Anybody out there to help us re-animate the SkS iPhone App?

Many years ago, Shine Technologies created the Skeptical Science App for iPhones and Android which turned out to be very popular. Unfortunately, the app could no longer be maintained by its creators and has therefore vanished from the app stores. All we could do, was to add short notices explaining the situation on pages related to the apps. As a stop-gap measure, we also made all the rebuttals available for download as ZIP-archives containing PDF-files. Every now and then we however still receive requests to make the app available again, the most recent “bump” coming via this short Twitter exchange with Debunking Denialism:


We were able to get the code-base of the app from Shine a while ago and for the last almost 2 years, two developers have been trying to resurrect the iPhone version of the app. They worked on the project in their spare time and made good progress step by step. Once they tried to get the updated version into the app store, things however started to get interesting because Apple wouldn’t accept the code due to several deprecated (i.e. obsolete) routines it included.

While it was comparably easy to replace some of the deprecated routines, others required more fiddling and touching core functions of the app (i.e. replacing UISearchDisplayController with the UiSearchController). Alas, the two developers were not fluent enough in the employed programming language (Objective-C) so that the obstacles posed by the deprecations got higher and higher until they could not be overcome anymore (i.e. replacing UIWebView with the state-of-the-art WKWebView).

As we’ve reached the end of the rope of what we can tackle within our team, we are putting out a call for help with this blog post. If you think you can help with getting us across the finish line to make Apple accept the app again in their store, please fill out this Google form. If you have better ideas of how to make the app available again, we are interested to know about them as well. We’ll be collecting offers until May 31, 2022 and will then decide which offer from among those we may be so fortunate as to receive fits our needs best.


Posted by BaerbelW on Friday, 1 April, 2022

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