When iOS 8 first launched, Apple introduced Notification Center widgets for the iPhone and iPad, allowing apps to provide little snippets of information in the Notification Center. Soon after the release of iOS 8, developer Greg Gardner created a very useful app titled Launcher that allowed users to launch frequently used apps directly from the Today view of the Notification Center. Unfortunately, last September, Apple removed Launcher from the App Store for what they deemed a “misuse of widgets.” After a six-month hiatus from the App Store, Launcher has been made available to iOS users again.
For the past six months, Launcher developer Greg Gardner continuously tweaked the app, submitting new versions monthly in hopes to meet Apple’s guidelines. After several appeals, Gardner got his popular apps Music Launcher and Contact Launcher approved. Eventually, Gardner gained approval for a limited version of the Launcher app. Arguing that the scaled back version functioned identically to the original Launcher app, Apple reconsidered, and approved the original app.
According to Apple themselves, new features are tightly controlled when they are introduced. Over time, they tend to relax regulations a bit, which explains their change of heart regarding Launcher.
Launcher was made available this morning again in the App Store with no restricted functionality from the original version. The pro version (available for $3.99) has added some new features, as well, including the ability to resize widgets and remove their labels for a more streamlined look. You can download Launcher from the App Store.