As we mentioned this morning, Apple attracted some unwanted attention yesterday when it informed James Thompson, the developer behind calculator PCalc, that he'd have to remove the app's iOS 8 widget if he expected the popular app to remain on the app store. Supporters of the app rallied in favor of Thompson not long after, and in the face of such an overwhelming response, the Cupertino company called Thompson personally to announce that it had reversed its decision.
A report from TechCrunch claims that Apple hadn't anticipated that the Notification Center widgets could be used in the way Thompson was using them. The initial notice apparently claimed that calculations could be entered into the widget but the widget couldn't perform the calculations itself, which essentially nulls the point of a widget for an app like PCalc.
Originally, Thompson was given two to three weeks to redesign the $9.99 app before Apple pulled it. The notice was particularly disheartening since Thompson noted that PCalc was featured at the time in the App Store's "Great Apps for iOS 8" section, where it was singled out for being a great "Notification Center Widget."
But Thompson immediately reported the "extremely disappointing news" to his followers on Twitter, who expressed their support in droves and no doubt directed a few choice words at Apple itself. And so Thompson's app is back just a day later, and most importantly, it sets a precedent that paves the way for more calculator Notification Center widgets to come.
Will such an approach always work for developers trying to get their other widgets approved? Likely not. But it at least shows that Apple is prepared to quickly reverse its stance about key aspects of its operating systems under the right conditions.