Developer of the FlickType app, Kosta Eleftheriou says he will add the new Apple Watch Series 7 QWERTY keyboard if his case goes to trial. In March 2021, Eleftheriou filed a lawsuit against Apple at the California Superior Court in Santa Clara County over its App Store policies and tech giant’s negligence, abuse of monopoly power, and anti-competitive behavior.
FlickType is an accessibility app that offers a keyboard for users with visual impairment or low visibility to type with swiping across the keyboard. Apple Watch Series 7’s new QWERTY keyboard has the same functionality.
Apple Watch Series 7 offers two additional larger font sizes, and a new QWERTY keyboard that can be tapped or swiped with QuickPath — allowing users to slide a finger to type — and utilizes on-device machine learning to anticipate the next word based on the context, making text entry easier and faster. – Apple
The new QWERTY keyboard for Apple Watch Series 7 shows Apple’s anti-competitive behavior
Unhappy about scam apps copying his app on and the removal of his FlickType app from the App Store, Eleftheriou had filed a lawsuit against the tech giant. In the filing, he said that the company wanted to acquire his app but when the deal did not materialize, it removed his app from the App Store.
According to the developer, Apple approached him to acquire FlickType. After negotiations ended, he says that his app was suddenly being denied from the App Store for “no reason.” Eleftheriou says Apple did this to stop him from competing with scam apps that generated revenue for the App Store. The suit alleges that the tech giant’s monopoly position gives it the capacity to manipulate the market and remove any developers it may have an issue with.
After Apple announced the new QWERTY keyboard feature in the new smartwatch series, people were quick to point out that it is a copy of the FlickType app.
— Euan Traynor (@EuanFTraynor) September 14, 2021
In response, Eleftheriou shared App Store review’s rejection letter stating that “we noticed your app does not satisfy the requirements outlined in the Apple iOS Human Interface Guideline. 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.” And now he will take this matter to court.
Apple: “An Apple Watch first — a new QWERTY keyboard lets you tap or slide from letter to letter”
— Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) September 14, 2021