Apple Is Pulling a Bunch of the Neatest iOS 8 Apps

Remember when Apple went after that handy note-taking widget, a popular app that's one the first truly useful widgets for iOS 8? Turns out, Apple's been pulling all kinds of apps that take advantage of new features in iOS 8—even after they've been approved to be in the App Store. And developers are starting to get pretty upset.

The Guardian just published a lengthy report on the trend. The paper names the following apps as victims of Apple's newly unpredictable App Store:

  • Transmit, an FTP program that lets you save files iCloud Drive (a new ability in iOS 8)
  • PCalc, a calculator app and widget that looks a lot like the native iOS calculator
  • Drafts, a writing app that included buttons in an accompanying widget
  • Launcher, an app that makes it easier to launch apps from the Notification Center

Why Apple is doing this remains a bit of a mystery. At first glance it would appear that Apple is killing apps that challenge its owns, but upon closer examination, the trend seems to point to some confusion about the new App Store guidelines. Since widgets and extensions are new to iOS 8, there are all kinds of new rules that Apple's written to make these work they way that they want. It just seems like maybe not all of these new rules are written down, or consistent. And it sucks for the developers who are making useful things, getting them approved, and then watching Apple pull the rug out from under them.

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We've reached out to Apple for more details on the specifics of what's going on and will update this post if we hear back. [The Guardian]

Apple Wants to Kill the Only Useful iOS Widget

A couple weeks ago, we were pleased to see the launch of Neato, a handy note-taking widget for iOS 8 that's actually useful. Now, Apple has decided that Neato no longer fits within its App Store guidelines—despite the fact that it had been already been approved. Now Neato must become useless, or die.

The trouble with Apple started around the same time that Neato took off. In an email, Neato told us that the app had reached the top 10 list in the business category in 65 countries, including the U.S., when Apple contacted them with the bad news. The company explained:

We were expecting Neato to be featured by Apple but instead Apple called us on Nov 10th, and we were told that: "Neato does not comply with one or more App Review Guidelines". They required us to remove the keyboard from the widget. But Neato without the keyboard is nothing, and like a limp horse.

When Neato appealed, Apple shut them down with this reply:

Our position in regards to your app has not changed. ... Please submit an update within two weeks. If we do not receive an update within two weeks, your app may be removed from sale.

Clearly people liked the app or it wouldn't have become so popular. It's especially weird since iOS 8 actively encourages custom keyboards.

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We've reached out to Apple for more details about why it wants to kill the widget. Neato pointed out that Apple's taken other widgets to task like Pcalc, though it later reversed its position on calculator apps. What's Apple's big beef here? We may never know. But download Neato now because it could be gone soon.