The iOS 7 announcement has come and gone and while many are celebrating the new features and design, there are some companies that are likely holding wakes to mourn the loss of their newly obsolete apps.
While Apple is bound by copyright laws and cannot blatantly steal ideas from app developers (because no company ever does that), there is certainly allowance for competitive apps and design functionality. However, how much competition is there really going to be when we’re talking about a flashlight app compared with a button in the newly announced Control Center? There are certainly apps that are going to fade into obsolescence. Here is a look at 5 apps that are now in competition with iOS 7.
The announcement of iCloud Keychain and the consolidation of every password into a single place, across all of your Apple devices, is a pretty slick feature. 1Password does the exact same thing but it also can generate good passwords and has a vault mode… but then again iCloud Keychain can also generate passwords and Find My Phone can do much more than lock down your phone. Unless 1Password can differentiate itself there is a good chance it won’t survive.
The number of apps which feature the ability to turn on the iPhone flash and act as a flashlight are impressive. Many of them have diverse features and aren’t likely to disappear immediately but any of them that are designed simply to turn it on quickly are in trouble because the Control Center is a simple swipe away. The only thing that I’ve seen which is even more interesting is the ability to reassign one of the external iPhone buttons to activate the flash but that is still only available on jailbroken phones.
iTunes Radio is unlikely to kill off Spotify because it doesn’t yet offer some of the album features and listening options but barring some unforeseen differences, Pandora is likely on its way out. It’s not just iTunes Radio but also Spotify which is making the competition too steep for Pandora to maintain on its current trajectory. Who wins with these apps competing? The listeners who are introduced to new music and artists that they never would have heard before.
Weather AppsInstagram is actually safe for the time being but the number of new users who join because they like the photo filters are now going to have a really solid alternative. For me the real deal breaker happened previously when iOS added an efficient way to get to the camera from the lock screen and made it possible to use the volume button to take a picture. The thought of typing in my password, finding a photo app icon, and then loading the app are all things I don’t have time to do. I always use the default camera app and now I can add stylized looks to my photos without having to import them into Instagram. It’s guaranteed that I will now use the new photo app and then load them to Facebook.
This is not exactly an app killer because the new weather app doesn’t have as many features as most other apps but I came across an interesting article by a man that claims he thought of it first and his app was rejected because Apple didn’t want another app in the store that resembles their new offering. While this is not substantiated it does bring up a concern that Apple is crowdsourcing its development process through its developer programs. Ridiculous, right? But where is the line in determining which apps can be sold and which ones can be replaced? This is a tricky issue that might never be resolved but it is clear that developers are affected by new iOS versions and some of them seem to be punished by asking themselves ‘What would Apple do?’ only to find out that they did.