Friday, April 24, 2015

Mentioning Pebble in the App Store

Steve (Hacker News):

We have just had the latest version of our SeaNav US iOS app rejected by Apple because we support the Pebble Smartwatch and say so in the app description and meta-data (we also state in the review notes that “This application was approved for use with the Pebble MFI Accessory in the Product Plan xxxxxx-yyyy (Pebble Smartwatch)”.  See copy of rejection reason below.

SeaNav US has previously been approved by Apple with no problem, we have had Pebble support in SeaNav for nearly 2 years and there are no changes to our support for the Pebble in this version.


The problem appears to be that Apple has reclassified smart watches as a “mobile platform” whereas they did not before. So suddenly having an app so much as mention a smart watch brand is tantamount to mentioning, say, Android.


According to other posts in the linked discussion, other apps are being rejected under the same rationale and for the same reasons, and attempts to appeal those rejections aren’t going through (Apple’s reviewers are continuing to reject new versions of these apps until they remove any/all mention of “Pebble” in their metadata).

So apparently this is now Apple policy, rather than a reviewer’s mistake. This is certainly bad for iPhone users, since almost any accessory could potentially be considered a “mobile platform.” What’s next? Rejecting Fitbit’s app? I can’t see how this policy helps anyone, even Apple. Pebble support doesn’t diminish Apple Watch; the two watches are not even in direct competition. Rather, it increases the value of the iPhone platform to have all these devices working with iOS. Past App Store rejections have made Apple look petty, or perhaps evil. This one just makes it look stupid.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Eventually, Apple will add more device categories to its product line and you will no longer be able to refer to anything but Apple products in app descriptions. (Hum, isn't a car a mobile platform too?)

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