How Apple Stole One Developer’s Thunder
Apple might have wowed the WWDC keynote audience with its iOS 7 Weather app, which shows animated weather effects in the background, but Apple wasn’t the first to have the idea. Developer Alaric Cole tells the tale of his potentially groundbreaking weather app, Horizon, and how Apple kept it out of the App Store. Horizon would have also displayed weather effects in the background, but was continually rejected by Apple for vague reasons. Cole doesn’t accuse Apple of stealing his idea, but he does wonder if they delayed his app so as to beat him to market.
The only problem i have with this is that it assumes Apple's reviewers know about upcoming releases, and to maintain apple's level of secrecy i don't think that's true.
I think that's absolutely true in general, but we also know that Apple has multiple levels of review, so it's entirely possible that the first level reviewers could be told to send any apps of specific types to the second level review - a quick glance there would be sufficient to send it back down in any case where there was no conflict with Apple's apps.
Not that I want to defend Apple, but more to say, that there is a conflict of interest. Look at it from Apple's view. What should they do. If they had their own new Weather app more or less finished, when they received Alaric's app, what could they do? If they approved it, they would be accused of plagiarism, when they launched their own new app. So if they approved Alaric's app, they would have to trash their own app. And it's understandable, that they wouldn't want to do that. Which shows, that it's a bad idea, that the same company approves the apps in App Store while developing their own apps at the same time.
Weather HD 2 (now Clear Day) has animated backgrounds and was approved long ago. I'm not sure why this developer thinks he's unique.
Apple has a history of screaming bloody murder if someone does something even remotely similar to an Apple "concept" but Apple has been stealing ideas and intellectual property from day one of the Mac computer. Just like Apple is now stealing 1Password's idea, look, and feel with their new iCloud Keychain. The developer should not have been surprised. Oh, the new Mac Pro seems to have copied some design features from Cray, LucasFilms, etc.
To be fair, this is Apple basically bringing back MobileMe Keychain sync, which existed from quite some time. Not sure which came first, though.