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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Dan Moren

Launcher is yet another App Store reversal

The inimitable Federico Viticci chronicles the disappearance—and now return!—of Launcher, a simple app that lets you launch other apps from iOS’s Notification Center:

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.

I actually managed to get Launcher when it was first available, but I think I deleted it around the time it got pulled. Glad it’s back, though, as it’s a simple app that nicely solves a common problem. (Honestly, it’s almost as good as being able to swap new apps into Control Center’s quick launch bar.)

The whole Notification Center widget thing has been kind of a mess for the App Store—see PCalc and Drafts—and while I’m glad that all those decisions got eventually reversed, I’m really hoping that Apple can be more proactive about how it handles developers playing with whatever features the company introduces this year.