WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

Summary: Apple announced that an impressive 200 new user features are coming to iOS 5 and 250 more are coming to Mac OS X Lion. That's great for end-users but Apple's created a fair amount of roadkill in the process.


San Francisco -- Apple announced that an impressive 200 new user features are coming to iOS 5 and 250 more are coming to Mac OS X Lion. That's great for end-users but Apple's created a fair amount of roadkill in the process.

Here's a list of some of the third-party apps that Apple left in its wake at WWDC 2011.

The Dead -> The Killer

Obviously there are varying degrees to which third-party apps will be affected, but you see where I'm going.

Developers are being forced to innovate or die. Bad apps will wither and good ones will use the new Apple features as a validation of their efforts. The best will improve upon those ideas to go beyond what Apple offers. Marco Arment, developer of the amazing Instapaper, says it best:

If Reading List gets widely adopted and millions of people start saving pages for later reading, a portion of those people will be interested in upgrading to a dedicated, deluxe app and service to serve their needs better. And they’ll quickly find Instapaper in the App Store.

What are your thoughts on Apple's swipe at its developers? Par for the course or predatory? Which apps did I miss?

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Operating Systems

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  • Predatory

    As I (ranted) on the @ITUnwrapped show, Apple has a long history of this. How much more can the fans take?
    • "the fans"

      You mean the one's choosing to use one app over another?
      they are the one's making it happen.

      I think the snarky comment you meant to make was
      "How much more can the developers take?"

      If they are making money on the iOS platform then the answer is probably "a lot more." If they aren't making money than it didn't matter anyway.
    • Nothing 'predatory'; OS' features will definitely continue to expand -- ...

      @Sbostedor: ... developers knew this all the time. And they signed agreement where it tells that applications that will duplicate features of OS will not be published (unless they improve).

      Users benefit from this approach, too: system-level integration is light years ahead of any single-feature application -- except for the case when such application is really improving built-in features (what developers are pushed to do).
    • You're kidding, right?


      Any developer who creates applications that fill holes in the OS is stupid. Eventually the company will fill the holes in their OS and then what's the need for that application?

      MS does this, Apple does this, and everybody who creates an operating system does this too.
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

        @wolf_z, O'Grady and Morgenstern

        Perfect examples of "YOU (whoever) MUST take care of me .. or, I won't play" Play at what?

        All of us fill a need. That is why someone employs us or why we go in business. The need may be temporary .. the rusk we take at every level.

        In most of our cases we preferred eating and being dry since the government didn't wet nurse us. Some even went into the service to get an education .. what a novel idea.

        The last couple of gens have failed miserably to understand the eternal system of the food chain.

        Apple (or anyone, for that matter) has NO obligation other than contractual, to do anything for anyone unless it is in their own best interests. That is their judgement call, not anyone else.

        Since it is normally in the best interests of all companies in free enterprise to take care of their employees, render customer service and solicit participation we all benefit.

        But, that is because it is in THEIR best interest.

        Of course, this is diametrically opposed by the socialist.
    • This list is nonsense.

      @Sbostedor As a fan, I'm not sure how this negatively affects me. I'm glad that I no longer need an app to do some of these things. Have you read," Who moved my cheese?"<br><br>That being said, I don't see any of these apps disappearing. How does PhotoStream elminate Flickr? Flickr is social, PhotoStream is not.<br><br>Integrating Twitter into iOS does not eliminate the Twitter app. It complement it. I still need the Twitter app to have conversations with my followers. Twitter isn't about dumping photos and links into a stream.<br><br>Has the author of this post used third-party camera apps such as Instagram and Camera+? The third-party apps have features - filters, effects, borders, tagging etc - that Camera does not.<br><br>As for Instapaper: Reading List just savse a short-cut of the article to a special Mobile Safari folder. I have to be on-line if I want to read the article later. Instapaper actually downloads and caches the text of the articles for later OFFLINE reading. So, just before I get on my flight, I add a bunch of articles to Instapaper which I can then read on the flight. Reading List can't do that.<br><br><blockquote>Simply install the Instapaper app and download your unread articles when you have Wi-Fi or 3G coverage, then you can read them anytime: on the train, on the bus, in an airplane, at the bank, or in your favorite chair.</blockquote>
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

      @Sbostedor All OS developers do. Third party developers' applications often have the functionality duplicated - just have a little think about how many things Microsoft has made irrelevant with additions to Windows... Should we still be running an OS with no more features than DOS? This whole argument is stupid.
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

        @jeremychappell x2
  • Par for the course

    Apple does have a long history of this, but I'm not sure that it's not true of anyone who owns a platform of any kind.

    The OP describes a scenario that we've seen a lot in the past: Apple creates an 80% version of a feature 3d parties innovated, which brings increased ease of use and usefulness to ALL users, and the 3d parties then build out "expert" versions for more intensive users.

    Some features don't leave room for that, but seriously, would you have us all buying Adobe Type Manager in order to have non-Leggo looking type on screen? At some point, you have to consider that good ideas, if not rising to the level of patentability, need to get added to the baseline in order for products to evolve.
    • The good old days


      Progress. I remember once upon a time having to buy third party CD burning software just to burn a CD. And now...I don't. One of the many MANY add-ons that are now expected to come with Windws or Mac OS.
  • Anti-trust day is coming their way

    Whether we agree or not, the moment they start replacing apps created for their OS with things in their OS, someone will start the legal procedings, like what happened with MS

    I know, "they're not 90% of the market like MS is".

    No, but they [i]are[/i] 100% of the Apple market, so anyone making money from Apple alone is affecetd 100%.
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

      @Will Pharaoh

      anyone making money from any one source is subject to risk.

      So ????
  • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

    Apple is evil and predatory.
  • one thing that was missing in the list

    ?Facebook - Ping

    oh wait, that didn't happen
  • Let's not forget the jailbreak apps.

    LockInfo - Notifications

    This is one I use that I may not need anymore. I'm sure there are others.
  • Weren't most of these defined

    As "serious" problems/weakneses with iOS by certain people just a few weeks ago? Things than Apple absolutely "needed to fix", badly! And now Apple is fixing them and it's "predatory"? Rediculous. You might as well say Apple, or any software maker, should just stop at version 1 and never move forward.
  • I think you should add web apps

    Until Apple implements HTML 5 properly with the autoplay available for audio and video tags, it's deliberately forcing people to use it appalling development system for any multimedia web apps.
  • Damned if you do; damned if you don't

    This is one of those things where Apple will be criticized no matter which way they go. Above, is what people say when Apple does improve their operating system and steps on developers. But what is unsaid is all the criticism they've been receiving for NOT improving their operating system.

    Whenever these situations occur, one has to ask: "What is the alternative?" Is Apple (or anyone) to have their operating system frozen in place, never to improve for fear of stepping on a developer? That's unrealistic. The truth is, Apple has to do what's right for themselves, their customers and their developers - in that order. It's often a messy process, but progress always is.
  • Sorry, Jason ...

    ... but you can't have it both ways. Last week you were going on about what's needed in Apple's updates ... and now you're whining that they actually made (some of) them happen?

    If a developer has a truly unique and revolutionary idea, they should be using our (horrendously flawed) patent system to protect themselves from predatory actions.

    But you can't expect Apple or MS or Linux or anyone else to just put out a v1.0 and then walk away because they might offend some developer or put them out of business. For the platform to flourish and adapt, it needs to be improved -- features need to be added. Like the third parties, Apple listens to customers to hear what they want and need, and Apple -- likewise -- responds (occasionally) with what is being requested. For it to do otherwise would be idiotic.

    Frankly, I'm disappointed you wrote this. I normally like your stuff, but this just seems like you were trolling for pageviews. You're better than that.
  • RE: WWDC 2011: Third-party apps Apple left in its wake

    Since this has been happening since the advent of the PC, why do they choose (you know who you are) to get their undies in a bundle? Probably 'Roids...