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Opinion: Apple iOS 6 Disappointment – Pot, meet Kettle

Published by on Jun 13th, 2012, 20 Comments

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.

Comments

  • Christophermackle

    But the same could be said for Android devices – Much of their ideas came from Apple too.  It’s a constant back and forth battle. 

  • http://twitter.com/garymeyerza Gary Meyer

    …and lets not forget that a lot of Android’s features come from Nokia… which came from Motorola. Mute point.

  • http://twitter.com/stacyjeptha Stacy Jeptha

    What a silly article!! Firstly I was able to do all this with my nokia ngage years ago! secondly both these platforms havent come up with anything new since its inception…except for better hardware (eg. touch screens, cpu, gpu,ux ). What apple has done better than is backward compatibility… which lets face it people who are running andriod 2.3 arent going to be able to update to Andriod ICS or Jelly Bean!  But iOS 6 is still compatible with an iphone 3GS! and secondly apple is working on their ecosystem not just a single OS. Watch microsoft go the same route!

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    Agreed – at the end of the day we as consumers win.

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    The money is not in the idea – it lies in the execution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701295683 Theunis Jansen Van Rensburg

    Yes, well that’s the whole point, isn’t it. In a market such as this, its impossible to not use ideas from elsewhere. But Apple sue companies over an unlock feature for a left to right swipe? How ludicrous is that? And why would the patent office not throw that out right away?

    My criticism towards Apple is not their products, they’re amazing, I agree. It’s this whole idea that whatever they do is HOLY and thus innovation only comes from them. They want to sue the socks off anyone, but the next day they do the exact same thing. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701295683 Theunis Jansen Van Rensburg

    Yes, exactly, so why would Apple try to monopolize the market when they infringe in the same manner?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701295683 Theunis Jansen Van Rensburg

    I fully agree, that’s why it should be allowed. And there shouldn’t be stupid lawsuits over how a phone unlocks, or that a product “looks and feels” like an iPad? Tablet are in general a pretty generic product!

  • http://twitter.com/stacyjeptha Stacy Jeptha

    When it comes to patents … I always agree with Douglas Crockford the patent office should be closed and they should somehow come up with another way of protecting their IP. Patents are too vague! I agree,  the lawsuits are outrages but I think we’ll see apple calm down with that under Tim Cook currently they are all hand me downs from Steve Jobs.

  • http://www.caswebdesign.co.za MJ Meyer

    Good points. But your bias for Android is also pretty clear. So it’s pretty useless fighting you on this one. But I find it pretty offensive that you see my preference for a product as ignorance. I don’t give a shit who implemented what features first, I just care that those features gets implemented as it becomes a standard.

    I don’t give a shit who created airbags or ABS brakes, but I won’t buy a car without it. I also don’t give a shit about who implemented it first. To me it’s about what product I trust the most. Who has the most benefits (personal) etc.

    I love apps, and fact of the matter is most developers create iPhone apps first, cause it’s what they know. Take how long Instagram took to develop their Android app. Just another reason why I love the iPhone.

    We could possibly go back and forth all day long about whose features are better, but do note, I’m not detesting the fact that Android is a good OS. Only that IOS and iPhone are my preference. And just because it is, doesn’t make me ignorant…

    You also just can’t help but beg the question, “Would Android be where it currently is, if it wasn’t for Apple’s innovations?” I doubt it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701295683 Theunis Jansen Van Rensburg

    Hi MJ, thanks for your post. By no way did I mean people like you are ignorant. In fact, you are the opposite, because you weigh up pros and cons and make the informed decision. What I meant was that you get a lot of hardcore Apple fanatics that say their products are better, but can’t really say why.

    Just to make it clear, I am not biased toward Android. In fact, the only Android phone I would probably every use is a Nexus device. I think the iPhone is great. And I also think no Android tablet really even compares to the iPad.

    Regarding your stated question, I agree with you, and actually think it goes both ways. That’s why we need competition, so that the one can push the other to excel, which at the end of the day is good for the consumer.

    Just imagine where devices could have been by now, if so much time and money wasn’t spent on stupid lawsuits, back and forth.

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