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Apple culling widget apps from App Store?

updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu June 3, 2010

Company could be working on first-party answer

Apple is actively removing apps with widgets from the App Store, claims developer Russell Ivanovic. The coder says he was recently called by an Apple representative and told his own title, MyFrame, was being pulled because the company is looking to remove any app that presents widgets. Before it disappeared, My Frame was capable of displaying an extra layer of data on top of photos, in a manner similar to the Mac Dashboard or Microsoft's Gadgets layer in Windows.

The call led Ivanovic to complain to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is said to have replied with a typically brief e-mail sent from his iPad. "We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry," the message reads. Commenting on the original representative call, Ivanovic mentions that he got the impression the person was "being as evasive as he could, even though he didn't want to be, because he was terrified of giving us any more information than he had to."

Why Apple would suddenly turn against widgets is uncertain, given that there is no explicit rule against implementations like MyFrame, which was formerly approved for sale. It's speculated that Apple may be preparing the way for iPhone homescreen widgets. The rival Google Android platform already has desktop widgets, and iPhone 4.0 should at least have an iPod widget.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Uncommon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There they go again

    I'm still waiting for Apple to give me a reason to actually *want* to develop native iPhone apps.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Basically Apple's complaint is that you're ruining the 'desktop' by putting something on top? But aren't you doing that just by running any App?

    It reminds me of menu extras. Remember how everyone made those in OS X. Then Apple announced "Wait! Only us, Apple, are allowed to make menu extras. We can't trust you all to do it. You need to use a different mechanism!"

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: There goes...

    You want to develop because your app could be one of the couple of dozen that actually makes a lot of money and gets publicized as the profit to be made on the iPhone/'iPod. And you'll be rich!

    And if you don't, idiot MacNN commenters will tell you to go develop for other platforms because we don't need your app and you're a loser because you don't see why you should bend to every whim of Apple.

    Oh, wait, iphonerulez already did that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Don't wait...

    Apple or it's users don't need you. You should go to Android where you belong. In fact, we're begging you to go. See how simple that is. Goodbye.

    How the h*** do you know Apple doesn't need him? Because he isn't the "Thank you sir, may I have another!" lackey?

    The SDK agreement states that any app can be pulled without explanation. All the tens of thousands of developers sign that agreement. It's always there as a potential time bomb.

    Oh, you are so right. That makes it so much better.

    There are about 200,000 apps in the App Store which somehow show that it doesn't happen all that frequently.

    Um, the number of apps in the store doesn't show anything. How do you know Apple hasn't pulled 50,000 titles already? And let's not forget the fact that they're pulling an approved app, not just not approving it. So there's 200,000 now, but who says it won't be 150,000 next week?

    If your app steps on Apple's plans in some way even if it has been approved earlier, then it's bye-bye app. Kind of like the button-eyed teddy bear that gets pulled from department store shelves because it's found to be giving off toxic gases when sitting in the sun too long. Or the medication that was approved by the FDA only to find out a year or two later it makes fetuses sprout extra limbs.

    Do you even know how to make an analogy? Apple is pulling an app. There was no mention that the app caused any types of problems, issues, crashes, etc, with the iPhone or iPad. This is nothing like a product that is later found to have side-effects.

    Mobile OS 4.0 might break a lot of apps. Of course, a developer probably doesn't care since he put his blood, sweat and tears into his app.

    First, no one said this had anything to do with 4.0.

    Second, a developer IS going to care if it breaks a bunch of apps, because, as you said, he spent all his money into his app, following the SDK, getting approval, etc.

    Finally, if OS 4.0 breaks a lot of apps, Apple should fire their OS team and find someone who knows what the h*** they are doing. There is NO REASON for an OS update to break existing apps, as long as those apps followed the SDK. You make and SDK, public APIs and frameworks, etc, for the sole purpose of NOT BREAKING APPS in the future.

    However, Apple believes the consumer is the most important one to please and the dev has to take his lumps. It's somewhat unfair, but that's life.

    So what you are saying is that the consumer will be happy to find out that OS 4.0 breaks all his apps? Or that Apple has determined that apps on his iPhone are no longer allowed and can't be used? Or that the developer has to reduce the functionality of his app because Apple decided they didn't like a previously accepted capability?

    Please, tell me what non-"Apple is a God and they do no wrong" user will be 'pleased' by this type of 'help' from Apple?

    Get over it. To believe that Google will never pull an Android app is just plain foolish.

    Um, Google can't pull an Android app, since Google doesn't approve android apps. I know it is a crazy thought, but there are some developers out there making applications that do not have to go through an arbitrary and contradictory approval process before they can distribute their apps. I know, what a crazy idea.

    Next thing you know, people will be installing apps in OS X that haven't been pre-approved by Apple.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's a good thing Apple is protecting us from confusing these "desktop" apps with the default desktop that isn't on the iPad.

    This is a perfect illustration of why I'll not be getting an iPad until Apple gives up their total control of the apps we can run. They're really doing a bang-up job of making Android look extremely appealing.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Developing for Apple

    Has its risks -- just make sure you are delivering
    value that they don't plan on delivering themselves.

    Otherwise -- buh bye!

    It doesn't seem that hard to understand.

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