Apple refutes FlickType developer's account of App Store issues

Posted:
in iOS edited September 2021
Apple has told AppleInsider how it denies FlickType developer Kosta Eleftheriou's claims in a lawsuit, over the App Store handling of his accessibility keyboard app for Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 7 optionally lets you slide your finger to select letters
Apple Watch Series 7 optionally lets you slide your finger to select letters


During the launch of Apple Watch Series 7, Apple unveiled a feature called QuickPath. It presents a full QWERTY on-screen keyboard on the Watch, and allows users to either tap to type, or swipe to select letters and have Machine Learning predict what's intended to be typed.

Following the launch event, the developer of an Apple Watch keyboard app, tweeted "See you in court" to Apple. Kosta Eleftheriou was referring to his current lawsuit against the company, filed in March 2018, where he claims Apple abuses its power over app developers.

Apple has now told AppleInsider that a letter Eleftheriou posted on Twitter after the "California Streaming" event, dates from 2019. At that point, FlickType had been removed for contravening the App Store's then-rule about Apple Watch keyboards.

However, after Eleftheriou resubmitted the app to the App Store review team with an explanation of its accessibility functions, Apple says that the update was allowed.

Also, later in 2019, Apple says it separately revised its App Store guidelines to allow keyboards for the Watch. This was in response to how the Apple Watch Series 4 featured an increased screen size.

Now, says Apple, there are multiple Apple Watch keyboard apps available on the App Store. And FlickType itself was highlighted in a Top Apps of 2020 promotion on the store.

Kosta Eleftheriou's lawsuit had already been filed when Apple unveiled QuickPath. Apple says it has told Eleftheriou that following further explanation from him, it now believes that the app's accessibility keyboard complies with App Store rules.

A version of the app is currently on the App Store and Apple says that it would welcome Eleftheriou submitting future updates to the App Store review team.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    lkruppshareef777elijahgFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 15
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    So you would have the government ban big tech from releasing anything that resembles what some developer has done? Big tech can’t copy it, can’t improve it, can’t market it. Microsoft used to call it ‘embrace and extend’. Wagging tongues now call it sherlocking. Tough luck, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, if you didn't do it first you cannot touch it. Is this what you want?
    mike1magman1979ikirapplguyFileMakerFellerllama
  • Reply 3 of 15
    dk49dk49 Posts: 272member
    I honestly find the keyboard very "UnApple". I mean, Apple is known to have easy to use UIs. Even after the bigger screen size, that keyword is not going to be easy to type on. There was a reason why Apple chose to have a digital crown in the Apple watch rather than allowing pinch to zoom on its screen. 
    edited September 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    lkrupp said:
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    So you would have the government ban big tech from releasing anything that resembles what some developer has done? Big tech can’t copy it, can’t improve it, can’t market it. Microsoft used to call it ‘embrace and extend’. Wagging tongues now call it sherlocking. Tough luck, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, if you didn't do it first you cannot touch it. Is this what you want?
    Are you serious!? Apple blatantly blocked a developer so they can launch their own version.

    In YOUR words: "So you would have any big corporation ban developers from releasing anything that resembles anything the big corporation WILL do!?

    And between our two statements, one is hypothetical and the other is what happened.
    edited September 2021 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 5 of 15
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,865member
    If as Apple says the app was resubmitted and allowed that undercuts a lot of his case. Honestly it would be easy to verify and that’s why I believe Apple. They’d be stupid to lie about something that could be so simply confirmed. I think though this goes to his first legal battle, that Apple was “abusive”. I always thought that was a weak case. Ludicrous even. His latest one, which seems to be that they stole his idea also seems weak. Unless he invented the very first keyboard ever put on a watch anywhere, he will lose on the basis of prior art. 
    williamlondonauxioigorskyhcrefugeeikirronnFileMakerFellerllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,746member
    DAalseth said:
    His latest one, which seems to be that they stole his idea also seems weak. Unless he invented the very first keyboard ever put on a watch anywhere, he will lose on the basis of prior art. 
    That was my first reaction to this: swipe keyboards have been around for a while now.  Simply putting them on a smaller screen doesn't somehow make it a brand new idea.  If that was the case, Apple could have patented every app they ported from macOS to iOS when the iPhone was released.  "We're claiming ownership of an email application now because it's running on a phone instead of a desktop computer".
    magman1979ikirronnllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,746member
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    Let the spin begin.  The guy created a watch app based on a concept which already existed (swipe keyboards) and now he's trying to claim ownership of it.
    igorskyhcrefugeeStrangeDaysmagman1979ikirronnllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    lkrupp said:
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    So you would have the government ban big tech from releasing anything that resembles what some developer has done? Big tech can’t copy it, can’t improve it, can’t market it. Microsoft used to call it ‘embrace and extend’. Wagging tongues now call it sherlocking. Tough luck, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, if you didn't do it first you cannot touch it. Is this what you want?
    Are you serious!? Apple blatantly blocked a developer so they can launch their own version.


    Tinfoil hat time?  There are other AW keyboard apps available so this is hardly "blatant".
    williamlondonmagman1979ikirronnllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    dk49 said:
    I honestly find the keyboard very "UnApple". I mean, Apple is known to have easy to use UIs. Even after the bigger screen size, that keyword is not going to be easy to type on. There was a reason why Apple chose to have a digital crown in the Apple watch rather than allowing pinch to zoom on its screen. 
    Why not wait to use it before panning it? They specifically talked about how Machine Learning takes care of predictive text; I seriously doubt they’d ship it if that didn’t largely mitigate the issue of small tap targets. 
    StrangeDayswilliamlondonronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    dk49 said:
    I honestly find the keyboard very "UnApple". I mean, Apple is known to have easy to use UIs. Even after the bigger screen size, that keyword is not going to be easy to type on. There was a reason why Apple chose to have a digital crown in the Apple watch rather than allowing pinch to zoom on its screen. 

    And you make that assertion even before ANYONE has gotten their hands on Watch Series 7 to see how it ACTUALLY functions?

    Troll
    edited September 2021 williamlondonronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Disallowing an app based on constantly changing "rules" that Apple can make up and modify whenever it suits them is by definition developer abuse. Work for a year on an app working around the limitations of the Apple SDK (which are numerous on the Apple Watch) and then wait in terror for the review only to be told that keyboards are not allowed on the Apple Watch. Please think objectively for a second. Who exactly does a rule like that help? Is it for user security? Is it for user safety? Perhaps instead it is about Apple jealously guarding its precious power over what users are allowed to do with their devices.

    Why am I going on and on about this subject? For three reasons:
    1. It harms the users since they are never even given the chance to see many apps they would find useful.
    2. It harms developers because we don't have the opportunity to create wonderful new apps that no one has ever imagined before.
    3. It harms Apple as many of those apps would cause more people to buy their products and more developers to flock to their platform. It is already costing them billion$ and it could cost them their place in the market.
    edited September 2021 elijahg
  • Reply 12 of 15
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,789member
    lkrupp said:
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    So you would have the government ban big tech from releasing anything that resembles what some developer has done? Big tech can’t copy it, can’t improve it, can’t market it. Microsoft used to call it ‘embrace and extend’. Wagging tongues now call it sherlocking. Tough luck, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, if you didn't do it first you cannot touch it. Is this what you want?
    Not quite that though is it? Apple says no until they've done it themselves (without the confines of App Store rules) then says look what we did, other devs can do it too! No one is saying Apple couldn't have innovated first, but they disallow others from publishing their innovations if it doesn't fit into what Apple thinks owners of their devices should do with those devices. It's called sherlocking for a reason. Not like you to miss nuance. *cough*
  • Reply 13 of 15
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,789member
    auxio said:
    dotcomcto said:
    Now that we've made your keyboard app irrelevant, you're more than welcome to resubmit it to the App Store.
    Love,
    Apple
    Let the spin begin.  The guy created a watch app based on a concept which already existed (swipe keyboards) and now he's trying to claim ownership of it.
    No he's not. He's annoyed that Apple rejected his own keyboard due to some obscure App Store rule, then a few months later added the same keyboard. Apparently those same rules don't apply to Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    Aside from his own experiences, Eleftheriou has highlighted tons of issues with the App Store and has been vocal about it after Apple didn't remove the scam apps or just allowed new ones in regularly. He's still doing that so not much has changed over the years apparently.
    muthuk_vanalingamget seriouswilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Ordinarily, I might object to the word 'refutes' in the headline, suggesting that 'disputes' would be more appropriate in the context, but, in this instance, 'refutes' appear to be the correct word choice.
    edited September 2021 williamlondonwatto_cobra
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