Sunday, July 14, 2024

Apps Apple may have killed off with iOS 18

Key Takeaways

  • Several core iOS 18 features may replace core functions of third-party apps like TapeACall, Grammarly, and Proton Pass.
  • Voice transcription, calendar integration, and premium calculator apps are just a few categories that could face competition from Apple’s new features.
  • While iOS 18 may not completely kill off these apps, some users may find Apple’s free alternatives worth abandoning paid subscriptions.

If you’re following any iOS 18 coverage, you’ve probably heard the term “Sherlocked.” Sherlocking has a surprisingly long history within the Apple community. All the way back in 1998, Apple released a search utility called Sherlock with Mac OS 8.5. While Sherlock was eventually replaced by Spotlight — in 2002, Apple shipped Sherlock 3, which allegedly copied many features offered by an app called Watson.

Since then, “Sherlocked” has lived in infamy as a term meaning Apple copying another app’s features and essentially replacing it. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the definition of “Sherlocked” becomes looser and looser every year. Even so, several apps may begin to see their demise with the rollout of iOS 18, with the operating system adopting their core features.

Here’s a list of apps whose fate is less known once iOS 18 becomes publicly available this fall.


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1 TapeACall

Call recorders iOS 18 screenshots of call recording



An app allowing users to record phone calls on your iPhone. TapeACall features in-app purchases.

Have you ever called a customer service number, heard “this call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes,” and thought “I’d like to record this call for my own records?” Or maybe you’re a busy business person who’d find recording phone calls helpful for business records and reference. Well, TapeACall is the self-proclaimed leading call recorder app for iOS and Android. During WWDC24, Apple unveiled call recording as a built-in feature of the Phone app, along with call transcription with iOS 18.

Using call recording as part of iOS avoids storing your calls on a third-party’s servers, improving your privacy and costing nothing. A pro and a con of this new feature is that the other party is notified that the call is being recorded for increased transparency. On the other hand, subscribing to a third-party service like TapeACall allows easy integration with third-party services and won’t notify the other party. Apple’s included call recording feature is likely perfect for most iOS users who may find occasional use.


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2 Proton Pass

Basic password managersThe Password app from iOS 18.


Proton Pass

A secure end-to-end encrypted password manager from the makers of ProtonMail offering features like autofill and secure notes. Proton Pass features in-app subscriptions.

Let me be clear, big-name password managers like 1Password, Dashlane, and Bitwarden are almost certainly not replaceable by this iteration of Apple’s Passwords app. All Apple has really done is extracted iCloud Keychain from Settings into its own app. Still, newer and less fully featured Password apps could be at risk.

Proton Pass is an excellent example of a new entrant building out features. Users who only require a basic password manager may find the convenience of Apple’s dedicated Passwords app to be all they need. Meanwhile, power users who enjoy having more features will continue using their manager of choice.


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3 Transcriber

Voice transcriptionVoice transcription in iPadOS 18



A voice-to-text transcription app that converts spoken words into written text. It supports multiple languages and can transcribe both live speech and audio recordings. Transcriber features in-app purchases.

There is no shortage of voice transcription apps on the App Store, and they are all at risk of being replaced by Apple’s introduction of voice transcription in Notes and Voice Memos. Transcriber is the top search result in the App Store when searching ‘voice transcription.’

However, with the integration of voice transcription in these popular Apple apps, it’s difficult to see why anyone would search for and use a third-party for most use cases.


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4 Newji

Custom emojisGenmoji screenshots from iOS 18.



An app that uses user text prompts and AI to generate custom emojis that can be sent as iMessage stickers. Newji features in-app purchases.

“If you update someone’s phone, they’ll have new emojis for a night; if you give them Newji, they’ll have new emojis for the rest of their life.” This adorable quote is from the app Newji, which generates custom emoji iMessage stickers based on a user’s text prompt.

Sadly for Newji, Apple Intelligence’s image generation feature, Genmoji, does the same thing as Newji. Now, will Newji do a better job than Genmoji? Maybe. But only time will tell. Even so, is Newji worth it for users to download and pay for it?


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5 AllTrails

Hiking trail mapsHiking trails feature screenshot from Apple's website.



An outdoor recreation app that provides detailed trail maps and information for hikers, bikers, and runners. AllTrails offers in-app subscriptions.

Another app segment going against Apple with iOS 18 is hiking trail maps. Apple Maps users in the United States can see thousands of hiking trails across the country’s 63 national parks with this iOS update. Data provided includes length, elevation, and route type. For the casual hiker, this is a welcomed update.

For more serious hikers and those outside of the U.S., they’ll still find use from third-party apps like AllTrails. Still, Apple Maps’ hiking trail maps will likely expand to other countries over time, further eroding these apps’ market share.


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6 ChatGPT

The app, not the service

ChatGPT prompt within iOS 18 from a Siri request.


The ChatGPT app on an iPhone next to a MacBook


An AI-powered large language model that can answer questions and generate text responses based on a user’s prompt. ChatGPT features in-app subscriptions.

One of the headlining features of iOS 18 is the integration of LLMs like ChatGPT. Eventually, Apple hopes to include other models like Google’s Gemini, but until then, ChatGPT is the only available service to deliver ‘world knowledge’ Apple Intelligence can’t provide.

Ironically, by providing that direct integration on iOS, ChatGPT’s app becomes mute as users will probably use the direct integration. To be clear, ChatGPT the service is safe, ChatGPT’s iOS app less so.


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7 Grammarly

Grammar checkersSummary feature within iPadOS 18.



A writing assistant app that checks text for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. It also offers suggestions for improving style, clarity, and tone in your writing. Grammarly features in-app subscriptions.

Ah, Grammarly. Once the golden service of writers and students, only to lose stability for the sake of integrating text generation powered by AI. Let’s hope iOS doesn’t fall down the same rabbit hole. One of the headlining features of Apple Intelligence is its ability to summarize, rewrite, and adjust the grammar of written text.

So far, Apple is avoiding text generation altogether. Still, it eliminates the need to jump to another service for basic proofreading. Grammar check services like Grammarly are likely to take a hit from this as users won’t be as inclined to open another app for effectively the same service. That said, if you prefer reviewing the changes as recommendations and implementing them manually, then Grammarly may still have a chance.


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8 PCalc

Premium calculators

iPad calculator app




A powerful scientific calculator app with advanced features for engineers, scientists, and students.

PCalc has long been one of the most well-loved and frequently appreciated apps on Apple’s platforms. PCalc developer James Thomson has maintained the app for around 30 years and shows his appreciation for Apple’s platforms by having not only iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps but also apps for watchOS, tvOS, and visionOS.

While PCalc continues to live on, Apple has finally released the long-desired Calculator app for iPad alongside some impressive functionality improvements for iOS and a new ‘Math Notes’ feature allowing iPadOS to solve handwritten math equations. These improvements with Apple’s Calculator app could be the final spike in the coffin for premium calculators like PCalc.


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9 Fantastical

Calendars with built-in reminders

Tim Cook on stage at WWDC24.



Fantastical Calendar

A feature-rich calendar and task management app with natural language input. Fantastical features in-app purchases.

Along with many other improvements, Apple’s Calendar app now integrates directly with Reminders, allowing scheduled tasks to appear on a user’s calendar along with the ability to add a reminder within the app.

Premium calendar apps like Fantastical have long had this feature. While it’s unlikely this small addition will ruin any calendar app’s business, if you were paying for a subscription-primarily for this functionality, you may be enticed to switch.


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10 Google Assistant

Perplexity too

Resign of Siri within iOS 18



Google Assistant

An iOS app version of Google’s virtual assistant that can perform tasks, answer questions, and control smart home devices.

You probably weren’t expecting to see another voice assistant on this list, but Google Assistant does have an iOS app. The app even has Shortcuts support to create a prompt to ask Google questions, with Siri acting as the intermediary.

However, introducing Apple Intelligence with direct integration with ChatGPT changes many users’ frustration around Siri’s inability to answer general knowledge questions. Even Perplexity, a popular AI-powered Google search alternative, may find its demise on iOS from the convenience of asking Siri—and if needed, throwing that request over to ChatGPT for what Apple calls ‘world knowledge.’


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11 Will iOS 18 really kill these apps?

Probably not

Screenshot of Apple's iOS 18 preview website.


Let’s be honest: Most subscribers who use these apps do so for far more than just a single feature. Apps like 1Password and Fantastic are more than just a password manager and a calendar; they’re incredibly feature-rich. Comparatively, Apple traditionally seeks to create a basic feature that meets the needs of the causal or lite consumer, not a power user.

Still, it cannot help but be said that, over time, at least some existing or potential customers will find whatever Apple provides for free worth abandoning their paid subscriptions. Especially considering many of these services, looking at you, 1Password, Fantastic, and Grammarly sometimes charge shockingly high price points for too many bugs.


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