Originally pulled by Apple almost six months ago, Launcher will make its triumphant return to the App Store tomorrow.
From developer Cromulent Labs, Launcher was one of the first apps to bring a unique take to iOS 8’s new Notification Center widget functionality. As the name suggests, it allowed users to launch selected apps or accomplish other actions directly from the Today screen. Our own Christine Chan talked more about the app in her original review.
Just a few days after arriving, Apple notified developer Greg Gardner that Launcher was a “misuse” of widgets and was eventually removed.
Over the past six months, Gardner has gone through a series of back and forth with Apple’s App Review (which he covers in episode 30 of the Inquisitive podcast), and he was eventually told to resubmit Launcher because, in the months since the first rejection, the company had decided to accept that kind of app-launching functionality. It’s not unusual for Apple to loosen App Store restrictions over time, even if no clear guidelines were ever provided in the first place. “I’m wondering if they never did that because maybe they knew that they were going to revisit this decision at a later time and may reverse it”, Gardner said.
Launcher is universal for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad/iPad mini. It can be downloaded now on the App Store for free.
I’m thrilled to see Launcher return to the App Store. Hopefully Apple has finally decided what widgets should be able to do. In the future, I hope Apple will be more explicit regarding what developer’s can accomplish with new iOS features.