Apple Wants to Kill the Only Useful iOS Widget

Illustration for article titled 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.

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.




I moved from iOS to Android a year ago. After the initial novelty wore off, I had buyer's remorse for about two months and came close to taking a big financial hit to move back.

But I stuck with it, dug in deeper with customizing, and now stories like this make me glad I did. Android is just so much more helpful – my phone now feels like my own phone, suited to the way I work, in a way that my iPhones never did (can?).

And with Lollipop, I feel that for the first time ever Android actually looks better than iOS.

I was interested to hear about widgets coming to iOS (I still have an iPad) but Apple's implementation is just woeful.

OK, I have my flame suit on, but this is just a personal experience from someone who uses / has used both platforms extensively.