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Apps Apple Sherlocked at WWDC23 in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma

Sherlocked apps at WWDC23

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, the company debuted an entire new run of operating systems as it always does, but still managed to 'Sherlock' a few good things along the way, too. Here are some notable titles.

The Apple community has been pointing out all sorts of features Apple has "Sherlocked" over the years, dating as far back as the release of Mac OS 8. Nowadays it's a means to point out the features or apps Apple builds that directly compete with a third-party alternative.

In most of these cases, the third-party option has been around for a while, and is usually a fan favorite in its specific category.

A little history first: Apple introduced a feature called Sherlock with the launch of Mac OS 8, which extended file search in Finder. The feature would see many iterations over the years, until it would be replaced by Apple's Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Before that, a company named Karelia Software launched an app called Watson, which grew in popularity rather quickly. It had built-in internet functionality and expanded upon Apple's built-in search tool.

With the launch of Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, Apple's third version of Sherlock introduced many of the features Watson boasted. While the features were the same, the primary difference was Apple's app was free, while Watson cost $30.

So, Watson was Sherlocked. And from that point on, it's been a bit of a point to call out Apple for the apps and features it Sherlocks with each new software release, with WWDC23 being no different.

And this year has plenty of examples.

Journaling and mood tracking

In iOS 17, Apple is introducing not only a built-in journaling app, but also a quick and easy way to log your mood on a daily basis.

Mood tracking in iOS 17
Mood tracking in iOS 17

With mood logging, users can choose a mood for the whole day, or narrow it down to an individual time of day. They will also be able to choose specific emotions, and the factors that might alter them. After enough usage, the Health app will show each user specific insights.

Apple Sherlocked a couple of noteworthy apps: Moodnotes and Daylio.

The built-in journaling app in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma will launch later in 2023. It will feature personalized suggestions based on a variety of different factors, including photos, music, a user's location, and much more.

Interestingly, in this case, Apple is opening up the suggestions via API access for third-party apps, which means the apps Apple is technically Sherlocking can actually benefit from the APIs Apple is using for its first-party option.

Apple Sherlocked Day One and others with this app.

Contact sharing

This one's more of a special shout out, because the app Apple Sherlocked with a new feature called NameDrop isn't actually available anymore. However, this particular feature is certainly reminiscent of it.

Contact sharing with NameDrop in iOS 17
Contact sharing with NameDrop in iOS 17

NameDrop taps the usefulness of AirDrop to make it easier than ever before to quickly share contact information by simply bringing two iPhones running iOS 17 close together.

Pour one out for the memory of Bump, the Sherlocked app.

Put a sticker on it

With the launch of iOS 16, Apple introduced the ability to lift a subject out of an image or video. That feature led developers to turn those captured subjects into individual pictures.

Stickers in iOS 17
Stickers in iOS 17

Now, Apple's bringing that feature right into iOS 17, letting users quickly make a sticker out of almost anything, and then apply that sticker in all sorts of apps, including Messages.

Apple Sherlocked and Sticker Drop for this one.

Widgets all the time

Apple launched widgets with iOS 16, and now they are evolving to be even more helpful in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma. With the mobile operating system, Apple is finally making widgets interactive.

Widgets on the desktop in macOS Sonoma
Widgets on the desktop in macOS Sonoma

For that latter, widgets used to only be present in the sidebar, but that will change with the upcoming update. With macOS Sonoma, users will be able to place widgets all over their desktop.

Widgetsmith, Widgetwall, Wdgts 2 all get the Sherlocking treatment.

Presentation upgrades

Apple is building a new presenter overlay into macOS Sonoma, making it even easier to not only share your screen, but also keep you present in the conversation in a more natural way. This feature also supports real-time reactions from viewers, and can share on a per-app basis as well.

Presenter overlay in macOS Sonoma
Presenter overlay in macOS Sonoma

Third-party alternatives like Loom were Sherlocked in this case.

Get out, smell the roses

Apple introduced a couple of different features for its users that make getting out into nature a little easier, especially if you prefer first-party options. They are present in both Apple Maps, iOS 17, watchOS 10.

Offline Apple Maps
Offline Apple Maps

For the Apple Watch, Apple is introducing new topographical maps, new waypoints, altimeter, and new elevation view. On top of that, the Compass app can show waypoints for campsites, cellular towers, and where you can make an SOS calls.

Topographical map in watchOS 10
Topographical map in watchOS 10

Apple is Sherlocking an app called Topo.

Apple Maps is gaining support for offline map downloads, and adding a plethora of trail information all across the United States. This Sherlocks the popular app and service AllTrails.