138 thoughts on “Clones, what iOS clones?

  1. LOL, yeah, Apple was THE ORIGINAL…clone of Unix-style design interfaces. They just took that design and made it closed-source. And Android is also Unix-based, so just like all the other Linux distros that are “clones” of Apple, they are more like open-source, more operable iterations of iOS/OSX. :P

    • if you think the other OEM skins are so different, you are a joke.

      WP7 is innovation

      android is a copying piece of fragmented shit.

  2. Why doesn’t anyone ever compare the original iPhone to Palm’s late model Tungsten handhelds? It’s not like Apple invented the grid-of-icons-with-a-software-keyboard look.

    (Though I think we can safely blame RIM for popularizing the physical-keyboard-with-a-tiny-screen form factor.)

    • Indeed I forgot about the Newton. But I think my point was more that the iPhone didn’t happen in a void.

      Of course, Palm was busily killing off their large-screen handhelds in favor of the god-forsaken tiny-screen Centro and its WinMo ilk, so Apple most definitely turned the tide for the better.

    • @huxley
      “Apple came pretty darn close.”

      No, they didn’t. No matter how you slice it, Apple didn’t invent it. If you’re talking about phones, the IBM Simon had a touch screen, apps, and an icon grid back in 1992, before the iOS, and before the Newton. If you’re talking MacOS, Xerox was there first.

  3. Mike, you need a girlfriend or a bong or something. I can’t imagine patronizing someone for their OS preference ever being this high on anyone’s priorities. They’re both a decent OS. It’s worth it to pay a little more for Apple to some people, and others, not.

    • I don’t think the point of this post is to say that he prefers one platform or the other. It’s to point out that Android has changed a little /too/ much to compete with iOS.

    • @en56666
      “Mike, you need a girlfriend or a bong or something.”

      Some people garden, or build model cars, or knit. How is my hobby somehow less than theirs?

      As to getting a girlfriend, I think that’s a GREAT idea, but my wife won’t let me.

  4. Another misinformed android fanboy.. The first Android phone was launched in late 2008.. so whatever image you have over here.. isnt android.. the second image also doesn’t represent the entire gamut of android devices.. go out and see those devices and u’ll see how much functionality has been copied from iOS..

    Android OS is a cheap copy of iOS and that’s what it’ll always be.. Google has done lot of innovation.. but clearly not in this area.. and if u want proof.. go and read ‘In the Plex’ by Google.. u’ll see how apple was betrayed by google.. and how they became competitor..

  5. Android users are like non-smokers. Like quitting smoking, I’d consider using one if I wasn’t scared of turning into one of you assholes.

  6. What a colossal waste of time.
    It is clear that Mike has a terminal case of being a boring circular arguer. Why join the circle and feed his habit. Ignore the moron and he will soon lose any kind of validity al on his ownsome.

    • It can often appear that an argument is going in a circle when one participant holds a double standard, and the other refuses to play by that double standard. That’s the case here, for the most part. To many people hold up every little thing Apple does as some magnificent invention, when developments of equal or greater magnitude by other companies are written off or dismissed as plagiarism.

      Oh, and in the future, if you disagree with me please actually provide some sort of evidence or argument. Calling me a moron proves nothing other than you’re incapable of head to head debate.

    • I don’t even know who this Mike guy is. I just wanted to leave a comment saying, wow this Mike guy is a complete douchebag. Talk about being completely one-sided in viewing things.

      I wonder who’s the one that’s brainwashed…..clueless idiots like Mike or Thurrott with a one-track mind, or average consumers who don’t take tech as seriously and can view things from more than one angle. Oh right, but they’re the brainwashed ones.

      THAT is fanboyism at it’s finest. And fanboys are always the most irrational, illogical, brainwashed people on the Internet. They treat their respective companies like religion, as this Mike character clearly demonstrates.

    • @Douche
      “I just wanted to leave a comment saying, wow this Mike guy is a complete douchebag. Talk about being completely one-sided in viewing things.”

      So, your goal in posting this is just to call me a douche bag? Hm, a tad on the dusky side yourself there Pot.

      “I wonder who’s the one that’s brainwashed…..clueless idiots like Mike or Thurrott with a one-track mind, or average consumers who don’t take tech as seriously and can view things from more than one angle. Oh right, but they’re the brainwashed ones.”

      Seriously? You think that the people that know the statistics and the features of a device are MORE brainwashed than the “average consumer” who knows that the commercials tell them? I gotta say, that’s pretty flat out stupid.

  7. Not all reasonable discussions end in a canonical form, in fact they rarely do but for the most part reasonable people will agree to some of points discussed to some degree. When there is zero agreement and zero overlap, there is no point speaking further.

    No one here knows Mike, other than from what he puts out, and he, like most, probably doesn’t know Kontra’s name, let alone his life experiences.

    I think Mike should probably do a stint at Apple, just to see how things work. It is crystal clear that he has no idea what happens here, no idea at all.

  8. Mike,

    You come across as an insufferable Android bore.

    Pages of text saying nothing other than Mike is fondling his own ego.

  9. @Mike… Of course
    I too had a good laugh at your expense. We’re both funny then!  I laughed so hard though, I had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t respond last night (when I first read your reply) and this morning on my commute (by public transit) I was still prone to chuckling and just knew I wouldn’t be able to suppress that well enough. I had to put it away for later. Thanks Mike!
    You had a serious moment after your laugh and so I have mine. I noticed right away that your response didn’t dispute anything really – just mocked me. I should point out that the posts here are part of a very short article that, if I’m reading between the lines correctly, mocks a personification of the exact character you portray. You fit the bill so perfectly though, each point Kontra listed, 1 through 4, and the first one too that wasn’t numbered.  And that’s why I thought you weren’t for real for quite some time. I see now an apology is in order – sorry for doubting your character. 
    So I bought Apple shares because I thought the just announced iPhone could move the share price… And I bought an iPhone 2 years later (I did own shares by then so one might naturally assume at some point it was at least likely)… And so now I’m a fanboy? That didn’t take much effort. Okay, fine. But I can tell you this, the first of two admissions, my enthusiasm is shameful compared to yours. Apple nuts are bad, so are blackberry nuts. Both appalling really. But I’m discovering that google nuts just might end up being by far the worst by the sheer magnitude of their enthusiasm. It must be evolotion at work – google nuts being the most recently evolved I suppose. You win. Congratulations.
    Then I thought of Zelig… A Woody Allen movie I’d seen years ago. Zelig was a human chameleon that could fit in anywhere, perfectly. Even to the point of changing his physical apperence, mannerisms, and vocabulary and much more.  He was discovered by accident. And there were Doctors that studied him. And the audience in the theater completes the picture because it’s not funny without spectators. I wondered why I might have thought of it; it didn’t take more than a moment to see the analogue. You are Zelig (not exactly, but close enough), the posters probing you are the doctors, I was merely one of the spectators, to begin with at least. I should secondly admit something else now, it was a mistake for me to have moved into the role of one of the doctors. The Doctors were at least as funny to watch as Zelig himself. And Zelig basked in the attention. In the end, Zelig disappears into a crowd, never to be heard from again. And the audience can only bid him farewell. Zelig is such that he fabricates his own reality – even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary  when it comes to reality shifting – you are the best Mike. Farewell.

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. I also don’t really understand why Android proponents can’t accept that for Android to be the best, IOS can also be the best or at least better in some parts. Ultimately where Mike, Thurrot and others fail is the lack of understanding that Apple excels at creating something more than just the sum of it’s parts. 2 2 really does equal 5.

  11. Listen guys, no matter what you say (even if the comments are factural, Mike (head stuck in sand) won’t change his view. His myopic view is very common. You should read the Paul Thurrot fan boys. It’s impossible for these class of users to even acknowledge Apple’s success as being anything other than an accident or marketing as if Apple have some kind of ability to force people to buy their products. Microsoft have a monopoly because PC manufacturers only really offer Windows based products. Linux is an option but consumers are not interested (note I did not say technophiles or geeks). Apple innovated, created and sold their product on merit not marketing (although marketing helps of course). They did not have a monopoly on MP3 players. They created an amazing product along with the ecosystem to go with it. Why did it succeed? Brainwashing consumers? No only Mike believes that. They sold something which connected with consumers, forefilled a need in the market, created a support system for converting music they owned already or allowed them to purchase it online, and steadily improved it year on year.
    As far as Andriod is concerned, Google developed their OS without focus on touch or full screen tabs. You are also forgetting that hardware manufacturers dictated how the devices would/should look as it would be their responsibility to sell it to consumers not Google in this case. On top of that Carriers would then dictate what layers of software would sit on top of the OS. If you believe that Google had the power to dictate how the package should look and feel you are incredibly delusional. Please also note that it was 2008 when the G1 came out and not January 2007. Google had to re-engineer their OS to mimic the look and feel of the IPhone. Finally, Google Android became the only option for all other handset manufacturers outside Nokia and RIM when they witnessed the phenomenal success of the iPhone. That was the only way they could compete. Such was the tsunami that even MS hit the reset button. RIM soon followed in late 2010 with QNX. None o this would have happened with Apple playing it’s part as the catalyst. Now the same play is happening again with the iPad. Apple release it in January 2010. Google takes a year to re-engineer it’s Android for tablets. Nearly all competing tablets coming out one year after Apple introduces it’s ground breaking iPad.

    • @Andrew

      I’m going to keep this short.

      “Listen guys, no matter what you say (even if the comments are factural, Mike (head stuck in sand) won’t change his view.”

      You don’t know me. Don’t pretend you do.

      “Google had to re-engineer their OS to mimic the look and feel of the IPhone. ”

      Where’s your proof?

    • “You don’t know me. Don’t pretend you do.”

      Oh, come off it. All those Apple fans you complain about? You don’t know them. Don’t pretend you do.

      Nobody’s pretending to “know” anybody. That was obviously an opinion based on your behavior, just like the opinions you express about others’ behavior.

      “Where’s your proof?”

      And here we go again.

    • @Andy

      “All those Apple fans you complain about? You don’t know them. Don’t pretend you do.”

      Actually Andy, the Apple fans I complain about I do know. Some of them I work with, some I went to college with, some I just know as friends. I see similar behaviors in others, but I don’t pretend to know them.

      “And here we go again.”

      Well, if you’d provide some proof, we could stop. You won’t, because you can’t. Or maybe I’m wrong? You could always actually attempt to prove it.

    • “I see similar behaviors in others, but I don’t pretend to know them.”

      Sure you do, by the same reasoning you use to accuse others of pretending to know you.

      “Well, if you’d provide some proof, we could stop.”

      I’ve called you on flimsy arguments and you answer by bringing up more flimsy arguments. Eventually it dawned on me this is not a good use of my time. “We could stop”? I can stop right now. Watch me.

    • “Sure you do”

      Are you calling me a liar Andy?

      “I can stop right now. Watch me.”

      Please do, my patience with you is growing extremely thin.

    • Mike – where is your proof that Google intended to facilitate the creation of products like the iPhone, before the iPhone existed.

      I have read evidence, on Counternotions and other Apple friendly sites, that the direction of Android changed significantly when the iPhone came out. This is apparent in the photos above. I stipulate that Google bought Android completely independent of Apple as far as any of us knows – and certainly well in advance of the iPhone. Google has innovated in numerous ways with a large number of software products, however, Search and Advertising (and GMail to a degree) are pretty much their only products that have been both innovative and successful.

      None of this makes Apple’s innovation less. And you can keep chanting that they are only good at Marketing (or propaganda) all you want but you are simply wrong.

    • @bradi
      “Mike – where is your proof that Google intended to facilitate the creation of products like the iPhone, before the iPhone existed.”

      Google planned on the creation of a multitude of different products, all different, all running Android. They planned on an Operating System flexible enough to be virtually anywhere. That’s what they have. Where’s my proof? Look at the market and at the cornucopia of Android devices. The plain fact that the OS is based on Linux should be enough to tell you that.

      “I have read evidence, on Counternotions and other Apple friendly sites, that the direction of Android changed significantly when the iPhone came out. This is apparent in the photos above.”

      Are you honestly serious? The image above is so far from the truth it’s embarrassing. Kontra cherry picked one model out of literally hundreds, if not THOUSANDS to compare to. If that’s all that’s required to PROVE something to you, I’m sure you’ll appreciate some “proof” to the contrary.

      http://linuxrants.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/android-iphone2-rebuttal.jpg

      I guess that image “proves” that Google DIDN’T change direction significantly in response to the iPhone. What do you think of that?

    • @Mike

      I don’t know you but my opinion is based on what you have been writing.

      Don’t have any empirical proof regarding the re-engineering but based on historical information found on the net, one can comfortably make that assumption.

    • @Mike
      “I guess that image “proves” that Google DIDN’T change direction significantly in response to the iPhone. What do you think of that?”

      It proves nothing. 99% of all Android phones mostly follow the iPhone form factor. Even the blackberry like model shown still runs an IOS like OS based on the app centric model that is Android. And another thing, being open source does not change the facts or point that Kontra is making. There is nothing wrong with the fact that Android is similar to IOS.

    • @Mike – if you had cut in a photo of a primarily touch screen device into the 2007 slot (which you can’t and yet be honest) then you might have made a useful point. Instead all you showed was that some companies are still willing to put Android software in phones with physical keypads. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t invalidate Kontra’s point that Apple has led and Google has imitated.

      I agree that Google has built software that they intended for multiple types of devices – but it was Apple’s innovation of the touch screen phone with apps, etc. And Google is smart and clever enough to take the stuff they see developed and follow / adapt in that direction. I won’t bother to suggest that Eric Schmidt’s position on the Apple Board may have allowed Google to follow quicker…. However, it is Google’s talent that has enabled them to product a quality & viable product that so many hardware manufacturers are happy to jump towards.

      Is that what you need to hear? Do you really believe that we can’t acknowledge Google’s solid products? Rhetorical questions, don’t bother to answer.

      By the way, I didn’t say that the photo above was the only (and exclusive) evidence of Google’s copying. But you again “cherry pick” (I borrow that from you) a part of the comment to try to pick apart the whole statement.

      Finally, I say how does the fact that NOW there are many variant Android based devices (phones and tablets) demonstrate that Google INTENDED to foster this when they acquired Android? Certainly, they intended to find more stuff where they could place their advertising and produce more money. And before you decide that I’m judging Google for trying to make money, which I’m not, I freely acknowledge this is the purpose and mission of all corporations – nor should it be any other way.

      Summing up, Apple is a company that is good at making money, is good at marketing, is good at pulling together ideas into cohesive & well designed product (and some of those ideas are borrowed from outside sources). Google is a company that dominates Search and makes a most of it’s revenue off of advertising. They are also good at making money, good at software development, have a powerful engineering culture, and have pulled together ideas into cohesive & compelling software (some of those ideas borrowed from outside).

      There are other successful technology companies, but currently Apple and Google are two of the best and most valuable. There are a lot of others, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, etc…. I’ll leave it to others to debate who is waxing vs waning.

    • @bradi
      “if you had cut in a photo of a primarily touch screen device into the 2007 slot (which you can’t and yet be honest) then you might have made a useful point.”

      So, let me get this straight. You think that what I need to prove Google’s (the software company) intentions with Android (Software/Operating System), I need to show you a prototype of a phone (hardware) with a primary touch screen (hardware). You think that sounds reasonable? Honestly, I think it sounds like you misunderstand what Android actually IS.

      “it doesn’t invalidate Kontra’s point”

      Actually, Kontra really doesn’t have a point. His sarcastic claim that “Android devices aren’t clones of iOS devices” is easily disproven by my image. If he wants to claim that the Samsung Galaxy Player is a clone of the iPod Touch, he might have a leg to stand on, maybe. Instead he tries to lump Android devices into one visual image, which is just flat out false.

      “it was Apple’s innovation of the touch screen phone with apps”

      Uh, that’s not an innovation. IBM did that with the Simon a decade and a half before the world even heard the name iPhone.

      “Is that what you need to hear?”

      What I need to hear is an acknowledgement that Google’s Android Operating System is not just some lame ass clone of the iOS, which comparatively is extremely limited. It’s this claim that “Apple has led and Google has imitated” that really pisses me off.

      “I didn’t say that the photo above was the only (and exclusive) evidence of Google’s copying.”

      Maybe what we need to do here is have you tell me what Google copied and we’ll work from there.

    • @ bradi

      You, like everyone else who accepts that there is enough historical evidence to support the thesis that Android and it’s development has a strong correlation with iOS and will continue to do so.

      Mike on the other hand is not one of those, regardless of good reasoning or facts.

    • @Andrew
      “Mike on the other hand is not one of those, regardless of good reasoning or facts.”

      There you go again acting like you know me. You don’t know me Andrew, and making claims as if you do is tantamount to lying. I’d suggest you stop.

      “there is enough historical evidence to support the thesis that Android and it’s development has a strong correlation with iOS”

      What evidence is that pray tell? Please, enlighten me. It had better be better than this travesty of a graphic Kontra posted.

    • @Mike – I’m glad to see I “pissed” you off.

      Your reasoning is consistently circular. The only other consistencies I have observed from you in this comment stream is, first, ignoring replys directed towards you that you cannot find a little edge to argue with and, second, an apparent desire to have Google proclaimed as “good” by a number of folks who are clearly are as wary (if not more so) of Google and its corporate motives than you seem to be of Apple’s.

      So again, we get it. You are offended that many of us observe events that you’ve seen and come to a different conclusion than you do. I see this sort of righteous indignation all the time in the political arena as well – you are certain you are right – which of course means you must be right. Which is, of course, laughable and sad.

      Lest you feel insulted all the more. I have equated my observations of people I know and their political beliefs to behavior you have exhibited in your posts. I have no idea if this is “you” or not – I certainly do not “know” you – I do not even know if you are an actual person “Mike” that posts these things he believes or a troll posting as “Mike”.

      I follow Andy’s lead now. Good day all.

    • @Mike – I “missed something…”

      “Is that what you need to hear?”

      What I need to hear is an acknowledgement that Google’s Android Operating System is not just some lame ass clone of the iOS, which comparatively is extremely limited. It’s this claim that “Apple has led and Google has imitated” that really pisses me off.

      My response is: Google’s Android OS is not a “lame ass clone of iOS” (your words, never mine”. Android is a well developed piece of software that Google has done some very clever things with – INCLUDING take a number of touch based, and app executing cues from Apple and maybe others. It incorporates features that Apple hasn’t as well.

      Again, Kontra’s primary point still stands, Google followed cues from Apple in (at least some) of its development of Android.

      Having implied that I was seeking to answer your inquiries, I forgot to actually answer the seminal query you posed in response. I have corrected my mistake and now will follow my pledge to bow out.

    • @bradi
      “Kontra’s primary point still stands, Google followed cues from Apple in (at least some) of its development of Android.”

      Kontra in no way has proven that point. As I have shown, time and again, Android supports a wide variety of hardware, but Google is NOT a hardware manufacturer. So, when HTC or Samsung or whoever develops a device that they want Android to run on, it’ll run on it. Samsung can design the hardware, and since Android is extremely customizable, they can design how the interface looks and feels as well. Kontra take a picture of a Samsung device (not even the default screen btw, the Applications Menu) and lays the whole thing at the feet of Google. Disingenuous to say the least.

      “you are certain you are right – which of course means you must be right. Which is, of course, laughable and sad.”

      This comment can easily be turned on it’s maker. You are so certain that Apple is the source of all innovation in the computer industry, you can’t accept any proof that it’s not. You’re right because you’re right. No further proof needed.

      This has gotten stale. I’ve asked multiple times for any of you to tell me what it was the Google copied. None of you have ever bothered to answer that question. I’ve gotten a whole slew of 2+2=5 crap, and a few “look at the picture” type responses, all of which fall far short of answering the question. The closest has been the claim that Google copied the icon grid from Apple, that’s absolutely not true. I don’t think you people actually KNOW what Google supposedly copied from Apple. You just know that they did. To steal your line Bradi, laughable and sad.

  12. @Tim
    “I didn’t find it amusing at all, but that might just be me.”

    I doubt that most of the people reading this board would have Tim, but that’s more likely because most of the people on this blog are like minded, not that it’s not funny.

    “To deem a large number of folks that you have never met, and whose needs and capabilities you don’t know, fools is – unreasonable.”

    Hm, I think you’d be hard pressed to find me calling anybody a fool. I might think that it’s foolish of them to believe the propaganda and sometimes outright lies that come from Apple, but that doesn’t mean that they’re fools. Even smart people sometimes do stupid things. It’s a fact of life.

    “My experience is that almost all companies claim that they are innovating unceasingly.”

    And yet a company that produces an Operating System that will work on hundreds of different handsets with a myriad of different configurations, including an easy to use interface incorporating real multitasking and an extremely configurable interface gets a pass? That doesn’t count? Or are you not claiming that. I guess that begs the question: Do YOU think that Google is being innovative with Android? Why or why not?

    “I find nothing novel about a company filling the airwaves with propaganda about their products.”

    I’m curious then, what other technology company fills the airwaves with an equal amount of propaganda? Microsoft doesn’t. Google doesn’t. Who does? Can you name one company?

    “Of the several million folks who have bought iPads, how many know that “traditionally, multitasking would be defined as the running of two or more programs (sets of instructions) in one computer at the same time.”? Geeks do.”

    I must be reading this wrong, but it almost looks like you’re saying that lying to their customers is OK because they don’t know they’re being lied to. Apple doesn’t get to redefine terms just because their customers don’t know any better.

    “Apple are shipping product and making money in spectacular quantities.”

    Hm, and you honestly think that makes it good? Then Microsoft has the best products on the market.

    “If it was all smoke and mirrors then by now, long ago in fact, there should have been a tidal wave of disgruntled customers vowing that they will never buy another product.”

    Apple’s propaganda doesn’t stop at the time of purchase.

    “Face it; they are executing well.”

    If by “they”, you mean the Marketing Department at Apple, then you’re absolutely correct.

    “Stick at it though Mike! Don’t give up! One day you will be right and it will be well before the Sun goes red giant. Real Soon Now no doubt. Charge those windmills!”

    Odd final paragraph. Someday I’ll be right? Yes, that’s true. That day is today.

    • No Mike – not today, not yesterday, and certainly not when you thought your opinions were facts. Apple is executing very well in much more than Marketing. Not perfectly by any stretch, but I can see I pegged you correctly very early on in this “debate”. You are not comfortable admitting anything positive about Apple. Even when you give them credit is is for “marketing” as if they are tricky people into using poor products and then tricking them into continuing to use them, and tricking them into thinking they enjoy the products and tricking them into lying to others about the products.

      Your statements just fall apart with the need for Apple to have so much power over people’s minds.

      You don’t like Apple (or at least you don’t think they deserve their success on merit) and you don’t like Apple fans talking about Apple.

      We get it.

  13. @Tim
    “@Cadillac88 – good job.”

    It was very funny. If his intent was to be the caricature it seemed, then yes, good job.

    “Well, I know it sounds unexciting, but it means small things done differently – sometimes many small things.”

    I would agree with this statement, but I think too often many small changes made by Apple is hailed as “innovation”, but many small changes made by another company, be it Google or Microsoft or whomever, is not. This is where my problem with Apple and some of it’s users arises.

    “I don’t think their marketing is sufficiently different to explain their grip on people’s attention.”

    I disagree, STRONGLY. Watch Apple’s advertising, especially the new ads for the iPad. They’re basically a form of Pavlovian Conditioning. Creating positive word associations to the iPad. Magical. Musical. Vital. Amazing. Delcious. They’re running almost constantly. I’d estimate that I see 4 times as many iPad commercials as I do ANYTHING Microsoft related. Probably more.

    “I know Apple are well aware of this dynamic, but it rests on the engineering, not the marketing.”

    Again, I disagree STRONGLY with this. For example, the iPad advertising I mentioned earlier actually shows “multitasking” in one of their clips. Now, traditionally, multitasking would be defined as the running of two or more programs (sets of instructions) in one computer at the same time. In ANY other operating system, the iOS’s pause and resume form of “multitasking” wouldn’t even be called multitasking. Engineering didn’t back that up. It’s all marketing.

    “Apple don’t innovate much more than everyone else.”

    True.

    “But for some years they have been executing better than everyone else.”

    I disagree, but I’ll just state that that’s up for debate and leave it at that.

    • This is just silly, tired info spamming.

      When you’re listening to Pandora while surfing Safari and your Twitter app is collecting new feeds in the background, etc., what do you think you’re doing if not multitasking?

      Multi-tasking is not synonymous with multi-windowing. Neither is wanton battery power wasting just because you can.

    • “When you’re listening to Pandora while surfing Safari and your Twitter app is collecting new feeds in the background…”

      Exceptions, not the rule Kontra, as you’re well aware.

      “Neither is wanton battery power wasting just because you can.”

      Perfect example of making an excuse for Apple where they’re lacking functionality. Love it. Wanton battery wasting. Sheesh. Here’s an idea. If you’re worried about your battery running out, bring two. It’s a lot more convenient than having to charge your iPhone twice a day.

    • @Mike – Safari is not an “exception” app on the iPhone it is one of the central apps. Again and again, you are quibbling over parts. Many more apps do not actively do anything in the background, as opposed to those that do – true statement. But they can.

      The fact that Apple wanted to make a device where you didn’t need to carry (or buy) an extra battery – you seem to be dismissing that. Everyone is lacking battery functionality based on your statement. “User X should be able to go days on a battery and do all sort of power intensive activities, or would naturally want to carry spare batteries ….” YES, I’m greatly exaggerating to make the point humorously.

      I don’t care if you agree or not, but putting limits (reasonable ones I’ll argue) on activities that allow for (MUCH) better power conservation is a GREAT FEATURE!

      To your last (apparent) point, yes there are ways to overcome (purposely or not) the techniques Apple makes use of and tax the battery to the point where it doesn’t last a day, but those aren’t average use cases by any means.

    • “@Tim
      “@Cadillac88 – good job.”

      It was very funny. If his intent was to be the caricature it seemed, then yes, good job.”

      I didn’t find it amusing at all, but that might just be me. People are different Mike. You don’t share other people’s response to Apple’s products and appear to be of the opinion that their enthusiasm is misplaced – foolish even. If you know these people personally and they have explained their motivation and it is indeed foolish then that’s one thing. To deem a large number of folks that you have never met, and whose needs and capabilities you don’t know, fools is – unreasonable. They might be, but you can’t just assume that.

      ““Well, I know it sounds unexciting, but it means small things done differently – sometimes many small things.”
      I would agree with this statement, but … … This is where my problem with Apple and some of it’s users arises.”

      My experience is that almost all companies claim that they are innovating unceasingly. Consequently it has become a filler word that one goes straight past to get to the bit where they tell you what they have actually done. Then you decide for yourself whether you find it novel. I have had repeated experience of using Apple products and thinking “This is not like my PC (or my current mobile phone) and it is much better”, this would be where you and I start to drift apart I guess.

      ““I don’t think their marketing is sufficiently different to explain their grip on people’s attention.”

      I disagree, STRONGLY. … … ANYTHING Microsoft related. Probably more.”

      I find nothing novel about a company filling the airwaves with propaganda about their products. That’s their job. I do not expect “Hi. Um. We made a thing. It’s much the same as everyone else’s but we worked on the interface. If you like it please buy it.” <– This doesn't work. If you aren't enthusiastic about your own products why should anyone else be? Toyota don't advertise their cars by saying "This'll get you from A to B, but then I guess a Ford will as well."

      As for Microsoft, do you really have no idea why they aren't running Windows 7 and Office ads a frequently as iPad ads? I'm pretty sure it isn't Apple's fault. Maybe it is that their market is much more heavily Corporate and TV ads are not the best way to sway that market? I don't know.

      "“I know Apple are well aware of this dynamic, but it rests on the engineering, not the marketing.”

      Again, I disagree STRONGLY with this. For example, the iPad advertising I mentioned earlier actually shows “multitasking” … … Engineering didn’t back that up. It’s all marketing."

      Of the several million folks who have bought iPads, how many know that "traditionally, multitasking would be defined as the running of two or more programs (sets of instructions) in one computer at the same time."? Geeks do. Folks like you and me who've been deep in the bowels of computers since we were spinning Winchesters in our PDP 11/23's back in the '70s do. But how many iPad users do? This argument was already shaken out on Ars Technica months ago. The iPad has a form of multi-tasking but not pure. It feels like multi-tasking to the average user, that's all that matters. I can play my music, read my book and get news site updates all at once. Smells like multi-tasking to me.

      "“Apple don’t innovate much more than everyone else.”
      True.
      “But for some years they have been executing better than everyone else.”
      I disagree, but I’ll just state that that’s up for debate and leave it at that."

      Pretty much anything can be debated ad infinitum but at some point the elephant in the room deserves a mention; Apple are shipping product and making money in spectacular quantities. If it was all smoke and mirrors then by now, long ago in fact, there should have been a tidal wave of disgruntled customers vowing that they will never buy another product. All the evidence is that their customers have a high level of satisfaction so far.

      Face it; they are executing well.

      Stick at it though Mike! Don't give up! One day you will be right and it will be well before the Sun goes red giant. Real Soon Now no doubt. Charge those windmills!
      :-)

  14. @Cadillac88 – good job.

    It is very difficult to think of something totally new. We are all using a very similar tool to do the thinking. Apple very seldom think of things that are entirely without precedent – nobody does. That being the case, what’s all this about innovation? Well, I know it sounds unexciting, but it means small things done differently – sometimes many small things. The cumulative effect can be great, even if none of them is novel in itself.

    Remember when Steve first demonstrated the iPhone to the Board of Apple and after the whole presentation he said to one quiet guy “Well?” “You had me at the scrolling”. Me too. You know when it hits the bottom and bounces? The person who thought of that bounce should get a pay rise. Those things create the emotional bonding that Cadillac was talking about.

    I know some folks who couldn’t care less about any features their car has – it is just a means of getting from A to B. Those folks are rare. The rest of us take it for granted that it will get us from A to B, it is the details that sell us on a particular make and model. Apple’s gift is for creating those details.

    Those details account for another part of the Apple story. It is so commonly stated that Apple do brilliant marketing that few people, even the real enthusiasts, question it. I don’t think their marketing is sufficiently different to explain their grip on people’s attention.

    Apple say they are going to make an announcement and immediately a big chunk of the press and most of the tech blogs start discussing it. Apple are then accused of hype. Why? The interest is triggered by the emotional attachment that their products engender. The press start writing about it because folks want to hear this stuff. It gets the hits.

    I know Apple are well aware of this dynamic, but it rests on the engineering, not the marketing. If Apple do a series of presentations that are boring and show products that no one wants, the phenomenon will fade. This will happen one day. All things end. If you don’t find their products worthy of your money; don’t buy them.

    So Mike :-) you are right… and wrong (I reckon). Apple don’t innovate much more than everyone else. But for some years they have been executing better than everyone else.

    Scroll *bounce* Scroll *bounce* Cool. No, you can’t have it back.

  15. @Mike
    You’ve lost credibility. I heard about the iPhone a few days after it was unveiled. I found the keynote and watched it and immediately understood what all the buzz was about. I went to the apple iPhone tab on apple’s homepage for more detail and was even more amazed. And although you say it was nothing new, I’d never seen anything like it before. I bought shares in the company the next day. It was a big deal even though nokia and palm and Microsoft and motorola said it wasn’t, while behind the scenes they scrambled to get something like it out the door. That’s the way it was even if you say otherwise. Today, hundreds of phones look like the iPhone. that’s just the way it is and when you deny it it’s like “what? who is this Mike guy?”. You are a revisionist.  The iPhone didn’t do anything new in terms of function. The experts pointed that out right away and wasted no time there. But it did everything better and faster and more intuitively. And yes, in a prettier and more emotionally compelling package. News flash Mike: humans are emotional creatures. You are too. Do you think it’s coincidence most Droid owners are young males? Droid is emotional too. Every product out there is emotional. Why should apple be any different? But after we buy something the emotion takes a back seat while we decide if it was a wise purchase. Most apple iPhone owners are more satisfied than android owners or any other smart phone owner. That’s just the way it is – even if you say it isn’t. Saying these things are false doesn’t make it so. I bought my first iPhone June 22, 2009. It was great! I don’t think of myself as a sheep being in a flock. Look around. Apple products are deep into the mainstream. People of all sorts have iPods and iPhones and MacBooks. You’re outdated. You haven’t left the 80’s  And the sum bloody well can be more than the parts. When the human mind meets the world it finds meaning and relations. Not everything can be held in your hand, counted, and put in your pocket. Anything you learn from the world goes in your head and is usually a bonus. Read ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. The sequel Lyla was good too! And watch Tony Robbins on TED TALKS to get an idea of how important emotions are to humans. Apple didn’t invent the phone. We know that. They didn’t invent mms or calendars or email along with many many other things. We know that for crying out loud. But they put things in nice packages that work great and millions of customers think they are well worth paying for… That’s a straight up business. It doesn’t get any simpler than that – no matter how convoluted you might make it sound. I don’t think you are for real. You’re not here to educate; you’re here to dispute. We get that. Carry on. 

    • @Cadillac88
      “You’ve lost credibility.”

      This is an honest question, so please, take it as such. Are you serious?? Reading this felt so much like a caricature of a Mac fanatic I was literally laughing before I got to the end.

      “I found the [Apple] keynote and watched it and immediately understood what all the buzz was about.”

      “I went to the apple iPhone tab on apple’s homepage for more detail and was even more amazed.”

      “That’s the way it was even if you say otherwise.”

      “I bought shares in the company the next day.”

      “I don’t think of myself as a sheep being in a flock.”

      That is some pretty funny stuff right there!

  16. @Mike – reading the very first article on your homepage, it’s pretty easy to see you don’t actually credit Apple with any innovation in the one thing they’re good at — user interfaces.

    I suspect you would be surprised if the iPad line continues to be successful, especially after it’s “anemic” first year.

    As a side-note to imply I actually didn’t just copy the first paragraph, I’m also looking forward to Wayland, but I expect Fedora to botch it and put the entire X stack in a half-arsed state like it was after they tried to move the Intel branch drivers to DRM2. Suddenly every video driver except Intel was obsolete, but the Intel’s themselves were too crashy to use on anything resembling a regular basis.

    Needless to say if Fedora takes a while to get it right, Ubuntu will probably have it going by 2012.

    • “It’s pretty easy to see you don’t actually credit Apple with any innovation in the one thing they’re good at — user interfaces.”

      I give Apple as much credit as they give others in the market. This post by Kontra is a perfect example. Everybody copies Apple, Apple is SO innovative. It’s the hypocrisy of this position that bothers me most about Apple and and some of it’s loyalists.

      “I suspect you would be surprised if the iPad line continues to be successful, especially after it’s “anemic” first year.”

      I suspect you should probably reread my post. I didn’t say that the iPad had an anemic first year, I said that the iPad was an anemic first try. It sold amazingly well, despite it’s obvious shortcomings, and I expect it to continue to do so. Apple is nothing if not great marketers.

    • “Apple is nothing if not great marketers.”

      LOL – yup – that’s all it is.

      I hope you are a patient guy, Mike – because you are going to continue to be frustrated by Apple’s success – especially since you see little value in it beyond “marketing”.

    • “I hope you are a patient guy, Mike – because you are going to continue to be frustrated by Apple’s success”

      I’ve been watching Apple since the 80s Eric. It’s not their “success” that frustrates me. I’ve seen them successful, and I’ve seen them almost go out of business. Neither bothers me all that much. What does bother me is the attitude held by many of Apple’s flock that Apple is the only one that ever innovates, and everyone else merely copies Apple’s ideas. It’s as irritating as it is false.

    • @Mike – even your explanations are rife with intended insults. “Apple’s flock”? Okay, we’ve established that the shepherds employed by Apple keep a flock (of sheep or is it goats do you think?) and they animals are smart enough to express loyal opinions about Apple products. Since they are kept by Apple that seems exceedingly smart to me. NOW, talking about people who purchase Apple products, promote them to others, and possibly “root” for the company – I think it is reasonable to say that these sorts of folks hold a very high opinion of Apple. I think it is even reasonable to say that many of the same folks hold a relatively low opinion of Microsoft. However, only the most strident and foolish actually believe that ONLY Apple is capable of innovation or even clever design. – MIKE: your comments have devolved towards name calling.

  17. @Mike – you seem to harbor a strong enough dislike of Apple that you go to great lengths to niggle about points to a level of distraction that is almost disturbing. For Andy Lee & PXLated I say sir: you appear to be one of those people who would never admit to being convinced of anything (especially if it is favorable towards Apple.)

  18. “There’s two reasons why I don’t think it’s possible. One, the repositories exist on a computer, and because of that, any value can be changed.”

    You don’t understand Git. I did not say this casually the first time and I don’t repeat it casually.

    “Two, based on what I’ve seen here (which is by no means definitive), I don’t think you’d be able to tell multi-touch routines from a mouse driver.”

    Come on. There was a day when multi-touch support went from possible to impossible based on the code in the repository. There was a day when somebody in QA confirmed on their simulator, TV, or whatever, that the routines worked or did not work.

    ““Asked and answered.”

    Well, I was looking at it more like a Yes or No question, but if you want to go with a third, “I don’t know” type answer, I guess that’s your prerogative.”

    It’s not just my prerogative, it’s the honest answer. If you claim to have a definite yes-or-no belief one way or the other about everything, well… I don’t believe you. :)

    • “You don’t understand Git. I did not say this casually the first time and I don’t repeat it casually.”

      The fact that you think I’m wrong says more about you than me. I’ll repeat, I have a more than passing familiarity with git, as well as a host of other version control systems.

      “Come on. There was a day when multi-touch support went from possible to impossible based on the code in the repository.”

      You don’t know much about development, do you?

      “It’s not just my prerogative, it’s the honest answer.”

      I have my doubts, but whatever.

    • Sorry Mike, this has gotten silly. You’re telling me someone could alter the history of every copy of a major distributed source repository and that by so doing they could fool us into thinking a feature was added in year X instead of year Y. To make a political analogy, that’s talking like a birther.

      I do feel foolish for wasting so much time here. No more.

    • “Sorry Mike, this has gotten silly.”

      OK, so I figured that if I was going to convince you of anything, I’d need to find it in the repo. So, I ran over to Android’s git repository and looked for the oldest file I could find. Turns out, you’re right! The oldest file in there is from 2008! Apparently, there was absolutely NO development on Android prior to that date. Who knew?

      Of course, since the dates in git are always accurate, this is a huge revelation. The world will be shocked and amazed!

      I guess you’re right, we are getting a little silly here aren’t we?

      “I do feel foolish for wasting so much time here. No more.”

      I agree. No more.

  19. As a developer I prefer the Apple ecosystem as it provides opportunity for developers to come up with innovative apps/services and quickly goto market without having to add overhead (dealing with operators, markets, wrestling the money out of many distributors/operators etc.).

    Apples system also allows non ad-based models which is very beneficial if you are trying to introduce something new. Ad-based requires many eyeballs and the easiest way to get that is copying the currently most successful products.

    Besides this Apple has a nice resonably unified strategy that covers everything from the iPod to their laptops. I only wish the new AppleTV would be opened for apps.

  20. “The Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung,”

    My point was not who manufactured it. My point was that there is a standard Android UI that’s independent of the manufacturers. You seemed to be saying the look and feel is all due to the manufacturers, and as they say in the movies “any resemblance to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental”. It’s not coincidental.

    “Over 200,000 touch screen phones shipped in 2006, before the iPhone was announced. Given, that’s nothing compared to today’s market, but the only thing you can claim here is that Apple popularized something that someone else had already done.”

    Fair enough. But you’re making a claim too. You’re claiming if Apple hadn’t popularized the combination of factors in the iPhone, Google would have because they were on the same track. If the G1 had come out in January 2007 it would be clear that for whatever reason both companies had the same ideas about smartphones during some significant overlapping period in time. But the G1 came out in 2008, so to believe your claim I would need other evidence.

    ““You’re the one claiming parallel evolution; the burden’s on you.”

    Actually, no. Larry Page is claiming that,”

    Not according to the article you linked to. Here’s what he said:

    “We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that because that did not exist in the marketplace”

    Replace the word “Android” and he could have been talking about the next generation Blackberry. Or the next generation Palm Treo.

    “and as he’s a co-founder of Google and privy to a great deal more information about Android and it’s development, I see no reason to not believe him.”

    I apologize for what I’m about to say, because this has been a polite discussion thus far, but — wow. I do not recommend the above as reasons to believe someone, Steve Jobs included.

    That said, if Larry or Sergei or Schmidt said something more specific, like “Here’s a phone we had in our labs in 2006,” I would be inclined to take them at their word simply because that would be a hard lie to get away with.

    “Personally, I think the Nexus S looks better than the iPhone. I’m sure you’ll disagree.”

    I’m not going to argue about taste with you. We have a hard enough time arguing facts. :)

    • “My point was that there is a standard Android UI that’s independent of the manufacturers.”

      This is true, and it’s not the one that you see on the Nexus S. Most of the time when you see a standard Android look and feel, it looks something like this:

      http://static.xeonext.net/moony/android_google_g1_tmobile.jpg

      I don’t think that this even remotely like the default UI of the iOS.

      “You’re claiming if Apple hadn’t popularized the combination of factors in the iPhone, Google would have because they were on the same track.”

      It might have been Google, or it might have been someone else. What I can say is that I just don’t believe that if Apple hadn’t been there, it never would have happened. It’s like saying if Og from the Mammoth tribe (or maybe it was Ug?) hadn’t found a way to make fire, we’d all still be eating our steaks raw.

      “That said, if Larry or Sergei or Schmidt said something more specific, like “Here’s a phone we had in our labs in 2006,” I would be inclined to take them at their word simply because that would be a hard lie to get away with.”

      Again I think you’re confusing a hardware vendor with a software vendor. Google is NOT a hardware vendor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were NO phones in their labs in 2006. That said, it would be next to impossible for anybody at Google to show you a sample of code and say “See, we were working on a multi-touch interface in 2005.”

      “Apologies, looks like that should be “Sergey”.”

      No worries, I knew who you meant. This isn’t a spelling test.

      Happy New Year!

    • “It might have been Google, or it might have been someone else. What I can say is that I just don’t believe that if Apple hadn’t been there, it never would have happened.”

      We’re both guessing about this, and I’m perfectly happy to agree to disagree. I would point to the years of stagnation in the cell phone industry and the lack of proof that Google or anyone else had anything in mind other than incremental improvements to a Palm-like OS. But since, as you point out, the ingredients were all there before Apple put them together, sure; we *might* have seen an iPhone anyway, or something different but equally game-changing.

      “Google is NOT a hardware vendor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were NO phones in their labs in 2006.”

      I would be very surprised if they had been working on an OS that long without hardware to run it on, especially if they were supporting multitouch.

      “That said, it would be next to impossible for anybody at Google to show you a sample of code and say “See, we were working on a multi-touch interface in 2005.””

      Technically, it would be the opposite of impossible. Google uses revision control on the Android source code. At some point in time, the first multitouch function was added to the code. Maybe it was after 2007, or for all I know it was before 2005, but it would actually be trivial for them to tell you exactly what day it was. Since Android is open source, it’s even possible I could check out the source myself and figure it out. Come to think of it, I wonder why nobody less lazy than me has done this, since it seems it would answer a lot of questions. Maybe I’m missing something.

      “Happy New Year!”

      What the hell are we both still doing on this discussion thread??

    • “It might have been Google, or it might have been someone else. What I can say is that I just don’t believe that if Apple hadn’t been there, it never would have happened. It’s like saying if Og from the Mammoth tribe (or maybe it was Ug?) hadn’t found a way to make fire, we’d all still be eating our steaks raw.”

      I think the point still stands that, had apple not got all the ingredients mixed correctly in the first iPhone, then any other company’s phone could still have continued on the blackberry path.

      As the msft tablet PC from almost a decade ago proved (similarly to the touchscreen phones before iPhone that you cite) it is difficult to nail the UX in a way that the device can easily be used by millions of non-techies so I don’t think it was that easy to come up with the integrated whole that apple did in 2007. Just look at what Jobs said about the iPad being in development before development started on the iPhone or the aforementioned Msft tablet pcs that were around before that.

    • “I would be very surprised if they had been working on an OS that long without hardware to run it on, especially if they were supporting multitouch.”

      Why? Android is based on Linux, and the Linux kernel functions as a Hardware Abstraction Layer, which is why you see Linux running on everything from PlayStations to the worlds fastest supercomputers. The vast majority of development for Android would be done above the HAL, not below it.

      “Technically, it would be the opposite of impossible.”

      Well, I guess that depends on how you define “impossible”. Personally speaking, numbers on a computer are not reliable to me. I’ve been in this business to long to trust a date on a file.

    • Hey Andy – Mike’s one of those guys that just will never give Apple credit for making 2+2=5 – He’s a 2+2=4 guy that doesn’t seem to realize just how hard it is to beat that 2+2 formula. If Apple hadn’t done it (and they do it on a regular basis since Job’s return), it’s possible someone else may have but it certainly wouldn’t have 2+2=3 Google or Microsoft or anyone else that quickly comes to mind.

    • It was the believing-Larry-Page-implicitly thing that threw me for a loop.

      Well, no harm done. I’m sure we could all have spent the time more productively, but at least nobody got nasty (at least to me, and that’s what matters :)).

    • “Mike’s one of those guys that just will never give Apple credit for making 2+2=5 – He’s a 2+2=4 guy that doesn’t seem to realize just how hard it is to beat that 2+2 formula.”

      I have the vague impression that I’e been insulted here. I AM a 2+2=4 guy, and I’ve gotta say: If someone has told you that they’ve made 2+2=5, they’re lying.

    • “It was the believing-Larry-Page-implicitly thing that threw me for a loop.”

      I never said that I believe Larry Page implicitly. I do believe him in the case we’ve been talking about, but that doesn’t translate to any other case necessarily.

      Question for you Andy: Do you think that Apple really started working on the iPad before they worked on the iPhone?

    • So Mike – you’ve never heard that something is equal to more than the sum of it’s parts? It does exist. BUT it’s soft (right brained) values that most literal (left-brainers) just don’t get and can’t create.

    • “So Mike – you’ve never heard that something is equal to more than the sum of it’s parts?”

      Nothing is ever worth more than the sum of it’s parts. If you think that it is, you’re looking at the wrong parts.

    • Well, there is the blind spot you Googly/Androidie guys have – You just can’t understand the art (right brain) side of things – All paintings are more than the sum of the paint & canvas they’re comprised of.

    • See, you’re looking at the wrong parts.

      Paintings aren’t just made of canvas and paint, they’re made of emotion and memory. They contain love and hate, and everything in between. They also contain the lives of their creators. Those things have value too. Those are parts that go into determining the value of the painting. When you add all of that together, 2+2 still equals 4. If you think it equals 5, it just means that you didn’t see the 1.

    • The point being there is something besides the raw parts and that’s what’s missing much of the time (I’d say most) with Google/android products.
      So, enough of this, we’ll just have to disagree since you waht literal math and nothing else..

    • “Why?”

      Because at some point simulators aren’t good enough.

      Because if I were a hardware manufacturer I’d want to see the thing running on a real phone, if only a prototype.

      “Well, I guess that depends on how you define “impossible”. Personally speaking, numbers on a computer are not reliable to me. I’ve been in this business to long to trust a date on a file.”

      Android uses Git. You don’t understand Git.

      But checking the source repository would just be one way. There are email archives. Project plans with dates on them. Probably a ticketing/bug-tracking system. Do you really think the Android project is in such a shambles that no one can authoritatively tell you when a major feature was added — at Google of all places, where they might have a tiny bit of expertise in remembering past information?

      Politically or legally, I don’t know if it’s hard. I can’t imagine a reason to suppress that information (assuming it’s even possible on such a large open source project), but I just don’t know. Technically, I do know, and so should you. It’s easy.

      “I never said that I believe Larry Page implicitly. I do believe him in the case we’ve been talking about, but that doesn’t translate to any other case necessarily.”

      It doesn’t matter whether your reasons translate to any other case. The reason you gave in this case was that he’s a cofounder of the company. Well, that plus he’s a better human being than Steve Jobs, but since you don’t seem to trust Jobs, that’s not a very high standard.

      “Question for you Andy: Do you think that Apple really started working on the iPad before they worked on the iPhone?”

      Mike, you keep raising irrelevant challenges. I’m not the one saying I believe a person’s statement about a company because he’s the cofounder of that company. I have no idea about the chronology of the iPad vs. iPhone, but even if I said yes, I totally believe it, my reason wouldn’t be because Jobs cofounded Apple. I specifically said that would be a poor reason to believe anyone, *including* Jobs.

      I do believe what Larry Page *actually* said in the quote I pulled from the article you cited. He essentially said they bought Android because they wanted to build a better phone OS. Why do I believe that? For one thing, that’s the most logical reason to acquire Android in the first place. True, an alternate reason could be to do the opposite and kill the product; or maybe to keep it out of a competitor’s hands. But given the way Google rolls I think the most likely reason is that they actually meant to do something good with it.

    • “Because at some point simulators aren’t good enough.”

      Android can run on a PC Andy. It can run on a TV. It can run on a Tablet, and it can even run on an iPhone. Due to it’s flexibility, there’s no need to have a prototype phone for development. There’s no need for a simulator either.

      “Android uses Git. You don’t understand Git.”

      Don’t take this the wrong way Andy, but you’d do well not to make assumptions about what I do and don’t understand. I’ve been using version control systems for almost twenty years, and I have a more than passing familiarity with git.

      “Do you really think the Android project is in such a shambles that no one can authoritatively tell you when a major feature was added”

      No, I just think that you can’t tell when a major feature was added. Feel free to prove me wrong at any time.

      “Mike, you keep raising irrelevant challenges.”

      No, I asked you a question. I asked it because I want to know the answer. Do you or don’t you believe Apple really started working on the iPad before they worked on the iPhone?

    • ““Because at some point simulators aren’t good enough.”

      Android can run on a PC Andy. It can run on a TV. It can run on a Tablet, and it can even run on an iPhone. Due to it’s flexibility, there’s no need to have a prototype phone for development. There’s no need for a simulator either.”

      All those things are fine for exercising the versatility of the platform. I contend that to make a great phone OS you need to run it on a phone at some point. But I’m no expert. If you tell me that’s how it’s done, fine. I would just find it very surprising.

      ““Android uses Git. You don’t understand Git.”

      Don’t take this the wrong way Andy, but you’d do well not to make assumptions about what I do and don’t understand.”

      When you imply it’s impossible to tell from the Android repository when a function was committed, I feel I have a leg to stand on.

      ““Do you really think the Android project is in such a shambles that no one can authoritatively tell you when a major feature was added”

      No, I just think that you can’t tell when a major feature was added.”

      I am confused by this reply.

      ““Mike, you keep raising irrelevant challenges.”

      No, I asked you a question. I asked it because I want to know the answer.”

      Asked and answered.

    • “I contend that to make a great phone OS you need to run it on a phone at some point.”

      At some point, yes. 2 years before it’s release?? No. That early in it’s development, there is so much subject to change that it would be impractical to have a physical phone.

      “When you imply it’s impossible to tell from the Android repository when a function was committed, I feel I have a leg to stand on.”

      There’s two reasons why I don’t think it’s possible. One, the repositories exist on a computer, and because of that, any value can be changed. Two, based on what I’ve seen here (which is by no means definitive), I don’t think you’d be able to tell multi-touch routines from a mouse driver.

      “Asked and answered.”

      Well, I was looking at it more like a Yes or No question, but if you want to go with a third, “I don’t know” type answer, I guess that’s your prerogative.

    • Mike – I own just one Apple product. Sure wish I owned a bunch of their stock though – That beautiful Apple logo and ascetics makes a boat load of money.
      Out of curiosity, how many google-based products do you use?

    • “Out of curiosity, how many google-based products do you use?”

      Very misleading question. I’ll answer it, and I’ll ask you a question in return.

      How many Google-based products do I use? Well, I use Google Search, Google Mail, Google Reader, Google Voice, and Google Analytics. So, using that Math that’s so important to me, I’d say five Google-based products.

      So, my follow-up question. How much money did you spend on your one Apple product?

      Just want to know to see if my personal investment is equivalent to yours.

  21. There’s a myth out there that Android was on its way to a multitouch iOS-like UI even before there was an iPhone. I’ve had an otherwise intelligent person tell me this in all earnestness. I think very few people subscribe to this myth or even think about it one way or another. Certainly the beliefs numbered 1 through 4 are more widely and vocally held.

    • Everything in that article may be true, but it doesn’t address the point. There’s a big difference between (a) acquiring Android (which was very Palm-like at the time), and (b) having a game plan from the start for it to have all the iOS-like qualities it does today. That’s like saying because Microsoft had DOS, Windows must have been an independent creation that wasn’t reacting to — and borrowing heavily from — the Mac.

    • Well, I’m not sure I agree with you on the “iOS like qualities”. Kontra DEFINITELY cherry picked an image to suite his agenda. Unlike the iOS, the Android platform is extremely customizable. The image above is a custom interface that’s been implemented by Samsung, not Google. If it proves ANYBODY is copying Apple, it’s Samsung. If Kontra had chosen am image of the Sony-Ericsson Xperia, the comparison just wouldn’t have held up. Would you still argue that the Xperia interface copies iOS? Image for reference:

      http://c2499022.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Sony-Ericsson-Xperia-X10-Android-O2-UK.jpg

      The fact of the matter is, with Android the interface you see in the image from 2007 and 2010 are both still possible today.

      I’m also curious to hear if you were to do a comparison of the Kontra’s picture of the Android from 2007 to today’s Droid Pro, does it still look like Google changed their minds about their direction? Just curious.

    • “Would you still argue that the Xperia interface copies iOS?”

      I would put it differently. I would argue that if there was no iPhone there would be no Xperia. It was only after the success of the iPhone — not just the announcement, but the success, which was by no means a sure thing in many people’s minds — that we saw phones with

      * big screens
      * no hardware keyboards (hence the big screens)
      * finger-based pointing rather than stylus-based
      * user interfaces designed around all the above, including:
      * multi-touch with pinch-to-zoom and swipe-to-scroll

      I concede I have no proof of anybody copying anybody. I just think it’s a lot more plausible that Apple drove Google into their current approach than that Google independently had the same plan of making the same changes in phone design. We take all those features for granted now, but again, no one foresaw the success of the iPhone even the day it was announced.

    • “Kontra DEFINITELY cherry picked an image to suite his agenda.”

      It should be possible to cherry-pick in favor of the opposite agenda. I haven’t seen screenshots of a multitouch Android from 2005 or 2006. I fully admit this could be because I tend to frequent Apple-leaning web sites.

    • “The image above is a custom interface that’s been implemented by Samsung, not Google. If it proves ANYBODY is copying Apple, it’s Samsung.”

      There’s a standard look that Android has before any manufacturer gets around to mucking with it. Take a look at the Nexus S.

    • I think you’re confusing Google with it’s hardware manufacturers. The only thing that Google would have to do with any of that is allowing for the hardware support. Big screens? Google doesn’t control the screen size on a manufacturers handset. No hardware keyboards? A significant number of Android devices DO have hardware keyboards. Some don’t. Google supports both configurations. Finger based vs. stylus? Again, Google supports both. Multi-touch and pinch to zoom, swipe to scroll are all components of a finger vs. stylus interface. Again, Google supports both. Incidentally, Apple didn’t invent any of that.

      “I haven’t seen screenshots of a multitouch Android from 2005 or 2006.”

      You don’t have any screenshots of a multi-touch iPhone from 2005 or 2006 either. Both devices were in development at the time.

      “There’s a standard look that Android has before any manufacturer gets around to mucking with it. Take a look at the Nexus S.”

      True, but it’s not like the iOS screen.

      Here’s an series of pictures of a Nexus S unboxing. Please tell me how the default OS looks like the iOS default view:

      http://androidandme.com/2010/12/phones/nexus-s-unboxing-video-and-gallery/

    • “I think you’re confusing Google with it’s hardware manufacturers.”

      That’s why I pointed out the Nexus S. You’re trying to paint Android as a completely blank slate, like the manufacturers of all people (notoriously bad at software and user experience) came up with a skin and that’s all there is to it. Sure, technically Android’s designed to be flexible in the range of hardware it supports. But in practice, the Android marketed to the public is multitouch, and there is an official pre-manufacturer look, and the reason for that particular look and interaction design is that people want an OS that works like iOS.

      “A significant number of Android devices DO have hardware keyboards.”

      True, and nice of Android to support both, but irrelevant. I was talking about features that were not previously mainstream.

      “Incidentally, Apple didn’t invent any of that.”

      I’m saying that if there was no iPhone there would be no Xperia (or Droid, or etc.). I admit this is an opinion based on a historical hypothetical, and you’re free to disagree or present evidence to the contrary. But for the record, I am not claiming Apple invented any particular thing.

      “You don’t have any screenshots of a multi-touch iPhone from 2005 or 2006 either.”

      I’m not trying to convince anybody the iPhone was in development during those years. That would be silly, because the existence of the phone is all the proof I need. You’re the one claiming parallel evolution; the burden’s on you.

      “Here’s an series of pictures of a Nexus S unboxing. Please tell me how the default OS looks like the iOS default view”

      Not enough to go on. All I see is one of many phone models that could easily be mistaken for an iPhone.

    • “That’s why I pointed out the Nexus S.”

      The Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung, and the default UI doesn’t even come close to looking like the default UI of any iOS device.

      “I was talking about features that were not previously mainstream.”

      Over 200,000 touch screen phones shipped in 2006, before the iPhone was announced. Given, that’s nothing compared to today’s market, but the only thing you can claim here is that Apple popularized something that someone else had already done. Google’s doing the same thing.

      “I’m saying that if there was no iPhone there would be no Xperia (or Droid, or etc.). I admit this is an opinion based on a historical hypothetical, and you’re free to disagree or present evidence to the contrary.”

      Which I do disagree with. Multi-touch and pinch to zoom existed before there was an iPhone, and large screens and no keyboard devices existed before the iPhone. It may have taken longer, but Apple didn’t invent anything new with the iPhone. It just took pre-existing technology and put it into a pretty package and marketed it well.

      “You’re the one claiming parallel evolution; the burden’s on you.”

      Actually, no. Larry Page is claiming that, and as he’s a co-founder of Google and privy to a great deal more information about Android and it’s development, I see no reason to not believe him. I find him to be a great deal more trustworthy than Steve Jobs.

      “Not enough to go on. All I see is one of many phone models that could easily be mistaken for an iPhone.”

      I disagree. As is quite apparent, the default configuration of the Nexus S has no icons on the screen. There’s the three virtual buttons at the bottom of the screen, one for phone, one for web, and one for the applications view. There are also 4 physical buttons. The size and the shape of the phone are similar to the iPhone only in the fact that they’re both pseudo-rectangular. From where I’m sitting, the two phones are quite distinct. Personally, I think the Nexus S looks better than the iPhone. I’m sure you’ll disagree.

    • It’s absurd to suggest that Google doesn’t set the baseline parameters that most Android devices (and almost all Android handsets) use as the starting points in their design. No, Android devices don’t HAVE to be iOS-like. But that’s the easiest and most reasonable route for manufacturers to take — not just because of Apple’s success, but because that’s exactly the sort of design that the standard Android platform is built around.

      Google themselves trumpet the Nexus S as the “Pure Google” Android handset. And the first image of it, on their own gallery for its marketing page:

      http://www.google.com/nexus/images/gallery/big-1.jpg

      Simply compare the page designs between

      http://www.apple.com/iphone/
      http://www.google.com/nexus/

      to see just how blatantly Google is copying Apple regarding phones.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that in itself; Google is simply copying what works best.

      The real criticism is with the representatives of Google who claim that they’re NOT copying Apple, as they have frequently tried to suggest over the past year. Such statements can be viewed as nothing short of bald-faced lies.

    • “Which I do disagree with. Multi-touch and pinch to zoom existed before there was an iPhone, and large screens and no keyboard devices existed before the iPhone. It may have taken longer, but Apple didn’t invent anything new with the iPhone. It just took pre-existing technology and put it into a pretty package and marketed it well.”

      …If Apple didn’t invent anything new, then “what” may have taken longer for other touch devices to develop? What is “it”?

      If you don’t think Apple’s “pretty package” — a little something called *user interface design* — actually reset the direction of the entire smartphone industry, you’re a little deluded.

      You keep talking about specs and actions – touch, multi-point, swipe, pinch, large screens – and ignoring the design of the software itself, instead insisting that it is farmed out to third-party manufacturers and downplaying how important it is.

      You guys aren’t even having the same argument.

  22. So what if google copies apple. I am sure apple did not come up with the idea by meditating in caves. they looked around and copied better and faster. the same way google did with search.
    this is business, some leeway is allowed.
    do something useful than this vanity.

  23. Wow. Some of you need to brush up on your smartphone history. Google did an Android demo in 2007 and used that device, or something very similar to it. It was very Palm-like.

    Deny it all you want, but the iPhone changed the course of things.

    • I assume you mean this:

      It’s actually more touch-ish than I expected, but coming ten months after the iPhone announcment it feels to me like “look, we have a phone with a zoomable browser and draggable touchscreen too.”

  24. Google eyeball-optimizing means they will always copy the leader. Its built into their business modell. Innovation would require another business.

    • Everybody copies somebody.

      His point is that Android went from copying Blackberry, to copying iPhone. That’s a complete interface paradigm shift.

    • Is that really his “point”? His point seems to be more of the hilariously boorish “Everyone copies Apple”. There were Windows CE devices that looked exactly like the iPhone half a decade before the iPhone.

      It’s a bore. You zealots are a riot. The host here has not said one single thing that has been unique, insightful, or anything other than the same Gruberesque boring shit.

    • @Dennis Forbes
      “The host here has not said one single thing that has been unique, insightful, or anything other than the same Gruberesque boring shit.”

      And yet deniers such as your self continue to not only read the “boring shit” but comment on it.

      Who really has the problem here? If Apple and their so-called apologists are really so boring, why are you here? Your mere presence here invalidates your assertion.

      And name me one Windows CE device that didn’t require a stylus and could respond to multiple touch points at once for functionality such as pinch to zoom? Ditto for Palm. Those dismissing the iPhone as knock off’s of those are either demonstrating their ignorance of details of those platforms or their own anti-fanboi biases. Sure there are aspects of the iPhone that are derivative – but there are aspects of the iPhone that were truly revolutionary and different. It is those things that Google quickly re-tooled and copied, and thus the original criticism is extremely valid – whether you like it or not!

    • Well, if want to reduce it to an icon grid (which is what it is really), the interface for the iPhone is nothing but an imitation of the icon grid found in every GUI in the world pretty much. It appears that Apple is still copying Xerox 40 years later.

    • @Mike
      1) Apple paid Xerox for access to their labs and ideas. You could say they bought a license to it, so they didn’t steal anything
      2) The kit that Apple released based on what they glimpsed at Xerox was significantly improved. Sometimes by accident – check out towards the bottom of page 19 on this PDF for my favorite story about Apple innovation with overlapping windows (by one of my favorite Apple engineers – Bill Atkinson):

      http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/Oral_History/102658007.05.01.acc.pdf

      This is what makes Apple unique. Their singular focus isn’t on technology for technologies sake, but on the end user experience. They get criticized for missing features, but often the lack of features that are cited as being “missing” are what makes the Apple experience what it is.

      The iPad and future iOS devices are the true fulfillment of the earlier Apple tag line “Computers for the Rest of Us”

      If that’s not for you – great! Other companies still offer the traditional experience. But for the first time there is a real alternative to traditional computing offered by at least one other company. I am always amused at those who decry Apple for a lack of “choice”. They are really just demanding more of the same and if their wishes were granted they would actually be limiting the choice for other styles of computing that are out there.

    • Hey yall,

      Not to prolong the tedious who’s-copying-who debates, but Palm’s early PalmPilots were essentially more successful clones of Apple’s Newton, which came out in 1993 and featured, among other things, an icon grid and shortcut icons in a dock:

      http://pdadb.net/img/os/newton/newton_os_2.0_controlpanel.png

      Of course, icon grids aren’t exclusive to mobile devices—nor was the concept radically different from the mac os or other guis—but it was simplified and optimized for a different type of input.

      It’s kind of remarkable how long many of these interface paradigms have persisted, even through different input devices, huh?

  25. Now what I think is funny is that the original concept Google phone has striking similarities to the current GoogleTV. It just goes to show you how LITTLE they have actually learned trying to copy Apple.

    Somebody definitely has a button-fetish at Google.

  26. Actually it’s not Google who’s making the clones, but HTC or Samsung. They were just keeping up with the trend: in 2007 RIM was a trendsetter, in 2010 it was Apple.

    • The point is – Other then their original search algorithm, Google hasn’t had an original idea – They’re Microsoft 2010, they buy it or copy it.
      Sorry to say, they’re brilliant engineers with no right brain or creativity

    • That’s not true — Gmail was a great idea: ultra-simple, light, fast, unlimited storage. Compare it with the bloated, slow, 25 MB max account competition of the time.

    • Well, it’s not like they were the first spidering search engine, either; it’s a mistake to discount important details of strategy and execution when determining originality.

      Gmail wasn’t just webmail done better: it was webmail done *differently* and better. Actually, scratch that; it was *email* done differently and better.

      The same applies to a lot of other things Google introduced in the 2004-2006 golden period: Reader, Calendar (somewhat), Maps/Earth, Talk, Docs, etc.

      While, in each case, comparable software/services existed already, Google was pretty consistently offering something new and different in their approach, above and beyond just “like [x] but in your browser” or “like this other website but cleaner and faster”.

      It’s fair to point out that many (most?) of those did have their roots in acquisitions made by Google, the reborn Google version of the services were more than just a simple rebranding, and generally showed much grander ambitions than whatever was initially acquired.

      Google seemed to have a (then) unique view on just how far they could take their economies of scale with online data, and also had a great talent for creating the first AJAX-y web services that could actually rival standalone software it their usefulness. Both of these ideas were pretty revolutionary at the time, and helped to usher in “web 2.0″.

      I should also note: this doesn’t undermine the Microsoft comparison; one could probably make analogous points about Microsoft during the early 90s.

  27. not sure if this is intentional, but the first one clearly is not an android phone but if anything a blackberry. Also the second android device uses a very heavily modified gui (used only by samsung) that makes it look a lot more like an iphone.

    • His point is that early versions of Android were actually mean to be Blackberry competitors. It actually looked like that.

      They were retooled into the modern sleek smartphones that we know today after the launch of the iPhone, or so the story goes.

    • That’s the point – first they came out with a Blackberry clone, then messed their pants, and switched to making iPhone clones.

    • Yes, they would just try to copy the most popular girl in the school. But even with great makeup, a chimp does not look like a human.

    • While I think your point has been made, this link points to screen capture of a virtual phone from the SDK. No phone that looked like that actually shipped at that time, and the Android OS itself wasn’t released even in 1.0 version until October of 2008.

    • Mike,

      I suppose most of us are just wondering how someone can be as obtuse as you appear to be. No, the 2007 version of what Android was at that time did not ship because it wasn’t ready. The point here is that this was their user interface at that point in time in development. There is no evidence of an iPhone like interface from Google prior to the iPhone. It’s clear that Android/Google isn’t capable of innovating in the user interface space. As such, they simply copied the leading product of the time. Originally, this was Blackberry. When the iPhone was released, clearly the bar was set higher and Google now had another leader to copy from. Really, this isn’t rocket science. Google does many things well. However, when they (or Samsung, etc.) shamelessly copies someone else and tries to pass it off as original material, they should be call out on it. In this thread, you’ve tried desperately to defend Google’s position here, but you’ve come up with nothing. You simply mention that Andorid was designed flexible, etc. Sure, maybe it was, so that it can copy the next leader in UI design, right? That doesn’t mean the Andriod interface isn’t a blatant rip-off. Geez, even Microsoft came out with something more original with Windows Phone 7. How embarrassing is that for Android?

    • @Steve
      “I suppose most of us are just wondering how someone can be as obtuse as you appear to be.”

      I imagine that a good number of the people posting her spend quite a lot of time wondering about a wide variety of things.

      “The point here is that this was their user interface at that point in time in development. There is no evidence of an iPhone like interface from Google prior to the iPhone.”

      The Android OS is designed with customizability in mind, and the User Interface is customizable by the hardware manufacturer to work with the hardware. The device that Kontra SELECTED actually has descendants that are still on the market today. They still have basically the same interface that you see above. Other devices have come out since that have different form factors. Android is capable of adapting to those form factors.

      “It’s clear that Android/Google isn’t capable of innovating in the user interface space.”

      That’s clear is it? Yet in the Android space we see a wide range of different kinds of interfaces for any number of devices and device types. Everything from phones to TVs and wrist watches. The interface to the OS changing to work with the hardware. Apple made a black rectangle with an icon grid (something that had already been done btw). Not really all that innovative compared to what Android has done.

      “Really, this isn’t rocket science.”

      And yet you’re still not catching on.

      “However, when they (or Samsung, etc.) shamelessly copies someone else and tries to pass it off as original material, they should be call out on it.”

      I’m curious, what do you think of the LG Prada?

      “That doesn’t mean the Andriod interface isn’t a blatant rip-off.”

      I love how you say “the” Android interface. It shows how little you understand about Android.

      “Geez, even Microsoft came out with something more original with Windows Phone 7. How embarrassing is that for Android?”

      What, you mean that grid of icons that Microsoft came up with? Oh, I know they call them something else (tiles isn’t it?), but really, it’s the same thing. Personally speaking, I think that Android’s inclusion of Desktop Widgets is more interesting and functional. Nothing that Microsoft or Apple has compares. I thought that Apple was suppose to be this great innovator? Why is it the best thing they can come up with is an icon grid on a rectangle?

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