Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Section 2.8

Ole Zorn is the developer of the highly-regarded Editorial and Pythonista apps for iOS. Both have been in the App Store for a long time, with some of the most extensible functionality ever offered by any iOS app.

Recently, Zorn had to compromise an Editorial update because Apple suddenly raised an objection to the scripting functionality that has defined the app since the day it launched. Now, they’re raising similar objections to Pythonista.

As much as Apple is “opening up” and extending the functionality available to third-party developers, this kind of rein-tightening is a huge drawback for iOS developers, for two big reasons. First, it (obviously) significantly limits what developers are able to do. The powerful scripting and automation functionality in Editorial was what separated it from being just another plain text editor, and made the iPad more friendly to people who wished to use it as their main computer more often.

But even worse is Apple’s inconsistent application of these kinds of rules. Editorial has been in the App Store since August of last year, and was once a featured app. Pythonista, meanwhile, launched in July 2012, and extended Dropbox functionality was added in November 2012. Why did Apple wait until now to raise objections?