Apple still leaves popular terminal emulator app iSH in the App Store

Apple is not going to remove the terminal emulator app iSH from the App Store anyway. The company recently decided to do so, but is reconsidering that decision. The company does not give a reason, but it probably happens after a lot of criticism from users.

The makers of iSH write in an update that the application can remain in the App Store. It concerns the terminal emulator app iSH, which allows users to run a terminal on an iPhone or iPad. There are other similar terminal apps out there, but iSH was unique in that it was based on the full Linux distro Alpine. The application works on iPhones and iPads, and can support keyboards on the latter with, for example, the Escape and arrow buttons.

The app appeared in the App Store on October 22, but the makers soon afterwards said that the app would be removed from there. The app did not meet the guidelines of the App Store, and specifically the rule that apps can only work within their own bundle. Because iSH also supported commands like wget and curl, Apple rejected the app. The company would also have said that iSH would pose a security risk. The makers themselves say that they comply with the rules that allow other similar apps. The makers of iSH speak of arbitrariness. The decision was widely criticized in forums such as Hacker News.

The makers say they have worked to remove certain functionality from the app, but at the same time warned that they did not think they could do so in time. After Apple’s warning, the makers of iSH would have a fortnight to implement changes. On Monday, the app should actually have disappeared from the App Store, but so Apple reversed the decision at the last minute. “We got a call from someone from Apple. They apologized and said they accept our objection and will not remove iSH from the App Store,” the company wrote. Meanwhile, the makers remain in touch with Apple to discuss details.