Apple "rips off devs" over iOS 5 features: Wi-Fi Sync, iCloud, etc.

Wi-Fi Sync icons
By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 10, 2011.

It's said that Apple (AAPL) has been stealing ideas from third-party developers to put into its new iOS 5 platform for iPhone and iPad. Most obvious is Wi-Fi Sync, which even has the same name and icon as a popular rejected, jailbreak-only app. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder alleged Jobsian evil-doing.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Captain Dave meditates on Air France 447, Sully, and Airbus FBW...

Stewart Meagher reports a kick in the teeth for one dev:

Apple seems to show little hesitation when it comes to absorbing ... ideas like the Borg Collective. The latest person to be assimilated ... is one Greg Hughes, a UK-based ... iOS developer and inventor of the well-known Wi-Fi Sync app.

...

Wi-Fi Sync allows iDevice owners to sync their iTunes libraries without breaking out a USB cable. ... Hughes submitted the App to the iTunes approval team ... [but] it was rejected. Apple minions explained that they liked [it] ... but couldn't accept ... because it contravened one or more of the Store's 10,000 Commandments. ... Hughes submitted Wi-Fi Sync to the Cydia Store ... much loved of the jailbreaking community. The widget soon became a hit.

...

Apple knows that one lonely student will never be able to take on the might of its legal department and can pretty much ride roughshod over the law.  
M0RE

  Dan Goodin adds:

As Apple strives to maintain the allure of its aging iDevice lineup, it's inevitable [it] will integrate features ... once considered ancillary. Microsoft learned the dark side of this ... decades ago.

...

Apple is famous for going to absurd lengths to enforce its patents and trademarks. ... It has publicly lectured competitors to “create their own original technology, not steal ours”. ... [It] isn't always as fastidious about respecting the ideas of others.

...

The next time Steve Jobs and company chides a competitor for blatant copying, remember that ... originality is in the eye of the Goliaths. The Davids ... don't stand a chance.  
M0RE

  And Michael Brown isn't impressed:

Apple has a ...reputation for taking ideas ... and incorporating them into their products. One recent example is the notification system in iOS 5, taken from ... MobileNotifier after Apple hired its developer. But one student is claiming that Apple took his app and modified it for use in its OS.

...

It would be easy to dismiss Hughes' complaint as coming from a bitter developer, eerie similarities exist between Hughes' and Apple's solution. ... The icons are near identical, bar a colour fix and a few other adjustments.  
M0RE

Eric Slivka wonders why Hughes didn't also get hired:

Hughes notes that Apple took a special interest in his ... application, with a member of the developer relations team personally calling him. ... Hughes says that Apple had also requested a copy of his [resume], suggesting that the company did have some interest in what he was up to.

...

In June 2010 after the original Wi-Fi Sync application had been rejected ... Steve Jobs noted that the company was planning to introduce a Wi-Fi syncing feature "someday."  
M0RE

But this Anonymous Coward thinks it's a storm in a teacup:

The name of the app is "WiFi Sync". What the **** else are they going to call an app that syncs over WiFi?  
M0RE

To which, exomondo retorts:

The name of the store is "Amazon Appstore". What the **** else are Amazon going to call their store that sells apps?  
M0RE
 

Meanwhile, Chris White offers more examples of Apple's sincere "flattery":

Jailbreak ... devs tend to focus on ... system-level tweaks ... there are more and different ideas ... being tried and implemented there. ... Fertile ground for Apple to ... cherrypick the best ideas.

...

One of the main reasons people jailbreak is to get ... a useful lock screen ... [which] Apple has finally addressed. ... David Ashman's LockInfo and Intelliborn's IntelliScreen ... both resemble ... iOS 5's new lock screen.

...

iCloud syncing looks like a fantastic backup system ... EvilPenguin already feels that its backup tool iBye is no longer necessary. ... James Emrich, the developer ... [said] "iBye was a backup/restore manager. ... Basically what iCloud does."

...

iOS development as we know it could not have evolved as quickly or as successfully without the ... jailbreak community. It's disingenuous for Apple to celebrate the innovations of iOS 5 without acknowledging [this].  
M0RE

And Finally...

Captain Dave meditates on Air France 447, Sully, and Airbus FBW

 
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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