When Apple removed vaping apps from its App Store last November, sellers of connected portable dry herb vaporizers were faced with the likely loss of half their market. Those vapes allow users to change device settings using an app connected via the Bluetooth connection on their smartphone, tablet or computer.
Users of iPhones and other iOS-based devices make up a major part of the smart device market—more than 50 percent worldwide. When Apple decided to remove apps that allow users to change settings on their cannabis vapes, it impacted millions of users. (Google kept the apps available for Android customers.)
Now PAX Labs has launched the PAX Web App, which connects PAX devices to both Macs and PC’s (both must use the Chrome browser). As of yesterday, all three popular PAX devices—the PAX 3 dry herb vaporizer, and the PAX Era and Era Pro pod-based cannabis oil vapes—can be connected with full functionality to a Mac. For now, PC users are limited to using the app with the Era Pro.
As users know, the PAX 3 has limited onboard controls, and users need the app to set custom temperatures or to lock the device. The Era, when connected, has the unique ability to verify the source and authenticity (and even details on the weed strain) of attached pods with its PodID feature. Since last November, new PAX customers were limited to using the settings built in to the devices. The PAX Web App brings back all the controls lost because of Apple’s prohibitionist policy.
Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines were changed last fall to reflect the new anti-vaping policy. But the tech giant had already announced it would no longer accept new vaping apps from content developers more than two years earlier. The 2019 policy change blocked companies from updating their existing apps.
“Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store,” say the updated guidelines. “Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) isn’t allowed.”
Earlier this year, luxury cannabis vape manufacturer Storz & Bickel designed a similar web-based solution for its connected vaporizers. But customers of most high-end weed vapes—like Firefly and DaVinci—are stuck with using an Android device or nothing.