Apple apparently doesn't want iOS 8 widgets to be smart

One of the coolest features of iOS 8 was the inclusion of support for widgets in the Notification Center on iPhone and iPad, but making full use of that feature has landed at least one developer in hot water. James Thomson, developer of the popular calculator app PCalc, was the recipient of a message from Apple informing him that having a widget in iOS 8 that performs calculations within notification center was not something he could do, and that it must be removed. This is in spite of PCalc being a featured app in the App Store for its calculating widget.

Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed. Needless to say, this is extremely disappointing news, and I am very sorry for all PCalc users, including me, who love the feature. I'm going to try to escalate the decision, but it sounds like it was made high up and won't be changed.

I've basically got 2-3 weeks to remove it, barring a miracle. I spent a really long time working on the PCalc widgets and making them perfect, so this is pretty crushing news.

I would be allowed to make a widget that let you to "enter a formula" but it couldn't perform the calculation in the widget. And yes, Apple is currently featuring PCalc in the "Great apps for iOS 8" section, under Notification Center widgets.

This isn't the first time a developer's been told after an app's approval that they had to stop doing what they were doing. And though it is for the more-extensible OS X Yosemite, Apple itself has a calculator widget for the Notification Center on Macs.

It's frustrating to see developers like Thomson operating within the expected bounds of what the SDK supports, and having their apps approved, only to have somebody realize that they're working outside of the bounds of what Apple wants. PCalc isn't the only app that offers a calculator widget for Notification Center either, so we'd expect Apple to force those developers to remove the support as well. Unless Apple changes their mind, which they've been known to do.

Source: James Thomson (Twitter)