Apple’s newly revealed iOS 8 is pretty shameless about the third-party apps it’s looking to ape.
The company is looking to make up lost ground, as well as claw back users to its native features, rather than nabbing different ones from the App Store.
The influences on everything from iMessage to QuickType, iCloud Drive to Handoff, are there for all to see.
So, what apps has Apple looked to in order to make iOS 8 great? Read on and we’ll reveal all.
1 iMessage influenced by WhatsApp
iMessage has been an iOS stalwart for years. But it’s too often lagged well behind industry bigwigs such as BlackBerry’s BBM and, of course, Facebook–owned WhatsApp.
The latter’s influence is writ large over the new iMessage.
From improved group chat options, such as being able to add and remove friends, easier image and video sharing, the chance to send voice clips and location information, it’s impossible not to see where Apple has looked for inspiration.
During the WWDC keynote, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum took to Twitter and said: “Very flattering to see Apple ‘borrow’ numerous WhatsApp features into iMessage in iOS 8 #innovation.” Touche.
2 QuickType influenced by SwiftKey
Third-party keyboards have been a notable iOS absence. Until now.
One of iOS 8’s big moves is to allow other companies to bring their keyboards to the iPhone and iPad, although controls over where they can be used are stringent.
This is all part of its new ‘Extensibilty’ platform for devs.
But it doesn’t stop there. Apple’s new QuickType keyboard is clearly influenced by SwiftKey, already a key player on Android, with an iOS version ready to roll as we speak.
Improved typing predictions and contextual awareness are key, with the ‘board learning how you type.
SwiftKey’s makers said they would release their effort for iOS as soon as possible, but didn’t mention that QuickType had clearly taken cues from its handiwork.
3 iCloud Drive influenced by Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the modern web’s biggest success stories. And until now Apple has not really had a decent competitor.
Cue iCloud Drive. This new function will let you stash files and folders in the cloud from any device, Mac, PC or iOS and then access it whenever and wherever.
The approach is very similar to that of Dropbox. It’s clear that Apple knows it needs this kind of feature in order to compete.
5 Handoff influenced by Skype/Viber
Handoff is one of the neatest features on iOS/OS X Yosemite, Apple’s new desktop platform.
By far its coolest feature is the ability to take calls from your iPhone on your iPad and Mac, as long as your handset is in close proximity.
This has clear implications for major VoIP companies such as Skype and Viber, which have owned computer-based calling for years.
Apple wants in, and the ability to essentially use your phone on your computer could potentially kill the need for a separate VoIP account.
It looks great, but how will rivals feel about Apple encroaching on their territory? We’ll have to wait and see.