Sorry, iPhone developers – it looks like there’s now one more type of app Apple won’t let you create. This week, the company apparently decided to outlaw apps that detect Wi-Fi hotspots.
Don’t look for Apple to issue a lengthy explanation or apology; hotspot-seeking apps were just made unavailable, and according to Bill Ray, one developer was only able to say afterward, “We received a very unfortunate email today from Apple stating that WiFi Where has been removed from sale on the App Store for using private frameworks to access wireless information.”
Here, as noted by Ray, are the two semi-loopholes that remain: apps “that use a database of hotspots combined with GPS data garnered from the handset are still available. Users can manually search for nearby hotspots in the usual way, but applications that do the same thing are no longer allowed.”
So keep this change in mind when designing your next app, even if Apple hasn’t bothered to put the policy in writing yet. As most developers have learned, there’s little point in trying to argue with the company about this sort of thing.