Apple rejects Wi-Fi sync app

At least the developer got an explanation this time, sucky and unhelpful as it was. Fortunately, the App Store's loss is the Cydia Store's gain.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

To paraphrase the Soup Nazi: No Wi-Fi sync for you!

A couple of weeks ago we brought you the tantalizing news of an app called, simply enough, Wi-Fi Sync. Its promise: to wirelessly sync your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Late Thursday I received word from developer Greg Hughes on the app's sad (but not entirely unexpected) fate:

Wi-Fi Sync was rejected by Apple, and will therefore not appear on the official App Store. I'm obviously disappointed by their decision, but being a student I have neither the time nor the resources to pursue the matter further. It's clear that Apple have [sic] the final say on which apps are deemed acceptable for their customers.

A representative of Apple has explained their decision to me over the phone, which I am grateful for. While he agreed that the app doesn't technically break the rules, he said it does encroach upon the boundaries of what they can and cannot allow on their store. He also cited security concerns.

That's the bad news. The good news is that you can get the app if you want it--you just need to jailbreak your device first. Wi-Fi Sync is available from the Cydia Store (unofficial home of jailbreak apps) for $9.99.

That's twice what Hughes originally told me he'd charge, but still pretty reasonable considering how awesome Wi-Fi syncing is.

For the moment, only Mac users can get in on the action. Hughes says a Windows version of the required desktop sync client is coming soon.

Personally, I'm disappointed as hell. As I noted in my original post, Microsoft's Zune player has offered Wi-Fi syncing since 2007. (Yo, Apple! You're trailing Microsoft by three years in this area. What up?!) There's no reason a device as futuristic--and inherently wireless--as the iPhone should have to be physically tethered to a PC.

I've held off on jailbreaking my iPhone, but this might be the straw that jailbreaks the camel's back. Wi-Fi syncing is a feature I really, really want, and Apple's obviously not willing to let me have it. Thankfully, Greg Hughes is.

What do you think? Is this yet another unfair app rejection by Apple? Will you jailbreak your device just to get Wi-Fi Sync? Share your thoughts in the comments.