Grand Theft Apple: 10 OS X and iOS Features That Were ‘Borrowed’ from Google and Others
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once quoted Pablo Picasso when he said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”
By this logic, we’d have to say that Apple came away from Monday’s round of WWDC software announcements looking very much like a good — possibly even great — artist.
Updates to both Apple’s OS X and iOS brought feature additions that seem hauntingly familiar. In fact, there were so many “Where have I seen that before?” moments during the live unveiling that we decided to collect the most notable ones into a single list.
Here are 10 new OS X and iOS features that Apple “borrowed” from peer companies.
1. Apple finally completed the visual overhaul of its desktop software platform, dropping all of OS X’s depth and visual realism for a flat, simple design. Though this type of software interface is in vogue right now, let’s not forget that Microsoft took a similar track with the ill-fated Zune four years ago and continues to push this UI style forward with Windows 8 and the Xbox. Apple flattened the look of iOS last year to catch up to Google and BlackBerry; now OS X Yosemite has been similarly leveled.
Apple’s OS X Yosemite (above) and Microsoft’s Windows 8 (below). It seems flat is where it’s at. (Apple and extremetech.com)
2. Another new iOS tweak, actionable notifications, reeks of Google, too. While Apple lets you do more — such as send responses to text messages from within the Notification Center — putting action buttons on notifications is old-school Android. So, for that matter, is the pull-down Notifications Center, which Apple lifted from Google some years back.
A new alert notification with action buttons on Apple’s iOS 8 (left) and an event alert with a snooze button on Google’s Android 4.4 (right). (PBS and Google Android)
3. Many smartphone fans have been wondering when Apple would get into the app widgets game, seeing as Android has had them since 2009. On Monday, Apple unabashedly announced support for iOS widgets for iPhone and iPad — at least in the Notification Center. Soon iPhone fans should be able to do things like scroll through tweets from the Notification Center, just like Android owners can do on their home screens.
4. With its “new” predictive text features, Apple’s iOS keyboard is finally catching up to Google’s Android software keyboard — or, for that matter, the BlackBerry 10’s. Like those older mobile operating systems, iOS will be able to make an educated guess as to what you’re planning to type next — like, for example, suggesting the word “features” after you type “stolen.”