The new Apple Watch Series 7 launched today and these new smartwatches come with several significant improvements over the previous models. From a bigger screen to updated hardware and even new software features, the Watch Series 7 are the best Apple Watches yet. The new Apple Watch Series 7 also runs the latest version of watchOS out of the box – watchOS 8. Along with the new version and a larger screen, Apple has created a new QWERTY keyboard for the watch called QuickPath, which allows typing for reply to messages.
While a keyboard app is nice to have, it isn’t innovative and certainly isn’t original. In fact, Apple is accused of cloning another keyboard app for the Apple Watch called FlickType. Its founder, Kosta Eleftheriou, filed a lawsuit against Apple earlier this year after the company withdrew the iPhone version of the app. Eleftheriou took to Twitter following the Apple Watch Series 7 announcement, where he shared the email the App Store review team sent after removing the application earlier this year. The email says his app violated the Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines section of the App Store Review Guidelines. It also states that “the application is a keyboard for Apple Watch. For this reason, your app will be withdrawn from sale on the App Store at that time.
– Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) September 14, 2021
For the uninitiated: FlickType is an accessibility keyboard for visually impaired users and can help people who are blind or visually impaired to type on an iPhone. The app was originally launched in 2018 and was followed in 2020 by a companion Apple Watch app that allows users to tap on their smartwatch to respond to notifications. When the related Apple Watch app was released, it hit the top spot for paid apps on the App Store for a while.
When Eleftheriou sued Apple earlier this year for removing the FlickType iPhone app, he alleged that Apple attempted to acquire the app from him and that Apple allowed competing apps to unfairly target him in order to devalue FlickType. . He said that when he complained about bogus reviews and ads, Apple didn’t do enough to tackle the apps he claimed were behind them.
After months of calls, Eleftheriou was able to get FlickType back from the App Store, even though he says he lost a year of revenue thanks to the length of time it was retired. Apple then banned its application again So last month, the developer decided to stop the development of the iPhone keyboard part of the app rather than continue to fight against Apple. Apple’s reasoning behind the removal was that the app needed “full access” to the network to function, alongside other iOS features, which is not allowed. Eleftheriou says that if the company had tried the app or looked at her previous conversations, they would have seen that the keyboard worked fine without network access.
It is with a heavy heart today that we announce the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users.
Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years as we try to deliver an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer stand their abuse. pic.twitter.com/cH1HCQzeP1
– FlickType watch keyboard (@FlickType) August 16, 2021
“Our history of releases already spans over FOUR pages filled with repeated, unwarranted and unreasonable releases that serve to frustrate and delay rather than benefit end users. And dealing with App Review isn’t just time consuming. It’s also very exhausting emotionally ”, Eleftheriou wrote on Twitter.
Eleftheriou charged Apple with false advertising, unfair competition in violation of the California Business and Professional Code, breach of good faith and fairness with respect to the Apple Developer Program license agreement, fraud, negligence and negligent misrepresentation. As with any dispute between a developer and an app store, it’s not easy to tell who is right and who is wrong since we don’t have the big picture. However, it certainly doesn’t look good for Apple to launch an app that looks a lot like the one the developer has had issues with often.