The home screen on my iPhone has changed quite a bit over the years.
The most obvious thing is Apple’s very own core apps have been replaced by 3rd parties.
The default camera app has been replaced by Camera+, Hipstamatic and Instagram
The default notes app has been replaced by Simplenote
The default messenger app has been replaced by Kik
The default calendar app has been replaced by Calvetica
The default music app has been replaced by exfm, soundcloud and rdio
The default mail client has been replaced by Sparrow
There will always be competition between the platform and the ecosytem. This tension is normal and healthy to some extent, as long as the platform keeps innovating and growing. For example, Apple came out with an Instapaper competitor with Reading List. But that only pushed Marco to come out with strong Instapaper updates.
Apple launched iBooks & Newstand to compete with the Kindle app. But Kindle is still much more compelling.
The next step I’d like to see as iOS matures is a way for the ecosystem to get more access.
For example, when I swipe right from the home page, i want to replace Apple’s search with Duck Duck Go. Or when I tap on an email address on a webpage, I want it to open Sparrow instead of Apple’s mail client. When I tap on a phone number in an app, I want it to open Google Voice, not Apple’s native dialer. When I see a beautiful photo, let me share it to Tumblr and any other app I love.
Developers deserve that access and consumers deserve that choice.
Android has done an excellent job at giving 3rd parties equal capabilities on their platform. That’s the thing they got right – even much more than the much hyped openness of Google’s “open” app store model vs Apple’s controlled app store model.