Astro HQ has made a name for itself with its innovative drawing apps on iOS. Just this month, the company showcased a new feature for its AstroPad Studio app that essentially turned the front-face camera into a newfound button for iPad users.

The company today announced, however, that Apple has rejected that idea…

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The feature was actually pretty neat. You simply tapped the lens of the front camera on the iPad to activate various menus and interfaces on screen. On the surface, it seems like a great way to free up additional screen space – something that’s crucial in drawing and design applications like AstroPad Studio.

The feature was also destined for AstroPad’s Luna Display app that we went hands on with back in August.

A few weeks back we unveiled the Camera Button — a new iPad interaction that turns the front-facing camera into a button. Tap the camera to reveal workspace shortcuts in our productivity apps Luna Display and Astropad.

As it turns out, however, Apple didn’t see the feature as innovative.

Astro HQ explained in a Medium post today that Apple has rejected its AstroPad Studio update with the new feature. In its decision, Apple explained that apps are not allowed to “alter or disable the functions of standard switches.”

Apps that alter or disable the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, or other native user interface elements or behaviors will be rejected. — App Store Review Guidelines.

In retrospect, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that the AstroPad Studio update with this feature was rejected. Apple has always been strict in its interpretation of App Store rules and guidelines, and this feature clearly falls into the above parameters.

Astro notes that its “urge to innovate” lives on, writing that it is “committed to pushing the boundaries of software and hardware engineering so that we can create the best productivity tools possible.”

If you’re in the market for a good drawing app, AstroPad Studio is one of the best the App Store has to offer – even without the Camera Button feature.


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