Apple bans Wi-Fi hotspot sniffers from App Store
Apple has banned another category of apps from the iPhone app store without notice – this time Wi-Fi hotspot detection applications.
Three Jacks Software, developer of one such application, reported that its product had been pulled from the store in a blog post this week. The blog post said that all other apps using similar technology also appear to have gone.
The ban appears to only apply to products which use the iPhone's built-in 802.11 radio to find hotspots, Softpedia reported, and not apps which use databases, or GPS and network triangulation capabilities.
Another app, augmented reality software Sekai Camera, was also recently banned for “problematic Wi-Fi access,” suggesting that Apple is cracking down on apps it feels uses Wi-Fi improperly.
The latest round of exclusions comes weeks after Apple began a purge of all apps containing risque content – including women in bikinis and silhouettes of body shapes – from the app store.
GigaOM commentator Colin Gibbs said the sudden banning of an entire category of apps on a whim is “a sure way to incense the developers, who are the foundation of the app store.”
This move is particularly risky now that the developers have an ever-growing number of alternative platforms to develop content for, he added.