iPhone app remotely spies on Windows computers
Will Apple Store's anti-spyware rules apply in this case?
Need help using your iPhone to spy on your spouse or children? Now there's an app which will show you just what they're typing, as long as they're on Windows.
Spykey is basically a Windows keylogger which will transmit every key pressed to an iPhone application (£2.99 from the iTunes store). The app justifies itself with the usual arguments about discovering cheating partners or protecting children, and appeared on iTunes yesterday to be spotted by Gizmodo (which also hosts a fun discussion between readers about who is/has the best parent).
Spying applications are always a problem for approval processes; some users (and developers) consider them legitimate applications, but the less paranoid tend to consider such software to be an unacceptable invasion of privacy.
Apple has delisted software that spies on iPhone use before: Retina's Mobile Spy, for example, is now restricted to jailbroken iPhones, though it will still happily monitor Android and Blackberry devices.
Spykey doesn't monitor the iPhone as such, just displays the result of desktop keylogging on the iPhone screen, so might avoid Cupertino's ire. The reviews also suggest that the desktop component (which is Windows only) will trip anti-virus software, and given the popularity of graphical user interfaces one has to question the legitimate value of keylogging anyway.
But putting aside the practicalities, the question is whether Apple will decide to kick the application out of iTunes, on moral grounds, or if the company is OK with an iPhone being used to monitoring the habits of those who've yet to see the Apple light. ®
Apple app policy
Makes windows look bad : Approved
Makes OSX / iOS look bad: Denied
Can hardly blame them though, how could they resist the urge to cotton pick app submissions when they have all the power and no oversight.
On a side note
"... usual arguments about discovering cheating partners ..."
I often wondered about that mind set. If your relationship has reached a point where your using a key logger to work out if your partner is cheating, then the pair of you need to either sit down and talk or just plan split up.
Just a thought.
I'm pretty sure the author means keylogging as in http://www.keyloggers.co/ for example.
Any software or hardware device that logs keystrokes and stores them for later perusal (or forwards them on for later analysis).
They have legitimate uses of course, but most uses are best described as ... nefarious. Password capturing, for example.