Apple drops Wifi scanners from App Store

Apple’s latest move in its big App Store spring clean is to get rid of Wifi scanning applications.

It’s already removed porn apps, but now it’s turned its feather duster on ‘stumbler’ applications that seek out available Wifi networks.

“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,” writes 3 Jacks Software on its blog.

“It also appears that all other competing WiFi enabled apps have been removed as well. This is very unfortunate as the past 2-3 months have seen a handful of new WiFi apps get approved.”

Other, similar applications such as WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum, and yFy Network Finder have also been given the boot.

In a tweet, Tonchidot, maker of Sekai Camera, says: “Due to issues regarding App Store review process, v2.1.1 is currently unavailable for download – but our v2.2 will be released soon!”

Users can still search for hotspots using apps which take advantage of the iPhone’s GPS capabilities – the ban only applies to those applications which actively search for a connection.

The reason isn’t clear, but may be related to the fact that it is in certain circumstances and certain territories illegal to hook into an open Wifi connection – if you’re using your neighbor’s connection, for example.

Alternatively, it may be a technical issue related to 802.11 radio functionality.