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Apple Rips Off Rejected App, Says Wireless Sync Developer

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the excuse-me-were-you-using-that-app-and-logo dept.

Iphone 549

Haedrian writes "Apple is famous for going to absurd lengths to enforce its patents and trademarks. It recently sued Amazon for calling its app store Appstore. And it has publicly lectured competitors to 'create their own original technology, not steal ours.' Last year, UK developer Greg Hughes submitted an app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries, which was rejected from the official App Store. Fast forward to Monday, when Apple unveiled a set of new features for the upcoming iOS 5, including the same wireless-syncing functionality. Cupertino wasn't even subtle about the appropriation, using the precise name and a near-identical logo to market the technology."

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549 comments

in this age (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396876)

in this age of corporate hypocrisy, it amazes me how any company has fanboys at all.

Re:in this age (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396886)

The thing you have to understand about iFags is that they're not people.
They're an entirely different creature than you or I and far stranger than you could ever imagine.

Re:in this age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397004)

haha maybe. they're the same type who buy into personality cults... like scientologists.

OMG, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396880)

You can't trademark a descriptive name. The idea of wireless sync'ing itunes is not original. Sorry man, maybe they ripped off your icon but that's as far as it goes.

Re:OMG, no. (2, Interesting)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396920)

He goes on to say that they specifically told him that the Apple dev team looked at his app and were impressed.

Last I checked, that would make this a derivative work.

Re:OMG, no. (3, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397052)

I would never put any apps that I designed on the app store. You become just to dependent on how Apple feels and the payout aren't that good compared to what Apple gets.

One exception could be in the sole purpose of getting free publicity, but never as a source of revenue. Now, the guy has got all the publicity he deserved anyway.

Re:OMG, no. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397158)

Then you don't get any money at all. There are only two ways to get software on an iPhone - the market, and jailbreaking. The jailbreakers are a tiny portion of the market.

Re:OMG, no. (2)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397178)

I agree, that's why I do not develop anything apple centric although I have looked at the possibility.

Re:OMG, no. (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397192)

Then you don't get any money at all. There are only two ways to get software on an iPhone - the market, and jailbreaking. The jailbreakers are a tiny portion of the market.

Really? The only way you know how to make money is put apps on apples iPhone?
Poor you.
Literally I'd guess.

Re:OMG, no. (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397230)

Reading comprehension is useful, as well as context. He wrote that in reply to "I would never put any apps that I designed on the app store. You become just to dependent on how Apple feels and the payout aren't that good compared to what Apple gets". On top of that, he never implied there to be one single way to make money.

Check again (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397066)

Last I checked, that would make this a derivative work.

Not if Apple were working on theirs first, which they obviously were.

There is such a thing as a truly parallel effort. Syncing over WiFi is an obviously desirable feature and Apple can be working on a feature years before release to get it just right or wait for hardware to become powerful enough to support something.

Re:Check again (3, Insightful)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397152)

What makes it obvious that they were working on it at the time of app submission? The idea might have been around as a "nice to have", but that doesn't mean it was implemented.

And it's likely that, since this guy had implemented it and submitted it for approval a year ago, the hardware was "powerful enough to support" the feature then. My 3GS is getting the same feature, and that's hardware from 2 years ago now. Given Apple hired the guy who created Mobile Notifier, near enough to identical to the new notifications feature, why not hire the guy who developed this one?

Re:Check again (1)

flex941 (521675) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397262)

new notifications feature??? a blatant ripoff of what has existed on android for some time.

Re:Check again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397280)

Android - blatant ripoff of iOS...

I mean come on.

Re:Check again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397168)

OBVIOUSLY were? What even makes yo- (looks at user profile,) oh... OH. That explains it.

Re:OMG, no. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397138)

Why not? Here in the UK, we're trademarked the color orange.

Re:OMG, no. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397194)

In the US, it's the color purple that's been trademarked. It wouldn't surprise me if the rest were as well though.

Bonus points to anyone who knows which company actually holds the trademark on the color purple.

Re:OMG, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397256)

You can't have it both ways. Read what you just wrote, "You can't trademark a descriptive name"

The article says Apple is trying to stop Amazon from using the term "App Store".

Make up your mind fan boy. ;-)

Corporate arrogance (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396894)

Apple may have been working on this functionality for iOS 5, when Hughes released his version, but that doesn't excuse the arrogant behavior. At the very least, they could have brought him in as a consultant or paid him for his efforts.

Re:Corporate arrogance (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397156)

They did ask for his resume when they rejected his app.

The whole thing is ridiculous. I'm a huge Apple hater but only because usually it's Apple claiming this nonsense *cough app store* but it's clearly an obvious idea that iPhones competitors already do. And his logo is just a composition of the universal icons for Sync and Wifi. (Then again his logo is substantially more legible, so bravo to him)

And I'm sure he used some interesting and impressive hacks to trick the iphone into wirelessly syncing. Apple has no need to do that, they can just add APIs directly to the OS so there is no need to steal his code.

Furthermore, even the developer doesn't seem to care.

Re:Corporate arrogance (0)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397170)

Apple may have been working on this functionality for iOS 5, when Hughes released his version, but that doesn't excuse the arrogant behavior. At the very least, they could have brought him in as a consultant or paid him for his efforts.

Why are people surprised,

First Apple sue Samsung for having rounded corners that look something like the Iphone, then reveal that they ripped the notification drop down box out of Android and bolted it into IOS.

Stealing other peoples ideas is Apple's modus operandi.

Re:Corporate arrogance (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397300)

The original AppleTV used wifi syncing. iPod/iPhone wireless syncing has been anticipated for years. If this developer had anything whatsoever to offer, Apple would hire him.

Violate the TOS? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396896)

It seems his app violated the developer agreement from TFA:
that it did things not specified in the official iPhone software developers' kit.

It's not news that Apple devs aren't constrained by the same agreement as other developers. If you use private/undocumented APIs then it's common knowledge that you'll probably get rejected so why even bother?

Re:Violate the TOS? (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396974)

Didn't Microsoft lose an anti-trust suit (2002) for using undocumented Windows APIs to their own advantage against independent developers? Why should Apple be different?

Re:Violate the TOS? (4, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397012)

For one, because they don't have a monopoly on "smart" phones. Having a legally recognized monopoly is not illegal. But it does restrict actions which a monopolist can take in the market place. Since Apple doesn't have 100% of the market, they clearly don't have a monopoly. So the range of actions they can take is wider than a range of actions a monopolist would.

Re:Violate the TOS? (2)

hahn (101816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397126)

Having 100% of the market is not the definition of a monopoly. If it were, then Microsoft didn't have a monopoly. From Wikipedia:

In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos / (alone or single) + polein / (to sell)) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.

The main issue is leverage. Can anyone argue that Apple *doesn't* have leverage?

Re:Violate the TOS? (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397220)

Not enough leverage, despite the claims of fanboys that Apple is the dominant smartphone provider.

They're actually #3, though supporters like to claim they're #2 by including all iOS devices, regardless of whether they can make actual phone calls or not.

Re:Violate the TOS? (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397302)

But in this case the important market statistic is not the number of *smartphones* sold, it's the number of smartphone *apps* sold. The monopoly in question is developer access to the platform, not customer access.

Besides, who really give a crap about market share by units? Market share by profit margin is all that really matters. Apple makes a metric crapload of money on each device (the Android manufacturers make a lot less, and Google makes almost nothing).

And more relevant to this thread, Apple has almost 70% of the smartphone app market by number of apps, and over 90% of the market by sales. Statistics over the last year have clearly shown Android users just don't like paying for apps the way iPhone users do. That's more than enough leverage over app developers.

Re:Violate the TOS? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397018)

Didn't Microsoft lose an anti-trust suit (2002) for using undocumented Windows APIs to their own advantage against independent developers? Why should Apple be different?

Because Microsoft had a monopoly on the operating system market, Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the smarphone market.

Re:Violate the TOS? (0)

hahn (101816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397130)

Didn't Microsoft lose an anti-trust suit (2002) for using undocumented Windows APIs to their own advantage against independent developers? Why should Apple be different?

Because Microsoft had a monopoly on the operating system market, Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the smarphone market.

I don't think you fully understand the definition of a monopoly. It's not simply the market share.

Re:Violate the TOS? (1, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397274)

Microsoft didn't have a monopoly on the operating system market. The had a monopoly on the very narrowly defined consumer desktop OS market. By the same token, Apple has a monopoly on the iOS market.

Re:Violate the TOS? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397264)

That's hardly an adequate explanation. I'll bet that iPhone SDK does not specify a bird throwing API... so surely Angry Birds is in violation for doing "things not specified in the official iPhone software developers' kit" too :)

Re:Violate the TOS? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397294)

That's hardly an adequate explanation. I'll bet that iPhone SDK does not specify a bird throwing API... so surely Angry Birds is in violation for doing "things not specified in the official iPhone software developers' kit" too :)

well obviously they are alluding to it using undocumented APIs.

Apple may not have ripped this off. (2, Interesting)

John Allsup (987) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396898)

Firstly, Apple may have rejected the app precisely because they were already developing the technology for iOS5 and knew that a syncing app would be redundant when iOS5 came out (and may have got into more trouble by allowing the app and then bringing out wireless sync technology in iOS5 when an app already provided the functionality.) Also, a third party app is not the place for this technology: it should be embedded in iOS5 as Apple are doing. Secondly, the logo combines the wireless logo (which is standard and is not an invention of this student) with the sync logo (two arrows round a circle) which is again standard and predates this student's app. Combining the two in the obvious way makes sense and it is hard to think of a better way of doing it. Again, Apple may have been developing this in house before this app and thus were right to reject it as they would an app that duplicates current built in functionality of iOS.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396916)

^^^ fanboi

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396924)

Apple may have rejected the app precisely because they were already developing the technology for iOS5

Then prove it.

How do you know Apple didn't simply look at his app and say "Hmm, thats a pretty cool feature that should be standard, but we don't want to deal with him or pay him any royalties. We'll just reject his app and then claim 'we were working on it internally!'"

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396944)

Apple may have rejected the app precisely because they were already developing the technology for iOS5

Then prove it.

How do you know Apple didn't simply look at his app and say "Hmm, thats a pretty cool feature that should be standard, but we don't want to deal with him or pay him any royalties. We'll just reject his app and then claim 'we were working on it internally!'"

Prove they did what you say.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396954)

SVN/GIT logs.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

alobar72 (974422) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396976)

Your right - we don't know for sure. But don't you think it would we kind of weird, if apple had been blind on that eye? I mean, I'm just picturing Forestall in the meeting, face going pale, looking at Steve, saying"wow, we wouldn't have thought of that one... Wireless sync, what a great idea"

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

John Allsup (987) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396942)

I may have written a little too soon. But I still believe that built in to and a standard part of iOS5 is the right place for this kind of technology, not a paid for app.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396966)

And Microsoft believed the same of the web browser. Is bundling ok now?

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396998)

bundling has always been okay, even encouraged as far as i'm concerned. its those faggots who bitched and somehow got MS to release a euro-trash version that forces you to pick browsers who are the problem....and you apparently.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397064)

Bundling is ok? So you're agree with the policy which singlehandedly killed off the Browser market? You're wondering why Flash is ubiquitous today? It's because MS decided IE6 was good enough, and didn't bother putting in all the animation and dynamic rendering support. If it was just a little less buggy and a little more open to add-ons, I don't think FireFox would have even had a chance... and We'd be stuck with IE7 with Flash support.

You should be thankful for the people in Europe to be glad that they did that, ensure a healthy and competitive environment to keep things moving along.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397174)

The same reason Winamp died* and WMA became the only audio format able to almost challenge MP3 for dominence, even though it's propritary and support is very limited. Microsoft bundled WMP, including the ability to rip CDs, but only to their propritary format. A lot of home movies are also made in WMV format purely because Windows Movie Maker is bundled. If you want to take over, bundling works.

*And realplayer, but who misses that?

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396984)

Not only that, but they apparently had other grounds for rejecting it as well, such as the fact that it used private APIs, from the sounds of things in the article. That alone is grounds for a rejection.

And yeah, both the name and logo were obvious, non-trademarked, and based on existing ideas. What else would you call something that syncs over Wi-Fi besides "Wi-Fi Sync"? I didn't even realize it was an official name of the service during the keynote, and just thought it was the term used to describe what it does. And using the Wi-Fi and syncing insignias only makes sense, as you point out.

Plus, they added Wi-Fi Sync as part of their effort to cut the cord, which tied in with the iCloud announcement, and it's not like iCloud was thought up yesterday, given that they had to build that massive data center in North Carolina which has been covered extensively.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (-1, Redundant)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397038)

It's been pointed out elsewhere, but part of the anti-trust suit against MS was down to them using private, undocumented APIs to confer an advantage against third party developers writing for Windows.

I bet Apple will claim that this is different because WiFi Sync is a core OS feature and not a separate application, but MS tried that argument with Internet Explorer and look where that got them.

I suppose this just goes to show that monopolistic, anti-competitive behaviour is an emergent property of proprietary software companies.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397122)

You have to be a monopoly to do monopolistic behavior.

What Microsoft got in trouble for relates directly to the fact that Windows was a legal monopoly, and leveraged that monopoly to unfairly compete in OTHER markets.

Nothing Apple does or does not do, no matter how much you may or may not like it, is comparable. Apple is not a monopoly in any way, shape or form -- Android fans are quick to point this out. (Sorry, iPhone is not a market). Even if they did wholesale steal this idea from this guy (which is fairly absurd, since calls for this functionality goes back to the very beginning -- and the "WiFi" sync of iTunes library is only one, and frankly not even that impressive, part of what iCloud is) it is not in any way, shape or form related to what Microsoft got in trouble with.

Its not monopolistic, its not anticompetitive. Apple is not competiting with this guy.

I'm not saying what they did is right, or that there aren't other grounds for an objection (or civil suit) -- but no. Microsoft's actions is not a precedent for Apple to be worried in the least about any of this. Its not an anti-trust violation.

Its something that keeps coming up again and again and not just related to Apple: people seem to have no idea what the word "monopoly" means or what, actually, is illegal for a monopoly to do.

Being a monopoly is entirely legal: its only illegal to use that monopoly in certain ways, to unfairly compete and hold that monopoly, or use it to leverage against other markets. But what is illegal ofr a monopoly to do is entirely legal -- even good business -- for someone else to do. (As much as they can -- monopolies inherantly can do stuff other businesses acn't)

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397070)

And yeah, both the name and logo were obvious, non-trademarked, and based on existing ideas. What else would you call something that syncs over Wi-Fi besides "Wi-Fi Sync"?

I know you're right... but somehow I don't think that's going to stop Apple registering them. I mean, what else are you going to call a store that sells apps?

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396996)

"Secondly, the logo combines the wireless logo (which is standard and is not an invention of this student) with the sync logo (two arrows round a circle) which is again standard and predates this student's app.

Someone trolled "fanboi" but let's take a look at that logo...

Hmm, Apple Airport - released in 1999 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPort). Note that wireless icon there, it looks rather familiar, eh? If you click the picture, you'll note the original picture was uploaded in April 2007 (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/a/a0/20110415032314%21Connectwaves_20070109.png), months before the iPhone was released.

Might just be a coincidence, right?

Well, what about iSync? Uses the icon as depicted here [wikipedia.org] . Looks familiar too! It's only been in use since 2003, so his "original" artwork is obviously compromised.

Damn, dirty Apple and their stealing of their icons!

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397024)

I can almost buy the logo explanation, but if the rest of your explanation is true, it's almost as bad as Apple stealing the app, because it indicates a private set of tests that will be applied to an app, namely "Maybe we're developing our own app, your app will compete it with it, therefore we're going to squash your app."

Quite frankly, your explanation turns Apple from a thief into a capricious pack of assholes. I'm not sure which is worse, from a developer's point of view.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397260)

Secondly, the logo combines the wireless logo (which is standard and is not an invention of this student) with the sync logo (two arrows round a circle) which is again standard and predates this student's app. Combining the two in the obvious way makes sense and it is hard to think of a better way of doing it.

That it is an obvious combination is irrelevant. Trademarks are first-come, first-served. The only question is whether the developer applied for trademark protection. If he did, he would win against Apple given the time and money necessary to see a lawsuit against a major company through. That is highly unlikely to occur though, and Apple damn well knows it.

Re:Apple may not have ripped this off. (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397266)

Thank you, finally someone explains it perfectly. The real question is how did this even make it to the news? Seems rather obvious that wireless syncing would become a feature at some point. He should be happy he sold 50,000 copies at $10 a pop.

SLEEP WITH THE DEVIL AND YOU GET BIT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396902)

In the words of Steve Jobs, I need another liver buddy !! Ya wanna sell me your liver ?? Yes, and we can talk about your app, but say no, and I'LL EAT YOUR LIVER !!

Sad... (4, Insightful)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396908)

"Since the official rejection, Hughes's app has become one of the most popular offered in the Cydia store, with more than 50,000 sold in the past 13 months. Throughout that time, Wi-Fi Sync has cost $9.99, not including occasional promotional discounts."

I wish I could come up with a rejection that earned me a few hundred grand. He must be crying while rolling around in all that money.

Re:Sad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396988)

Yes, but it probably would have sold well over 500,000 had it been allowed into the real app store!

dom

Re:Sad... (2)

ffejie (779512) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397026)

Agreed that he's making some nice cash, especially as a one man team. I don't know how Cydia does their payouts, but assuming it's 50% for the developers, he hasn't made that much. Specifically, because there are discounts offered. It appears that it's gone as low as $2.99 during certain sales. If you assume that 50% of the sales actually came during the discount period, the math looks like this:

(50,000 downloads X 50% of sales X $9.99 + 50,000 downloads X 50% of sales X $2.99 ) X 50% Cydia Payout = $162K

$162K is nothing to sneeze at, but I bet he'd rather have a developer job at Apple for his efforts.

Re:Sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397068)

He must be crying while rolling around in all that money.

He would've probably had an insanely greater amount of sales if he'd been able to get in the app store, so yeah.

Hey! Maybe he can sue them for all the sale he theoretically might've gotten just like how the RIAA sues pirates!

Re:Sad... (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397080)

You would have been richer had you spent more time on real work than throwing sarcastic comments at others' well-reserved successes.

Oh, for the love of God! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36396930)

What's with the Apple hate recently?

For the love of God, the name of the app is "WiFi Sync". What the fuck else are they going to call an app that syncs over WiFi?

And Apple has ALWAYS used that spinning-arrow logo to denote a Sync function. So what about when they want to incorporate WiFi and sync? The obvious choice is to put the two logos together... to look like "WiFi" and "Sync"!

Just because this guy's choice of logo and name was blatantly obvious and generic doesn't mean that Apple "stole" his app. I'm pretty damn sure they've been working on and receiving requests for WiFi sync before this guy even wrote the app in question.

If you want to justly accuse somebody of theft, don't compare the damn logo and the name. Compare the CODE. Is there no length a neckbeard will go to to find something Apple-related to nerdrage about?

Captcha: crossed. As in, this article reads better with your eyes crossed.

Re:Oh, for the love of God! (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397002)

For the love of God, the name of the app is "WiFi Sync". What the fuck else are they going to call an app that syncs over WiFi?

For the love of God, the name of the store is "Amazon Appstore". What the fuck else are Amazon going to call their store that sells apps?

Re:Oh, for the love of God! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397172)

accusing someone of stereotyping while you yourself do the same is hypocritical.. so I guess I'll join in the fun.. gtfo you fuckin straightedged prettyboy and go flap your skinny little arms to the other faggots in your expensive coffee hangout. dont' spill any coffee on those messenger bags.

Seriously? (0, Troll)

ryanw (131814) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396964)

Um dude, seriously?

Apple is moving to "iCloud" and had invested billions into a new data center promoting this initiative. This wasn't a "new idea because somebody posted an app they thought was cool so they stole it" type thing.

They had been moving this direction for a long long time. Syncing via wifi was next.

As far as the logo, they came up with the logo the same way you did. Take "iSync" + wifi + icloud brushed metallic look and bam, you have their logo. No brainer.

Syncing via wifi had been a much requested and anticipated feature. Not a fly by night ripoff idea from a Joe blow submission.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397044)

So we add another reason an app will be rejected; namely that the developer dared to write an app that competes with a future feature set.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397082)

The app was rejected because it called undocumented API's. A big no no if you want your app in the store. It's clearly spelled out in the agreements.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Seriously? (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397186)

The app was rejected because it called undocumented API's. A big no no if you want your app in the store. It's clearly spelled out in the agreements.

But it's okay for Apple to use them? I seem to remember Microsoft getting into some trouble over that [theregister.co.uk] .

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397270)

Yes it's fine. The rules are for developers, not themselves.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397128)

That is the upsetting part of this; it's not that the dev was rejected for an idea on paper that was later implemented by Apple, but that they wait until the tail end, when the development is invested and the product is near completion. I'm glad the guy found another application store where he can sell his app.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397208)

Did that developer also develop a billion dollar data center to complement the syncing? Did he also write the backends needed for the music deals as well as the inevitable movies forthcoming?

Apple strength has never been pure laboratory clean room invention. It's 10 parts hobbled technology 90 parts finesse. If they can't solve the problem elegantly they won't even touch the problem. 5 os versions to reach feature parity with android. 5!

Re:Seriously? (1)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397134)

Also?

Syncing the iTunes library (a heavily requested and talked about feature for a long time) via Wifi isn't even the interesting part of iCloud.

Yes, iCloud is a rip off of this guy's thing.

Only with, er, all that other stuff it does too, that his thing doesn't even kinda do.

Wasn't this app obvious? (0)

brian1442 (640731) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396968)

An app that does wireless syncing for iTunes is pretty obvious. Sure, Apple didn't have it before... but come on.. it's not like that dude invented the concept. And for the name.. it's called "Wi-Fi Sync." I mean if all the Apple Haters out there think that Apple's use of the term "App Store" is too generic because it describes what it is and therefore not trademarkable, then doesn't that also apply to an app that does wi-fi sync which is called "Wi-Fi Sync?" Congrats to the developer for selling so many copies via Cydia, and certainly there's a market to make and sell features that Apple hasn't made yet. But you can't possibly think that Apple got the idea and the name from this guy.

Re:Wasn't this app obvious? (3, Insightful)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397040)

It's more the hypocrisy being showcased than anything. Apple are more than happy to go after a generic name that they just happened to use, and so did Amazon--yet, at the same time, they're doing the same damn thing with this. If they hadn't taken Amazon to task for using App Store, this bit would be pretty much non-issue (likewise, if they had chosen a variation on the name...maybe, 'Wireless Sync', or perhaps 'iSync' even)--then it would be simply a matter of whether or not Apple already had this in the pipe when it was submitted, and if not, if they took the idea of their own...and to a lesser degree, if they were already working on this or something like it, was it right to prevent a third-party from having their app out there being as they had no suitable solution in place themselves at the time.

Re:Wasn't this app obvious? (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397124)

[...] or perhaps 'iSync' even)

They're already using "iSync", they have been using that name for a long time. Interestingly enough the logo for iSync is the whole "spinning arrows" bit around the standard wifi symbol that this app author uses.

Yes, I'm implying that he basically combined the commonly used image for syncing with the commonly used image for wifi and bitched about how Apple "stole" his logo design like it was somehow unique and special...

Re:Wasn't this app obvious? (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397074)

I mean if all the Apple Haters out there think that Apple's use of the term "App Store" is too generic because it describes what it is and therefore not trademarkable, then doesn't that also apply to an app that does wi-fi sync which is called "Wi-Fi Sync?"

Why is it that anyone who disagrees with something that Apple does is branded an 'Apple Hater'? I think App Store and Wi-Fi Sync are both too generic to be trademarked, but I also have an iPad and quite like it. Just because you disagree with Apple's position on something doesn't mean you hate the whole company.

Amiga zealots were nothing comparing to this (0)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396990)

Honestly, Apple freaks are worse than Amiga freaks (and I used to be Amiga freak of worst kind).

And that is not a compliment.

Re:Amiga zealots were nothing comparing to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397144)

Speaking as a former Amiga fanboy, I know exactly what you mean.

Just the same, it's too bad we can't bring up Jack Tramiel on charges of crimes against humanity.

oh, like apple? (2, Insightful)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#36396994)

like how apple stole hardware tech from nokia, ericsson, etc and never paid them royalties?

Near Identical Logo (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397008)

Both Logos are a combination of the universal wifi symbol, and the universal sync symbol. If you asked a room full of graphics designers to come up with a wifi sync logo, that's what half of them would have made. Besides the basic shapes involved, they're pretty dissimilar in terms of design and color. Still, what do you expect coming from The Register. Didn't they just run a thing about how hackers can now email you grenades and blow up your computer?

Re:Near Identical Logo (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397042)

Both Logos are a combination of the universal wifi symbol, and the universal sync symbol.

Not to mention they are both called 'WiFi Sync'...so they've taken a bunch of obvious features and packaged them together, I agree there's nothing wrong with that but I do seem to remember them suing a company for doing exactly that.

Re:Near Identical Logo (0)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397198)

... except iCloud is way more then that. The media sync is not even the interesting part.

The interesting part is direct access to the syncing functionality is now available to all Apps: so now everyone's app, and everything about everyone's app, can automatically sync to all their devices instantly, without any effort or thought.

You can open Pages and work on your mac (Yes, I am aware they haven't announced Mac iWork as iCloud capable officially yet -- but they have implied it and other mac apps have been mentioned) to edit your document. You wander off, later you pick up your iPhone as a thought hits you, launch Pages, and the doc is just there. You just edit it. Later, you're back on your mac, and you open Pages -- and the changes are there.

Now, just saying that, it isn't too interesting. Well, its nice -- but you can get it with those apps with Dropbox integration. But! With iCloud you can use it to sync all your application state. Like, you're playing a game on your iPhone, and later on your iPad you open it up and pick up at the same point. Yes, some games include that -- but I've found its actually rare, even for universal games. But here/now, with iCloud, apps can do it seamlessly and easily.

iCloud isn't about syncing media: its about syncing *everything*.

Including backups, all the boring information stuff like contacts/calendars/etc, and the like.

But media syncing? Maybe they "stole" it (er, yeah okay). But what they came out with was a lot more then a bunch of obvious features. (admittedly, what they came out with could only have been done on an OS level).

Does Android have a mechanism to provide ubiquitous application state/document/personal data syncing to applications across all Android devices (assuming a world where people have multiple Android devices)? Does WP7? Does RIM?

People are hung up on iCLoud being "sync media", and not really getting what that's just kinda the boring part. The interesting part is everything else, and if its obvious, then no one else has done it that I'm aware of.

I may be wrong though.

(But -- no one else is in a position where 'it' is important, I think. Android is trying to be involved in the tablet market, btu they aren't there yet, so they haven't yet gotten to a world where multiple devices start building on and fully seamlessly integrating with each-other to create a better overall experience)

Obvious (1)

joek1010 (980753) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397016)

I'm of the opinion that you can't "rip-off" an insanely obvious idea. Anybody with an IQ over 60 has wondered why they couldn't do this with their iDevice.

No standing (1, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397030)

Let me save you a few minutes RTFA.

an app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries

... is such an obvious idea that talking about "stealing" it is meaningless. It is also something that has existed for some time on other platforms - e.g. Samsung Android phones can do wireless sync of pretty much everything since Galaxy S. So he can't claim the idea.

Cupertino wasn't even subtle about the appropriation, using the precise name and a near-identical logo to market the technology

Let me clarify something here. The precise name in question is "Wi-Fi Sync". For an application that syncs your phone over wireless. Gee, that's one obscure name for this kind of app - no way Apple could have stumbled onto that by chance!

Now the logo. here [regmedia.co.uk] is the side-by-side comparison. Now, this consists of the de-facto standard "expanding wave" icon for wireless signal (on Apple's version, pretty much exactly as it's rendered in the status bar), placed inside the de-facto standard "circle of two arrows" icon for sync. The amount of creativity required to produce such an icon, given what the app does, is exactly zero - it's literally taking two stock icons for two parts of the (itself obvious) name, and merging them together. If someone asked me to sketch an icon for such an operation, this would probably be one of the first things I'd draw.

If you really want to bash Apple, a meaningful point would be that a third-party app implementing such wireless sync had to use private APIs (which is what caused its rejection from App Store) - on Android, such things are easily implemented.

Re:No standing (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397090)

The precise name in question is "Wi-Fi Sync". For an application that syncs your phone over wireless. Gee, that's one obscure name for this kind of app - no way Apple could have stumbled onto that by chance!

I agree with you but FWIW I would have thought they would have used a name like AirSync or something.

Your point is moot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397176)

So what if the name is predictable.

Try making a graphical OS and name it "Windows", and tell the judge the name is evident because it uses windowed views.

He did it first. He got the put the evident name to his product. Prior art, and submitted to Apple to boot. The burden of proof for not stealing is on Apple.

And in any fair trial apple would get bashed into the ground for this.

Re:Your point is moot. (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397238)

Try making a graphical OS and name it "Windows", and tell the judge the name is evident because it uses windowed views.

That's not an apt analogy. An apt analogy would be making a graphical OS, and naming it "graphical OS", or "OS with Windows".

And that would get you thrown out of the court pretty quick if you tried to enforce it. Heck, since you mention "Windows" - do you remember how the actual lawsuit about that exact thing ended in practice? The courts have repeatedly thrown out [internetnews.com] all claims about "Windows" not being a generic trademark, and eventually Microsoft settled, effectively paying $20M [pcworld.com] to Lindows to transfer the trademark to MS.

He did it first. He got the put the evident name to his product.

Just because you're the first to come up with the brilliant idea to name a car you make simply "Car", doesn't entitle you to such a generic trademark. Not unless you have actually invented the car (and the word). This guy didn't.

Not the first time (0)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397036)

Apple's first introduction of the desktop and icons was something they stole when they visited Xerox which came up with the technology first and was using it in house. Apple execs came to visits Xerox's headquarters saw the technology then went up replicated it and sold it to the public.

Not quite right (1)

Calibax (151875) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397236)

Well, not quite. Apple hired Larry Tesler from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and he hired some of of his buddies from there. They were all unhappy because PARC had invented all this great stuff and Xerox wasn't doing anything meaningful with it.

So, it was no surprise when Larry and company produced many of the things they had pioneered at PARC, except better because they now had some experience of what worked and what didn't.

If you want to assign blame, then most of it should fall on Xerox for not using the stuff they had, and allowing their engineers to get unhappy enough that they left for a company that paid less but would use their talents.

P.S. I was one of those guys....

Re:Not the first time (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397286)

And Microsoft took the inspiration from them. Things were different back then - if you saw a good idea, you could take it, adapt it, try to improve upon it - or just copy it to improve your own product. Before software patents became so valued, and companies wanted to make every word they used a trademark.

Today? Well, ieee1394 goes by three different names depending upon who uses it, because any company that holds a trademark would never use a generic word in it's place.

Precedent? (5, Insightful)

D-OveRMinD (1517467) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397078)

So if a wi-fi syncing app called Wi-Fi Sync is obvious, therefore Apple can steal...er...appropriate it for its own use without repercussions, then I would assume by the same token that a store selling apps called App Store is obvious, therefore anyone can appropriate the name for their own use as well. Apple, what say you?

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397098)

I am sorry but why should i feel sorry for people who wants to earn money helping closed systems ? I see it like helping dictatorship ...

Why blame apple? (0)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#36397216)

Did you forget the hundreds of millions of dollars apple had to pay the music industry cartel to get this exact some functionality? Apple probably rejected the app for fear of legal trouble, or at least that the industry would stop supporting the iTunes store. And stole the idea? It's about as obvious as it gets. Anyways, doesn't the Zune already let you sync your music wirelessly?

Lots of toes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36397248)

This story along with this one [slashdot.org] and this one [slashdot.org] and others (not going to hunt down any more links) like the "App Store" lawsuit with Amazon, and the patent application for the same technology Pandora and Spotify are using.... isn't Apple starting to step on too many toes here? Where do you draw the line between ballsy, brilliant, business strategy and sheer corporate arrogance? I feel like if Apple continues to conduct business like this, they're going to end up where Microsoft was at the turn of the millenium: a courtroom.

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