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New report leaks details on Apple’s upcoming Snapchat rival and other new apps

2017 iPhone iOS 11 Features

Smartphone social apps including Facebook, Snapchat and instant messengers have seen tremendous growth in recent years thanks to the iPhone and Android. Apple revolutionized the smartphone business with the iPhone and the App Store, creating a massive mobile software business. But now that iPhone sales are slowing, Apple is looking to monetize its services by launching compelling apps and services for its customers.

According to a new report, Apple plans to go after top smartphone apps with alternatives of its own. The first one will debut this year in iOS 10, while next year’s iPhones might come alongside exciting new camera and social apps that will compete against Facebook, Snapchat and other services.

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A report from Bloomberg says that Tim Cook is looking to the App Store and iCloud to compensate for Apple’s slowing hardware business.

Apple’s iMessage update coming in iOS 10 is proof that Apple wants to improve its already popular messaging app and make it even more appealing to smartphone users who likely also use popular apps such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Next year, Apple may be rolling out a standalone camera app that will let an iPhone or iPad user record, edit (apply filters and drawings) and share video in less than a minute. The unnamed Apple app is meant to take on Snapchat, which currently has more than 150 million daily active users who spend an average of 30 minutes inside the app each day. Facebook users, on the other hand, spend an average of 50 minutes inside the News Feed, Messenger and Instagram (combined) each day. It’s this screen time that Apple might be going for in future iOS releases.

The new app is reportedly being developed by the same team behind Final Cut Pro and iMovie, with Apple having hired Joe Weil to oversee the project. Weil co-developed a blogging app called KnowMe before joining Apple.

A different team is working on new social features for the iPhone and iPad.

Apple wants to be able to suggest social actions to users so that they can easily connect with their contacts. Apple’s proactive features already suggest location-based and time-of-day-related suggestions on the iPhone.

Apple is also working on consolidating communications between iPhone and iPad users. For example, an app might show a user a single window where he or she can see all the text messages, emails and social network interactions with a specific contact.

It’s not clear whether these features will be available as standalone apps or baked into a future release of iOS. Apple is expected to launch a radical iPhone redesign next year, marking the handset’s 10th anniversary, as well as iOS 11.

The report also mentions that the video sharing and social apps Apple is currently developing could be canceled if they fail to meet Apple’s requirements. Furthermore, a privacy team inside Apple will be assessing the privacy implications of a revamped social sharing feature inside iOS, before the apps can be launched. If the team decides a feature exposes too much user data, it might be canceled.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.