Droplr and the Mac App Store

When OS X Mountain Lion was announced this year, we immediately began work on the next version of Droplr to include all the new and exciting functionality like Notification Center. We had planned to have this update available in the Mac App store by the day Mountain Lion shipped.

This next version was a significant update for us because it included 3 major tracks of development:

  1. Integrating with new Mountain Lion APIs to take advantage of the great new features in OS X.
  2. In-App purchasing for subscribing to Droplr Pro from the Mac app and adhering to Apple’s subscription policies.
  3. Sandboxing.

We submitted Droplr for Mac 3.0 to the Mac App Store review team and were promptly rejected for issues with our adhering to Apple’s sandboxing policies. We didn’t expect any problems with sandboxing, so this rejection came as a surprise to us.

The very first thing we realized was that if we were going to get Droplr for Mac approved, it was most likely going to be a lengthy process of working with Apple to find the right solution. We therefore made the decision to step back and work on a standalone release that we could get in your hands quickly.

Once we were able to release Droplr for Mac 3.0 from our website, we set back to work on getting it approved for the Mac App Store. We’ve been in constant communication with Apple and have submitted a few more times since, all ending up with similar issues and similar rejections.

We’ve received a little more clarification from Apple today and they’ve made it clear to us that certain functionality of our app will not be possible to be accepted at this point in time. Our only recourse with the app as it stands today is to begin a lengthy appeals process.

In light of that, we’ve decided on a strategy for the Mac App Store version of Droplr and we’d like to share that with you. Going forward, we will continue to maintain a version of Droplr for the Mac App Store, but it will by neccessity contain slightly less functionality than the standalone version from our website will offer.

The primary difference will be in the use of the global hotkey (opt+d by default) to share the currently selected item(s) in the Finder. The standalone version will continue to work as it always has, simply select something in the Finder, use the key combination, and that item will be uploaded to Droplr. For the Mac App Store version, when the key combination is triggered with the Finder active, instead of uploading the currently selected items, it will present you with an “open file” dialog where you’ll need to navigate to the item(s) you’d like to share and select them. We don’t believe this provides the best experience, but we do believe it’s an acceptable tradeoff to be able to remain in the Mac App Store, especially given many of our users don’t use the key combination as a primary method of sharing with Droplr. A couple important points of clarification:

  • This behavior will only be when the Finder is active. The Droplr key combination will continue to work in other apps just as it has before (Photoshop, for example).
  • This change does not affect the keyboard combinations for taking a screenshot or composing a note. Those will continue to work as they always have.

We plan to have the new version with the neccessary changes submitted to Apple. We continue to thank you for your patience as we work to get it out there for you. We’ll also continue the appeals process with Apple in the meantime to see if there’s anyway we can possibly once again provide our desired user experience from the Mac App Store version.

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