June 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM ET
Like the idea of syncing your iPhone or iPod's iTunes Library over Wi-Fi, without having to use wires? It's a great concept, no? Greg Hughes thinks so too, and says that's why he developed "Wi-Fi Sync," an app that does just that. According to Hughes, he even offered it to Apple, which rejected it.
But Monday, when Apple unveiled iOS 5, its mobile operating system for iPhones, iPods and iPads, guess what was included? Wi-Fi syncing to iTunes.
Hughes, a computer science student at the University of Birmingham in England, says he submitted his "Wi-Fi Sync" app to Apple's App Store for approval in May 2010. He had already been selling it for $9.99 on Cydia, a website that has iPhone apps that have not been approved by Apple for their devices.
Apple looked at Hughes' app and liked it, he said. He got a call from an App Store representative who told him "Wi-Fi Sync" was excellent but had security issues.
"They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed," Hughes told The Register. "They asked for my CV as well.”
So when Apple said it will offer Wi-Fi sync to iTunes, with no more USB hookups required if users choose to go that way, Hughes said he was "completely shocked."
"I'm in the middle of exams so the timing isn't great," he told The Telegraph. "I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for a year. Apple knew about it as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that they had pinched it for iOS 5."
We've asked Apple for comment, and will update the story if they respond.
Meanwhile, the third-year student says he's getting some legal advice about what to do.
"At the end of the day, you have to stand up and defend your work," he told The Telegraph.