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WWDC is both exciting and nerve-wracking for developers as Apple adds new products that are great – but that directly compete with them. Here are the announcements this year that will affect third parties.
A term known to many in the Apple community is “Sherlocking.” Sherlock, named after the fictional detective, was a search tool introduced in Mac OS 8. It extended the file search in the Finder and replaced it with Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
After Sherlock’s launch, a company called Karelia Software built a tool called Watson. It complemented Apple’s search tools and supported more Internet features. But when Apple released Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar in 2002, version three of Sherlock contained almost everything that Watson offered.
Watson cost $ 30 but Sherlock was free because it was built into the system, and Karelia went bankrupt. The developer, Dan Wood, wrote one blog posts Apple CEO Steve Jobs told him this will happen.
“Do you know those handcarts, the little machines that people stand on and pump to move along on the train tracks? It’s Karelia,” Wood said at the time. “Apple is the steam train that owns the tracks.”
Then the term stuck and “Sherlocking” refers to products that Apple replaces with its versions. Many times it has happened with third-party products such as Confabulator, f.lux, Growl and others.
Here are features that Apple has developed, which developers have already provided.
Apple announced passwordsan initiative it has worked on with Google, Microsoft and the FIDO Alliance.
These companies want to quit passwords by creating a more secure version that people do not have to remember. Many users do not need to remember passwords thanks to password managers.
But passwords are designed to be easier and faster to use, and password managers like 1Password and Bitward will need to rethink their strategies.
Announced on June 3, 1Password is merge with FIDO to navigate the future without a password. In future versions of the password manager, starting with 1Password 8, users can log in to the app without a password using WebAuthn.
WebAuthn is a protocol developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. It enables password-free logins with public key cryptography. In 1Password 8, users can integrate their private keys with the app, making it a virtual one security key.
Apple’s passwords will support physical security keys based on WebAuthn. Although passwords will be stored in the iCloud Keychain, they can be used with platforms such as Android and Windows with QR codes.
Apple will compete with webcams and webcam apps Continuity camera. It allows an iPhone to be used as a webcam for a Mac with macos Ventura and iOS 16. No apps or cables are needed except for a bracket to hold the iPhone in place.
Manufacturers of physical webcams will not go bankrupt, but apps like Camo, IVCam and EpocCAM may be hit harder. These apps also allow an iPhone user to turn their device into a Mac webcam.
One consolation is that iOS 16 loses support for older iPhone hardware such as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Customers need to use these apps if they want a webcam without having to buy an expensive product.
Continuity camera will be available on iPhone 11 or later with iOS 16. It will use the iPhone’s wide-angle lens to provide multiple views and use software features such as Stage Light to enhance the user’s appearance on the screen.
Apple makes it easy to automatically isolate a subject from its background inside a photo. This works in the Photos and Files apps by long pressing on the subject and pressing Copy or Share in the menu that appears. A shortcut can be downloaded here on iOS 16, iPadOS 16 or macOS Ventura to automate the process.
Pixelmator Pro added one Magic Background Eraser in November 2021. Current tests show that Apple’s offering has an advantage because Pixelmator Pro sometimes has difficulty with similarly colored motifs and backgrounds.
Deleting the background is a feature added to popular photo editing apps, but a quick search of the App Store reveals lots of one-sided erasers.
Some of these focused apps may disappear altogether if they can not do a better job than Apple. It is not easy to isolate a photo subject, especially in front of a cluttered background. But Photos does a surprisingly good job of a whole new feature in a beta operating system.
Apple is coming packet tracking to the Wallet app in iOS 16. It displays detailed receipt and tracking information directly to orders.
Like the rest of Apple Pay, these are delivered securely and privately on the device. It works with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and other merchants with all purchases made with Apple Pay.
The blog says that the company JuneCloud can no longer maintain the same level of service. Companies like Amazon restrict data access, and many more services will not appear directly in deliveries.
Users must instead press the “Show online” button in the app to see tracking data on the shipping company’s website.
The updates to Mail are not as huge as Apple makes them out to be. Still, they bring the app on par with other email apps. Features such as scheduling emails, interrupting email delivery and reminders to open an email later are three new reasons to keep Mail by default.
Mail can also intelligently detect if items from an email are missing, e.g. an attachment or a copy recipient. If a person forgets to answer, the system will send an automatic suggestion at a later time.
Spotlight has more opportunities to be ahead of or in line withwith competitors like Alred and LaunchBar.
Users can now find images from their photo library, across the system and on the web. Photo Search works by location, scenes, objects and people, Live Text lets the Mac owner search for text in photos.
A productive update allows people to take action in Spotlight. Creating a new document, running a shortcut or starting a timer is shown in the tool.
Finally, Spotlight includes comprehensive results for movies, actors, artists, TV shows, companies and sports. Some competitors are still ahead of Spotlight, but Apple took it a few steps closer.
Stage manager is a new way to manage and organize apps and windows in macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. The current window is displayed in the middle and other workspaces are displayed on the left.
Alternative window management apps like Mosaic and Moom may still have benefits. Apple macOS can show windows side by side but competitors support other configurations.
An example of how Apple products work together is another update FaceTime.
Objects can be dragged and dropped across workspaces, and the system remembers the position of each window relative to others. People can use Handoff to transfer live video calls between devices.
Although not full Sherlocking, this is a feature that other video conferencing apps do not have. This makes FaceTime so much more appealing to users.
What Apple should have killed
A fresh 13-inch MacBook Pro was one of the new laptops announced by Apple that includes an M2 chip. It also still contains Touch Bar, a disputed element claiming its downfall. The 14- and 16-inch models have already discarded it.
Apple introduced the Touch Bar 2016, a thin OLED strip that sits above the keyboard and replaces the function keys. It offers touch functions and displays function keys, app controls, media controls and more.
But some users said it did not work useful purposeand many app makers did not support it.
Apple will inevitably compete with developers and other third parties as the company strives to perfect the all-in-one experience.
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