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Apple stops removing iOS apps for supporting Pebble

Reports of Apple blocking iOS apps that mention the word Pebble have not gone unnoticed, but it looks like it might have been a mistake removing these apps from the iOS App Store.

It all started a few weeks ago, with SeaNav US revealing it was blocked from updating the app due to showing support for the Pebble smartwatch in the description.

That policy may be a mistake, according to Pebble, Apple is fully cooperating and will approve the apps that didn’t make it through the review process. Pebble will remain a neutral platform, for now.

Pebble’s full statement can be read below:

"Still a work-in-progress, but we're working with Apple to clear up any misunderstandings to make sure rejections like the handful of recent ones don't happen again—they're being super responsive the concerns that bubbled up (much appreciated!). Apps are still getting approved with mentions of Pebble support in the description or metadata (e.g. RunKeeper). For now, developers should continue with their iOS app update plans and approval submissions to the iTunes store as normal (i.e. include Pebble support in your app info if that was your original intent)."

Apple has a policy against mentioning Android or Windows Phone, but the move to block Pebble only started a few weeks ago, coinciding with the launch of the Apple Watch in the first nine countries.

Even though this policy is quite anti-competitive when it comes to app names like Android Wear, we may see Apple move the goalposts to allow some apps through the approval process.

Pebble recently finished Kickstarter funding for the Pebble Time, raising £13 million with 78,000 backers. It is a small amount when you consider Apple sold two million Apple Watch units on pre-order, but Pebble has never been focused on actually competing in sales with the Apple Watch.