Smile Software, the developer of TextExpander Touch for iOS, the extremely useful typing utility, has relied on workarounds to get around some of the limitations of iOS.
One such workaround was the way the app used Reminders for shared snippet data storage for the inter-app communication limitation.
Apple isn’t happy with these workarounds, as the App Review Team has told Smile Software that the update to their iOS app won’t be approved if it doesn’t remove the use of Reminders for shared snippet data storage.
Yesterday, after a period of engagement with the App Review Team from Apple, they informed us that TextExpander’s use of Reminders for shared snippet data storage is not an intended use of Reminders and will no longer be accepted. TextExpander touch will not clear review until this is resolved. Apps which implement the current TextExpander touch SDK may not clear review until their TextExpander touch SDK is updated.
As you can see this has an implication on apps that implement the current TextExpander touch SDK. The company has informed TextExpander touch SDK developers that they have figured out a workaround, and are hoping to release the updated SDK by the end of November 25th, which they hope will be approved by Apple.
Our only alternative appears to be providing TextExpander data via x-callback-url. User action will be required to acquire and update snippet data. Each app will have its own copy of the TextExpander data, which will not sync automatically with user updates made in the TextExpander touch app. It’s not ideal, but it is within the App Store Review Guidelines. It also means users won’t lose TextExpander touch support in your app.
The only reason developers like Smile Software have used workarounds is due to the lack of a standard for inter-app communication. Instead of rejecting such workarounds, Apple should ideally provide a solution to developers, so it is easier for the developers to handle such use cases, and can in-turn offer a much richer user experience.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.[Google Groups via Cult Of Mac]