A keyboard app for the visually impaired on iOS is shutting down, after the app faced several “unreasonable" rejections from Apple’s App Store, the developer of the app has said in a Twitter thread. According to Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer behind FlickType, he is forced by circumstances to discontinue the iPhone keyboard functionality of the app. The developer said that this comes after several “unreasonable" rejections from Apple’s App Store against an updated version of the app. “Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse," Eleftheriou said.
This was not the first time Apple tried to reject the app. Apple had, three years ago, argued against the app three years ago. However, Eleftheriou said that back then, he successfully appealed and overturned their decision, and it hadn’t been a problem since, until now. He said that the rejection history spanned more than 40 pages filled with “repeated, unwarranted, and unreasonable rejections." The FlickType team has also filed a lawsuit against Apple. The tweets also request users to stop auto update of the app to retain the FlickType keyboard for the iPhone. The FlickType app on the Apple Watch will remain functional.
It's with a heavy heart today that we're announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users.Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people's lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse. pic.twitter.com/cH1HCQzeP1
— FlickType Watch Keyboard (@FlickType) August 16, 2021
But Apple rejected it. They incorrectly argue again that our keyboard extension doesn't work without "full access", something they rejected us for THREE years ago. Back then we successfully appealed and overturned their decision, and this hadn't been a problem since. Until now.— FlickType Watch Keyboard (@FlickType) August 16, 2021
People on Twitter have lashed out at Apple, calling out the giant for treating developers badly and making it an unpleasant experience to work in the ecosystem.