Did Apple steal the Wi-Fi Sync feature for iOS 5 from a developer whose similar app was rejected?

A developer submitted his "Wi-Fi Sync" app to the App Store last year and was told via a phone call from Apple why it was rejected; now, a year later, Apple announces the similarly named feature for its updated OS and even introduced a similar logo...
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76 Comments

4. G-Reg unregistered

Im sure there is an iHater lawyer somewhere wanting a taste of that possible settlement.

6. DroogV59

Posts: 37; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

Samsung should hire young Mr Hughs and put their corporate legal team at his disposal. Wouldn't that be fun?

37. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

super like to you..!

7. ATTCallCenter unregistered

I wish I was even smart enough to make something to be stolen by such a large company. It's a great compliment but the same a slap in the face to get jacked for your work. Best to get a lawyer and sue the shit out of Apple

9. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

if something Apples does good besides advertising their products... is they know what are they doing.. they use what they can have.. they steal things they can get away with... is not ethical. but is business,... and that most people around here dont get it... is not good versus evil.. is pure business... and in that world money talks...

27. aztaxia12295

Posts: 272; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

stealing isn't a business, its a crime

10. BigEaze22

Posts: 25; Member since: May 17, 2011

apple needs to learn that after all the stuff they take from these companies, they can't just claim the other company stole it. now they want to steal from the people who help them? I still remember they tried to pull this on samsung and got found out when it turned out it was actually them copying samsung. that's sad

53. stealthd unregistered

I don't think you understand how technology companies work. For unpatented ideas tech companies are constantly copying each other all the time. Apple doesn't do this any more than any other company, their products are just consistently more successful so they tend to be under much higher scrutiny.

11. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Apple....Apple....Apple.... I said on Engadget he should sue the hell outta Apple. They should have known about icons, right? Some folks said Apple has been using that icon for years. If thats the case....why didnt they ever come after the dev for using the icon... No matter what the details are about this, it gonna look like bad press for Apple unless some new developments come out.

13. spinelessrabbit

Posts: 35; Member since: Dec 28, 2010

I dont even care for apple products

14. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

It looks like this guy has a case and if he does I hope he wins. These developers make our phones much of what they are, and like it or not without developers the iPhone is just a really nice feature phone. I think Apple should settle with this guy, pay him the millions that he deserves, because it's no longer just an app. It's a part of iOS now, so he deserves his fair share of the royalties.

55. stealthd unregistered

There is no way a wifi syncing app deserves "millions". He already made $500,000 off of a missing feature (the article failed to mention that he sold the app for $10 a pop). There is no case here. He got his money, the only reason a suit would go forward is so he could make more money, not out of any wrongdoing.

56. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Why wouldn't it? If Apple stole this guy's work, and they're about to sell millions of copies of it on the ip4s/5 or whatever, why wouldn't he get royalties for each phone they sell. Or buy it from him. It doesn't matter how much he made before his work was stolen, the fact is they are going to benefit from his work and should pay for it. I just hope he patented it.

57. stealthd unregistered

Apple created WebKit, the backbone of pretty much every built-in mobile browser. They started the Firewire standard and popularized USB. Do you honestly think they would copy code that is so easy to functionally duplicate? Just because Apple deprecated his app doesn't mean they owe him anything. And as I've said previously, Apple already had Wifi syncing built into the Apple TV in 2007 (3 years prior to this app being available). So there's no possible way they copied him. He made plenty of money off it already, just because he makes one app doesn't mean Apple can never add that functionality to their OS.

64. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

There are just too many unanswered questions here to say what what they did or didn't do. I don't know that Apple stole this idea, and just because a similar idea was used on one of Apple's products, doesn't mean they own the rights to the patent. And Apple did help develop the webkit browser, but they didn't do it alone. There are other programmers out there who are just as innovative as the good people at Apple. And I don't assume that Apple would steal an idea from those people. Hopeful, there wasn't any idea stolen from this guy. But IF their was, Apple should pay.

15. guest unregistered

Its a shame that in either case of good press or bad press about apple nobody cares. The general public isn't going to boycott apple for ripping this kid off. The real justice that apple deserves for the bullshit it pulls on competitors and even loyal customers is for people to stop buying their products. Unfortunately as long as features work and make the device easier to use, most ppl don't care how they came to be. hopefully this kid can afford some representation and at least get a decent settlement out of the deal. Apple is stale they will fizzle out in the years to come on their own.

16. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

there is a diference in getting what he deserves and getting what he thinks he deserve..... and we may never know the answer to those questions..... he will be compensated for his efforts for sure.. Apple needed him as much as he needed Apple.. I mean lets be fair... on it ....they will settle off court and the next Apple will again be a sucess and this incident in a few weeks nobody will even remeber this...

21. Hi unregistered

People people...didnt you know it's APPLE they dont steal they invented ! like Multitouch?? now be quiet and sit down:)

22. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Good luck fighting apples 100 expensive lawyers

28. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

facebook's expensive lawyers couldn't avoid settlement with the twins. just saying.

31. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Hell of a settlement it was though, and something those douches the Winklevosses have been fighting to overturn ever since.

24. Hallucinator

Posts: 390; Member since: May 24, 2010

You people are F!@#ing pathetic. I haven't seen one person on here defending what Apple did, but you guys are just full of speculation. Man did Apple rape your sister or something?

26. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes. It was a traumatic experience. And Steve Jobs...he just sat there, held her down, and laughed... But seriously. We make reasonable predictions based on experience. In our experience, there are a select group of iFanboys who will come in and defend EVERY SINGLE UNETHICAL THING APPLE DOES. They usually take the weekend off though, so it's just a matter of timing.

30. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Should we? I did bring up that some ppl said Apple was using that icon for years. By saying that one could assume I was implying this might not be as bad as it seems. Um....anything people dont know about the full story is always gonna be speculation. Like when ppl speculate about the Google vs. Oracle lawsuit. Like ppl that speculate about the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit.Ppl speculate all the time in phone articles, threads about phones that havent came out yet.

29. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Who cares if they stole it...as long as I can use it that would be grrrrrreat! I would sue the piss out of Snapple though.

33. stealthd unregistered

Seriously? This is apple hater click-bate at it's finest. The developers app was rejected because it used unauthorized APIs, not so apple could steal it. His app spoofs iTunes into thinking an iPhone is connected over USB, its ingenuitive to be sure, but it's obviously something apple would reject. I highly doubt he was truly shocked or surprised at any of this, he'd have to be a total moron to not see this coming. This is an extremely simple feature. Theres nothing particularly interesting or unique about this app other than it provides functionality that apple has neglected until ios 5 There is zero evidence that apple stole his code, and to think a company as large as apple would have to copy the code or even the idea of such a simple feature is absurd.

36. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

They said the same thing about the intermittent windshield wiper.

49. stealthd unregistered

Well unlike the intermittent windshield wiper, there is prior art here: the Apple TV has had wifi syncing since 2007.

41. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

hey, stealthd, that is not the reasons apple reported gave when rejecting the app. The story says, "an Apple representative called to tell him that while the app technically did not break any rules, it did "encroach upon the boundaries" of what can be offered in the App Store." nothing about unauthorized APIs or spoofing usb connections. I guess speculation is allowed when supporting apple, but not allowed when criticizing apple...

50. stealthd unregistered

The story is extremely lacking. The sync function is in fact an unauthorized API, which is why there are no apps in the app store that allow you to sync the phone (they can sync themselves, but they cannot sync other apps, especially Apple's apps). I'm not just speculating, these are facts.
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