Apple removes "Launcher" (customizable app-launching widget) from App Store

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by pickaxe, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. pickaxe, Sep 28, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014

    pickaxe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #1
    This has already been posted in the iOS 8 forum but I felt like this subforum would also find it interesting.

    http://al.cromulentlabs.com/thanks/

    Launcher (click for screenshot) was a Notification Center widget that allowed the user to add any app or intent as a Notification Center widget. It was remarkably useful and got quite popular. Suddenly, Apple decided that launching of other apps via a widget is forbidden, and gave the developer precious few days before having Launcher pulled.

    Why did Apple do this? Since Apple have allowed Launch Center Pro (which does the exact same thing but not in widget form), my guess is that it's either because they don't want to make it too conveniant to use competing services (such as Google Maps or a Beats Music competitor), or because they implemented or are planning to implement it in iOS 9 and don't want anybody releasing a competing product.

    Both reasons can be summed up as "anti-competitive behavior" and show how irrelevant Apple's walled-garden approach is becoming.
     
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #2
    Wow, that does suck. Thankfully I installed in prior to being removed--it's a great little app, just wish I'd upgraded to the Pro version as that's no longer available.

    Won't disagree that this is a poor move by Apple--like an upset child storming off with their ball so nobody else can play.
     
  3. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    Hamburg, NY
    #3
    Wish I downloaded before I saw it was taken down.
    I literally had my finger on the button when I decided not to mere hours before it was taken down.
     
  4. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #4
    This makes me sad. Something like launcher would have made the transition from android to iOS A LOT smoother.

    :(
     
  5. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #5
    I wonder what the exact reason was for its removal. Seems like that tidbit is being left out.

    Misuse could mean a lot of things that may be concerning to the user.
     
  6. jamezr Suspended

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #6

    How could one misuse a launcher?
     
  7. jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #7
    According to the blogpost they have "decided to disallow any Notification Center widget that lets you launch other apps". I would assume the 'misuse' is allowing users to launch other apps from the launcher.
     
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #8
    I thought maybe security issue as the notification panel is accessible from the lock screen but touching a launch shortcut still requires Touch ID or PIN.

    It's an immensely useful widget so I'm genuinely curious why they removed it. Apple's explanation, at least as provided by the developer doesn't hold water for me as other widgets will take you directly into an app, in essence 'launching' an app.
     
  9. jamezr Suspended

    jamezr

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    US
    #9
    I think we can substitute the word "misuse" with "choose" in this case.....
     
  10. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #10
    OK, that is different than launching the app associated with the widget. But if you read the app's help section, the developer explains that not all apps can be launched by a third party and that each app needs to allow that functionality. So if the dev allows it, what' she problem? How is this different from an app allowing extensions to other apps?
     
  11. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #11
    Maybe other developers complained? Realize some apps have their notification widgets setup a specific way. Take some News apps for example. They want to expose the headlines on the widget. The same goes for Travel and Shopping apps. Maybe they feel it's unfair for users to be able to launch their app from another widget without their own widget content being shown. Some of that content creates revenue. iOS is different than Android and more revenue driven.

    Just my theory.
     
  12. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #12
    See my post above yours--per the developer of Launcher, apps need to provide permission allowing this. If they don't want a third party to be able to launch their app or content, they just deny permission. There were specific apps that I'd have liked to be able to launch that I couldn't.
     
  13. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #13
    Good point. Sorry I missed that.

    Or was the developer's intentions for third party app launching more about integration vs widgets?
     
  14. Switchback666 macrumors 68000

    Switchback666

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    SXM
    #14
    I was excited when I saw the post about it, downloaded and realize they were shortcuts to settings :( not sure why I expected to be toggles.
     

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