Apple ask Panic to remove Transmit's iCloud Drive export feature

Posted on December 8, 2014

Panic’s update notes for Transmit :

Also, at Apple’s request, we had to remove the ability to “Send” files to other services, including iCloud Drive. In short, we’re told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 — “Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected” — but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive.

Since the release of iOS 8 and the Notification Center controversy, App Store’s App reviews keeps surprising people with non-sense decisions, like asking PCalc developer to delete it’s implementation of his Calculator in the Notification Center (which is clever), or for inserting buttons in your widget like in Drafts or Evernote.

But the worst thing, taken apart the absurdity of the rejections (see John Gruber’s thoughts on this case), are the a posteriori intervention of the reviewers : all the apps and the controversial implementations were endorsed by the review team, who got sometimes a full week between the submission and the release, and were updated many times before being rejected. This is a irresponsible behavior, and something that could be very costly for the developers who put time and effort in those features. And in this case, this is one of the critical feature of the app, who was sold as being able to transfer files to iCloud Drive or Dropbox/Box and now can’t.

By being this schizophrenic, Apple put in danger business (see the opinion of famous developers like Marco Arment) on which it relies heavily on to sell its products (an iPhone without the App Store is a very expensive piece of junk), and its relationship with its customers.

Maybe it’s time that Apple grab its shit together and do the right call : being friendly with third party developers (WWDC 14 was a good start) and being consistent.