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Apple orders iCab iOS browser to cripple JavaScript modules

The developer of iCab Mobile, a feature-rich alternative to the Safari Web browser on iPad and iPhone, has been ordered by Apple to remove its ability to download and install JavaScript modules.

Presumably it's not the fact that iCab can execute JavaScript that's causing Apple to apoplectically puff and splutter, but rather its ability to download modules. Both Apple and Google frown upon apps that contain market-like functionality, and someone at Apple probably thought that iCab's JavaScript modules looked like a bit too much like discrete apps.

Alexander Clauss, iCab's developer, has rather a lot to say on the matter. "Maybe if I would have called the modules 'smart bookmarks' and would have made installing them much more complicated, Apple would have never asked to remove the ability to download them from the internet. The great user experience of installing modules has probably created a suspicion that these modules are more than just a piece of JavaScript code. From a pure technical point of view, if Apple does not allow to download modules (JavaScript code), Apple would also have to disallow to load web pages in general, because these do also contain JavaScript code."

In conclusion, to circumvent Apple's draconian decree, iCab Mobile now simply comes bundled with some 20 JavaScript modules. The ability to download modules made by third-party developers has been disabled, however -- but even then, Clauss says that you can simply contact him and ask for your module to be bundled with the next version of iCab.

Download iCab Mobile for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch ($1.99)

Tags: app store, apple, apps, AppStore, icab, icab mobile, IcabMobile, ios, ipad, iphone, ipod touch, IpodTouch, javascript, javascript modules, JavascriptModules, mobile, modules, web

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