FlickType Keyboard Developer Sues Apple for Stealing Apple Watch Keyboard Idea, Alleges Anticompetitive Behavior

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At the Apple tree Spotter Series seven launch effect on September 14, Apple proudly showcased “a new QWERTY keyboard (that) lets you tap or slide from letter to letter.” Turns out Apple tree directly upwards replicated FlickType’s keyboard for the Apple Watch and hamstrung FlickType on the App Store. The app’due south infuriated developer has dragged Apple to courtroom.

FlickType allowed Apple Watch users to type direct from the article of clothing’s screen. The programmer Kosta Eleftheriou said the app was lauded by Apple and presented at Apple tree HQ in 2022. He created several apps for the blind and visually impaired and then they could blazon on smartphones even without looking at the screen. The apps analyzed the location of the finger taps to predict what the user was attempting to blazon.

Through the App Store Review, Apple tree sent the developer an email in 2022 saying that FlickType Keyboard version 4.3 is being removed from the App Store since it isn’t in compliance with App Store Review guidelines.

Unbeknownst to Eleftheriou at the time, Apple tree probably began replicating the app for its then-in-development Apple Watch Series 7. The app is at present bachelor for use on the Apple Lookout, but now that Apple tree offers a first-political party equivalent, users probably won’t be looking for Eleftheriou’s app. Moreover, Apple appears to have committed daylight robbery here, keeping FlickType off the App Shop for effectually a year. The FlickType developer is likewise suing Apple for fraud.

The Eventual Lawsuit and Its Allegations

Eleftheriou’s lawsuit claims that “Apple tree threw roadblock after roadblock that made no sense,” to go on the technology off the App Store for around a year.
When the app was finally allowed on the App Shop, it was undercut past “copycat and scam applications” that were additional by fake reviews.

FlickType’s suit says that Apple justifies its monopoly by claiming it is necessary to protect its users and developers from unscrupulous acquit and ensure a fair competitive market for the benefit of both.” Even so, “in truth, Apple turns a blind eye to rampant fraud and exploitation to make an easy profit,” the lawsuit alleges.

The FlickType Story and Why Eleftheriou Is Upset

In a satirical tweet, Eleftheriou said “Since Apple actually loves California equally much as I exercise,” and proceeded to link a Wikipedia folio about the California competition law. Interestingly, the Epic five. Apple tree ruling also finds Apple tree guilty of violating this police force.

According to the lawsuit, Apple attempted to learn Eleftheriou’s first app called BlindType, only he sold it to Google in 2010. In April 2022, FlickType was launched for the iPhone and in the autumn of that year, Apple tree approved an update that added Apple Sentinel compatibility. However, Apple express how FlickType could be used, making it unnecessarily cumbersome for the end-user.

Eleftheriou mentioned that Randy Marsden, the founder of Swype, thought Apple tree should buy FlickType and brand it a key Apple tree Watch feature. This is when Eleftheriou updated the app to arrange a wider audience and Apple refused the update (version 4.iii mentioned earlier) challenge keyboards for the Apple Spotter were non immune, although other such keyboard apps for the Apple Sentinel were already on the App Store. Apple finally allowed FlickType on the App Store in Jan 2022.

In Summary

“Despite possessing massive resources and technological savvy, Apple tree intentionally fails to police these fraudsters, costing honest developers millions, and possibly billions, while Apple tree continues to amass huge profits for itself, (sic)”, the lawsuit opines.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2022 and the Apple Watch Series 7 launch issue appears to confirm suspicions of why Apple suppressed a peachy app—considering it was cloning FlickType to go a star characteristic of the new Apple Watch Series vii.

The eagle-eyed would have noticed that the text on the Apple tree Spotter Series 7 read “copy that” when the new start-party keyboard was beingness demonstrated. Do you lot recall that was an intentional jab at FlickType? Share your thoughts with united states below.

Update: Argument from Apple

Apple told
that the FlickType update to version iii.4 was allowed on the App Store in 2022 afterward Eleftheriou explained the app’south accessibility functions to the App Store review team. Later in 2022, Apple tree says information technology reworked the App Store guidelines to allow keyboard apps for the Apple Sentry since the Apple Watch Series 4 had a larger screen.

Apple likewise said that although there were several Apple Sentry keyboard apps on the App Store in 2022, FlickType was highlighted in the “Top Apps of 2022” promotion on the App Store.

Apple tree has said that information technology now welcomes Eleftheriou to resubmit updates for FlickType. After his caption, the company believes FlickType’s accessibility keyboard updates comply with App Store rules.

[Via Washington Post]

Source: https://www.iphonehacks.com/2021/09/keyboard-app-developer-sues-apple-anticompetitive-behavior.html

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