Apple has some pretty blury guidelines for what can be in the Notification Center and what can’t. This has already caused a bit of confusion regarding calculators in the NC and the late app-widget Launcher. This has got to be frustrating for developers and users alike. I personally heard about Launcher too late as I was stuck on iOS 7.1.6 due to a jailbreak not being released yet for iOS 8, by the time I got wind it was already gone in the blaze.
That being said, I jumped on Neato when I heard on Reddit that they might be pulling it if they don’t remove the keyboard from the Notification Center widget. The thread is titled, “What Apple don’t realize is these are the kind of things that convince developers to turn to jailbreaking, and users to look to jailbreaking” and it’s spot on. It is one of the largest reasons why I myself will always be a “jailbreaker”. There will always be something that Apple doesn’t think it’s users are ready for or it somehow breaks their odd guidelines.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with this widget; will they turn to Cydia? I hope so!
I for one would welcome them with open arms as a widget like this is right at home in the jailbreak world where developers and users alike are basically limitless in what they can create or customize with their devices.
Neato lets you write three lines of text within the NC widget and send it off to Evernote, Dropbox, Mail, Twitter or iMessage. If you need to type or paste more than that you are redirected to their app to compete your note. Their keyboard is a little bit clunky as I imagine the developers didn’t exactly have a lot of time to polish it before submitting and won’t be able to update it with fixes or usability improvements unless Apple backs off. I suspect that they weren’t allowed to use apples API for the keyboard and had to use another means to emulate it.
There is a lot speculation on why Apple might have done this. It could be simply that there isn’t the support built in yet that Apple is comfortable with, or even potential security holes allowing someone who isn’t the devices owner to circumvent the passcode with a series of specific keywords, etc.
Redditor /u/mobilephone92 says:
iOS 8.2 or 8.3 or later may bring a feature where users can type, but only using a native keyboard.
They brought in touch ID, it was limited to unlocking and app store, then iOS 8 opened its functionality up to other apps.
They bring in widgets at iOS 8.0, maybe they want to develop it a bit more and set a strict standard.
Just a thought.
He brings up a really good point here — Apple didn’t have to open up TouchID, but they did when they were ready for it. That’s just Apple’s way, they don’t want software touching their users hands without them being one hundred percent certain that there aren’t any major bugs. After all, anyone from nine to ninety should be able to pick up and use an iPhone within a few minutes of fiddling.
Another Redditor /u/TheEmbernova says:
. . .Apple has guidelines in-place for a reason that everyone must follow, they shouldn’t be expected to let this one slide “just because it’s cool.”
. . .for all we know, it could be a critical software issue or restriction that shouldn’t be used. . .
Well there it is, Apple is seemly waging war on widgets in the Notification Center unless they are basically useless in some people’s opinions. I for one am really enjoying what they are offering but at the same time would like them to be a bit more lax on certain aspects of their guidelines. Even with Cydia and jailbreak developers constantly creating new ways to get around things like this, things are always better if the version of iOS supports what they are trying to do. Every new generation of iOS brings about it’s own awesome new API’s that jailbreak developers are able to “tweak” to their liking. A great example of this is the new resolutions that the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus support; the code is in iOS even if you don’t have one of those. Tweaks like Upscale and LittleBrother allow these resolutions to be used on older devices.
All that being said, be sure to go get Neato now while it’s $0.99.