Apple wants to enrich iOS by giving apps more ways to interact and present themselves on the platform. Extensions, the widgets, the new file approach. But this, this or this shows that Apple is quite unsure how to approach this change in their control of iOS. Or, to be more precise, they seem to want to expand the platform possibilities but at the same time keep control of the direction(s) all this is going in.
The ‘today view‘ is for ‚viewing‘ what is going on ’today’. No matter that you can do more, that developers did more and that users wanted more. Or that Apple did not explicitly say you can not do way more than that.
The problem is not that Apple doesn’t seem to want the richness that is possible, for whatever reason. The problem lies, as John Siracusa articulated very well on the recent episode of ATP, with the fact that Apple seems to be unable to articulate beforehand what exactly they allow developers to do and what direction it is they expect all this to go. This leads to invested time and energy by developers that now got wasted. ‚They‘ -big and small third-party-developers- don’t forget that. New features on iOS will not be as exploited as they could be going forward. That is unfortunate for the platform. (and hence everyone involved; Apple, devs, users)
Apple won’t loose developers other this. The current mobile platforms are different enough to not have this kind of repercussions. But iOS is loosing potential apps. The tension between Apple as the platform provider and its developers should go down not up.
It will be interesting to watch how Apple will handle this going forward. iOS will become more and more complex and richer with possibilities with the arrival of the Apple Watch and the integration of Smart Home devices and more.
They can not expect to keep a close eye on every corner of their emerging super platform. The future of iOS is just too complex (and so the needed guidelines). And App Review doesn’t look right now like it can scale well. If they still try they might seriously hinder innovation on iOS.