Bang, You're Dead. Signed, Tim Cook.
Almost every time Apple releases a new version of iOS, someone has the Marco Arment “Well, shit” moment. The time, most prominently, it was 1Password’s turn, although other small, one-off app developers likely had similar reactions throughout the keynote.
In a Macworld article titled Why iOS 7 Will Kill Some Apps Leah Yamshon theorized that this type of move, when Apple enters an established app space with an entrant of their own, often effectively crushing the market, may actually have a silver lining:
“My guess is that these types of apps will see fewer App Store downloads after the launch of iOS 7 later this year—if their developers stand still and make no dramatic changes to their apps. But by the same token, these new standard Apple features could also inspire those same third-party developers to innovate and make their existing apps better to remain competitive.”
I’m very interested to see where Agile Bits takes 1Password in the coming weeks and months after this announcement. Maybe nothing will change: just as Instapaper remained successful following Apple’s entrance — if it could be called that — in to the “read later” app market, iCloud Keychain could experience similarly mediocre success and thus not significantly impact 1Password. On the other hand, this move could also create additional business for Agile Bits as people who otherwise would not have purchased 1Password realize its usefulness through iCloud Keychain and then, in search of a superior solution, come across 1Password. There is, of course, also the possibility that iCloud Keychain could pull the rug out from under 1Password and completely steal the market. But really, does anyone expect that to happen? That they will continue to innovate, however, I have no doubt; won’t hurt to have some extra incentive though, especially if this newfound pressure forces Agile Bits to kick innovation in to high gear, just for good measure.