Apple recently unveiled iPhone OS 4, which brought many much needed features to the platform, including a lot which our own Charles Jade thought would never make it through. Despite rectifying some long-standing oversights, however, Apple still hasn’t allowed its iDevices to sync wirelessly with people’s home computers.
One user and developer decided not to wait for Apple to implement the feature, and instead created his own iPhone app in order to solve the problem. Greg Hughes, the man in question, created a Wi-Fi syncing app that works with a companion desktop client to sync your iTunes library with your iPhone, iPod touch or even your iPad. Check out the video below to see it in action.
It may sound like something that shouldn’t even be possible using Apple’s closed playground of development APIs, and maybe Hughes is stepping slightly out of bounds, but the YouTube video showing the app in action proves that it does indeed work. Just because it works, though, doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing it available for purchase in the app store anytime soon. I think it’s pretty safe to say Apple won’t let this one ever see the light of day. It’ll probably play the old “feature duplication” card because it may or may not introduce this feature itself somewhere down the road.
It’s a shame because the implementation looks fantastic, and users wouldn’t even have to wait for a new iPhone OS iteration to get it, since it works with iPhone OS 3.X. Judging by the video, the app somehow tricks iTunes into thinking that an iPhone is mounted and then syncs any video and music with that device, so you wouldn’t get the full iPhone sync experience, but it would work perfectly for users like me who are also MobileMe subscribers, since we basically only plug in to update music anyway.
Hughes is doing one thing right: He’s promoting the heck out of the app before it even has a chance to run afoul of Apple’s review process. It worked for Opera Mini, although the organization behind that app has far more visibility and clout than does a single unknown developer acting on his own. Still, even if Apple does block the app, at least people will know it happened and possibly voice their disappointment, rather than just let it pass unnoticed.
We’ll probably see the Wi-Fi Sync app grace the halls of the jailbreak app stores even if Apple never lets it see the light of day through official channels, proving once again that no matter what improvements Apple makes to its software, there’s still always a reason to go rogue. Is Wi-Fi Sync enough justification for you?