Apple is Pulling a Load of the Best iOS Apps

By Adam Clark Estes on at

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 uses iCloud Drive
  • PCalc, a calculator app that looks a lot like the native iOS calculator
  • Drafts, a writing app
  • Launcher, an app that makes it easier to launch apps

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 own offerings, 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 applications work how they want them to. It's a headache for the developers who are making useful things, getting them approved, and then watching Apple pull the rug out from under them.

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.