Before I start, this article is not about which is better, because I like to keep my opinions out of my articles (who am I kidding Android > iOS). This article is actually a comparison. At WWDC 2013 yesterday, iOS 7 was revealed, and I saw some things that were very similar to what I see everyday on my Android-powered smartphone. We are mostly going to take a look at the new features of iOS 7, but we’ll occasionally come across some of the revamped features, as well. So, let’s take a look.
Control Center:First up is Apple’s Control Center. Look familiar. Yup, Android has it, and it has had it for a long time. This Control Center, or earlier versions of it have been on TouchWiz and Sense for years now.
Multitasking:This is the one that raised a flag in my head. Multitasking has been available on Android for much longer than Apple, and even when Apple did introduce it, it was not the best multitasking. It looks like Apple turned once again to Android’s multitasking design. Sure, in the picture above, Apple looks innocent. Their apps are horizontal, not vertical. It is completely different and original, right? Wrong. If you look at HTC’s multitasking feature, you’ll see a slightly larger resemblance.
AirDrop::If I am not mistaken, Android Beam has been a feature of Android since 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, back in October of 2011. Everyone thought it was a great idea. When iOS 6 rolled around 11 months later, it was lacking a similar feature. Now, Apple has released AirDrop, which doesn’t require NFC, but it has the same function, sending data from one phone to another.
iTunes Radio:Apple’s new iTunes Radio, which we’ve heard has been under development for a long time, is another new feature of iOS 7. Oh, look at that. Similar functionality is available from Google Play Music, and there are also many apps out there that do the same, iHeartRadio and Pandora among them.
Safari:Apple describes that Safari adds four new features to its user experience. I’m going to compare them to Chrome for Android. The first is a unified search field. Uh… Chrome for Android has had that since it started. Next up is Safari’s familiar-but-new tab view. Shown above, there is an uncanny resemblance between the two tab views. The Shared Links can be achieved through Chrome’s sync feature, and finally, we have iCloud Keychain. This existed on Chrome long before it was an app on Android. This feature along with the other three are nothing new. They’ve been done before, but they are new to Apple.
Siri:Siri gets a new look, as its background changes to a semi-transparent background. Apple says that you can now start in Siri, and stay in Siri. Well, with Google Now, we’ve always started in Google and gotten a decent answer, but if you are looking for something more, Google also lets you link to another search result. Something laughable about Siri, it produces search results from, wait for it,… Bing. Really, Apple? Really? Apple is so desperate to become independent of Google, that it is supplying second-rate search results to its users, just to avoid sending traffic to Google. Also, Apple says that Siri now has sound waves to let you know that Siri is understanding and interpreting what you’re saying. Again, a feature of Google now from the beginning, using the dots that appear as you speak, as well as the red circle surrounding the mic icon.
Calculator:Last up is the new calculator. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Look at him. Resorting to the calculator app to pull out similarities.”, but look at them. The similarities are uncanny. They’re nearly identical, except for the different color schemes and the placement of a few buttons.
Now I know that there are some Apple Fanboys out there that are going to be offended by this article, but I have proof. And Apple copying Google isn’t a bad thing. In fact, by including many of the features Android users love into iOS, Apple may gain some users. And, as Apple moves forward, it pressures Google to think of new things Apple doesn’t have to make Android stand out. For these reasons, I am not only okay with these adjustments, I encourage them. Why shouldn’t Apple users have the same conveniences that Android users have? I just don’t like it when Apple calls these new features “innovative” and “revolutionary”. Are these useful features and additions to iOS? Yes. Are they Apple’s to call their own? Not really. And should Apple call iOS the “most advanced operating system” when most of the features are not their own? No. I realize that Apple can’t come out and say, “Yeah, we copied these features from Google”, but they shouldn’t boast about what they didn’t create. At the end of the day, what all of us really want is advancement, change, innovation, and ease of use. Why does it matter where it comes from?