Interesting story bought to us by The Register which asks whether Apple is 'borrowing' features from rejected apps and integrating them into iOS.
Consider the case of UK-based developer Greg Hughes. Last year, his app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries was unceremoniously rejected from the official App Store. The software developer took the denial in stride, submitting Wi-Fi Sync to the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhones, where the app is a top seller.
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.
For comparison, here are the logos of the two apps:
Wi-Fi Sync was rejected from the Apple because of 'unspecified security concerns and that it did things not specified in the official iPhone software developers' kit' but Hughes went on to make it available to jailbroken iPhones via Cydia (for $9.99). And it's been very successful, selling more than 50,000 in the last 13 months.
Apparently Apple was impressed by the app, so much so that an Apple rep called Hughes prior to the official rejection to say that the app was 'admirable.' Seems it was so admirable that Apple decided to 'borrow' it.
My take ... well, I'm all for the little guy, and it's important to support the indie devs out there, but I'm at a loss here as to what was copied exactly. WiFi Sync isn't a new idea, yeah the logos kinda looks similar but then the middle bit looks likes Apple's own WiFi logo and the arrows are from iSync. Oh, and on top of that, when the dev submitted the app to Apple for approval, Apple doesn't get any source code, so there's no way code could have been 'lifted.' Bottom line, unless the dev had a patent, there's just no case.
Less hyperventilation, more critical thinking people!