Within the Apple community, “sherlocking” refers to an original third-party application being obsoleted by Apple integrating the same functionality directly into their operating system. The term originates from the first prominent occurence of this event, when Apple integrated the functionality of the third-party Watson software into their own Sherlock search tool that came bundled with Mac OS X 10.2.
Today, while watching the live stream of Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developer Conference, I to my surprise witnessed the sherlocking of my own piece of software. In this instance though, the event came as a joyous and humbling occasion, since my original software runs on Android, so it can peacefully coexist with the same functionality in the shiny new macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 releases.
Specifically, I am referring to Apple’s new Universal Control functionality that allows users in the Apple ecosystem to use the mouse and keyboard of a macOS computer for controlling an attached iPad. The mouse can be moved between the devices just as if the iPad was connected as a secondary screen, but allows taking control of the native iPadOS applications running on the tablet. This kind of integration greatly simplifies workflows for people who constantly have to switch between tasks on their computers and mobile devices.
Back in 2016, I envisioned the same functionality, except that at the time, my work mostly concentrated on Android development. I wanted a way to seamlessly control my development machine and the target Android device with a single pair of mouse and keyboard. Since the only software that supported similar flexibility had at that time been abandoned and suffered from great usability problems, I decided to write my own tool for the job. After a few months of very intensive work, I had developed a working application that did exactly what I wanted as a user. Not only does it support sharing mouse and keyboard of a Windows, macOS or Linux computer with an unlimited number of connected Android devices, it also for the first time ever allowed conveniently dragging and dropping URLs and files from a computer to an Android device. Since its release in autumn of 2016, DeskDock has been downloaded by more than 100 000 users worldwide.
If you are an Android user jealous of Apple’s Universal Control functionality for iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey, you’ll be happy to hear that DeskDock Free is available for free from Google Play and allows you to share your computer’s mouse with an unlimited number of connected Android devices. For even more functionality (including keyboard sharing), DeskDock PRO is available as a one-time purchase of only $5.49.