Posted by Chris Martin 03 June 2014
Apple takes dig at Android but steals key features for iOS 8
At its WWDC (worldwide developer conference), Apple took time to have a good old dig at its major rival in the mobile market, Android. However, the firm also announced iOS 8 which appears to (clearly) takes many key features from Google's OS. See also: WWDC 2014 live blog: as it happened
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, and many of the audience at WWDC (presumably most are fans of Apple) spent a decent amount of time putting Android down while having a good laugh at it. For starters, it seems a little low and unlike Apple to take cheap shots at rivals instead of merely focussing on how good its own products are.
The firm honed in on two key elements of Android which were adoption rates and malware. The malware one was way off the mark the way I see it, claiming that Android makes up 99 percent of the mobile malware market. However, this is far from the entire picture here. Read: Imagining an Apple Smart Home.
F Secure's recent report on malware across iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry did indeed find that Google's OS accounted for 97 percent. Yet, this is from small, unregulated third party app stores predominantly in the Middle East and Asia. If you look at the Google Play Store the figure is just 0.1 percent. Cook either didn't do his homework or decided to leave that bit out of the presentation.
Cook took great pleasure in pointing out that iOS has a much higher adoption rate than Android – an 89 percent install base for iOS 7 compared to just 9 percent for Android. Admittedly, this is an area where Apple is better but it only has a handful of different phones so the job is somewhat easier.
While Apple joked around at how poor it thinks Android is in these areas at least, what I find more interesting is the way in which iOS 8 contains many features which have been around on Android for a while if not longer.
"Ok, Google" is the latest way to start a Google search on Android smartphones and tablets and Apple has now decided to allow users to say "Hey, Siri" to activate its digital personal assistant.
Moving on and iOS 8 includes widgets for the notification areas and these are a core part of the Android system, allowing users to get information from apps without actually opening them. Although they don't sit on the home screen like Android, it's a pretty much identical concept.
A while ago, Apple copied Android's drop down notification bar, which has now made its way onto Windows Phone. Well iOS 8 now includes actionable notifications which, you've guessed, have been on Android for a good while. iOS 8 users will be able to take control of their iPhone from a Mac which isn't a part of Android as standard but has been available via apps for years.
One of my biggest complaints about the iPhone and iPad is the keyboard and the lack of swipe gesture typing. This is finally changing with iOS 8 so while I'm glad that this is an improvement, my point is that it's yet another feature which has been around on Android for a long time. There are more including iCloud Drive which lets you store any document or file type - sound like Google Drive much?
All of these features will no doubt improve the iOS experience but Apple should think twice before bashing Android while simultaneously copying its features.