Music Launcher now available on the App Store

We are thrilled to announce that we have a new app with a useful widget live on the App Store!


Music Launcher allows quick access to play your favorite songs, playlists or podcasts from the Notification Center. Download it today!

Version 1.1 has already been submitted and we hope it will be out later this week. It includes music controls in the widget for pro version users and the ability to view and edit the tracks from the launcher edit screen. These are two critical features that normally would have been included in the initial version, but since there was a really good chance that the app would be rejected and never released, I could only put the absolute minimum functionality into version 1.0. Unfortunately this is the position that Apple’s App Review policies and lack of clear guidelines has put developers in.

For those keeping track of my struggles, Music Launcher was submitted to Apple in early December and was initially rejected with the reason given being “Shortcuts are not allowed in widgets.” I appealed the rejection asking what that meant exactly and informing them that Music Launcher doesn’t launch any apps, it just calls the Music API. I figured I would just get the same terse response that I got with all of the various Launcher appeals saying that the rejection is final. However, to my surprise they overturned the rejection and allowed me to re-submit. So I did just that and it is now live. And since this went through the appeal board, I have high hopes that it won’t get taken down after the fact like Launcher was, but you never know on the App Store.

A Quick Note Regarding Launcher

For the Launcher fans out there still keeping up hope, I actually submitted a new version of Launcher Standalone (see my previous post if you don’t know what Launcher Standalone was) that I called Launcher Configurator which doesn’t launch any apps at all since even that appears to now be forbidden (at least for me), but can still be used to add/edit/remove the same launchers that the widget uses. The main point of Launcher Configurator is to allow users who downloaded the original Launcher to upgrade its widget to the Pro Version (I still get emails from users asking for this almost daily). It also works around the bug where iPhone 6 Plus users had trouble adding launchers when a row was filled up.

Initially Launcher Configurator was rejected with the reason being that it looks too much like the home screen (this was a new rejection reason I never received on Launcher or Launcher Standalone). So I changed the look and feel of the launchers (in the Launcher Configurator app only, the launchers in the original Launcher widget would remain the same) and resubmitted. It was rejected again with the reason being that it requires another app to be installed first, which is a violation of App Store guidelines. I have appealed that rejection with the explanation that it doesn’t actually require another app to be installed, it’s just not very useful without that other app. I’m guessing that the rejection will be confirmed on appeal since Apple is taking a really hard line on Launcher and anything close to it. But you never know. I do have one successful appeal under my belt now.

Update 01/07/2015: Just got the official call that the appeal was upheld and there definitely will not be any way to get anything close to Launcher out on the App Store anytime soon, if ever. Oh well.