Apple removes Wi-Fi finders from the App Store. Some fear another purge!

It seems Apple may be starting another round of application removals from the App Store. On Thursday it started removing selected Wi-Fi finder apps, otherwise known as “stumblers”. These apps enable iPhone and iPod Touch users to locate Wi-Fi networks around them and then try to use those networks for internet access.

One reason given by Apple to one app author was the “use of private frameworks”. Although the author questioned about this is unable to explain which private framework this may be.

Wi-Fi finders which rely on an online database have not been removed, and a Tokyo based developer has had his app “Sekai Camera” app removed for it’s use of Wi-Fi networks. That app is not a Wi-Fi finder app primarily, but does scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks in a similar way to the “stumbler” apps and that of the iPhone’s own OS.

So it seems that this is likely to do with the way some developers are using the iPhone and iPod Touches Wi-Fi radio to scan for nearby networks.

This looks less like a purge and more like a pruning of apps that use borderline methods to achieve things.

In an App Store which is bulging at the seems with applications it seems likely that apps that skate too close to the line of what is and isn’t allowed may well be the first to go in any spring cleaning Apple decides to do.

Have you had an app removed? Let us know…

By: Stephen Northcott

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