Transmit for iOS restricted from using iCloud Drive, forced to delete all share sheet options

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2014
In its latest puzzling App Store policy assertion, Apple has reportedly blocked Panic from adding the standard iOS Share Sheet to its Transmit file transfer app due to an unwritten policy that "forbids apps from uploading content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself."


Panic is unable to simply remove Transmit from the iOS Share Sheet


The App Store policy appears intended to prevent apps from dumping large amounts of arbitrary files into a users' iCloud Drive storage. However, it's current not possible for app developers to selectively disable the ability to send files to iCloud Drive because iOS creates the Share Sheet itself.

That has forced Panic to remove the entire Share Sheet from its app, erasing the ability for users to send their files to any cloud service enabled by iOS 8's new Document Provider App Extension feature, including services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

Panic informed users of Apple's decision in a blog post on Monday, saying Transmit would no longer be able to implement the "Send" feature due to iOS developer guidelines.

Apple's App Store Review Guidelines make no mention of iCloud Drive, and the section on Extensions only references iOS Data Storage policies related to iCloud Backups.

Core Data and iCloud Backup seek to limit the amount of data that needs to be shuttled back and forth between users' devices and Apple's iCloud servers, meaning that Transmit's file transfer features could result in an unanticipated server load, given that iOS intends to use iCloud Drive as a repository for users' active documents that are actively backed up and kept in sync.

However, that policy creates a problem for apps that want to use other cloud services that are intended to act as simple network storage, because iOS doesn't currently allow apps to edit the Share Sheet to only list select cloud services.

Transmit is billed as a complete file management app that allows users to remotely log in to FTP, SFTP, S3 and WebDAV servers, upload and download files, edit permissions, create folders and more. At launch, iCloud, A tentpole feature, "Send" drew on new iOS 8 extensibility assets to offer full Share Sheet compatibility, meaning users were able to upload files from other apps also supporting Share Sheets.

Apple informed Panic that Transmit was in violation of Apple's rules -- specifically a limitation on uploading data to iCloud Drive that is not created in-app -- and would need to remove the "Send" feature. Removing hooks into iCloud would, however, force deletion of all Share Sheet compatibility since iOS does not allow developers for selective Share Sheet customization.
In short, we're told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 -- "Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected" -- but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive.
Panic is hopeful that it will be able to return "Send" functionality in a later update.

Apple's evolving policies for App Store titles have frequently ran into unanticipated issues with developers as the company cultivates a strictly managed "walled garden" of apps that are free from the rampant spyware, malware and quality issues that affect other platforms, including the collection of user's personal data, location and documents; the piracy of other developers' work and app spamming of low quality software.

"If your App is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps," Apple notes in its review guidelines. However, the frustration of running into seemingly arbitrary and capricious app rejections frequently prompts developers to communicate their issues with users. Apple hasn't yet responded to questions about its iCloud Drive policy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    Just got to say, although OT, Transmit is amongst the best programs for the Mac under OS X I have. Great company. I've used not the iOS version yet.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    The iOS version is awesome. It solved a lot of problems for me. I consider it one of the best apps on my iPhone and Mac.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member



    well that's pretty lame. hopefully this was just the action of one person and the policy will be clarified and the policy reversed...

  • Reply 4 of 54
    I wasn't even aware of this software (for either OS X or iOS). If they get this issue resolved, I'll be purchasing both versions.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    Interesting that this is the case since I can dump any amount of data into the iCloud drive on OSX.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    +1 for Transmit and Panic. It's great software from a great developer. I've used Transmit since the beginning when it was called Transit. I hope Apple can fix this.
  • Reply 7 of 54

    This behavior is just incredibly alienating to me.

     

    Seems like Apple's arbitrary, unwritten restrictions are reaching all time highs. I find this truly intolerable.

  • Reply 8 of 54
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Such a shame when Apple creates such great technology and then basically handicaps it. Seems like an internal turf war inside Apple. I did a quick twitter search and people are pretty pissed off. I agree with Rene Ritchie, Apple needs a VP for App Store. I would make that person DRI for App Store policies, what gets on the App Store, editorial and curation and developer relations.

    http://m.imore.com/editors-desk-vp-app-store
  • Reply 9 of 54
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    It's arbitrary, inconsistent, poorly thought out decisions like this that hurt Apple's image. It's one thing to have a curated walled garden. It's another to approve apps and then randomly start to remove them with a legitimate reason.
  • Reply 10 of 54

    People are getting pissed at this, but when I look at it from Apple's perspective it makes perfect sense.  This is a slippery slope, they are just guarding against people uploading copyrighted materials on icloud drive.  We are in a very litigious world where everyone, every companies and every government are looking to get a piece of that $200 billion apple have.  So they can't be too careful, it's best to pissed off a few developers then having to deal with a bunch of lawsuits about having copyrighted materials on icloud drive.

  • Reply 11 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Just got to say, although OT, Transmit is amongst the best programs for the Mac under OS X I have. Great company. I've used not the iOS version yet.

     

    The mobile version is awesome.  It was surprisingly late to the game, but version 1.0 immediately became the best FTP client on iOS.

  • Reply 12 of 54
    mubailimubaili Posts: 449member
    Why is Apple so paranoid? And don't they learn a lesson from the backfire of PCCalc and Drafts? Wondering if Apple hold a meeting to hash this kind of things out regarding App Store and reviews. Apple needs the ecosystem.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    toukale wrote: »
    People are getting pissed at this, but when I look at it from Apple's perspective it makes perfect sense.  This is a slippery slope, they are just guarding against people uploading copyrighted materials on icloud drive.  We are in a very litigious world where everyone, every companies and every government are looking to get a piece of that $200 billion apple have.  So they can't be too careful, it's best to pissed off a few developers then having to deal with a bunch of lawsuits about having copyrighted materials on icloud drive.

    So do Microsoft, Google and Dropbox have this issue? All Apple is doing is driving people away to other solutions.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    So do Microsoft, Google and Dropbox have this issue? All Apple is doing is driving people away to other solutions.

    Not yet, but they will. It's only a matter of time or when, not if, before people eventually starts using those storage for copyrighted materials.

  • Reply 15 of 54
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Apple's own solutions in this area don't really get the job done.  Other companies are more "Apple-like" in their seamless integration, intuitive interfaces, and ease of use.  Dropbox... Transmit... They feel like what Apple SHOULD have done somehow.  iCloud?  Hmmmm....

     

    I think it's a mistake for Apple to put down the competish.  Apple should up its game instead.

  • Reply 16 of 54
    Just got to say, although OT, Transmit is amongst the best programs for the Mac under OS X I have. Great company. I've used not the iOS version yet.

    I've used not it neither.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    tulkas wrote: »
    It's arbitrary, inconsistent, poorly thought out decisions like this that hurt Apple's image. It's one thing to have a curated walled garden. It's another to approve apps and then randomly start to remove them with a legitimate reason.

    Removing them with a legitimate reason is fine.

    It's removing them without a legitimate reason that is questionable.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Do you actually feel clever when pointing out obvious typos?

    Guess you have to boost the post count somehow.
  • Reply 19 of 54

    This is so stupid by Apple. Frankly, everyone makes mistakes, and companies make mistakes as well. The problem with Apple and the App Store, is that they don't seem to learn, and keep making the same mistakes over again.

     

    It's simply annoying at this point, and Apple's mind-boggling decisions like this, are what have kept me from buying my iPhone 6 yet. I am seriously considering WP or Android as an alternative. Of course, with those platforms the problem is that they don't have the apps whose arbitrary removal of features you would get pissed about in the first place.

  • Reply 20 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Panic should be on a whitelist of developers that if they ever get rejected it gets escalated as an obvious contentious issue with the rules.
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