back to article Exiled iPhone Wi-Fi apps move to Cydia

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 …


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  1. WheresWardy
    Jobs Horns


    If you're stupid enough to do something that you agree not to do in developing for the iPhone in the first place, you probably deserve to be in the buggy app reject area that sees about 0.01% of iPhones.

    1. dogged


      if that 0.01% are a) technically competent enough to escape from Apple's vice-grip on their balls and b) not of "cult-sheep" mindset that finds jailbreaking unacceptable on religious grounds, then they're a) likely to be interested in apps that use all of the hardware rather than just the bit Jobs wants you to use and b) probably not a huge ongoing support cost.

      Your post, however, indicates that you fit neither criterion.

  2. Robert Ramsay
    Big Brother

    Apple obviously haven't heard the old saying...

    "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it"

    1. The Other Steve


      I bet they have heard it, they just aren't retarded enough to believe that it resembles the truth.

  3. bygjohn

    What do these apps actually do?

    Forgive my ignorance, but what do these apps do that the phone doesn't do already?

    When you go into Settings/Wi-Fi, it checks to see what networks are available, then shows you a list, (or connects if it finds a known network). You can then pick off the list, enter your credentials if necessary and you're connected.

    So what would a wi-fi network finder do on top of that which would be of any use?

    NB I'm not being sarcastic here, I'm genuinely wondering what they are for.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Yeah, I was wondering that too. My Nokia even has one on the home screen.

      And I certainly can't understand why you'd want to pay for it - there must be some gullible people (or the app must do something *really* useful) if it's making 3.5k a month.

    2. Barry Tabrah

      What these apps do

      They provide a clear list of wifi networks, tell you what security is implemented, what the signal strength is, and more importantly tell you what channel they are on (very useful to ensure that you aren't crossing the streams, to use a ghostbusters reference).

      I use it for range testing, channel conflict checking, and verifying the security level. All useful stuff.

      1. bobzilla (

        Some things these apps do

        Find the least used frequency channels to set our access points to, take surveys of campus wireless coverage, find rogue wifi on a corporate network, or help with wireless mapping projects like

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      lots actually

      they display much more info on available WiFi Networks (like BSSID and the likes)

      you can log seen accesspoints along with their gps position and display that on a map.

      WiFiFoFum also has a feature that can be used to share such maps with world + dog.

      All in all Settings will never have the features needed for some serious warwalking.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If Cydia really does become "competition" for the iTunes store, I'm sure Apple will just sick the lawyers on them. They will come up with some reason to shut it down.

  5. Rod MacLean


    "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."

    Except that they can (and do) exist without relying on a 3rd party API - there are still apps on the store that do Wi-Fi scaning!

    So this is just FUD!

    1. It'sa Mea... Mario

      Forum replies should not *require* titles..

      ...Scanning or just looking up a list of local ones from databases?

  6. Tom Kelsall

    Banning developers...

    Banning developers from using Apple Tools to develop Apps for Cydia is like punishing a habitual unlicensed driver from driving... it has absolutely no effect on those peoples' activities. It's effectively an underground movement which will continue WHATEVER edicts, decrees, proscriptions and iLaws Apple issue.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe time for the EU to take a look

    Maybe there should be a browser selection screen on the iPhone, most defiantly on the iPad.

    Mac's don't count as they don't sell enough.

  8. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    re banning developers

    Or they simply move to program for android or nokia.

    Either way Apple loses out in the long run.

    I do like the idea of cydia though, something about sticking it to jobs. :)

  9. Velv
    Black Helicopters

    Why are they private?

    Excuse my ignorance, but why are these APIs private?

    Clearly they provide useful features that can be leveraged by developers to write and sell applications. Apple makes it's profit from everything it sells, and it "approves" all applications anyway (so malicious would be stopped, useful would get through), so why not open up the API.

    Or are Apple up to something they aren't telling us about .......

  10. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Developpers! Developpers! Developpers! Developpers!

    I´ll be going now.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Wrong discussion

      That's the problem with too many tabs: you're bound to post something in the wrong debate. Please disregard this post ( As I can't seem to be able to cancel it)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Let developers move to Germany

    Since Cydia don't appear to be doing anything illegal, the German law directly prohibits clauses the try to prevent you from developing a competitive item (as long as you are not breaking the law).

    you will probably find that half of Apples T&Cs are null and void (at least in Germany, since the Krauts are fairly open minded when it comes to issues like that) And before some nupty decides to flame me because of the term "Kraut", I am aloud to use it, since I am one myself.

    So many contracts contain clauses, that can just be ignored, but because it is fairly expensive to fight the mega corporates and their law-twister.

    Apple make great products, but the company and their policies just stink!!!!

    That is why, as long as they don't change their attitude, I will always advise against them!!!!

  13. Steen Hive

    I bet

    One pound sterling to one pinch of shit, that apple will now break these apps in the next update - just for fucks, and one wouldn't expect anything else of them.

  14. Peter Methven

    WiFiFoFum is cheaper than Fluke devices for Wifi Scanning!

    I frequently use WiFiFoFum in my day job, in a multiple wireless access point environment where the frequency (channels) and strengths of individual access points are incredibly important to ensure correct working of the overall system.

    Students and academics expect their iPhones and Android phones to seamlessly roam from access point to access point without any drop out so overlapping cells have to be carefully setup for which WiFiFoFum is a cheap manner of sampling signal strengths and checking everything is working as planned. WiFiFoFum is a lot cheaper than buying a proper device from Fluke!

    (Although there is a centralised management tool for managing thin access points every now and then things go slightly wrong and there is no subsititute for actually knowing what thin access points are doing.)

  15. Misfituser

    Wouldn't know what to do

    without WiFiFoFum. Besides being much more informative about security, signal, etc than the "Wi-Fi" setting, it's sensitive enough to allow you to connect to access points with signals way too low to be seen by the built-in wireless configuration.


  16. seandiggity

    Rock might replace Cydia...

    Cydia is not the only package manager for jailbroken iPhones, at least since the release of the blackra1n jailbreak for 3.x firmware. The better alternative is Rock (aka "Rock Your Phone" or ""), which has some handy features Cydia is lacking, and it might replace Cydia as time goes on...

    1. Tom Kelsall


      with one BIG proviso - I've been told that the Mobile Substrate stuff isn't available on RockApp and will never be... which makes it far less useful. I'll give you that it's quicker and nicer to use.

  17. BeefStirFry

    Ready, Steady, Hack...

    I'll be impressed when...

    1. App scans for WiFi points, if they are Open, but with one of those network login pages (like what you get in hotels where they charge you £5 for 20 minutes), it starts scanning for connections to the point, captures the MAC address of all attached devices, and then lets you pick a MAC address to spoof as your own. Hey presto, you have free access.

    2. App scans for Wifi points, if it finds they are WEP or WPA (including hidden networks), it uses dictionary of default router passwords first, then dictionary of most common passwords to brute force its way in.

    3. App does 1 and 2, while you are on the move, and uploads geo-location results to online database of WiFi spots, updating the common password database whilst doing so.

  18. paul 97

    what if it was a playboy wi-finder

    Where a lovely lady pops up when it finds a network.

    Will Steve Jobs head explode with conflict of interest?

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