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Summary:

Apple recently unveiled iPhone OS 4, which brought many much needed features to the platform. Despite rectifying some long-standing oversights, however, Apple still hasn’t allowed their iDevices to sync wirelessly with people’s home computers.

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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?

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  1. Calibre lets you sync books from your computer to your iPhone wirelessly too (and is in the App Store). It’s very handy and make me wonder if I would even bother switching to the iBook App when it comes out.

  2. Sergey Kuleshov Monday, April 26, 2010

    I don’t care if Apple approves it or not. For me this app alone is a good enough reason to jailbreak!

  3. It would be really interesting if the developer had provided blogs with an app for review of the features and how well it works, especially in terms of performance.

    I would love to be able to sync wirelessly, but only if it’s similar to the experience of tethered syncing, which can be very slow already.

  4. Any news on price?

  5. David Calhoun Monday, April 26, 2010

    I really hope this app passes into the App Store. Looks really cool.

  6. HD, I think that its targetting the frequent small updates that one might have when adding a new contact, or backing up camera shots/videos, rather than installing a GTA-sized game of several hundred megs. For those, you’re better off using the USB sync (why oh why did they foresake firewire!!!)

    Matt, there are already quite afew apps that do wifi syncing for specific uses. I have 2Do from GuidedWays.com and its a great app for syncing the Todo list on iCal. But where this might tread on Apple’s toes is its interacting with iTunes itself.

  7. Hope this comes through. I’d use this mostly for automatic podcast downloads. Currently I download directly to my ipod touch and think its crazy that the touch won’t let me subscribe and automatically download (I’d be happy to launch the ipod/itunes app and leave it on my charger if it would download automatically)

    if this works (and is approved) I would start using itunes desktop again – at the moment its just for backups

  8. Khürt L Williams Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    I wonder how long it would take to sync a 200 song playlist, 3 recent television shows, and 5 45 minutes podcasts wirelessly?

  9. Domenic Grazioso Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    This already exists in the jailbreak world. Look up MyWi for jailbroken devices. You can get it from Cydia or RockApp. It also does not require a sync with your computer, and multiple devices can connect to the signal. I am at work using my iPad through my iPhone’s 3G signal. I highly recommend it if you guys thought this article was interesting. Come to the dark side, you’ll enjoy it here.

  10. this has nothing to do with the concept of tethering moron, can you read? mywi takes your 3G signal and pushes it over an ad-hoc created wifi network. very simple. this would sync itunes to your phone, wirelessly. i sturggle to see where the comprehension falls apart.

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