Apple refutes FlickType developer's account of App Store issues

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Apple has told AppleInsider how it denies FlickType developer Kosta Eleftheriou's claims in a lawsuit, over the App Store handling of his accessibility keyboard app for Apple Watch.

During the launch of Apple Watch Series 7, Apple unveiled a feature called QuickPath. It presents a full QWERTY on-screen keyboard on the Watch, and allows users to either tap to type, or swipe to select letters and have Machine Learning predict what's intended to be typed.

Following the launch event, the developer of an Apple Watch keyboard app, tweeted "See you in court" to Apple. Kosta Eleftheriou was referring to his current lawsuit against the company, filed in March 2018, where he claims Apple abuses its power over app developers.

Apple has now told AppleInsider that a letter Eleftheriou posted on Twitter after the "California Streaming" event, dates from 2019. At that point, FlickType had been removed for contravening the App Store's then-rule about Apple Watch keyboards.

However, after Eleftheriou resubmitted the app to the App Store review team with an explanation of its accessibility functions, Apple says that the update was allowed.

Also, later in 2019, Apple says it separately revised its App Store guidelines to allow keyboards for the Watch. This was in response to how the Apple Watch Series 4 featured an increased screen size.

Now, says Apple, there are multiple Apple Watch keyboard apps available on the App Store. And FlickType itself was highlighted in a Top Apps of 2020 promotion on the store.

Kosta Eleftheriou's lawsuit had already been filed when Apple unveiled QuickPath. Apple says it has told Eleftheriou that following further explanation from him, it now believes that the app's accessibility keyboard complies with App Store rules.

A version of the app is currently on the App Store and Apple says that it would welcome Eleftheriou submitting future updates to the App Store review team.