Feeds

Exiled iPhone Wi-Fi apps move to Cydia

So there is competition then?

Website security in corporate America

Developers kicked out of the iTunes store for using private APIs are turning to the unregulated Cydia store, and think the demographic might even suit them better.

Last week Apple kicked out a handful of applications that made use of "private framework" APIs to enable scanning for nearby hot spots. Now those apps are popping up on Cydia, with one already hitting 18,000 downloads by iPhone users willing to jailbreak their handsets to get applications that Apple won't allow.

Those figures are for WiFiFoFum, which is being given away through the Cydia store. But later this week 'yFy Network Finder' will pop up as a paid application that the developer reckons could bring in more money than when it was being sold legitimately through iTunes.

We had a chat last week with David Grant, author of yFy Network Finder, when the applications were pulled by Apple. Grant is moving to the Cydia store not because he objects to the rules, but because he objects to the inconsistent application of those rules.

"If they wanted compatibility they could have done this when version three came out," Grant told us, referring to the fact that when version 3.0 of the iPhone OS came out all the Wi-Fi-scanning applications stopped working. Those applications then had to be changed, and resubmitted to the iTunes store where Apple happily approved them despite the fact that they clearly made use of private APIs - they couldn't exist any other way.

Apple's notification that the application was going to be pulled admits that there's no way such an app could exist without breaking the rules, so given the apps had been sitting in iTunes for a year or two developers had assumed tacit permission.

That assumption was flawed, but all is not lost for developers who have moved into the alternative application store. WiFiFoFum is being given away, in its entirety, but David Grant reckons there's money to be made out of Cydia users:

"Those who jailbreak their phones tend to be more technical ... more likely interested in looking for hotspots."

There are reports of developers making big sums of money through Cydia, though peak numbers aren't as interesting as an ongoing turnover. yFy Network Finder was bringing in about $3,500 a month through iTunes, and Grant has promised to let us know how the application fairs in Cydia.

A viable alternative to the iTunes app store would annoy Apple, which last year changed its developer terms and conditions to prohibit its tools being used to create content for Cydia, but for iPhone fans more competition can only be a good thing. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.