22 December 2017 (by Head Admin (Headteacher))
Possible issues at the start of 2018
Please see the message below from our school app developers regarding possible issues with teh school app.
They are hopeful that they can rectify any issues asap.
C. P. Perry
Dear Jotter Mobile customer,
We want to share some important news about your school's mobile app. Apple recently changed some of their rules about what is and isn't an acceptable app to go onto the iPhone and iPad app store. There were two new rules introduced:
• 4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.
• 4.3 Spam: [...] If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations [inside a single app container]
Because of this, Apple have advised us that from 1st January 2018 we will no longer be able to publish new Jotter Mobile apps in their current form. We have hundreds of different schools with their own app, and naturally the functionality in each app is similar - except for the content and presentation differing for each school. Apple's view is that this dilutes their app store and instead we must offer one app which acts as a "container" for all our schools.
We are disappointed that Apple have taken this position, ignoring the challenges that schools on restricted budgets have engaging with parents, and we are not the only ones affected - any company producing apps for schools, churches, restaurants and other businesses where each organisation has their own app will also no longer be able to do this.
This matter has attracted interest from government as well. You can read a letter sent to Apple's CEO from US Congressman Ted Lieu here
What does this mean to you and the users of your school's app?
• From 1st January 2018 we will no longer be able to publish any new Jotter Mobile apps
• By around March 2018 we will have built a new Jotter Mobile app which will hold all schools who are subscribed to our mobile service. Users will search for "Jotter" in the app store (name to be confirmed) and then select the school(s) they are interested in following from within the app. Once your school has been selected by the user, the app will adapt to then match the branding and theme of your school - effectively looking like your existing standalone app. We will also provide you with collateral to help users find the new app.
• Existing apps will still remain on the app store, but not indefinitely. At a sensible time after our new app has launched, with your approval we will create messages/alerts within your existing app to help people move to the new app (subject to any controls Apple may place on us doing this). The content within your app will still be updated as you change your Jotter website and mobile centre.
• If you have ordered a Jotter Mobile app which has not yet been delivered, we will unfortunately not be able to give you the Apple version if it is not approved by Apple before 1st January 2018. Your sales or delivery representative will be in touch in the new year to advise on the next steps if this is the case.
• While Android apps are not affected by this rule, we will shift at some point in 2018 to using a single app for Android too. We feel this will help to not confuse people by there being two different things to search for depending on if you have Android versus Apple devices. We will confirm our plans early next year as our priority currently is with Apple apps.
During this period of transition we'll keep you updated with any progress from Apple, as well as sharing our plans with the new apps. Thank you for your understanding and we all wish you a very merry Christmas.