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The term refers to Apple’s old finder app called Sherlock which the company updated with features offered by a competitor, Watson. The move eventually put the latter out of business.

And the trend continues. Apple introduced a number of new features and services across its platforms at this month’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but in doing so, the company appears to have once again pulled inspiration from the wider developer community. TechCrunch’s Ivan Mehta took a look at which apps got “Sherlocked” during WWDC as a result.

For the uninitiated, here’s the backstory of how “Sherlocked” became a popular word among Apple enthusiasts. The company released a finder app named Sherlock for macOS 8 in the late 90s. The tool had capabilities of searching the web and files on your local system.

Meanwhile, a company called Karelia Software had a finder app named Watson — priced at $29 — with some superior features like plug-ins for better internet search. In 2002, Apple released Sherlock 3 with similar features to Watson, making Karelia redundant and eventually forcing it to eventually close down.

So the word Sherlocked came into the picture whenever Apple released a feature that could potentially shut down an app or make it useless.

Read the full list of Sherlocked apps announced at WWDC 2022:

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