The developers’ clever hack that turns an iPad’s front-facing camera into a functional software button was supposed to be coming in the next AstroPad Studio update, but Apple has rejected it on the grounds that the idea flouts App Store review guidelines.
The announcement came in a Medium.com post by Astro HQ titled “RIP Camera Button”, which revealed that Apple had turned down the innovative iPad interaction because it broke the company’s rules for iOS software.
We planned to introduce the Camera Button in an update to Astropad Studio going out today. However, we are disappointed to report that the Camera Button was rejected by Apple’s App Store review under Section 2.5.9:
Apps that alter or disable the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, or other native user interface elements or behaviors will be rejected.
Apple is known for its strict adherence to App Store rules, so the rejection shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. But the news will also likely disappoint backers of AstroPad’s forthcoming Luna display adapter, which turns an iPad into a wireless extended Mac desktop. The developers had hoped to include the Camera Button feature in the Luna software, but they’ve been forced to drop it from that, too.
Despite the setback, Astro HQ said their “urge to innovate” lives on, and that they remained “committed to pushing the boundaries of software and hardware engineering so that we can create the best productivity tools possible”.