All the things Apple Sherlocked at WWDC 2022 – TechCrunch

Apple rolled out some amazing updates iOS, iPadOS, watchOSand macOS at the World Developers Conference (WWDC) last week.

The company announced some new features never seen before on iOS Stage manager for better multitasking and security check to get away from abusers. But there are others that Apple simply sherlocked — the term for when Apple integrates features that were trademarked by third-party apps so that those apps no longer need to be used for those features. Many persons on twitter were surprised how many apps got Sherlocks this year.

It’s hard to tell if Apple engineers sat in a meeting room and were “inspired” by an app, or if a feature was already part of product roadmaps. Anyhow, it’s likely that a lot more people will use a system-based feature than try to find an app for a specific problem – unless the latter offers some unique extra features.

For the uninitiated, here’s the backstory of how “Sherlocked” became a popular word among Apple enthusiasts. The company released a finder app called Sherlock for macOS 8 in the late 90’s. The tool had the ability to search the internet and files on your local system.

Meanwhile, a company called Karelia Software had a finder app called Watson — priced at $29 — with some superior features like plugins for better web searches. In 2002, Apple released Sherlock 3 with similar features to Watson, making Karelia obsolete and eventually forcing its closure.

So the word Sherlocked popped up whenever Apple released a feature that could potentially shut down an app or render it unusable.

Now that’s out of the way, here’s a list of features and apps Apple Sherlocked.

Feature: continuity camera

Sherlock app: camouflage

Apple’s new continuity feature lets you use your iPhone as a webcam, which was Camo’s main concern. The iPhone maker is collaborating with Belkin on the release a special mount later this year, which keeps your iPhone on your Macbook screen. Also, an API for Camera Continuity will be released so that other apps can easily use this feature.

But camo isn’t entirely dead. It’s available on Windows and compatible with Android phones too. Because Camera Continuity only works with an iPhone-Mac combo, all other desktop/mobile system combos must use Camo or an equivalent app. Besides, it could offer more video tuning features to its professional users to make them enjoy themselves.

Feature: Apple Pay later

Sherlock Apps: Klarna, Clearpaymany other

Reports earlier in the year indicated that Apple will be introducing a pay later service. The company went one step further and even opened a new loan branch.

With the Apple Pay Later service, you can make purchases that you can spread out in four equal installments over six weeks, but you don’t have to bear any interest or service fees.

Klarna offers a similar offer with its Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service. One way to compete with Apple could be to offer its customers better terms. (It’s also worth noting that Klarna and others also offer a wider range of features and services for both consumers and businesses.)

Feature: visual search

Sherlock Apps:

Apple’s funnest feature, coming out of WWDC, allows you to “capture” an object from a photo or video and share it as an image. The final image shows only the object with the background removed – something the service does really well. So if you have an iPhone, iOS 16 will make that obsolete.

Now you can turn your pets into stickers with iOS 16

Now you can turn your pets into stickers with iOS 16

Feature: medication tracking

Sherlock Apps: my therapy, bunker

Apple will make medication logging and reminders super easy with iOS 16. For US-based users, the feature also notifies you of critical drug interactions — for example, when it’s not recommended to consume alcohol while taking a particular pill.

iOS 16 helps you with reminders so you don't forget to take critical medication

iOS 16 helps you with reminders so you don’t forget to take critical medication

Some medication tracking apps have nifty features like inventory tracking, but Apple can easily incorporate this into future rollouts.

Feature: freeform

Sherlock app: Figma’s FigJammany other

freeform is Apple’s new collaboration app that lets you and your teammates work together on a digital whiteboard. You can add your own notes, add photos, draw doodles, and even FaceTime someone right from the app. It will be available later this year for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura.

Apple Freeform

Photo credit: Apple

Apple’s announcement comes months after Figma released its own collaboration tool FigJam’s app on the iPad March. Other apps like good notes and explain everything also have similar functions.

Professional users may continue to stick with their existing solutions if Freeform doesn’t have easy migration tools to port projects from other apps.

Feature: sleep tracking

Sherlock app: Our, Oops

introduced by Apple Sleep tracking with WatchOS 7 — and even if you don’t wear an Apple Watch, the Health app can track sleep based on your bedtime mode schedule and your phone usage. All of this was pretty simple: Apple just gave you basic stats like average time in bed.

With iOS 16 and WatchOS 9, you’ll get better stats about your sleep, including the duration of different sleep stages like REM, core, or deep sleep, and your heart rate during sleep.

New sleep tracking with iOS 16 and WatchOS 9

New sleep tracking with iOS 16 and WatchOS 9

Previously, services like Oura and Whoop — both of which relied on additional hardware like a ring or bracelet — provided detailed sleep analysis. So existing users could now be influenced by Apple’s announcement. But if someone is in the market for a new wearable device, comprehensive sleep tracking could be a deciding factor that could tempt them to buy an Apple Watch.

In the past there has been debate as to whether the company uses the App Store to copy ideas from well-known apps vs. whether these new features are a natural progression of the Apple system.

Over the years, Apple hasn’t shied away from pointing it out The App Store supports many developers and jobs. But recent antitrust discussions suggest so Many developers are dissatisfied about the company’s anti-competitive strategy to enter new industries.

As Apple continues to introduce new features, apps, and services, it needs to be mindful of how it positions itself against existing players in the market to avoid scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

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