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4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update

Apple is huge, there’s no denying that. The company has made a name for itself by selling premium-design products that have a simple workflow and “just work”. Of course, to achieve that, its devices are a bit more “limited” in terms of tinkering and customizability. The ecosystem is closed off and if you don’t like how a certain feature works — it’s tough luck, you probably won’t be able to dig behind the scenes and change it (unless you feel adventurous and jailbreak).

But, over the years, some crafty app developers have found their way around some locked doors and presented us with features, which weren’t exactly intended to be on iOS. Sometimes, it turns out that these are widely liked by a lot of users, and they gain popularity quickly. And then, in comes Apple to ban them, because they mess with the user experience, which the company has carefully crafted. But controversy stirs when the next iOS update actually has the very features, which the banned apps provided for the users.

Yeah, we can remember 4 such occasions. Here they are:

Camera+ and the VolumeSnap feature


Back in the distant days of the iPhone 4, the volume button did not double as a shutter key for the camera app, believe it or not. Developer “tap tap tap” was first to add the feature to its well-known app Camera+ back then. However, that quickly resulted in the app being pulled from the App Store. Apple said that changing the way the iPhone’s external hardware works may confuse users. Makes sense, sure, and it does sound like a very Apple thing to say. However, once the iPhone 4s launched, and iOS 5 with it, the volume button shutter was actually added as a regular feature!

All is fine now, however, as tap tap tap’s Camera+ has been reinstated on the App Store and is one of the most popular 3rd party camera apps to date.

Download Camera+ here

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update


f.lux and Night Shift


Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the rise of the “blue light filters”. Utility tools, which filter out the blue light coming from our screens, which research shows is a primary reason for low-quality sleep. These usually kick in after sunset to ease the strain on our eyes.

Sounds familiar, right? The iPhone has it, the Samsung Galaxies have it, LG and Motorola have it, and a lot more manufacturers do it now. Arguably, the trend really kicked off with the f.lux controversy.

f.lux was already popular on Windows and Mac when the developers decided to port it for iOS. Now, due to the fact that the app needs special APIs to control the screen colors, it was never going to make it on the App Store. That’s why the developers released it as a downloadable file for sideloading. It gained popularity quickly, but Apple was fast to axe it, contacting the developers and “asking” them to remove the download link.

Lo and behold, when iOS 9.3 landed, iPhones and iPads got a feature called “Night Shift” — a blue light filter, just like f.lux. After this controversy raised awareness about the benefits of the feature, other manufacturers followed suit and added it to their new phones, so we guess the outcome is positive for the users?

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update


Finder for AirPods


When the iPhone 7 launched without a headphone jack and the AirPods were announced, everyone started making jokes about how Apple is forcing consumers to buy earbuds that will be easily lost and would need replacing regularly. We’re not sure about them falling off our ears just like that, but sure — it’s possible that you can bury an AirPod under a stack of papers on your desk.

A crafty developer launched Finder for AirPods — an app that allowed you to locate your lost Pod thanks to a signal bar, which showed you how close you are to it. However, it was very quickly pulled by Apple, who stated that the “App is not appropriate for the App Store”.

Two weeks after the ordeal, Apple launched the first public beta for iOS 10.3. Yep, you guessed it right, the Find my iPhone app now has an integrated AirPod tracker as well.

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update


Coolpixel and screen recording


Coolpixel launched back in December of 2016. It’s a camera recorder and video editor, which also is somehow capable of recording your phone’s screen. That’s a pretty big feat, as screen recording on the iPhone or iPad is only possible if you hook the device up to a Mac right now.

With native screen recording coming with iOS 11, you can probably already guess what Coolpixel’s fate is. The app has been removed from the App Store once. Then, the tenacious developer managed to upload it again. Then, it was taken down again.

So, yeah, unless you have the iOS 11 public beta, you’ll need to wait for it to launch before you can record your iPhone or iPad screen. Sorry.

Note: turns out there are quite a few screen recording apps for iOS out there. All of them keep getting booted from the App Store, though

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update


Can you think of any other occasions where Apple banned an app, only to incorporate its features afterwards? Let us know in the comments!

4 apps that Apple banned only to “steal” their features with the next iOS update

63 Comments
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posted on 18 Aug 2017, 05:14

1. foreverNOOB (Posts: 92; Member since: 07 Jul 2017)


I'm wondering that Apple pay these dev or just banned them and stolen their work...

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 05:19 32

3. darkkjedii (Posts: 25605; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Probably banned them, and stole their work. Apple is as corrupt as any other big greedy for profit company. They're all about the money, however they can get it.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 12:39 3

36. Flash (Posts: 1972; Member since: 19 May 2017)


Samsung is corrupt as well, but we won't hear you say that.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 13:28 5

38. darkkjedii (Posts: 25605; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


This is a tech site, you won't hear me say anything...you'll read it. Yes, Samsung is greedy too, but it's largely Apple with corrupt practices, but they give you way more for your money than Apple. Samsung also isn't nearly as bad as Appple, in its business dealings. Holla.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 21:12 4

44. tedkord (Posts: 14710; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


He just said "any other big company." He's not a shill, like you.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:59 4

18. Bankz (Posts: 2097; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


Apple are so shameless tbh. Of all juicy apps and features to have copied from? Lmao, to think they were actually smart thieves..

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 05:17 31

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 25605; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Most of the copied features are from Android and Samsung's TouchWiz, smart move too. Jacking those features made the iPhone quite a bit better, but more is needed.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 05:48 4

5. cnour (Posts: 1647; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)


But done by Apple perfectly and without lags.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:10 34

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 25605; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Those dumb lag posts have no effect on me troll. I owned em both, I know which is better. I sold the one that isn't, and I'm typing this from my S8 Plus.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:12 4

11. maple_mak (banned) (Posts: 953; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


I don't see any of your humour.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:14 11

12. submar (Posts: 609; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Perfect excuse for stealing ideas.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:21 8

13. Rishi17 (Posts: 42; Member since: 22 Sep 2016)


Wakeup iSheep, it ain't 2012 anymore, lag doesn't exist & don't even get me started on productivity.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:53 2

17. kiko007 (Posts: 5710; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


"lag doesn't exist & don't even get me started on"

Slow your roll. Lag definitely still exists. Both platforms have lag still, the difference is iOS does it less often.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 08:02 5

21. Rishi17 (Posts: 42; Member since: 22 Sep 2016)


Try to spend a few extra dollars next time & buy a proper flagship, otherwise lag will continue to exist for you.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 11:33

34. joey_sfb (Posts: 6740; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Not really concern about the little lag as long as I could complete the task and still keep my sanity.

In 2017, most smartphone could do that. Just put in a preorder for umidigi crystal.

http://www.umidigi.com/page-umidigi_crystal_overview.html

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 21:14 2

45. tedkord (Posts: 14710; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Not significantly less, but while doing less.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 10:56 3

28. sissy246 (Posts: 4221; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


LMFAO
ALL PHONES WILL LAG.... yes some more then other.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 06:27 1

15. deewinc (Posts: 400; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Can't remember last I experienced lag with a Samsung phone.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 11:01 2

30. sissy246 (Posts: 4221; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


I will give it to Samsung, since the s6 it has gotten way better. S8+ i have very seldom lags but, they still do just like all phones do.
So stop trying to say they don't at all, you are just lying like the isheep (not fans) do when they say iPhones don't lag.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 14:18 3

39. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


Many of those who say iPhones don't lag are probably more unknowledgeable than they are liars.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 21:15

46. tedkord (Posts: 14710; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Not if they say it doesn't lag.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 08:00 4

20. ShadowSnypa786 (Posts: 243; Member since: 06 Jan 2017)


Also with worse display, worse battery, worse camera, no SD card slot, more expensive and still behind Touchiwzz and others in features.

But hey at least it doesn't lag LOL

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 14:31

40. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


That non-OLED display is still very accurate in certain metrics, and still excellent, as per DisplayMate (and my own opinion). Camera picture quality is subjective, and battery life depends on usage. As for the other 3 things, they might not matter to the user more than the sustained performance and/or 'percieved' security. Or some additional features which the iPhone has/provides but many Android phones don't. Such as the clean and simple experience on iOS, 5 years of software support, with 4 years of number updates to iOS. And the supposed 3 seconds faster loading speeds, along with that infamous Apple logo!

So the point is, everyone doesn't want those boatload of features that TouchWiz provides, along with some bloatware. But those who do, they can buy a Galaxy; no issue with me. If you understand what I'm trying to say.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 21:15 2

47. tedkord (Posts: 14710; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


It is a very good display, just not as good.

posted on 19 Aug 2017, 02:14 1

51. Leo_MC (Posts: 3014; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Not as good as the one in S8 but overall better than the one in S7.

posted on 19 Aug 2017, 03:20 2

54. tedkord (Posts: 14710; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


And...?

posted on 19 Aug 2017, 05:46 1

57. Leo_MC (Posts: 3014; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


That's it; I was just pointing out the fact that iPhone had one of the best displays (maybe the best) up until S8 came out.

posted on 19 Aug 2017, 18:24

60. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


True that.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 09:57

23. path45th (Posts: 66; Member since: 11 Sep 2016)


A lot of Android features are from the Jailbreak community.

posted on 18 Aug 2017, 10:39 4

24. NarutoKage14 (Posts: 890; Member since: 31 Aug 2016)


How do you jailbreak an Android?

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