F.lux for iOS No Longer Available After Apple Says Side-Loading Violates Developer Agreement

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Apr 12, 2001
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F.lux, a popular app for the Mac that allows users to adjust the color of their screen based on the time of day, yesterday expanded to iOS with a beta app, but as of today, the app is no longer available.

Because iOS does not have the necessary documented APIs to allow f.lux to function, f.lux was skirting the App Store with private APIs and asking users to install its iOS app through Xcode, using a technique called side-loading. Apple has now informed f.lux that asking people to side-load apps onto their iOS devices violates the Developer Program Agreement, so f.lux can no longer be installed on iOS devices using Xcode.
Apple has contacted us to say that the f.lux for iOS download (previously available on this page) is in violation of the Developer Program Agreement, so this method of install is no longer available.

We understood that the new Xcode signing was designed to allow such use, but Apple has indicated that this should not continue.
For those unfamiliar with f.lux, it's an app that adjusts the blue light of a screen based on the time of day to avoid interfering with the body's circadian rhythm. During the day, f.lux mimics natural daylight, but at as the sun sets, it cuts down on the amount of blue light and makes the screen more yellow, which is said to encourage better sleep.

F.lux is a popular Mac app that's been downloaded 15 million times, but with side-loading no longer available, f.lux for iOS is non-existant. F.lux's developers are urging customers who want f.lux for iOS to send feedback to Apple, as the company would need new documented APIs to introduce the app through official channels.

Article Link: F.lux for iOS No Longer Available After Apple Says Side-Loading Violates Developer Agreement
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
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Or they could open source f.lux and Apple would be just fine with it! The way they were doing, tricking Xcode into copying a pre-compiled binary was shady, this was the obvious outcome.
Yeah, that's my guess too as they don't seem to be going after any other open source projects that can be installed with Xcode yet.

B
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
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Silicon Valley
This is why I keep arguing that iOS isn't a true operating system in its current state, and in Apple's current mindset.
Adding security, and thus making malware more difficult to install, does not change an OS to not being an OS. It's just a security policy. A corporate admin could lock down a company Mac almost as tight, without making the company Macs not Macs running OS X.
 

benfro6

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2009
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F.lux is a popular Mac app that's been downloaded 15 million times, but with side-loading no longer available, f.lux for iOS is non-existant. F.lux's developers are urging customers who want f.lux for iOS to send feedback to Apple, as the company would need new documented APIs to introduce the app through official channels.
F.lux is still available for jailbroken users, for what it is worth. Still would like this available for all users!
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,837
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Silicon Valley
Or they could open source f.lux and Apple would be just fine with it! The way they were doing, tricking Xcode into copying a pre-compiled binary was shady, this was the obvious outcome.
This. "Side loading" is (now) perfectly legal if you give the user (with a developer ID) an opportunity to inspect the source code before building the app and installing it on that users iOS device with Xcode from a Mac.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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I don't see why Apple should care about this. The average person isn't going to go through the trouble of installing this themselves. Let those who like to tinker have at it. I'm kinda bummed out because I was planning on trying it out this weekend. I'm usually on my phone before bed and have a hard time going to sleep as a result. I do a lot of reading on my phone because my field in web/app design and development, as well as photography is always quickly advancing and I have to keep up.

Hopefully in iOS 10 they'll stick it in as an option under Accessibility. Most normal people don't tinker around in there, but I've found some useful stuff in there like LED flash for alerts, 3D Touch sensitivity, Guided Access on triple click for keeping my toddler from leaving one of her educational apps, setting to turn off lowercase keyboard keys, etc. Adding this as an option would be great for people who are affected by harsh displays in the evening.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
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Adding security, and thus making malware more difficult to install, does not change an OS to not being an OS. It's just a security policy. A corporate admin could lock down a company Mac almost as tight, without making the company Macs not Macs running OS X.
An admin had to actually go out of their way to lock down that OSX. It didn't suddenly get new locks added to it by the OS devs.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,694
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An admin had to actually go out of their way to lock down that OSX. It didn't suddenly get new locks added to it by the OS devs.
So it's basically a difference of who added the "locks" and when they were added, not really in anything else regarding one or the other actually being an OS or not.
 
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KidAKidB

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2014
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Toronto
Or they could open source f.lux and Apple would be just fine with it! The way they were doing, tricking Xcode into copying a pre-compiled binary was shady, this was the obvious outcome.
Right, let's never hold Apple responsible for a stupid decision. The only reason they had to "trick" anything is because of Apple's restrictions.
 
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