Apple will apparently begin rejecting all Mac App Store apps that make use of hotkey functionality starting on June 1st. All new apps (and existing apps updated with new features) submitted to the Mac App Store must eliminate the use of hotkeys in order to be approved.
TUAW has been told that Apple will be rejecting all MAS apps with hotkey functionality starting June 1, regardless of whether the new features are hotkey related or not. Basically, if you’re developing one of those apps, an app that assumes you can still add hotkeys, don’t bother submitting it to the Mac App Store.
For those of you in the dark, hotkeys are keyboard combinations that can be used to trigger a certain event on your Mac. One example of a program that depends on hotkeys is Alfred – a productivity app for the Mac. Alfred allows you to use a keyboard shortcut to automatically call the app to the forefront of your Mac regardless of what app you are using at the time.
It’s an unfortunate exclusion on Apple’s part, and will dramatically reduce the functionality of a number of apps that I find highly useful. Even more interesting is that developers have reportedly not been made aware of this change. MacStories spoke to a number of developers of apps that use this feature, and they all stated that they were unaware of the change.
I find it strange that Apple has not alerted developers of this change, especially considering that it is coming up in less than two weeks – the same deadline that Apple has announced for requiring Sandboxing support (preventing apps from accessing certain parts of your system) in all future Mac App Store apps.
Has Apple really decided to kill off hotkey support in Mac App Store apps? Will fantastic apps like Alfred cease to exist? I certainly hope not – but it looks like we’ll be finding out for sure in a couple of weeks.
Update: Macworld has confirmed that Apple has no intention of banning apps that use hotkeys from the App Store.
Despite reports earlier Thursday suggesting that Apple would disallow Mac App Store apps from employing systemwide keyboard “hotkey” shortcuts, sources close to the matter confirm to Macworld that such apps remain welcome in the cozy confines of Apple’s software
That certainly makes sense, given that Apple didn’t give any sort of warning to developers…