With the dust settling on the Apple WWDC 2012 that was held June 11th, we can look at some of the interesting things that were announced over the course of the day. The announcement of iOS 6 was the biggest on the day, and not without reason. The sleek operating system for mobile devices is what makes Apple devices such a joy to use.
Scanning through the “improvements” listed by Apple, a couple of times I am struck with the same feeling that one would experience if hit by a car – pain. Personally, this hurts, because most of these supposedly “new” features advertised by Apple were stolen from Google’s Android platform. How can Apple blatantly rip-off the following features and call it their own?
• Browser Sync
This is the one feature you can actually give Apple credit for developing, because it was probably in the pipeline for a while. However, Google did get there first. Earlier this year, Android users had the ability to do this when Chrome Beta was released. And unlike Safari, people actually use Chrome, and on multiple platforms, making the feature much more useful.
• Quick Reply
Okay, now this was just unashamedly copied. Android Ice Cream Sandwich has always allowed users to respond to incoming calls with a quick text message saying “call you right back” or “I’m in a meeting”, or anything you’d like it to say. Using (stealing) this idea is one thing, but marketing it as an original and your own is something else.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Apple products – they are intuitive, easy to use and always beautiful. However, this I just don’t understand. Steve Jobs himself was very vocal about his hate for Android, calling it a “stolen product” and vowed that he would work until his last breath to kill it.
We are all aware of the patent wars currently raging between Apple and Google over the Android platform, with Android coming out on top more often than not. Google even got the iPhone and iPad banned in Germany back in 2011. So, why would Apple copy these features and call it their own? I suspect another string of lawsuits on the way. Here are another couple of examples that leads me to believe this:
• Facebook Integration
Breaking news, read all about it! Now Apple allows users to share their photos directly with Facebook, and even integrate Facebook with their contacts and calendar! Ag please, Android has been doing this for years. And it will still be easier to share on Android, since this is possible for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
• Turn-by-turn Navigation
Hooray! Apple offers live navigation, turn-by-turn! Amazing! But Google has been providing this service for a very long time, and will be much better at it than Apple with the amount of data at their disposal. Even more so, Google offers offline maps as well.
Interestingly, it seems most of the die-hard Apple fans are oblivious to the reason Android has had such a meteoric rise over the last couple of years, and why so many people love the platform. I guess ignorance is bliss. Most Apple owners know nothing about features like widgets, the offline maps, NFC, alternative keyboards etc.
Well done to Apple for including features that people really want to use. Apple fans will never know a lot of these features came straight from Android. Due to some good marketing and the flawless Apple designs, the iPhone will always be Android’s number one competitor, and Apple continues to call Android a “stolen product.” Pot, meet Kettle.