Apple abolishes Wi-Fi scanners from App Store

First adult apps got the boot. Now Apple is banning apps that actively scan for Wi-Fi hotspots.

First adult apps, now Wi-Fi.

iPhone apps that find Wi-Fi hotspots by actively scanning for them are no longer welcome in Apple's App Store, Softpedia reports. The ban does not apply to Wi-Fi locators that use a database of hotspots combined with GPS, so there are apps you can use.

But that's of little consolation to developers who've wasted time and effort developing their apps and getting Apple's approval. A developer for Three Jacks Software, who saw its WiFi-Where app wiped out in the ban, vented frustrations on the company blog.

"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 [sic] apps that just pollute the App Store pages," developer "codemonkey57" wrote.

In a separate blog post, the developer said Apple took issue with Wi-Fi apps that use a "private framework" for detecting hotspots. Apple explained that it doesn't publish any application programming interfaces that detect Wi-Fi in the way that these apps do, hence the ban, but the company didn't explain why this method of Wi-Fi detection isn't allowed in the first place. Other banned apps include WiFiTrack, WiFiFoForum, yFy Network Finder, WiFi Get, eWifi, and WiFi Analyzer.

Apple's decision isn't a total shock. As the WiFi-Where developer noted, a couple of these apps were allowed in the app store "since its very early days," but similar apps were blocked until November 2009, when Apple began letting them in again. WiFi-Where was finally approved in January 2010.

I can only imagine how frustrating that roller coaster ride of an approval process must have been. This move might not be as clumsily implemented as the sex app incident, but if I was a developer whose iPhone app was approved with some reluctance from Apple, I'd be on edge.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleiphone app store

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?