Apple accused of copying Watch 7 features

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Sep 20, 2021

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As Apple was launching the new Apple Watch 7, there was one unhappy viewer of the semi-live streamed event, Kosta Eleftheriou, the founder of FlickType. For the first time, Apple added a full on-screen keyboard to the watch and Eleftheriou alleges that the new keyboard looks similar to the one his company designed in 2018.

Three years ago, Eleftheriou and his partners had come up with a similar predictive keyboard, which was first designed for the visually impaired, elderly, and those who need help to send and receive messages seamlessly.

In 2019, Eleftheriou and the team had hopes that Apple would absorb their solution into the Apple ecosystem. According to some media reports, Apple’s head of keyboards loved his FlickType keyboard app for the Apple Watch, impressed with how few mistakes it made. Later on, however Eleftheriou received a message from Apple, which was contrary to his expectations.

In the course of one afternoon, the company had seemingly decided that Apple Watch keyboards were against the rules. The message from Apple indicated that his app would be removed from sale on the App store.

It was one of the most popular paid watchOS apps in the App Store, for a short period of time, though Apple eventually took down the site – even after a series of appeals.

Apple has a long history of looking to its own app developers for inspiration, copying their ideas, and integrating them into its own operating systems for free. Eleftheriou has become one of Apple’s most vocal critics. His Twitter bio reads: “​​Professional App Store critic”. It has become his hobby to hunt down scam apps and call out the App Store’s failings.

IOL Tech

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