The jailbreak community routinely develops apps and other iOS enhancements that Apple either can’t or won’t come out with on their own.
Sometimes, however, Apple does get inspiration from the jailbreak community and releases new features eerily similar to those first found in the Cydia online store. UK jailbreak developer Greg Hughes has now had a first hand experience with this phenomenon. When Apple unveiled iOS 5 earlier this week at the WWDC, he was quite surprise to find Wi-Fi Sync included as a new feature.
Now you may be thinking that Apple was bound to come out with this feature sooner or later. However, Greg Hughes submitted an app called Wi-Fi Sync to the app store about a year ago. “I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that.”
It was quickly rejected because of Apple’s claim that it violated the terms of the iPhone SDK. Apple representative did call him personally, however, to inform him of their decision.
According to Mr. Hughes, “They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed. They asked for my CV (resume) as well.” Since Wi-Fi Sync’s rejection from the App Store, Greg has sold more than 50,000 copies at $9.99 through the Cydia store. (hmm, theres a few bucks, with out sharing with Apple! 🙂
If you look at the two apps side by side, it’s easy to see why Mr. Hughes was “shocked” when he found out about it. Not only do both apps offer the same features, but the icons are remarkably similar as well.
Would Apple have eventually come out with Wi-Fi Syncing. More than likely. Is this a bitter pill to swallow for the developer who first introduced this feature? Absolutely. I wonder what jailbreak features Apple will be inspired to include with next major iOS update?
- iOS 5 Wi-Fi Sync may have been inspired by an indie developer (geek.com)
- Wi-Fi Sync and Wi-Fi Sync: An amazing coincidence? You decide (tuaw.com)
- Apple accused of ‘ripping off’ student’s iPhone app (telegraph.co.uk)
- Apple pilfers rips off student’s rejected iPhone app (go.theregister.com)
- iOS 5 – iPhone – iPad – New Features Galore (cmoslabs.com)
- Apple pilfers rips off student’s rejected iPhone app (theregister.co.uk)
- Wi-Fi Sync Developer Accuses Apple Of Ripping Him Off (gizmodo.com.au)
- Wi-Fi Sync Developer Accuses Apple of Ripping Him Off [Apple] (gizmodo.com)
- iOS 5 Jailbroken in Less Than 24 Hours (news.dice.com)
- 11 new features of iOS 5: Complete announced at WWDC 2011 (tjantunen.com)