Earlier this week, there was a bit of a kerfuffle because Apple rejected an update to an app called SeaNav that includes support for the Pebble smartwatch and mentions as much in its description. Many suspected that that was the start of Apple blocking Pebble apps now that its got its own horse in the wearable race, but that’s not the case.
Apple tells Wired that the rejection was a mistake and that it hasn’t changed its stance on Pebble and apps that support it. That means that SeaNav and other apps that support Pebble will not be rejected in the future. In its app review guidelines, Apple prohibits devs from including references to other mother platforms in app descriptions. Pebble’s wearables have “Made for iPhone” designation and have been in the App Store for years, but up until yesterday, Apple hadn’t had a device for Apple to compete with. Now that it does, many thought Pebble might be in trouble, but Pebblers have nothing to be worried about. Developers of the SeaNav app note that Apple contacted them to apologize for erroneously rejecting their app and that the Cupertino firm published it to the App Store immediately after.
In a post on Reddit, Pebble said that it worked with Apple to clear up the app rejection situation and to ensure that apps like SeaNav aren’t rejected in the future. The company goes on to say that Apple was “super responsive” and that other apps with mentions of Pebble support are still going through. Pebble advises developers to continue to update their iOS apps as normal.
Apple is known for occasionally enforcing some draconian rules when reviewing apps submitted to the App Store, and that’s what led many folks to think that the company might be rejecting any app with Pebble support. I’d say that the Pebble Time and Apple Watch aren’t totally direct competitors, though: the Pebble’s got a lower price and a days-long battery life for smartwatch shoppers that value those characteristics, while the Apple Watch is for people that want a more integrated iOS experience. Still, it’s good to see that Apple will continue to allow Pebble apps into the App Store, despite the fact that it’s now got its own smartwatch on the market.