Imagine that you are a watchOS developer and you have a great idea: create a virtual keyboard on the screen that works like Swiftkey, but aimed at the blind. In the Apple Watch there was nothing like it, so you believe that the idea will triumph.
That has happened to Kosta Eleftheriou, developer of FlickType . This application has been banned in the App Store with unclear arguments, and just yesterday Apple presented its new QuickPath keyboard - practically identical to that developer's - for Apple Watch. Bad business, it seems.
Back with the indecipherable censorship of the App Store
The history of FlickType goes back a long way . This developer already showed it to Apple officials at their headquarters in 2019. Those engineers applauded him for the idea, The Washington Post reported , but then "Apple threw all kinds of nonsensical obstacles."
It's with a heavy heart today that we're announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users.- FlickType Watch Keyboard (@FlickType) August 16, 2021
Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people's lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse. pic.twitter.com/cH1HCQzeP1
This was explained by Eleftheriou himself in a lawsuit that accused Apple of blocking the dissemination of its application . When it was finally approved, its success was limited by "plagiarized and fraudulent apps" that used fake reviews to grow downloads.
The latest ban on his app came in August , when Apple told him that his app required full access to the data network and other iOS and watchOS options . Eleftheriou commented that this was not the case, and that even without those permissions his keyboard could function without problems.
As they explained then in The Verge, in reality the problem was not that complete access: the conflict was in VoiceOver , but the developer pointed out that Apple had not bothered to prove his claims, and he met the requirements.
So now we know. See you in court, @Apple . https://t.co/hJtPI2Z83J pic.twitter.com/1s7MUSLTpc- Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) September 14, 2021
The truth is that Apple has launched a keyboard practically identical to FlickType for Apple Watch, and that has been the last straw that has filled Eleftheriou's camel, who has decided to sue Apple again and publish a message on Twitter in which he he tells the company that "we will see each other in court."
It is not the first time something like this has happened, and in fact that an application is banned and then cloned by Apple has its own name: it is the so-called 'sherlocked' phenomenon .
It remains to be seen what all this remains, but the truth is that these types of events are the ones that raise doubts about the strict control and censorship that Apple imposes on an App Store, which is the only way to distribute software on iOS devices. The trial with Epic in the United States has not weakened that position too much , and these types of problems do not stop adding more fuel to that particular fire.
Via | Input
The news Apple gives, Apple removes: it vetoes a virtual keyboard type SwiftKey for Apple Watch and ends up taking out its own clone, it was originally published in xiaomist.com by Javier Pastor .