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Apple’s WWDC18 keynote was an onslaught of software features across all of the company’s major platforms. But many of those features sounded very familiar and they likely made some third party app developers very unhappy.
But this year, Apple’s list of macOS and iOS improvements seemed to be extremely reliant on ideas seen in third-party apps. Here’s a list of apps who’ll have to try hard to stay in rotation on your desktop when iOS 12 and macOS Mojave launch.
Before we start, it’s worth noting that third-party apps typically have to work thrice as hard to become popular and many of them will still be worth checking out, even after Apple launches its doppelgängers. Third party app developers are also likely to launch new features in order to distinguish their offerings from Apple’s, which are often simple and without many options.
Measure (aka Ruler ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
Probably the most obvious example is a new Apple app called Measure, which uses augmented reality to let you measure the sizes of things in real life. The concept is near-identical to the one seen on a multitude of third-party apps already available on the App Store — such as Ruler and AirMeasure, for example — most of which you probably won’t need anymore.
New Messages camera features (aka Prisma, Snapchat ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
Remember Prisma, the Russian app that turned regular photos into really-good-looking artistic images? Well, Apple’s Messages app will soon get an option to add artistic filters to photos, and the comic book filter seen at Apple’s WWDC announcement, it’s a dead ringer for Prisma. Messages’ camera also has a bunch of Snapchat-like features, including stickers and shapes you can add to your photos. Both Snapchat and Prisma offer many options that Apple’s offering doesn’t have, but Messages users likely won’t need to fire them up nearly as often as they used to.
Dynamic Desktop (aka Irvue ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
One of the coolest new features in macOS Mojave is called Dynamic Desktop, which changes your desktop wallpaper depending on time of day. If you turn it on, you’ll see a bright, daylight-time photo on your desktop during the day, and a soothing, night-time photo in the evening. I currently use a desktop wallpaper switching app called Irvue (there are many others) to rotate wallpapers for me, but if Dynamic Desktop turns out to be as cool as it looked in Apple’s WWDC presentation, I’ll probably switch to that. Obviously, Irvue is quite different, as it rotates your wallpapers from a big selection (based off of a site called Unsplash). But there’s room for just one wallpaper rotating app on your desktop. Sorry, Irvue.
Memoji (aka Bitmoji ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
Bitmoji, the once unavoidable app that lets you create little digital cartoon versions of yourself, isn’t as popular as it used to be, but it’ll soon be mostly rendered obsolete on iOS. Apple’s new Memoji feature lets you create a highly customized, live animated, 3D avatar of yourself and (unless you’re going for an old-school look) beats Bitmoji and similar apps by a large margin.
Group FaceTime (aka most video chat apps ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
Group FaceTime is finally here and it supports 32 participants in one call, beating both Skype and Hangouts which max out at 25. Apple’s new video group chat app isn’t likely to outright kill these competitors, but it might make a big dent in their usage, because for group video calls, people will switch to a better alternative as soon as they find one.
Siri Shortcuts (aka IFTTT ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
Siri Shortcuts is an app that lets you execute a chain of commands with a simple Siri invocation. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s pretty much the same thing as IFTTT (If This Then That), with a very important difference — although it’s available for iOS, IFTTT only works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Shortcuts looks great, but IFTTT has been around forever, integrates with a ton of third-party apps, so we reckon (hope) it won’t go the way of the dodo anytime soon.