Apple removes Wi-Fi finders from App Store

Apple began removing apps capable of detecting Wi-Fi networks out of the App Store, with no explanation.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple

Apple on Thursday began removing another category of apps from its iPhone App Store. This time, it's not porn, it's Wi-Fi.

Apple removed several Wi-Fi apps commonly referred to as stumblers, or apps that seek out available Wi-Fi networks near your location. According to a story on Cult of Mac, apps removed by Apple include WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum, and yFy Network Finder.


"We received a very unfortunate e-mail today from Apple stating that WiFi-Where has been removed from sale on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information," WiFi Where-maker Three Jacks Software, wrote on its Web site.

There was no explanation as to what Apple meant by "private frameworks." Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNET.

TechCrunch says Tonchidot, a Tokyo-based developer, had its app Sekai Camera removed because of its use of Wi-Fi, too. Sekai Camera uses PlaceEngine as a way to determine a user's location over Wi-Fi.

PlaceEngine developer Koozyt says other apps that use its technology have also been removed, including Yahoo! Maps for the iPhone.

This isn't the first time Apple has gone after a category of apps. In late February, Apple targeted "overtly sexual" apps, removing almost 5,000 apps from the App Store.