You can find hundreds of tech sites going over all of Apple’s announcements from today. What I thought of was something different. For those that don’t know Apple kicked off their World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) today in San Francisco. As is tradition, the event was kicked off with the Apple CEO delivering a keynote. Apple showed off some new Macbook Airs, a new Mac Pro (finally), a new version of their desktop operating system called Mavericks (WTF?), and a new version of the mobile operating system (iOS7).
The updates and announcements were all well and good, and not much surprised me. However, one thing did become clear. During the first few minutes of the event Apple CEO Tim Cook thanked all the developers in the audience for helping make iOS what it is today. Then Apple went and shit on them for the next two hours. It is amazing to me every year how many developers get screwed by this company.
The story goes like this. Apple releases a product that is missing a feature that everyone wants. Many independent app developers rush to fill that void. One or two of those apps do the job, and all is well in the world. Well then the next version of iOS comes out, and Apple blatantly takes the features of the app that the independent developer came up with and puts it right into the operating system killing off that independent app. Today we saw the calendar app Sunrise, the mail app Mailbox, the music app Pandora (see attached image), and many flashlight apps essentially killed off with one upgrade. This is on top of the fact that Apple took many features of Android and Windows Phone 8 and just copied them into the phone. Maybe this would not be as big of a thing if Apple did not go around yelling about and suing any person or company that might make a device, app, or icon look like something they have.
The reality is that as all of the companies’ ecosystems mature, it is natural for them to look at the other offerings and take parts that work. Would they just please acknowledge this as a fact, and stop running around pretending they are the only company to offer a weather app that has raindrops on the screen if it is raining outside?