Apple yanks widget-based apps from the App Store

Widget-based apps are disappearing from the App Store. Why?

Screen Capture of pulled app iGizmoz

A widget-based app is an app that has a simulated desktop and can have several mini apps or features running. For example, it will have a background of your choice and then you can add and place an image, a clock, a timer or calendar events. I even had one that had a light bulb image that turned on a flashlight when you clicked it.

Basically, it’s like the dashboard that you already have on a Mac, or the Gadget layer you have on Windows or of course this is a feature that is already offered on Google’s Android phone.

Developer Russell Ivanovic’s app MyFrame, which had that extra layer that displays data on top of an image, was recently pulled from the AppStore. Ivanovic was initially told very little, with Apple being very elusive about the reason why it was pulled. Ivanovic took it further and contacted Steve Jobs, who sent a reply saying they are not allowing apps that create their own desktop. So it seems that the app was pulled because Apple is removing the apps that have or use this widget system.

In the Apple documentation, there is no rule currently against these types of implementations, but they are in the process of writing all the modifications to the 4.0 iPhone OS due for release this summer.

iGizmoz as it was.

Unfortunately for Ivanovic, he had actually written a blog post when the app was approved, in defence of Apple’s approval process. However, now that he is on the receiving end of Apple’s ambiguity with his own pulled app, he is starting to feel the same as those developers who have had an app rejected or pulled, saying “Little did I know that a month later that blog post would come back and smack me in the face”.

I was recently in the process of reviewing and testing iGizmoz and when I went looking for the current pricing of this app, I couldn’t locate it on the App Store anywhere. I contacted the developer Mobile Pond, who sent me the reply, “Unfortunately, the app was removed from the store by Apple a few days ago.” The image to the left shows the app with the scrolling choice of widgets at the bottom of the screen.

This could be a feature Apple is considering implementing in a future iPhone OS. I can’t personally see how pulling apps that have met the Apple standard would make any difference to a possible OS implementation of that feature. I guess we have to wait and see while developers continue to get their apps pulled.

Article Via AppleInsider

Chatty Canadian in the UK. Dancing queen in my head. Digital Communications Lecturer. Mac computer fan. Mac makeup fan. iOS developer. Popcorn eater. Was producer & host of quirky app review show Apps & Hats.