If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then awww shucks Steve, you shouldn’t have! No really. Stop stealing our ideas before we sue you.
Ironic how just a month after Apple sues Samsung for imitating their UI, they come out with a slew of iOS5 features that were in no way immaculately conceived. Between Google, OEMs and developers, all of iOS5′s new features have already been around for months if not years. Even RIM gets bit by the Apple shark with iOS5′s iMessage, a direct copy of BBM for the iPhone. So Apple wants to get even with Samsung for paying homage to their iOS apptray? Let’s take a look at some of the features that Samsung pioneered and that Apple has released for their platform.
Kies vs Wi-Fi Sync
With their latest update Apple has finally allowed users to ‘PC-free,’ which I suppose is pretty revolutionary… not. Android has had OTA updates since the G1 in 2008. Welcome to the past Apple. They have also added the ability to sync sans cables to a computer; another feature which Samsung has already released in the form of Kies Air. Samsung’s Kies Air lets you manage and sync your phone data over a WiFi connection; take a look at how to do it here.
AllShare vs AirPlay Mirroring
“Wow your audience in the board room, classroom, or living room.” Uh… first of all iOS5 doesn’t come out until the Fall; strike 1. This specific feature only works with the iPad2; strike 2. And it requires Apple TV; strike 3. Samsung’s AllShare came out over a year ago, and it just requires a small bit of software and a WiFi connection to display contents to a computer or an AllShare compatible television. I must admit that this wouldn’t be true mirroring, but wired mirroring via MHL adapter is also a latency free alternative.
TouchWiz 4.0 vs iOS5 Lockscreen Functionality
Samsung’s Touchwiz 4.0 and HTC’s Sense 3.0 both allow the lockscreen to go straight into apps like messaging and camera. And even without those UIs their exist apps and CyanogenMod to do that for you. Bottom line: Android first.
Readers Hub vs Newsstand
Samsung’s Readers Hub was developed from the ground up with Kobo, and gives users the ability to use their mobile device as an E-reader. The application gives access to over 2.2 million popular ebooks as well as newspapers and magazines. Although ‘Newsstand’ rolls of the tongue a lot better tan ‘Readers Hub,’ we will have to wait to see which app provides the best functionality.
It’s obvious that Apple has acknowledged that Androids notification system is awesome, which is why they have completely plagiarized it. It is also obvious that this is just business as usual, not only for Apple but for any contender in the mobile industry. It isn’t about who does it first, but who does it best.
This preview of iOS5 should be a reminder to all the OEMs and Google that they have to stay on their toes. Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to developing eye candy and the average joe consumer craves that. Although Android platform has developed great features that have enhanced and evolved the way we use our phones, it is paramount that the OS avoids fragmentation and redoubles its efforts on providing what the people want. Long live Android!