Apple allegedly copies rejected Wi-Fi Sync app

Remember how Apple denied the much demanded Wi-Fi Sync app access to its hallowed store? Well, we don't know if any of you noticed the WWDC iOS 5 announcement, but Apple looks like it has implemented its own spookily similar version. 

iOS 5 brings with it Wi-Fi syncing capabilities as part of Apple's "move everything to the cloud" concept. But poor Greg Hughes, inventor of the original banned Wi-Fi Sync app, got no recognition at all. Not only that, but it seems that his particular application has been aped by Apple's in more than one way.

Hughes was forced to take his app to the un-official Cydia app storefront after Apple refused to let it go on sale in its own App Store. It is now one of the most popular on Cydia, getting more than 50,000 downloads in the past 13 months. 

However, not only do the both applications basically do the same thing, and are named the same, the striking similarities between Hughes' app logo and Apple's Wi-Fi sync icon shown at WWDC are difficult to ignore. Short of a colour change (Hughes' is blue, Apple's grey), they are both basically identical. 

“I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that,” Hughes told The Register.

Apple is pretty serious when it comes to defending its own patents, famously suing Amazon over calling its App store Appstore. Yet it seems that the irony is lost on the US giant.

Greg Hughes designed the Wi-Fi Sync app whilst finishing a Computer Science degree at the University of Birmingham. He got a call from an iPhone developer relations rep named Steve Rea who spoke to him before sending an email which congratulated his design and then subsequently rejected it. Security concerns and extras not specified in the iPhone dev kit where the main problems.

This was back in May 2010, only a few months before we began hearing about Apple's fancy new data centre based in North Carolina. Clearly part of early iCloud design infrastructure, Apple may have been well aware of its ideas to bring Wi-Fi Sync to the iPhone when it rejected Hughes's app.

Or, perhaps not...

What do you reckon? Sync or swim for Apple and iOS 5? Let us know in the comments below...