Talking tech since 2003

Man, Apple is being super picky with its Notification Center widgets!

The latest victim is an app called PCalc, which had the audacity to add a super-handy calculator as a widget in Notification Center. Apple has, for some reason, decided that the widget is no longer acceptable, and has asked the developer to remove the widget or face a certain removal of PCalc from the App Store.

pcalcWhy? Apple says that “Notification Center widgets in iOS cannot perform any calculations.”

I’m not the biggest fan of math, either, but come on.

What’s really bizarre is that, according to Mashable, Apple was actually promoting PCalc in that same store, categorizing it in the “Great Apps for iOS 8” section. Even worse — Apple was highlighting the app’s now-banned feature, placing the app alongside others that made interesting use of Notification Center widgets.

It’s not the first time Apple has singled out an app for doing something it deems “wrong” with a widget; we covered the Launcher story last month, when Apple waved a magic wand and created a new guideline to outlaw app launching from the Notification Center.

In the case of both PCalc and Launcher, these rules weren’t clearly communicated to the developers prior to Apple taking action — Apple simply made up the rules up as the situations arose.

This is really a throwback to the worst of Steve Jobs’ Apple. The company has felt more open and transparent since Tim Cook took the wheel, and if you’ve seen some of the latest iPhone ads, you might even say Apple is starting to have some fun. But this? It’s complete and utter nonsense. Apple is sending mixed messages to developers, and it’s really stunting some of the cool things these talented folks want to do with iOS 8. And it’s doing it for seemingly no good reason.

If Tim Cook is wise, he’ll step in and make this right — the coverage is likely going to get more pointed as things drag on.

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