Building support for Dropbox into an app allows developers to make it that much easier for their users to quickly store and share content. While it’s a boon for those of us actually working with these apps, the details of just how this integration is taking place are causing Apple to show some concern, and it’s recently been rejecting submissions of apps with this feature.
The problem has to do with Apple’s desire to get a cut of all services sold through iOS apps. The way the Dropbox SDK had been working, it was possible for users who didn’t have an existing account with the service to be presented with sign-up through the company’s web site directly; that is, without Apple getting its thirty percent. Once Apple caught-on to this, it started denying apps using the SDK a place in the App Store.
To its credit, Dropbox has been working to modify how its site is presented on mobile devices, trying to keep everything working within Apple’s rules. For now, it’s directing developers to use a certain version of the SDK that removes account creation options, and plans to have a more graceful, permanent solution ready to present sometime next week.
We can’t really blame Apple for enforcing its stated policies, but you’ve got to feel badly for the developers who just wanted to add a little extra functionality to their apps and are getting caught-up in an issue that’s largely between Apple and Dropbox.