimum user functionality."



According to the development studio Three Jacks Software, Apple removed its application, called "WiFi-Where," due to its alleged use of unpublished APIs within the iPhone OS software development kit. The developer noted that other applications, including WifiTrak, WiFiFoFum, yFy Network Finder, WiFi Get, eWifi, and WiFi Analyzer were also removed.



"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 developer wrote.



Three Jacks Software said it will re-release its application for jailbroken iPhones via the Cydia installer. Jailbreaking is a practice that circumvents the iPhone OS and allows users to run unauthorized code on their iPhone or iPod touch.



In addition, earlier this week, CrunchGear reported on a developer that created an application that simply made the iPhone quack like a duck. The software was denied from the App Store by Apple due to the fact that it "contains minimal user functionality."



Apple of late has made an attempt to clean up the App Store, beginning last month with a change in policy on "overtly sexual content." More than 5,000 applications were removed and the widespread banishment even mistakenly removed at least one application that sold swimwear, though Apple later corrected the error.



Not long after the App Store opened in 2008, a number of crude burping and farting applications were released and found moderate success, but also resulted in criticism of the level of quality of the software available in the App Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 241
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple this week has continued its crackdown against what it feels are substandard applications in its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, this time removing Wi-Fi scanners and software it said has "minimum user functionality."




    I'm guessing this doesn't bode well for "Don't Kill the Puppy", a free app that my kid loves.



    Oh, well.
  • Reply 2 of 241
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    I use WiFiFiFum daily... it's pretty good to monitoring which channels are sturated etc and where WiFi hotspots are so you can move closer if necessary.



    What a strange move...
  • Reply 3 of 241
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple this week has continued its crackdown against what it feels are substandard applications in its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, this time removing Wi-Fi scanners and software it said has "minimum user functionality."



    Apple of late has made an attempt to clean up the App Store, beginning last month.



    While I do see a WiFi Scanner useful, let's be honest, the App Store is littered with crap apps that make it difficult to find the really well written, useful, and innovative ones.



    The App Store starts sliding downhill in it's usefulness when iPhone owners are overwhelmed with silly apps. Of course, some nut job in CA will decide this infringes on his/her free speech and sue Apple, but that's another post.
  • Reply 4 of 241
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    i hope not ewifi

    i use that all the time when i'm out, gives mac address, very helpful
  • Reply 5 of 241
    My 2 year old little girl loves an app that makes the phone Quack like a duck when you shake it.



    Apple is definitely crossing the line into full-blown censorship. I've been an Apple consumer for quite a long time but this is really starting to give me the creeps.
  • Reply 6 of 241
    ch2coch2co Posts: 41member
    I've used WifiTrak since day one with my iPod touch on almost a daily basis as I move around the town.

    Why kill such useful apps? Apple I am -issed!
  • Reply 7 of 241
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    the app store should just use ESRB ratings and allow anything and everything, quack, fart, crap, whatever.



    if you can't find what you're looking for in all the crap, you deserve to be spending 90 bucks on 10,000 mob points.
  • Reply 8 of 241
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post


    While I do see a WiFi Scanner useful, Let's be honest, the App Store is littered with crap apps that make it difficult to find the really well written, useful, and innovative ones.



    A fact, that does not justify this move by Apple, whatsoever.
  • Reply 9 of 241
    felipurfelipur Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    What a strange move...



    Apple hates people accessing private APIs or underlying hardware. It prevents them from changing the implementation.



    A likely reason may be that iPhone 4.0 changes the private API that the wifi apps are using. Rather than having them all break when 4.0 comes out, making the release look bad, Apple bans them now over the access violation.



    Since there is clearly a need and desire for access to the private API, Apple will probably clean it up and add it to the public APIs. Then the apps will return.
  • Reply 10 of 241
    mrbofusmrbofus Posts: 20member
    ...does that mean all the fart apps [and similar] gone now too?
  • Reply 11 of 241
    swingeswinge Posts: 108member
    I'm really confused by this...can WiFi scanners be used to hack or be harmful in some way? What is the reason Apple is giving? Could it be to force people to be more dependent on 3G/At&T??
  • Reply 12 of 241
    Once censorship begins, it never knows where to stop. Apple should RATE apps, not remove them.
  • Reply 13 of 241
    ..."but its not hard to see that this trend."

    "But the software also brought resulted in criticism of the level of quality of the software..."



    As a long time devotee to this site, it disturbs me to see this growing trend here at AppleInsider. ...so much so that I find it difficult to remain silent on this any longer. I understand no one is fond of "Grammar Policing" but doesn't anyone proof read anymore?!?!

    Come on AppleInsider, your reputation far exceeds this level of publishing!
  • Reply 14 of 241
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Can't most of these one-function wonders be written as web apps? (Especially the ones that simply look up some specific piece of information and present it to the user.) If so, there's nothing stopping developers from doing so and selling them directly, outside the App Store.
  • Reply 15 of 241
    I find this curious. The sex apps, I'm not completely happy about, but I can understand.



    The lawsuit, again not real happy about, but I can understand that one too. Though, getting the import of these devices blocked seems like a bad PR move on their part.



    This shenanigans about Wi-Fi scanner apps though? This one really has me confused. Most of these are legitimately good apps that provide some useful functionality for techs and other power users. Why remove these applications?



    I was considering buying an iPad later this month, but now I find myself rethinking that decision. If this is what I have to look forward to, I think I'll pass. I'm missing my iPhone, but with the stream of bad moves lately, I think I'm going to stick with Android.
  • Reply 16 of 241
    esummersesummers Posts: 885member
    I don't mind the elimination of trivial apps, but I think that better organization of the AppStore would be a better solution. Simply creating a "Trivial" category would help with this. Of course, the Wifi scanners are not being denied for being trivial. They are using undocumented APIs. Those developers should put a request in for Apple to open those APIs. Apple frequently does this for OS X developers, I don't see why they wouldn't do it for iPhone developers.
  • Reply 17 of 241
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrbofus View Post


    ...does that mean all the fart apps [and similar] gone now too?



    Luke: "Are you all right? What's wrong?"



    Obi-Wan: "I felt a great disturbance in the Force... as if millions of (ifart apps) suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. You'd better get on with your exercises."



    What does it sound like when millions of iFart apps cry out? Can't imagine it's pretty.
  • Reply 18 of 241
    camroidv27camroidv27 Posts: 523member
    Out of curiosity, (since I don't have any apps that have been removed) does Apple pull (pun intended) an Amazon, and remove the App from your device too, or do they let it sit there?



    I'm never a fan of a company censoring like this. Being female, I'd never download a porn app as I find them degrading and I can see that any day in the mirror, but at least let that morality call be done by downloader (and please, include a parental lockout feature so parents can censor their children instead of a company!) As for "Limited Use Apps" again, let someone else make that call, as each person will find different uses in different apps. Perhaps Apple should redesign the App Store to make things easier to find instead of removing "crap apps" just to keep it "clean".
  • Reply 19 of 241
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrbofus View Post


    ...does that mean all the fart apps [and similar] gone now too?



    One word... PLEASE!
  • Reply 20 of 241
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post


    What does it sound like when millions of iFart apps cry out? Can't imagine it's pretty.



    I'd imagine it'd probably sound like a magnitude 8.8 earthquake... wait... something's amiss here.
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