While Apple fanboys lauded the launch of iOS 7 which brought many new features for Apple devices, everyone else on the internet was appalled at the same time with the blatant copying of some standard Android features. Is this a new phenomenon, though?
To wit, wasn’t it Steve Jobs who stated, “Good artists imitate, great artists steal”? While steal is such a strong word, here are four features of the new iOS 7 that are brandished by Android fanboys and Apple haters as rip-offs.
1. Live Wallpapers
While Apple calls this feature of iOS 7 dynamic wallpaper, it is somewhat different from Android’s version as it does not actually “move” when you interact with the screen but when you tilt the phone. Still, Android’s Live Wallpapers have been standard since the days of Éclair or way back in 2010.
2. Multitasking Panes
Yeah, this is pretty much a complete rip-off of Windows Phone’s Task Manager and Android’s Multitasking Preview. And swiping to close is pretty much a standard feature of both operating systems. The previous Multitasking Pane on iOS 6 requires the user to tap and hold the multitasking app icon and make the apple “wiggle” and then tap the X button to remove the selected app from the multitasking bar.
The Android and Windows Phone way is simpler so that’s probably the reason why Apple decided to “borrow” this on iOS 7.
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Okay, I’m probably splitting hairs here since it was Apple that originally introduced slide to unlock on the very first iPhone way back in 2007, but now, instead of the flashy colors and icons design, the lockscreen is pretty flattened here…reminiscent of the Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean lockscreens on Android.
And there’s a camera shortcut, you know, like Android’s. Maybe the iOS 8 will also feature more shortcut icons, patterns to unlock, etc?
4. Notifications Center
Apple calls this latest feature of iOS 7 the Control Center. And Android calls it the Notifications Center. The Notification Center has been a standard Android feature since the launch of the very first Android device, the T-Mobile G1 way back in 2008 while this feature was only added on Apple devices during iOS 5’s launch in 2011. But that did not deter Apple from copying this feature in which toggles for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Airplane Mode are included with a brightness and volume bar.
All Android devices come with those toggles and bars on their Notification Centers.
Even more astonishing is that just this month, Apple filed patent claims for their Control Center with both the US Patent and Trademark Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
In fairness to iOS, though, it added the functionality to add shortcuts for handy apps in the Control Center. Android Key Lime Pie can certainly make a mental note of that one.
All Operating Systems Are Copycats
While copying operating systems is not really a black and white affair in which there is a clear culprit, it must be remembered that all operating systems copied one form or another from other systems. Heck, technically, operating systems, short of patent infringement, began copying each other the moment the very first cell phone was made.
Android copied from iOS, Windows Mobile and WebOS while iOS is now “adapting” the earlier innovations of other OSes. In short, copying. What’s heinous about this is Apple’s tendency to use the patent infringement card whenever it pleases to get lucrative royalty fees from another manufacturer. Now, that’s pure corporate greed. It’s also objectionable since Apple is pretty much also a copycat.
I digress with this whole patent infringement business though.
If a manufacturer copies or does something to make its preferred operating system or device more useful, that is a triumph for us, the end-users. Even if it means an operating system war that will, to our greedy delight, drive prices of these coveted devices of ours down. Now, that would be one great scenario.
Besides, imitation is arguably the greatest form of flattery, right?