Following Apple’s rejection, FlickType abandons the popular blind iPhone keyboard


If you’re a blind or low-vision iPhone user you trust With the FlickType keyboard as I write, I have bad news – you become a victim in the battle between Apple and one of its most stable critics. Developer Kosta Eleftheriou has announced that he will close the iPhone keyboard part of his app and says the keyboard will be automatically removed in a future update.

You may have heard that the whole app is going away, and it’s certainly not true, Eleftheriou says Limit. In January 2020, he added a swipe-typing Apple Watch keyboard to FlickType, which saw the app rise to a paid app throughout the Apple App Store for a while, and that app still exists and still includes the Apple Watch keyboard. Eleftheriou says the app has nearly half a million downloads, but he has no breakdown of how many of these users rely specifically on the iPhone keyboard.

The screenshot reads

Apple provided Eleftheriou with this screenshot, which “proves” that the app will not work without access.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because Eleftheriou is the same developer who has been drilling holes in the Apple App Store for months and pointing out how outrageous scams, secret gamblingand check for fraud keep going through company filters, even though removing them is pretty easy for anyone. His struggle became personal long before this day: he sued Apple in March because of some seemingly obscure behavior, claiming that Apple blocked barriers to the FlickType keyboard to get him to sell the technology to Apple at a discount, while deceptive mobile apps flourished in the App Store.

Now, Eleftheriou says, Apple has suddenly decided to abandon FlickType again – and for the reason that he has already argued with them in the past. He distributed a letter of rejection Limit, and it’s a pretty simple controversy: Apple says the keyboard has to work, even if the user doesn’t give it “full access” to networking and other iOS features. But Eleftheriou says that if Apple really tried to use the app or heard their previous conversations, they would see that the keyboard works.

For clarity, Apple defined by your own developer guidelines that “full access” isn’t an issue: the only controversy here is whether the app will still work if the user shuts it down – which is, Eleftheriou says if you enable VoiceOver. “They had to try it out as a VoiceOver user, which doesn’t seem to bother. I have received several rejections in the past because the reviewer knew nothing about VoiceOver, ”says Eleftheriou.

As his Twitter thread explains, Eleftheriou considers this feature the last straw:

“Our rejection history already covers more than four hundred pages, full of repeated, unfounded and unreasonable rejections that frustrate and delay rather than benefit end users. And processing the App Review isn’t just time consuming. It’s also emotionally stressful, ”he writes.

Eleftheriou stops accusing Apple of revenge in a separate discussion via Twitter DM. “I can only speculate on this rejection, but I’ve recently received a lot more rejections that I haven’t talked about yet, and those who ignore my attempt to reach them are also new,” he says.

“I can’t really know, but it certainly feels like some kind of‘ special ’treatment is going on,” he says Limit.

Apple did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

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