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Apple Removes Wi-Fi Finders From App Store

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the you've-been-very-very-naughty dept.

Handhelds 461

jasonbrown writes "Apple on Thursday began removing another category of apps from its iPhone App Store. This time, it's not porn, it's Wi-Fi. Apple removed several Wi-Fi apps commonly referred to as stumblers, or apps that seek out available Wi-Fi networks near your location. According to a story on Cult of Mac, apps removed by Apple include WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum, and yFy Network Finder."

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walled garden (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31365808)

for the win.

if you wanted options, you would have gone android... fucksticks.

Re:walled garden (1, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365964)

for the win.

if you wanted options, you would have gone android... fucksticks.

iPhone has more software than Android, hence more options.

What you really mean is if we wanted specific options (those that aren't available for iPhone, but are for Android), we'd have gone Android. So what it really comes down to is whether one really wants (in this case) a WiFi finder. I certainly won't miss such apps. But you're right, if I did, Android might be a better option.

Re:walled garden (5, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366032)

iPhone has more software than Android, hence more options.

Ah yes, greater variety in fart generator applications is really high on my list of features I want from a phone.

Re:walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366082)

How about a Slingbox player for Android?

Re:walled garden (2, Interesting)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366226)

The irony of course is that Apple initially refused to approve fart apps.

Re:walled garden (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366326)

no shit?

Re:walled garden (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366182)

iPhone has more software than Android, hence more options.

Increased Volume != Increased Options.

Android already has a far greater variety of software then the Iphone due to the locked nature of the application delivery and development system. The Iphone simply has more of the same applications then Android or as everyone points out, 100 times the number of fart applications but no third party mail clients.

So with the Iphone, you have more software but fewer options.

Re:walled garden (1, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366296)

yep, and if you read the previous article, you would know developers are having problems coding for android as you never know what kind of hardware you will get.

so you can have a dozen third party mail clients but only two of them will work on your android phone cause it has a different screen that doens't work quite right with the other apps.

Re:walled garden (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366350)

yep, and if you read the previous article, you would know developers are having problems coding for android as you never know what kind of hardware you will get.

Yet there are many many applications which perform well on all android hardware.

You logic explains why Windows is not the most popular development platform, because you never know what hardware you're going to get, nor which version of Windows, .net, DirectX and so forth. No wait...

Android, much like Windows provides a consistent framework across multiple devices. For simple applications this is very simple, for difficult applications this is difficult, the same as in Windows and there are games and applications out there so poorly coded and tested that require a very specific version of DirectX just to run, you don't think they exist because no-body buys them. Only bad developers have these problems.

Re:walled garden (5, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366228)

So what it really comes down to is whether one really wants (in this case) a WiFi finder. I certainly won't miss such apps.

First they came for the VoIP apps, and I did not speak out--because I had unlimited minutes;
Then they came for the erotic apps, and I did not speak out--because I am religous;
Then they came for the WiFi stumblers, and I did not speak out--because I do not need one;
Then they came for my app--and no one spoke for me because 'Apple knows best'.

A little melodramatic, maybe, but still somewhat apt I think. Apple has shown they have no qualms about removing entire categories of applications for the iPhone, all without provocation, explanation, or compensation. Anyone who depends on (develops for or uses) the iPhone in a serious business or financial sense is crazy.

Re:walled garden (0, Offtopic)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365996)

if you wanted options, you would have gone android... fucksticks.

Why am I reminded of the "Love it or leave it" statements from the days of the Bush administration here?

Oh right, the cursing...

Re:walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366154)

Good satire of Slashdot groupthink.

Really? (5, Informative)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365822)

I just ran a search for WiFi in the app store, and plenty of free finders appeared.

Was there something about these specific apps, or is this just about those apps using reserved (ie subject to change) frameworks?

In short - let's not panic just yet, hm?

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365866)

I just ran a search for WiFi in the app store, and plenty of free finders appeared.

TFA mentioned 3 apps, and gave the reason for one of them as being because they used a private API. Maybe its just a PO'd or two developer beating up a story?

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365882)

I read this morning that the ones removed were the ones using private frameworks. Indeed, a quick google: http://nexus404.com/Blog/2010/03/05/apple-bans-wifi-hotspot-detecting-apps-from-itunes-iphone-ipod-touch-apps-using-%E2%80%98private-frameworks%E2%80%99-pulled/ [nexus404.com]

It should be said that so far the only Apps to be pulled are those that actively scan for WiFi hotspots and not those that employ a database paired with the iPhone's GPS capabilities

So the ones left are totally lame.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365902)

There are technical measures Apple can take to prevent applications from using private frameworks. But Apple doesn't use that approach.

This whole issue smells like selective enforcement of Kafkaesque ever-shifting, secret rules against applications Apple needs an excuse to remove.

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365930)

"Kafkaesque" = "boring" as far as I can tell. I'm not sure that's what you meant though.

"Kafkaesque" = "boring" as far as I can tell. (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366012)

It can be said that it is Kafkaesque when a reason isn't given but others with the same capabilities are allowed.

Falcon

Re:"Kafkaesque" = "boring" as far as I can tell. (4, Informative)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366180)

If you refer to his novels, 'Kafkaesque' would most likely denote the endless pain and futility of dealing with an organization where the participant has no idea what hoops to jump through until they are prevented without achieving them.

Kafka used the individual's ignorance of the system as a weapon that is used to dis-empower him. Even the most crazily elaborate set of obstacles can be overcome with planning and diligence if you're aware of them, but in Kafka's novels, there was always a new challenge to overcome whenever the previous one was achieved. This ultimate futility was the driving theme of many of his stories.

Dictionary quote:
adjective
Complex or illogical in a bizarre, surreal, or nightmarish manner.

In either case, the original poster of the phrase miss-appropriated it into their post to express what would be best served just dropping the word and leaving the sentence in tact without "active enforcement of ever-shifting, secret rules against applications" would have served just fine.

Re:"Kafkaesque" = "boring" as far as I can tell. (4, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366268)

Dictionary quote:
adjective
Complex or illogical in a bizarre, surreal, or nightmarish manner.

Which describes Apple's actions.

Falcon

Re:"Kafkaesque" = "boring" as far as I can tell. (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366342)

you misspelled miss-appropriated therefore your whole argument is lame and misvalidified. Keep trying.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366098)

The term "Kafkaesque" usually refers to Kafka's "The Trial", where a man is arrested and prosecuted without ever being told what the crime is. Although sometimes it refers to "Metamorphosis", which involves people turning into giant roaches. You make the call.

Re:Really? (-1, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366006)

You say this as though somehow Apple is doing this because Apple feels threatened by such apps. I don't see exactly how, except that they clutter the store and potentially lead to compatibility issues (due to private API usage).

In other words, it's not that Apple feels directly threatened by such apps, but that the quality of the overall iPhone experience is threatened by such apps. In a sense, what you're saying is right, but *not* in the sense that you are saying it.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366060)

How are programs that provide superior functionality 'clutter' by any definition of the word?

Re:Really? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366286)

Because they clutter your device with useful features, duh.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Wayne247 (183933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366320)

Can you honestly say that with a straight face while browsing the hundreds of fart apps and stupid slideshows of 5 pictures or less? The App store is indeed cluttered by tens of thousands of utterly useless and worthless apps, but the Wi-Fi finding category is certainly not contributing by much.

Re:Really? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366044)

More to the point does this mean that the iphone API provides no way to scan for hotspots? If that is the case I am glad I didn't try to build this list [glitch.tl] with an iphone.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365900)

Looks like you're right. FTFA:

"We received a very unfortunate e-mail today from Apple stating that WiFi-Where has been removed from sale on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information," WiFi Where-maker Three Jacks Software, wrote on its Web site.
There was no explanation as to what Apple meant by "private frameworks." Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNET.
TechCrunch says Tonchidot, a Tokyo-based developer, had its app Sekai Camera removed because of its use of Wi-Fi, too. Sekai Camera uses PlaceEngine as a way to determine a user's location over Wi-Fi.
PlaceEngine developer Koozyt says other apps that use its technology have also been removed, including Yahoo! Maps for the iPhone.

So it looks like this may be about the PlaceEngine framework, not wifi per se. And this is why we need to RTFA, there are just too many false and/or misleading summaries.

Even Yahoo Maps is gone (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365922)

PlaceEngine developer Koozyt says other apps that use its technology have also been removed, including Yahoo! Maps for the iPhone.

If big companies are not spared what about the individual developers?

Re:Even Yahoo Maps is gone (4, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365968)

If big companies are not spared what about the individual developers?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they aren't spared either.

What's next? (4, Funny)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365828)

First they remove the pron apps, then the wifi steal- er, "borrowing" apps... What use do these "iPhone" devices have anymore, anyway?

Re:What's next? (4, Funny)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365860)

Sports Illustrated and Playboy, but only over 3G.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31365992)

So... all the people who were moaning that Apple couldn't survive without Steve Jobs: Are you glad he's back to micromanaging the company again?

I don't wish the man ill, by any means. But as an Apple customer I'm beginning to wish he'd take more extended vacations.

Re:What's next? (1, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366172)

Without jobs, there would have been no imac, ipod, iphone, etc.

So... you take the good with the bad. Without Jobs, or someone like him who is actually passionate about making a product HE would like to use, apple would (and almost did) die.

I am wondering what's going to happen when he retired, which surely isn't that far off...

Re:What's next? (1)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366092)

Oh, about 134,997 apps...

Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365830)

It appears Apple's problem with the apps isn't with what they do but with how they do it; namely, using non-public frameworks. There probably isn't a way to do it using public frameworks, though (on Mac OS X, you need to use the private Apple80211.framework, not sure about iPhone OS X).

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366100)

It appears Apple's problem with the apps isn't with what they do but with how they do it; namely, using non-public frameworks. There probably isn't a way to do it using public frameworks,

So, according to your logic, Apple pulled the applications not because of their function but because they did not implement it using public frameworks, however Apple have not sanctioned this function in the official framework? Presumably this was done because Apple does not agree with/want the function.

Have you officially been inducted into the vague tautology club yet?

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366170)

Have you officially been inducted into the vague tautology club yet?

Kind of.

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366188)

Presumably this was done because Apple does not agree with/want the function.

Have you officially been inducted into the vague tautology club yet?

It's only a tautology if you make that particular assumption, which I do not.

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366294)

It's only a tautology if you make that particular assumption, which I do not.

How else do you explain it? If Apple did not care about the function it would leave the app's as they were, if it did care about the function it would include it in the public frameworks?

Function is the common denominator in the revoked applications, to try and say it they were retroactively revoked due to some QA seems absurd due to the fact that only applications with a specific function were targeted . It seems failing to make that particular assumption is like not being able to put two and two together (be careful with Occam's razor, it's sharp).

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366292)

I hear that if a million iPhone users join there'll be a million iPhone users in the club.

Re:Doesn't appear to be a moral judgement (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366302)

IMHO, any framework that is accessible is by default public.

filter (-1, Offtopic)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365832)

I kinda remember being able to filter stories away based on the section, did I dream this?

Re:filter (2, Funny)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365950)

I believe you may be thinking of Engadget.

Re:filter (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366236)

For the dynamic front page, on the top of the left column, there's a list of sections. Mouse-over the one you want to hide, and click the icon that shows up. Then you can click "hide" to do the obvious.

For the classic front page, you'll need to go here [slashdot.org] , then click "Sections" under Classic Index.

I wonder (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31365836)

Is Apple actively trying to destroy any developer relationship that they had, and are they trying to show the community that they are not up to the challenge of hosting an app store?

As a software developer that owns an iPhone 3GS owner, and a first generation iPod touch, I feel like I am reminded every day as to why I do not drop $100 and write an application for my own phone.

Re:I wonder (3, Funny)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365878)

As a software developer that owns an iPhone 3GS owner
Wow, how do I get one of those. I've always wanted a 3GS owner.

Re:I wonder (4, Funny)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365916)

Wow, how do I get one of those. I've always wanted a 3GS owner

You can't buy one, but if you wink just right, one might follow you home from the bar.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366204)

Okay, but how do I get a female one?

Re:I wonder (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366128)

Wow, how do I get one of those. I've always wanted a 3GS owner.

Become Apple, they own many.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366348)

Perhaps his cat owns an iPhone 3Gs? Nah, then he'd be owned by the 3Gs owner. Must be his dog.

Re:I wonder (2, Funny)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365910)

Didn't you get the memo? Even though I'm sure Iphone 3GS owners are not a protected class, slavery is definitely NOT legal anymore.

Re:I wonder (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366152)

I don't think being an iPhone 3GS owner can quite be considered a form of forced labor.

Re:I wonder (2, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366000)

Is Apple actively trying to destroy any developer relationship that they had, and are they trying to show the community that they are not up to the challenge of hosting an app store?

No, they're just trying to show their users that they have total control. Just to remind you. In case you forgot.

Re:I wonder (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366196)

Is Apple actively trying to destroy any developer relationship that they had

Awaken from your dreamy state, Apple has never cared about community development. Once more big boys sign on community (individual) developers will disappear from the app store as advertising precedence is given to those who are paying Apple the most money.

and are they trying to show the community that they are not up to the challenge of hosting an app store?

No they are trying to show large publishers that they are up to the challenge of delivering their software to users without regardless of type or quality (pushing shovelware for a profit basically).

This is why every Ibikini app got kicked off but Playboy and Sports Illustrated didn't. I predicted this two years ago when the Iphone was released in Australia, you've got to be pretty naive not to believe it not.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366312)

And why I won't drop a couple grand to get xcode in order to write one for mine.

Why? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365848)

What does Apple gain by removing these things?

Re:Why? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365906)

Attention on Slashdot apparently. I would imagine that by now most people expect this as part of the cost of owning an iphone.

Re:Why? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365932)

The feeling of Control. ala 1984.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365940)

if it's for using private API's, avoiding the MS bad publicity. everyone worked around MS bugs and Microsoft couldn't make needed changes in their OS's due to developers complaining it was going to cause them to write code. in Vista they had to pull a new anti-virus API because of this.

Apple is just forcing everyone to follow the rules in the developer agreement. last thing Apple wants is to release an iPhone OS update and to have thousands of apps fail due to private API use and then all the devs will complain how it's Apple's fault

Re:Why? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366052)

The thing is, the iPhone OS is short-term, a desktop OS is long-term. Even if design principles of iPhone OS doesn't change much in 2013, hardware will have advanced monumentally to the point where it might be nearly impossible to even run applications.

What really makes sense on high-capacity devices such as the iPhone is to allow small "emulated" apps to be run in earlier versions of iPhone OS with the older APIs when it detects a version that is untested with the current version.

Re:Why? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366150)

this is a cell phone. in the USA when your 2 year contract is up you junk it and buy a new one. you don't treasure it like a Mac like the crazy people on MacRumors do

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366240)

When your phone costs as much as a PC, you might.

Re:Why? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366198)

Apple has done hardware transitions before with seamless app compatibility. 68k to ppc, ppc to intel... so long as the app is well behaved it has worked. Which is what they're trying to enforce here - well behaved apps that use published iphone APIs.

Yes it sucks that these apps have been pulled - hopefully apple do the right thing and put the functionality they are using into the official public API.

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366300)

the iPhone OS is short-term

I'll repeat this fact one more time: iPhone OS and core Mac OS X share over 80% of their source code (see WWDC'09 sessions). The major difference being the UI on top of the core OS. For the iPad, Apple is pulling even more bits from Mac OS X and putting them into iPhone OS 3.2.

Why no Mac OS X UI or multi-tasking? Desktop UI's make absolutely no sense on a small form factor multi-touch based mobile device. If you want to get a taste of what multi-tasking on a smartphone hardware spec device would be, install Windows 95 on a 600 MHz Pentium III with 128 MB of RAM and a 8 GB hard drive. Disable the swap file. Then install Firefox and a few other small productivity apps and run them at the same time.

Also the issue isn't public APIs (Apple's modus operandi is to keep those around for a while, deprecate them, and a few years later drop them). The issue is private APIs that the developers of those apps had to use since there is, unfortunately, no similar public API exposed. Those specifically are verboten per the agreement that you sign with Apple.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366178)

That would be all well and good if they were providing complete public frameworks, so that private ones would not be needed for any valid use case.

But it's not... these apps can't possibly be implemented using the public frameworks

So, Apple is essentially stifling their platform.

Better to have some apps broken by an update of the OS later, than to have those apps never written at all, probably.

Re:Why? (1)

nutznboltz (473437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366238)

So instead of devs will complaining how it's Apple's fault that an update broke their apps they have users complaining that it's Apple's fault they pulled the apps. What an improvement!

Re:Why? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365944)

They don't have to choose between user complaints and making changes to the private apis (used by the apps).

(Which perhaps isn't the most convincing reason, but it isn't all that crazy)

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366040)

What does Apple gain by removing these things?

The kind of total control over their platform which they expect to have. I'm reminded of the quote on Twitter the other day from the story about the top developers fired by Activision: "Getting mad at [Apple] for this is like getting mad at an ape for throwing feces. It's just how the beast communicates."

This kind of control is Apple's MO, and anyone buying their products should either know that, or wouldn't be affected by it (some people do want their choices made for them).

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366144)

But OS X would not be successful if it was not open. If OS X would not allow various apps that wouldn't be allowed on the iPhone to be on OS X, it would have almost no marketshare.

It is only a temporary glitch of the failures of all other mobile OSes at the time (Windows Mobile, Symbian, That crappy Java-Based OS, etc), large portions of the phone being paid for by phone carriers and the like that let the iPhone get even a small marketshare. If Google ever gets their act together, Android can easily crush the momentum from the iPhone. If Palm can saturate -all- carriers and not just CDMA ones with WebOS phones, WebOS can get decent marketshare. It would really help Apple if they didn't piss off their developers and users. They might be number one now, but they were number one with the Apple II and look at how quickly they lost that lead.

What does Apple gain by removing these things? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366050)

I have the same question.

While I like some Apple products, I love my MacBook Pro I'm typing this on, I question some of Apple's and Steve Jobs' actions.

Falcon

Re:Why? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366054)

Slightly more size on their e-peen (or iPeen since it is Apple).

Re:Why? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366266)

What does Apple gain by removing these things?

More carrier lock-in?

Fouling the well (1, Insightful)

garethw (584688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365862)

I think this is called pissing in the well from which you drink. I really don't get why Apple is trying so hard to alienate developers. / Android user

Re:Fouling the well (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365936)

I really don't get why Apple is trying so hard to alienate developers.

Because they have a massive, dedicated user base and a store like no other. Generally, they can count on the developers sucking it up and coming back, or someone taking their place.

Re:Fouling the well (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366062)

Generally, they can count on the developers sucking it up and coming back, or someone taking their place.

Agreed, but then again the iPhone ecosystem is a fairly new model for software. The total control that Apple demands hasn't really been tested before, most of the old-school Mac hackers are guys who really did have total control over their hardware and were able to tinker with whatever they wanted in the Mac. That's just not the case any more, so I'm interested to see how new developers who come into this model react to it. I'm willing to bet that there aren't going to be a lot of people learning to program on a Mac, the tinkerers are much more likely to go to Linux, it would seem.

Re:Fouling the well (2, Insightful)

garethw (584688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366064)

You're probably right. I bought a MacBook last year (having used Debian for the last 9 years), and while I don't dislike it, I'm not keen to buy more Apple products given dumb shenanigans like this. So they are alienating some users.

Re:Fouling the well (3, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366210)

You're probably right. I bought a MacBook last year (having used Debian for the last 9 years), and while I don't dislike it, I'm not keen to buy more Apple products given dumb shenanigans like this. So they are alienating some users.

So don't use those products you have to put up with these shenanigans. I'm typing this on my MacBook Pro, when I replace it the replacement will probably another MBP or its replacement, and if Apple were to release a bigger iPad (say 17") that runs the full OS X like my MBP does I may get one. I might also get a Mac Pro, but I do not plan on getting an iPhone or iPod.

Actually I plan on setting up my MBP to dualboot, OS X and Ubuntu, and if I were to get a Mac Pro I'd do the same with it. Now if Apple were to get as restrictive with Macs as they are with iPhones and iPads I'd move over to Linux compleatly.

Falcon

Re:Fouling the well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366224)

Because they aren't. In this case it's shitty developers pissing in Apple's well. There are reserved/private APIs that as an iPhone developer, you aren't supposed to fuck with. Partially because they let Apple (and only Apple) do cool things (and that reason sucks), and partially because those APIs are subject to change.

There are plenty of other WiFi finders in the Apple Store that haven't been removed. It looks like the only ones that were removed were screwing with those APIs.

No big surprise.

Thank you Apple! (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365884)

I'm so glad you make all the hard decisions for me! Would you like to cast my next vote for me?? Oh yeah, when I actually succumb to mobile devices they will be open. This is like Microsoft telling you what software you can install on Windows! Is this the future? Twenty years from now Mac's will only be able to get applications from Apple's approved store? Yeah, I'm not gonna help with that.

Re:Thank you Apple! (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365926)

Until all mobile phones suck a lot less or go down in price a lot, I'm not getting one. $2500 for two years? No thanks. Even if the devices available were polished, beautiful, powerful, and bug-free. And they're not.

Still it's only a matter of time. I said the same thing about cell phones, and then prices dropped and coverage improved, and now I have one.

Re:Thank you Apple! (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366024)

Beware those who would deny you Information. For in their heart they dream themselves your master.

Amen to that brother.

Re:Thank you Apple! (1, Insightful)

agrif (960591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366110)

This is like Microsoft telling you what software you can install on Windows!

Just so we're clear here, it'd be like if Microsoft could decide what software it wanted to host on it's servers, and provide a shop framework for. Which, last time I checked, they have every right to do.

There is a difference here, obviously. For most people (those who haven't jailbroken), Apple's store is the only place to get software. Apple has to approve this software. But since when is this any different than the software released for the xbox 360 or any other game console? At least Apple has a reasonable excuse: their phone has to work on a cell network, and it needs to have restrictions placed on software. Game consoles have no such excuse.

I'm not saying it's not stupid, I'm just saying that it's their right to do this. I don't see why people can be so uppity about the iPhone when there are plenty of other closed systems to complain about that have been around for much longer.

Re:Thank you Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366280)

Other closed systems don't sell "we have thousands of apps for you" as feature. Other closed systems doesn't sell ""you can extend your device by installing apps" as a feature.

Re:Thank you Apple! (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366206)

Twenty years from now Mac's will only be able to get applications from Apple's approved store?.

And don't forget they can be removed without notice or reason.

Re:Thank you Apple! (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366254)

Twenty years from now Mac's will only be able to get applications from Apple's approved store? Yeah, I'm not gonna help with that.

Twenty, try two. Apple is going to move its laptops and desktops away from X86 and into ARM and have them use the iphone OS. Why? control, apple hates the hackintoshes and even jailbroken iphones, with every update there is something that stops hackintoshes or jailbroken devices from working correctly. Yes there are developers who specialise in getting around this but it's pretty clear the vendor is fighting you tooth and nail for control of your devices.

Time to go Android! (1)

thescooterman (1538813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365904)

I've been using Android for a while now, and except for the whole ' evil android overlords ' thing... I love it! The apps rock, and you can have what you want, not what someone else does[n't] want you to have.

Timothy is at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31365918)

Three apps get removed and suddenly it becomes "Apple removes Wi-Fi finders from app store".

Like the adult apps topic of a few days ago, let's not panic.

* in case you still don't know, Apple has added a new category for those apps.

As a life long Apple user (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365948)

All I can say is get a real phone with options you like eg android, nokia 9x ect.
Apple makes a great OS, some great hardware.
Just stay away from the DRM junk and itoys.
Or help port a real OS to it.
As amazon showed with 1984, MS with win 7 mobile and now Apple shows, your just a consumer renting space on their their vision of the world.
Time to disconnect Apple and buy or use/write a real mobile OS.

Private Frameworks, people. (5, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31365990)

Apple has NEVER permitted the use of private frameworks in iPhone apps. My company had to rewrite an app we were trying to deploy because we were using some undocumented features for still frame capture from the camera device. We almost made it through the authorization process, then Apple shot us down at the last second because of it. We had to wait a few more minor releases before the functionality we needed was exposed through an approved interface. It had nothing to do with our application, but rather, the way it was implemented.

In general, the use of undocumented APIs is frowned upon throughout the industry, as it makes for flaky application and reverse-vendor-lockin, when an extremely popular application relies on undocumented APIs, the APIs change, then people come bitching to the platform manufacturer for "breaking" their applications. There's nothing weird about this, whatsoever. Chill out, folks.

Re:Private Frameworks, people. (2, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366080)

Sadly this critical part of the story is being submerged under the usual "Apple is the great Satan" Slashdot groupthink. It seems to be an easy road to be modded up if a poster makes a short criticism of Apple, even if they don't know any of the facts.

Freedom (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366200)

The issue is Apple is a gatekeeper and they are very opaque about their reasoning in the case-by-case calls. I'd rather have incompatibility and no-one telling me what I can and cannot do rather than be forced to choose among the paid offerings that are well integrated. Even if they are really shiny. I suppose this philosophy is why I run Linux, I know there are other philosophies out there: Microsoft's and Apple's existence prove this but this does not mean that I have to buy in. I think choice is a good thing, choose Apple if you like ;)

Great News !! (4, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366026)

This is great news !! This is the only way developers and users will learn never to trust a closed platform. Hopefully this starts pissing people off enough to go towards Android, or preferably the only truly open smartphone OS : Maemo / Meego. So I say, please Apple, remove more useful apps !!

Re:Great News !! (1, Flamebait)

matrixskp (629075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366328)

learn never to trust a closed platform.

Why do people insist on regurgitating the same inaccurate crap all the time?

iPhone OS is NOT a closed platform, for $160 I get a world class development environment and I can install and run what ever I want onto my iPhone or any of the devices owned by my co-workers or friends. I also get a world wide distribution network for Apps I choose to sell.

If I choose to jail break my device (which is a 10 minute process) I can install and run thousands of apps created by others around the world (cydia etc) including ones which use custom API's and undocumented features, they may feature backdoors, trojans and steal my credit card details, but it is open!

So Apple wants to make sure the Apps people sell in the iTunes store actually work, and will continue to work next week? Good on them, its obviously working for the consumers.

iTunes Store does not equal iPhone OS.

Can Apples Wifi chipset work in adhoc mode? (2, Interesting)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366036)

Just somewhat related: Can Apple's Wifi chipset be somehow set to work in adhoc mode?

i.e. Can an IPhone/ITouch app (even a Jailbroken one?) let you communicate with the other 50 IPhone /ITouch users in the train you're on, without paying the cell companies?

Welcome, Comrades! (-1, Flamebait)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366048)

Welcome, Comrades!
Welcome to the Glorious Union of Soviet Corporatist Republics!

No more evils of individualism! No longer shall we be left victims of our base instincts! Now our heroic Comrades at The People's Ministry of Apple shall shine their brilliant light of Freedom and Collective Thought so that we never again go astray!

Captive audiences are Freedom!
Exploitation is Liberty!
Corporate control is Independence!

Long live The Great Leader Comrade Jobs!

We Don't Know a Thing (3, Insightful)

repetty (260322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366106)

Hey, I know!

Since nobody on Slashdot knows a single thing about this action by Apple -- at this moment -- why don't we just post a bunch of shit that has absolutely no merit?! Hey, we can even call ourselves "journalists"!

Re:We Don't Know a Thing (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366142)

True. Since a lot of journalists out there don't seem to bother with fact checking anymore. It's all about the sensationalism.

Why 2014 will be like 1984 (1, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366222)

Oh what a difference a few decades make.

Why Fry WiFiFoFum? (1)

Katyrnyn (90568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31366260)

I'll admit that even it has been a little rough,
with quirks and blips and little ticks since OS 3.1.
But even now I just say wow at the news that its been snuffed,
'cause as of late it's been so great to Find Wi while on the run.

It was lean and pretty clean as apps are want to be,
and so of use and not obtuse so now I'm slightly mad.
For no bugs I've seen have been so mean to give clear reason to me,
to kick it out and without a doubt this makes my phone so very very sad.

Uneven rules and duplicate tools have no doubt likely doomed,
our favorite apps we bought for laughs with money oh so small.
So let none be shocked and none be fooled to find out that we've zoomed,
on to other phones with other tones and no more garden wall.

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