Wednesday, December 29, 2021

rcmd vs. the Mac App Store

Alin Panaitiu:

The defacto way of reacting to Right Command + some other key is to monitor all key events (yes, just like a keylogger), and discard events that don’t contain the Right Command modifier flag.

Easy peasy, right? Well no, because that’s not allowed on the App Store.

He found a workaround to using the accessibility API:

It turns out that RegisterEventHotKey is plenty fast. So fast that we were able to register the hotkeys only when Right Command was being held, and unregister them when the key was released.

But then got rejected for using a private API to trigger Exposé. The only public way I know to do this is to launch the Mission Control app.

Having to pay upfront is steering away a lot of possible users, but with all that bad UX [for free trials], we decided to not implement any free trial and just sell the app for a one-time fair price.

Finally the rcmd app switcher is in the store:

Can I cycle between windows of the same app?

Unfortunately there’s no macOS API that allows us to focus specific windows of an app.

The Accessibility API would allow this in some manner but it is not allowed on the App Store.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Why not have a crippled version in the App Store and then an unlimited one for download? The MAS version writes the receipt to the prefs and the indie version validates it, and so the user doesn't have to pay twice. I do that in my apps, too.

Why even bother with the app store?

@ Bri: reach. Some people will only install apps from there, or will trust those more.

(I'm not saying that's necessarily a sufficient argument. I get the sense Apple really shot themselves in the foot with their change to a "sandboxed apps only" policy on the MAS, which of course also doesn't apply to their own apps.)

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