Why Panic’s Transmit for iOS lost a key “send files” feature

Like many other iOS app developers, the folks at Panic were excited by the more open approach in Apple’s iOS 8 software, allowing for more app-to-app communication, extensions and other useful features. That’s why in September, the Panic team noted they were bringing Transmit, a powerful file management tool, from OS X to iOS.

Now, the latest version of this $9.99 app actually loses some key functionality: You can’t transfer files from the app to cloud services in the latest version because that violates Apple’s App Store rules.

From Panic’s blog, which announced the changes on Monday:

Transmit iOS 1.1.1 is out, fixing a few bugs in our surprisingly powerful file management app for your iPhone or iPad. Also, at Apple’s request, we had to remove the ability to “Send” files to other services, including iCloud Drive.

In short, we’re told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 — “Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected” — but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive.”

While the Panic team has emphasized the iCloud Drive aspect, the app can’t be used to send files to Dropbox, Box or other storage providers either because there’s no way in iOS (yet) to remove just one service on the form, shown below:

panic transmit locations

Panic said that Apple controls the iOS sheet or form and it’s an all-or-nothing situation: You either use the whole form or none of it. Perhaps an iOS software update from Apple will allow for more flexibility in the future, but for now, you’re out of luck. So too is Panic.