Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,251
16,095



Apple is forcing popular iOS calculator app PCalc to remove its Notification Center widget, which allows users to access calculator functions directly from the "Today" view of the Notification Center. According to Apple, widgets on iOS are not allowed to perform any calculations.

Apple's sudden decision to disallow PCalc's previously approved widget is somewhat surprising as the app is featured in multiple places in the App Store, including a section called "Extend Your Apps" featuring apps with unique widgets, and "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," which also features a selection of Notification Center widgets.

Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed. - James Thomson (@jamesthomson) October 29, 2014
PCalc was one of the first apps to be updated for iOS 8 and along with being featured on MacRumors in a list of apps with Notification Center integration, it was lauded for its convenient and unique use of the Notification Center in App Store reviews and in iOS 8 coverage from a variety of sites.

pcalc.jpg
Apple appears to have some fairly strict guidelines governing the proper usage of Notification Center widgets. PCalc is not the first app that's facing the removal of its widget, as Apple previously pulled Launcher from the App Store. Launcher installed a Notification Center widget that provided access to quick actions like making a phone call, opening a pre-defined Maps route, or sending a tweet.

Apple's App Extension guidelines do clearly state that Notification Center widgets should have a "simple, streamlined UI," a limited number of interactive items, and specifies that a widget is "not a mini version" of an app, but it does not appear to expressly disallow calculations. There's also a Pcalc app for OS X Yosemite that brings similar functionality to the desktop Notification Center and it is unclear whether Apple will also require the removal of that widget.

For the time being, PCalc can be downloaded from the App Store for $9.99, with access to the Notification Center widget included. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Apple Disallows Previously Approved Calculator Widgets for iOS 8 Notification Center
 

-LikesMac-

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2010
429
23
I don't get it.
What, does it compete with the built-in calculator app? Duplicate functionality?
 
Comment

nickhutson

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2009
132
59
£10 for a calculator? No thanks. I'll just swipe up.

I am still waiting for them to add the compose Tweet, Facebook etc buttons BACK to the notification centre.
 
Comment

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,553
Ridiculous. Reminds me of the early days of the App Store when they rejected apps from "duplicating existing functionality."

I don't understand why Apple does this. It just makes users mad and their features less useful.
 
Comment

Simplicated

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2008
1,422
254
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Is Apple even thinking from the user's perspective? It's really convenient to perform quick calculations without leaving the app, then double clicking to go back to where you were.

Sometimes Apple just makes asinine decisions. This is one of them.
 
Comment

Xeyad

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2012
342
288
WTF? I constantly use the PCalc widget. Looks like I won't update the app anymore.
 
Comment

maverick808

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2004
1,136
147
Scotland
This is ridiculous. Apple should not only be allowing this widget, they should be opening up all the developer frameworks a lot more.
 
Comment

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,829
11,966
Florida, USA
What is Apple's motivation for doing this? If someone doesn't like a widget app, they can just remove it. Is it a security concern? I don't get it.
 
Comment

AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
5,324
27,662
The developer brought this upon himself, IMO; this seems to be in direct defiance of Apple's regulation prohibiting the use of code in a NC widget. If you cannot convey your extension in a series of images, evocative facial expressions, and gesticulations, you're not trying hard enough. That's just poor programming.
 
Comment

Joshoon

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2014
146
23
Netherlands
What about this...

Psssshttt... what about the app Wdgts, which also offers a calculator for the notification center? :rolleyes:
 
Comment

adcmfrank

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2014
3
0
Will Apple Refund

I bought this app for both my iphone and macbook air based on Apples promotion of the widget. I wonder if Apple will give me my $20 back since they are removing what was offered as a benefit.
 
Comment

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,160
1,124
Montreal, Canada
That's really not cool for developers who will invest in making an app only to not get the planned revenues due to unpredictable Apple rules.

This kind of behavior from Apple is a good way to encourage developers to not push the boundaries of what an app can do, and to "play it safe" with unoriginal apps that at least are guaranteed to not be banned.
 
Comment

Rafterman

Contributor
Apr 23, 2010
3,336
3,089
"Apple's App Extension guidelines do clearly state that Notification Center widgets should have a "simple, streamlined UI," a limited number of interactive items, and specifies that a widget is "not a mini version" of an app"

In other words, they want the Notification Center to be useless - to look pretty but do nothing helpful.
 
Comment

Benguitar

Guest
Jan 30, 2009
1,253
0
I don't get it.
What, does it compete with the built-in calculator app? Duplicate functionality?

My thoughts exactly, why would someone need this? Do we really need the ability to swipe up for a calculator AND swipe down for a different one? :rolleyes:

So much for "moving forward" Apple.

laugh out loud. I love how MR is plagued by people that "use Apple products, while they simultaneously hate Apple"

Oh yeah, isn't that what the hipster-religion is all about?

£10 for a calculator? No thanks. I'll just swipe up.

I am still waiting for them to add the compose Tweet, Facebook etc buttons BACK to the notification centre.

+1 for swiping up!
 
Comment

mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
1,056
3,375
The Android-style notification-center metaphor that iOS & Yosemite uses is all wrong.

Notifications should be on the icon or the doc, as a pop-up bubble, and not on a separate window.

That way you clearly know what the notification source is, and can open it right there.

The icons and the dock are really the heart of the UI, not the windows.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.