It was a little while back now that we looked at Google preparing Android Wear for integration with iOS as well as Android. As you might expect, with Apple launching their own ‘competing’ smartwatch, perhaps they wouldn’t take too kindly to other smartwatch platforms trying to make themselves available to Apple’s users. Well, there’s no perhaps. Apple has taken to rejecting apps from the App Store just for mentioning support for Pebble, so you can imagine how that’ll go with Android Wear.
But is it as bad as it sounds?
Apple’s developer agreement forbids any mention of “any other mobile platform” in both the iOS App Store description and the metadata of the app itself. The developer of nautical navigation app SeaNavUS had a mention of Pebble in its latest update, which Apple picked up on, and summarily rejected:
We noticed that your app or its metadata contains irrelevant platform information in the app. Providing future platform compatibility plans, or other platform references, is not appropriate for the App Store.
Specifically, your app and app description declare support for thePebble Smartwatch.
It seems the easy fix is simply to remove the mention of Pebble from the app’s name or description, but that does somewhat defeat the purpose of adding Pebble support; in other words, there’s little point supporting Pebble if you can’t tell your users that you support it.
The same rules would no doubt apply to Android Wear; mentioning Android in iOS app descriptions already gets your app removed from Apple’s draconian store. One can only imagine that Android Wear would receive the exact same treatment, which would make publishing apps supporting it rather difficult. In fact, publishing the Android Wear app at all could be problem given it has ‘Android’ in its name.
Selling Android Wear to iOS users would be a big bonus for Google, being able to sell hardware to over 90% of the smartphone market. Apple would no doubt be aware of this and wanting to protect their own patch. It remains to be seen whether Android Wear will actually make it past this nonsense to get published on the App Store, but we can only hope Google will succeed.
After all, if the Pebble companion app is published, treating the Android Wear app differently would be a bit inconsistent, though Apple aren’t afraid of that either.
Update Saturday April 25: A spokesman for Apple has told Wired that the Pebble rejection (and presumably the related “irrelevant platform” zinger) was “a mistake” and that SeaNav’s update will now be accepted.