Alpha version of WiFi ExplorerWhile organizing some files in my computer, I found a screenshot of the alpha version of WiFi Explorer. It was called WiFi Analyzer back then and this was before I realized that that name was already taken in the Mac App Store by another app, which by the way doesn't do anything even close to what an app with that name could do.

WiFi Explorer began as a desktop alternative to another wifi scanner app I wrote for the iPhone in 2009 called, as you may guess, WiFi Analyzer. In that moment, I remember that the idea came up after watching a soccer match in my laptop (yes, I'm a serious soccer fan) but the video stream kept cutting off and I didn't know why. Well, it turns out that not only there were 3 other networks in the same channel, but also my wife was using the microwave, which resulted in the connection totally being dropped. I already had some experience using a spectrum analyzer, but I didn't have one with me (and didn't have plans to buy one) so I thought that it would be nice to have an app for your phone that could act as a spectrum analyzer. There were already some options for Android, but nothing I would find useful for the iPhone.

WiFi Analyzer Channel GraphIt took me 3 weeks to learn Objective-C and prepare the first version of WiFi Analyzer. It was released in November 3rd, 2009. The app rapidly became very popular, but unfortunately it was pulled out from App Store in March, 2010 due to the use of private frameworks, something Apple didn't allowed but that it permitted other developers to do for quite some time. When Apple banned wifi scanners (and other apps using private frameworks), it made it very clear to all developers that it had no plans of publishing the required frameworks and therefore those apps were not going to be back in the App Store anytime soon.                 

Consequently, I wanted to provide existing and new users with an alternative, even though doing wifi scanning with an iPhone was way much cooler and productive than walking around with a laptop. And that's how I came up with WiFi Explorer. Since its first release, WiFi Explorer incorporated features that were not included in the last available version of WiFi Analyzer, such as support for 5 GHz networks and 40 Mhz channel widths. From there, WiFi Explorer became a popular choice for doing wifi analysis in OS X, and until today I still receive 2 or 3 emails a week asking for the version for iOS. 

I just wish I could have one!