October 30, 2014
The calculator app PCalc has run afoul of the App Store rules. It had been approved – even featured – with a Notification Centre widget that allowed the use of the calculator directly in a notification, but now apparently that's got to go.
This is depressing news. Not only because this guy's sunk time & effort into making the iOS app ecosystem a better place, and now that's been stymied. And not only because from now on every other developer will have just that moment longer a moment of pause before risking doing anything "too new". But also because the sort of thing PCalc was doing was where I'd thought the Notification Centre might be taking iOS.
The post The end of apps as we know them imagines a future where a Notification Centre-like stream of cards was the main way of interacting with the apps on a device. It made a pretty compelling case, I thought.
I bought PCalc. The guy deserves a break.
Update 31 October: The decision's been reversed, calculators can now stay in the Notification Centre. A certain ambiguity in the rules is fine, necessary even, and the walled garden I still believe is also necessary; but it's all a balancing act. At some point opaqueness in the process becomes capriciousness. To err is human though of course, and mostly Apple seems to get this balancing act right, as they seem to have done here in the end.