Apple orders iCab browser developer to disable module downloads

Apple orders iCab browser developer to disable module downloads

iCab Mobile is a web browser for your iOS device with a very extensive feature set. From German developer Alexander Clauss, iCab is one of the most powerful alternate browser apps available for iOS.

One of iCab’s most notable features — one that was introduced only recently, was the ability to download “modules” which are essentially “extended bookmarklets” or javascript code bundles that add more features to iCab. For example, iCab lets you download a module for something as trivial as increasing the font-size of a webpage to completing tasks like downloading YouTube videos. These modules could be hosted anywhere and iCab let you download them from within the app.

In a blog post last week, Alexander announced that he received a phone call from Apple, asking him to remove the ability to download and install modules from the internet. Note that Andrew claims that Apple has merely asked him to remove the ability to download the modules from the internet, not the actual modules’ feature from the app.

As of v4.6 of the app, Andrew is now bundling all the modules with the app which could be previously downloaded from his server. Thus, while the app will continue to work with existing modules, users can no longer write their own modules and use them with the app.

I really can’t say that I like Apple’s decision, and technically it doesn’t make much sense. ”Modules” for iCab Mobile are simply a more comfortable variation of bookmarklets, and these are still allowed by Apple (and I assume Apple can not forbid that the user will save and use bookmarklets).

The app is still available on the App Store for $1.99 and being a universal app, works across all iOS devices.

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