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Apple iOS 13: New report should make third-party app developers nervous

Apple iOS 13: New report should make third-party app developers nervous
[Photo: Rob Hampson/Unsplash]

A new Bloomberg story on iOS 13 should make a lot third-party app developers nervous, as Apple looks to replace some of their functionality with its own built-in apps.

Among the upcoming iOS features being reported on by Bloomberg:

  • An updated Reminders app with daily and flagged task support, which will compete with third-party to-do list apps
  • As previously reported by 9to5Mac, a combined Find my Friends and Find my iPhone app that will support item-tracking tags, similar to Tile
  • The ability to turn an iPad into an external Mac display, similar to what Luna Display and Duet Display offer
  • Updates to menstrual cycle tracking in the Health app to compete with third-party period trackers like Clue, Flo, and Ovia.
  • Profile pictures and and custom display names in iMessage, in a nod to WhatsApp
  • Possible gesture keyboard support, similar to third-party options like Microsoft’s SwiftKey and Google’s Gboard

The notion of Apple–and other tech companies with their own software platforms–rendering third-party apps obsolete is hardly new, and even has its own industry lingo (see: getting “sherlocked”). Lately, though, the practice has come under greater attack from politicians, other companies, and consumer groups as they question the concentration of power among tech giants.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has argued for separating Apple from its App Store operations, and Spotify has successfully nudged the European Commission into investigating Apple for unfair treatment. While Apple has always had to balance adding features that customers want against trampling on third-party innovation, that act is getting trickier as Apple builds out more services to compensate for declining iPhone sales.

For more on what’s coming in iOS, MacOS, and WatchOS later this year, read the full Bloomberg report.

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