Tuesday, August 24, 2021

FlickType Discontinued

FlickType (Hacker News):

It’s with a heavy heart today that we’re announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users.

Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse.


Last week, we submitted an update that fixes various iOS 15-related issues & improves the app for VoiceOver users. No new features, just improvements. No changes to our App Store page either.

But Apple rejected it. They incorrectly argue again that our keyboard extension doesn’t work without “full access”, something they rejected us for THREE years ago. Back then we successfully appealed and overturned their decision, and this hadn’t been a problem since. Until now.

We tried reaching out to Apple a total of 9 times last week, with no success. At this point they seem to be ignoring our attempts to contact them directly, despite previously explicitly telling us to “feel free” to contact them if we need “further clarification”.

Our rejection history already spans more than FOURTY pages filled with repeated, unwarranted, & unreasonable rejections that serve to frustrate & delay rather than benefit end-users.

Juli Clover:

Eleftheriou previously levied a lawsuit against Apple in March over Apple’s failure to get rid of copycat apps, and he today highlighted Apple’s “terrible” third-party keyboard APIs as another reason for the App’s discontinuation. Apple’s keyboard APIs have reportedly been “buggy, inconsistent, ever-changing, and broken” since 2014.

The Macalope (Hacker News):

Clearly, he has a varying relationship with Apple that has wavered across the spectrum, from at one point being in talks with the company to get acquired[…]

Suing Apple may seem over-the-top on a casual glance but… who else is he going to sue? The makers of those scam apps undoubtedly operate through phony accounts from countries that couldn’t care less about scamming people out of money. Apple is the only one that can do anything about it. And, oh, it happens to run the store it tells everyone is so safe and great.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I don't think people have any idea how many innovative apps Appleā€™s App Review drives away and stops from ever being developed.

No sane person would develop an iOS app that does anything out of the ordinary, or that innovates in any space occupied by any Apple apps. The App Review risks are simply too high to be justified.

This is a tragedy as it pretty much guarantees any innovation will come on other platforms (or from Apple I guess, but they are hardly free to take chances (as seen clearly with the latest Safari UI debacle)).

Beatrix Willius

I don't get why the reviews are so very obnoxious. Do the reviewers have a timer and a quota? Do they get a reward when they reject as many apps in the shortest period of time?

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