iMitate – the apps that inspired Apple’s WWDC announcements

If imitation is indeed the best form of flattery, then a number of app developers would be feeling immensely gratified about the announcements Apple made  at the WWDC some hours ago. For, almost new feature that was announced was accompanied by whispers and tweets of “well, this is just like (name of software)” and while some of the claims were a trifle over the top, there was more than a grain of truth in some others. While mentioning each and every one of them would not really be possible (hey, we do have word limits, notwithstanding the odd ramble), hit the jump to see some of the apps that “influenced” the changes that Apple made.

  • Flyscreen: A lock screen that shows you not just a snazzy picture or animation but also lets you access notifications and news? Well, Flyscreen has been trying to get that right for Android for a while now, with results that have varied from the brilliant to the buggy.
  • Android: Yes, yes, we know a lot of features on the new iOS can be seen in Android too, but the notification bar is perhaps the most “Android-y” of the lot. Of course, Apple is not the first one to get inspired by it – Samsung did put it in its Bada OS too.
  • Amazon Kindle: Everything in sync across all devices over the air – we have not seen any company do that the way Amazon did it for its e-books and magazines on the Kindle e-book reader apps, letting you get almost the same content, irrespective of the device you are using. iCloud has ratcheted it up several notches, but if they are anywhere near as good as the online booksellers, we would have one awesome cloud experience.
  • Windows 8: That keyboard that splits into two – for once, we think Redmond is going to be accusing Cupertino of feature-pinching!
  • BlackBerry Messenger: All right, we will concede that even WhatsApp has a right to claim to have inspired Apple to go for this messaging service but the touch of encryption is more reminiscent of the Big B than the little W, wethinks.
  • mSpot: All your music on all your devices? Before iTunes took to the cloud, there was mSpot. And pretty good it was (and is) too.
  • Read It Later and InstaPaper: Save a story and read it later. Ah, Safari Reader did borrow a bit from these two worthies, we reckon.
  • Opera Mini: They brought tabbed browsing on the PC, and were the first prominent browser to do so on the iOS too. Well, now they will have to face the might of Safari, although they did still have the data compression edge.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of the apps that perhaps inspired Apple – we have not even looked at magazines and photography and Twitter apps and the like, and there are stacks of those. By incorporating features similar to these apps in its software, Apple paid its tribute to these worthies. Somehow, we don’t think they will be too pleased! Every rose hath its thorn.