April 18, 2024

Apple’s ban hammer on Notification widgets now targeting popular note-taking app Drafts

Apple is continuing to police the App Store, removing apps that run afoul of its policies governing the use of the new notification widgets. The latest app to catch the attention of App Store reviewers is note-taking app Drafts by Agile Tortoise.

According to developer Greg Pierce, Apple has asked for the removal of the buttons in the notifications widget that allow the user to create a new draft or open the app. Apple reportedly told Pierce that the notification pane is meant for information presentation only and is not to be used for interaction such as opening apps.

As pointed out by Pierce, this restriction has the potential to impact a variety of apps including Evernote, Day One and Fantastical, all of which allow users to create new content directly from the notification widget. As he clarifies, this restriction does not ban the use of buttons in the notification pane, but it does prohibit buttons that are used to open an app to initiate or complete a task.

Pierce reportedly was informed of the rejection several weeks ago and went through Apple’s appeal process before making a public announcement. Pierce indicated he would resubmit the app without a notification widget and re-assess whether he would add it back in a future revision.

This isn’t the first time Apple’s review team has issued confusing and sometimes contradictory decisions. In October, Apple told the developer of PCalc that the calculator function in the notification widget had to be removed, only to reverse its decision a few days later.

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