Apple making iOS 8 Notification Center a bit less useful by banning calculator widgets

Pcalc-today-widgetDeveloper James Thomson of popular calculator app PCalc announced today via his Twitter account that Apple is forcing him to remove the app’s Today Widget due to a restriction that iOS widgets “cannot perform any calculations.”

Apple’s new Today Widgets feature in iOS 8, which allows developers to build functions into the system-wide Notification Center, does have some limitations that Apple outlines in developer documentation. For example, Apple encourages developers not to use Today Widgets for multistep tasks: If you want to create an app extension that enables a multistep task or helps users perform a lengthy task, such as uploading or downloading content, the Today extension point is not the right choice.” There doesn’t, however, appear to be specific references to apps that perform calculations in Apple’s developer guidelines. Read more

Apple removes Launcher app from App Store for ‘misuse’ of iOS 8′s widget capability

An iOS 8 app that allowed users to create custom shortcuts and access them from a Notification Center widget has been removed from the App Store by Apple for what it calls “misuse of widgets,” the developers said in a notice posted on the app’s website.

The app, called Launcher, worked by letting users enter a URL or select an application to be launched when a shortcut was tapped. The shortcuts would then be displayed in Notification Center, allowing quick access to a variety of tasks such as starting a phone or FaceTime call, creating a new text message, email, or iMessage, opening an application, or more.

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