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Hughes' logo is on the left, Apple's is on the right
Apple's iOS 5 includes a feature that is almost identical to an app a developer submitted in May 2010

It's no secret that Apple has been militant in suing competitors that employ technologies even remotely close to Apple's own [see: SamsungMotorolaHTC]. But when it comes to stealing ideas for apps from developers, Apple's intentions are a bit more dubious.

The Register reports that Apple is being accused of stealing the idea of one UK-based college student and developer — Greg Hughes. In May 2010, Hughes submitted an app for consideration called Wi-Fi Sync, which allowed users to sync their iTunes libraries wirelessly. 

Rather than receive the standard rejection email, Hughes reportedly got a call from an iPhone developer relations representative letting him know that his app was "admirable," but that some unspecified security concerns prevented it from being accepted. "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."

But rather than back down, Hughes simply submitted the app to the Cydia store, where it's sold more than 50,000 copies in a little more than a year. At $9.99 a pop, it's fair to say that Hughes made out quite nicely from his decision, though he declined to say how much he profited. 

That didn't pad the surprise that Hughes received earlier in the week, when Apple unveiled a number of key features for its upcoming iOS 5. One key feature, aptly named Wi-Fi Sync, does exactly what Hughes' rejected version did. Furthermore, Apple's icon for the app bears a striking resemblance to Hughes original design (see photo).

"Obviously I was fairly shocked," Hughes told The Register. "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." 

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a list of other jailbreak developers that have been subject to similar "borrowing" by Apple.



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RE: Nice...
By nonseq on 6/10/2011 6:15:35 PM , Rating: 1
Apple OSX Tiger Software Update Icon. http://www.apple.com/support/macosxtigerserver/sof... now imagine replacing the blue marble with the Airport icon from OSX http://support.apple.com/manuals/#airport and you get a pretty good idea that Apple has been using this kinda of iconography for years. I would say the kid took some Apple elements and modified the circled arrows to be an ellipse.


RE: Nice...
By someguy123 on 6/10/2011 7:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
It was definitely a combination of those two elements, but one has to do with apple's updates and one with wi-fi signals. It's not necessarily a logical combination for wi-fi sync. If you compare the update logo the arrows are on each side, whereas the wi-fi sync logo matches Hughes' logo arrow placement on top and bottom.

Considering he submitted that logo a while back it's a bit too much of a coincidence, but I can't say that it wasn't a complete coincidence without actually working at apple.


RE: Nice...
By kingmotley on 6/12/2011 11:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's a logical combination, when you realize that the combination of the icons have already been used separately. The rotating arrows IS the symbol that iTunes makes when you sync the iPhone. The lines, are the symbol when your iPhone is on WiFi. It's not a stretch if you wanted to combine sync & wifi that those are the two icons you would pick.


"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner














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