Developer David Smith, in his watchOS 7 wishlist post, writes, “Many of the features I’m going to discuss below exist in some way or form within 3rd party apps (many of which I myself have written!), and so by suggesting that Apple promote them into the OS itself I’m also suggesting that they ‘Sherlock’ some developers.”
The concept of sherlocking is something that I’ve given a tremendous amount of thought to. I’ve had many of my own apps sherlocked in some way or another over the years. The emotional journey that ensues follows a predictable pattern. At first it always feels a bit rough, like something was stolen from me. Then it feels really cool to have built something that Apple chose to emulate. Then it usually ends up being a good thing for my app.
This experience is not universal, certainly some features or ideas when pulled into the OS completely obviate the need for a 3rd party solution. However, that shouldn’t in any way restrain Apple from doing it. In doing so they would be explicitly choosing to make their platform worse, which is never going to be a viable design guide.
I believe Apple’s goal should be to provide the best, most capable experience that suits the needs of the majority of their users. They should pull up the features that resonate with their customers in 3rd party apps. They then provide the 80% solution, that works for most people but is less flexible or tailored. Then the 3rd party ecosystem continues to cater to the 20% of users who have specialized needs, continuing to push the limits of the feature, discovering the new frontiers and ideas along the way. Then the cycle repeats and the platform gets better.
I want to make apps for the best platform in the world. Period. If that is my desire, then I’ve long since learned that sherlocking isn’t a bad thing, instead it is an essential thing.
MacDailyNews Note: Among other things in his full watchOS 7 article, Smith covers Recovery/Sleep Tracking, Custom Rings/Goals, Rest Days, Automatic Workout Detection, True Independence, Multiple Complications, Complication Refresh System, SwiftUI for Apple Watch development, Always-on During Workouts, More than Just Breathe for Mental Health, Nutrition, Smart Alarm, Dynamic Status bar, More Customizable Watch Faces, and more.
Interns… Interns? Oh, yeah. (sigh)
Well, we’ll just have to TTK ourselves! Here’s to everyone’s health!