The Apple Watch Swipe Keyboard Is Now The Subject Of A Lawsuit

The Apple Watch Swipe Keyboard Is Now The Subject Of A Lawsuit
Image: Apple

Earlier this week, Apple made headlines when it announced the highly anticipated Apple Watch Series 7 — complete with the first swipe keyboard for watches. However, one developer is suing the company for allegedly Sherlocking him.

Update: Friday 17 September 3pm

It is understood that the situation circulating on Twitter in regards to the Apple Watch keyboard actually relates to an older issue that was allegedly resolved back in 2019. When the Apple Watch first launched, the terms and conditions for App Store consideration prohibited keyboard extensions as it wasn’t believed that full qwerty keyboards would work well on the small watch face. However, this belief has obviously changed as the Apple Watch technology has evolved in recent years.

This policy was reportedly updated in 2019 to allow keyboards for Apple Watch and has been this way ever since.

Gizmodo Australia understands that the developer is welcome to resubmit the app for App Store consideration.

The original story continues below:

According to the claim, developer Kosta Eleftheriou was preparing to make a deal with Apple for his swipe keyboard technology back in January of 2019. The Verge reports Apple’s head of keyboards (real job, apparently) loved his FlickType keyboard for the Apple Watch and was impressed by its near-flawless technology.

“Apple should buy this from you,” The Verge quotes the Apple employee as asserting, saying also it “could be a key feature for the watch”.

However, instead of purchasing the rights to the technology, Apple later responded to Eleftheriou, telling him that his product was banned from the App Store for allegedly violating the rules.

“Specifically, the app is a keyboard for Apple Watch. For this reason, your app will be removed from sale on the App Store at this time,” Apple wrote.

Now, two years later, Apple has revealed its own swipe keyboard app for the Apple Watch Series 7, effectively giving Eleftheriou reason to believe he had been Sherlocked (a term given when Apple creates its own version of a third party app, effectively rendering it useless).

Following the announcement, Eleftheriou took to Twitter to allege that he will “see [Apple] in court”.

The lawsuit, which was officially lodged back in March, alleges that Apple continued to reject and delay his app in an attempt to get him to sell the technology to the company for a lower price.

“Evidently, Apple thought Plaintiff would simply give up and sell its application to Apple at a discount,” the complaint reads.