4 brilliant iPhone apps that were killed by Apple

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It’s no secret that Apple is strict when it comes to the App Store and its contents. Apps get banned and deleted all the time for not following the guidelines.

Although deleted for different professed reasons, these four apps were, in reality, most likely removed because someone at Apple liked them. It gets worse, though – the features from those brilliant apps made it to future versions of iOS. You most likely use some of these features on a daily basis without realizing they were not actually developed by Apple. Intrigued?

1. Camera+ vs Volume Up button

Camera+ vs Volume Up button

It’s quite convenient to take photos by just clicking the Volume Up button. This feature’s been implemented since iOS 5, and I’m pretty sure some of you thanked Apple for making the selfie-taking process so much easier. You should actually thank the famous photo app called Camera+ that came up with this feature first.

What’s striking is that right after the app was published, it was deleted from the App Store. Apple officials explained that taking a photo with a button that already has a certain function might be too confusing for the users, but a few months later, Apple introduced iOS 5, which included – guess what – taking a photo with the Volume Up button.

2. Coolpixel vs Screen recording

Coolpixel vs Screen Recoding

Before iOS 11, it was impossible to take a video of your iPhone or iPad screen. Users had to look for other solutions, meaning going to the App Store and checking for third-party apps. One of the most reliable apps was Coolpixel, which provided both a screen recorder and a video editor.

You might have already guessed what happened next – the app was suddenly and repeatedly deleted from the App Store. Reasons remain unknown, but what’s certain is that one iOS version later, the Screen Recorder finally made its way into the iOS 11.

Find AirPods vs Find My Phone

Finder for AirPods vs Find My Phone

The release of the AirPods gave rise to a lot of questions such as: What’s going to happen if I lose one? How to find the lost AirPod? etc. This app was going to solve the mystery of the lost AirPod. Find AirPods claimed that it could help you find your missing gadget quickly. The interface was clean and specific: you select which AirPod you are looking for – left or right – and the app would navigate you to its location. Simple yet brilliant.

Next thing we knew, the app was abruptly deleted from the App Store and a few weeks after its deletion, iOS 10.3.3 came out, which featured an option to search for your lost AirPods with the native Find My Phone app.

f.lux vs Night Shift

f.lux vs Night Shift

f.lux, an app that reduces the aggressive blue interface colors at night, was originally Windows and Mac based. It became an iOS app later on, but never made it to the App Store. However, one could download it through a direct link.

Apple contacted the developers and asked them to stop bypassing official channels and distributing the app. The same mode, now called Night Shift, came out shortly after in iOS 9.3 and killed the mobile version of f.lux.


Of course, great minds think alike, especially when it comes to solving known and persistent issues. Apple is one of the most innovative companies nowadays, but sometimes the coincidences stretch credulity. There’s nothing wrong with enhancing software and making users’ lives better, but the improvements shouldn’t come at the expense of other talented programmers.