Ousted developer furious over new Apple Watch Series 7 feature

"Apple just one for one copied FlickType watch keyboard app."

What you need to know

  • Apple unveiled a new Apple Watch Series 7 on Tuesday.
  • The new watch features a new QWERTY keyboard that uses QuickPath thanks to its larger screen.
  • A developer of a similar Apple Watch app that was booted from the store is absolutely furious.

A developer of a keyboard app for the Apple Watch is absolutely furious following the addition of a new feature to Apple Watch Series 7 that looks awfully familiar to his own work that was recently booted from the App Store.

Apple unveiled its latest Apple Watch at the iPhone 13 event Tuesday, noting a new keyboard feature enabled by the device's larger display:

The user interface is optimized to take advantage of the shape and size of the new display. Apple Watch Series 7 offers two additional larger font sizes, and a new QWERTY keyboard that can be tapped or swiped with QuickPath — allowing users to slide a finger to type — and utilizes on-device machine learning to anticipate the next word based on the context, making text entry easier and faster. With watchOS 8, larger menu titles and buttons in apps like Stopwatch, Activity, and Alarms also make the screen even simpler to interact with.

Users online quickly noted the similarity to FlickType:

Kosta Eleftheriou, developer of FlickType quickly noted "so now we know" regarding Apple's decision to remove his app from the Apple Watch App Store before stating "see you in court." Eleftheriou filed a lawsuit back in March against Apple over his treatment in the App Store, this was of course months before the revelation Apple planned to add its own native keyboard to the Apple Watch that looked an awful lot like his own product they said didn't comply with guidelines.

Apple's own App Store Review team told Eleftheriou his app breached Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines stating "specifically, the app is a keyboard for Apple Watch."

Now Apple Watch has its own keyboard made by Apple, and a lawsuit on its hand. To add insult to injury, the sample text in the press release features the typed word "copy".