Apple debuted some amazing features in iOS 8 last night, including predictive keyboards, updated messaging capabilities and new photo features. A few features in particular are interesting on iOS 8, mostly because of who inspired them: BlackBerry. It got Sherlocked.
That’s right. BlackBerry: the butt of the global smartphone industry’s jokes. You see, BlackBerry was “sherlocked” to a point this year at WWDC.
Sherlocking refers to when developers on other platforms or apps ship with a particular functionality, only to find that Apple is including it for free in its latest system update.
In a developer context, it comes from Karelia Software, which shipped Watson for OS X, only to find that Apple released Sherlock 3 at that year’s WWDC. They got Sherlocked, and so did BlackBerry.
BlackBerry 10.2 is actually an excellent piece of software when you get into its productivity chops. When we reviewed the BlackBerry Z30 we were genuinely impressed with it.
It had better sharing options (like iOS 8 and its new APIs in the Developer Kit), a Predictive Keyboard (like iOS 8’s messaging app), Attachment View (like iOS 8’s new messaging app pane) and Instant View which allowed you to reply to your messages within the small notification banner at the top of your screen: something Apple will also bring to iOS 8 in a few months.
The other place Apple took inspiration from on its new Messages app in iOS 8? Snapchat!
The ability to send self-destructing videos, photos and audio messages to a friend with nothing but a flick of the thumb into a media mode? The sure sounds like .
Apple has a history of Sherlocking features from other platforms and apps into its software. Take Instapaper for example: a reading list app, the features of which Apple Sherlocked into its Safari Reading List, iOS and Mac OS X Lion. Apple (and admittedly, other companies too) have been doing it for years.
Even the design of iOS 7 still carries the stigma that it looks a lot like Google’s Android platform with its bright colours and transparent panes.
This year’s WWDC also tried to kill the likes of Nest, BlackBerry, Soundhound and Shazam through a bit of crafty Sherlocking.
Whether Apple admits it or not, BlackBerry has now well and truly lost its edge. In the words of Steve Jobs, “good artists copy, great artists steal”: a quote he lifted from Picasso.
It’s elementary, dear reader.