Blix calls on other iOS developers to rise up against Apple over 'sherlocking'

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What you need to know

  • Developer Blix has called on other iOS developers to fight back against Apple and "sherlocking".
  • Blix claims that Apple's 'Sign in with Apple' feature was taken from their own idea "without permission, payment or credit".
  • Blix says it is considering all options, including a class-action lawsuit.

Blix has called on iOS developers to fight back against Apple over sherlocking, the practice of copying and incorporating ideas from smaller developers into its own software.

According to a report from Financial Times, Blix says it plans to bring a resolution to the issue, claiming that there are thousands of developers suffering from the practice.

Blix's own grievance with Apple relates to Apple's 'Sign in with Apple' feature, which it sued the company over in October for patent infringement. Not only does it claim that Apple stole a feature from BlueMail which allowed users to sign up to services with an anonymous email, but it also claims that Apple buried its app in App Store search results, and booted its desktop app from the store altogether.

According to the report:

But the start-up said that the slow legal process worked in Apple's favour. It said other developers that share its concerns, but are fearful of retribution, should speak up."We are considering all options, including a class-action lawsuit," said Ben Volach, who co-founded Blix with his brother Dan. "We are going to make sure this is resolved. We are sure there are thousands [of developers] that are suffering from this."

Other developers have waded into the debate too. The chief executive of Astro, Matt Ronge said:

"The pattern is that they see what's popular, they implement it into their device, they bundle it, and they use private APIs [a programming protocol] that others don't have access to — so their version has a leg-up on the competition,

Apple created its own version of Astro's tool, which turned your iPad into a second display for Mac, into Sidecar.

As noted in the report, Blix claims it is considering all options, including a class-action lawsuit against Apple, a scenario Apple will no doubt be keen to avoid.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

1 Comment
  • If Apple was prohibited from adding features that a 3rd party app has, regardless of how terrible the feature is in the 3rd party app, then iOS would be pretty crappy. I get that it sucks for developers when Apple includes features similar to yours and are better executed because Apple can tie directly into the OS and hardware. At the end of the day it is better for users. The developer of Astro has Luna display which IMO is better than side car and has differentiated itself in quality and features. I tried Blix’s email app and it is horrible. There’s a reason it went down in search results. Sign In with Apple is awesome and so far in my experience has worked flawlessly.