With yesterday’s launch of Google Maps for iOS, I reached the point where I no longer use any of Apple’s built-in apps on my iPhone.Well, there are three very basic exceptions: Clock, Messages* (the texting app), and Phone. Other than that, every app I use on my iPhone was made by a third-party developer who pulled off something better than Apple’s default app for the same task.
And now, all of the Apple-made apps are now in a folder labelled with an Emoji of a smiling pile of poop.
Here’s my current setup:
- Gmail instead of Mail (although I’m looking forward an app called Mailbox that’ll launch next year)
- Fantastical instead of Calendar
- Google Maps instead of Apple Maps
- Chrome instead of Safari
- Camera+ instead of Camera
- Clear instead of Reminders
- Evernote instead of Notes
- Addappt instead of Contacts
- There are a few more, but you get the idea…
After four and a half years since the App Store’s launch, developers are consistently making iPhone apps better than Apple can.
It used to be that Apple made the best apps for getting basic stuff done, leaving developers to make quirky games or weather apps. But as Apple has relaxed its development guidelines for the iPhone to allow some apps that duplicate basic functions (like browsing and email), we began to see some great alternatives to Apple’s own apps. Yes, it seems like this could be a negative for Apple. You could argue it’s no longer innovating its own iOS apps. Maybe that’s true. But I see it as a good thing for users. We now have more options. Better options. Hopefully Apple recognises this trend too and lets us choose third-party apps as defaults, just like we can on Mac.
*Ideally, I’d like to ditch Messages too. But whenever I turn off iMessage I risk missing messages sent from my friends who also have an iPhone.