Jeff Johnson (My apps, PayPal.Me)

App Store Connect just got worse. But I made it better.

November 10 2022

Earlier this year I wrote about how App Store Connect is the worst web site ever made. If it's literally the worst, then it can't get worse, right?

For the Better meme

My earlier blog post said the "Remember me" checkbox on App Store Connect simply doesn't work. In retrospect, that wasn't entirely accurate. Checking the box did cause App Store Connect to remember your Apple ID, even if it didn't remember that you were logged in. Within the past day, however, Apple removed the "Remember me" checkbox from App Store Connect, and as a consequence, it no longer remembers your Apple ID. Every time you login now — which is every time you launch Safari, because App Store Connect expires its cookies! — the Apple ID field needs to be filled. By itself, this change wouldn't be much of a problem, because the built-in password managers of Safari and other web browsers can autofill the username and password of login forms. I can even use Touch ID in Safari on my new MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, App Store Connect also has the dreaded "two step" kind of login form: it requests that you submit your username by itself, only showing the password field afterward.

Touch ID login no longer works right on App Store Connect. (By the way, I filed FB11775777 with Apple about this issue.) When I touch the button, all it does is fill in my Apple ID, without submitting anything. So then I have to manually press the right arrow button. Then it shows my password, and I have to manually press the right arrow button again. Ridiculous! Apple added multiple extra clicks to the login process, and App Store Connect still refuses to remember your login permanently.

That's the bad news. The good news is that I have a workaround. Today I created an open source web browser extension called Login for App Store Connect. The extension skips the two step process by automatically filling the Apple ID field and pressing the button, so that you don't have to.

I could have made the extension autofill your password too and submit the form, and that actually worked for me in testing, but the catch is that you'd have to put your Apple ID password in plain text in the browser extension source code on disk. We'll see if there's public demand for this. For now, I'm just restoring the previous App Store Connect behavior.

I'm only distributing the source code for the extension, because distributing a web browser extension is a major pain; I don't want to deal with the App Store or the Chrome Web Store. With the source code, there are ways to run the extension locally on your device. You can create a Safari extension project from a template in Xcode, and just add my source code to the project. Or in the Google Chrome extensions window, you can enable developer mode and load my source code as an unpacked extension.

I hope that you find my extension useful. And I hope that someday Apple makes the extension obsolete by making App Store Connect actually stay logged in, like every other website in the world. Remember me!

Jeff Johnson (My apps, PayPal.Me)