The iOS 8 Widget Restrictions Do not Make Any Sense

ByKaty Wilson

Mar 8, 2023
The iOS 8 Widget Restrictions Do not Make Any Sense

One of the most issues we maximum regarded ahead to in iOS 8 was once widgets. An established Android characteristic, Apple presented widgets as part of Notification Heart, which you get right of entry to with a downward swipe from the highest of the display. Via giving 3rd birthday party apps get right of entry to to this coveted house, customers may just temporarily glean details about their day and extra successfully navigate their smartphone revel in.

Apart from that it sort of feels Apple continues to be unsure about what is allowed in a widget, and what is now not. Apple rejected an replace to the app Drafts this week since the buttons within the widget redirect the person again to the app so as to procedure or entire duties. That is supposedly now not allowed beneath phase 25.1 of the App Evaluate Pointers, which state “Apps webhosting extensions will have to conform to the App Extension Programming Information”—except that the textual content on this programming information do not appear to explicitly say this serve as is not allowed.

Drafts’ developer Greg Pierce was once advised Notification Heart’s Nowadays View is for use for informational functions best. (Pierce was once now not advised to take away the buttons from Drafts’ widget or his app could be got rid of from the App Retailer, as different tales have reported.) The app’s widget has remained quite unchanged since October 15 and has passed through 3 prior app updates with out factor, so the unexpected rejection was once unexpected.

However Pierce is not the primary to return beneath hearth for his app’s widget capability. Calculator app PCalc was once advised it could get pulled from the App Retailer as a result of “widgets on iOS can not carry out any calculations.” After additional attention, PCalc (at the side of different calculator apps and widgets) had been later deemed OK. And in a while after iOS 8’s debut, the app Launcher was once got rid of from the App Retailer as a result of its widget created shortcuts to different apps and internet sites so you must release them from inside Notification Heart.

In those instances, the widget rejection is complicated as a result of Apple in particular gives a mechanism for opening apps from Notification Heart via app extensions: “A Nowadays widget (and no different app extension kind) can ask the machine to open its containing app by way of calling the openURL:completionHandler: way of the NSExtensionContext magnificence.” Why be offering this capability within the first position if it is not allowed?

Those make a choice app rejections are additional confounding as a result of such a lot of different apps additionally come with widgets with buttons. Whilst you faucet a date in Fantastical’s widget, as an example, you are taken into the app so you’ll create a brand new tournament. Evernote has buttons for developing new notes. Strava has a button you faucet to start out recording a brand new task. And magazine app Day One has a button for beginning a brand new access. Those purposes are all extremely helpful and endemic to the app itself, and a apparently herbal extension of the app as a widget characteristic.

If Apple does make a decision, uniformly, that such capability is not allowed throughout its cellular platform, it will critically prohibit the iOS 8 revel in. On the other hand, it is much more likely that it is a rising ache. Apple’s app reviewers notoriously err at the facet of warning relating to app approvals, so it is most probably those rejections are a results of evolving developer tips, more and more difficult apps, and human error. Regardless, the placement is maddening for builders, who might now have misgivings about updating their apps or making a widget, and problematic for app customers who have grown to love those widgets the way in which they’re.

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