Editorial

iOS 5: not "magical" or "revolutionary"

Yesterday, Steve Jobs took stage yet again, hoping to impress the crowds at this years WWDC conference. He showed off OS X Lion, you showed off iCloud and you showed off iOS 5, however none of them really impressed - WWDC wasn't magical this time around.

iOS 5 was rumored, hyped and talked up for months before this event, yet the actual operating system is far from revolutionary. You've fallen behind, Apple, and you are starting to play boring catch up games with other major operating systems rather than doing any innovation. Your features have slipped; the creative talent seemingly left to another place. 

You introduced a "new" notification system that is better than the previous system found in iOS. However it failed to take any serious steps to take on the systems found in both Android and Windows Phone 7 from launch. This new system shows notifications at the top after you swipe down from the top area - exactly like the system Android has used since its 2008 launch - along with notifications on the home screen, which not only does Windows Phone 7 already have, but also some Android skins do as well.

It's no use using the exact same design with your notification system. Consumers aren't going to be happy if you blatantly rip-off features from another operating system, and what's even worse is that they won't be sued for doing it. If anyone copied an Apple feature, or even using a name vaguely similar to an Apple product name, they would be sued within seconds; however no doubt Google won't have the guts to tackle this head on with a lawsuit.

Then there's the Twitter integration. Unfortunately, again you see iOS 5 struggling to keep up with the times: firstly Apple was second to the announcing gate as Windows Phone 7 beat them to the mark with announcing Twitter integration in WP7 "Mango" back in February; secondly, Android has had a similar form of Twitter integration, allowing posting of photos, contact sync, links to post to Twitter and more since the functionality was introduced in Android 2.0 way back in late 2009, and before that with HTC Sense.

Then come the minor features. Browser tabs are available in Android third party browsers (as well as on Windows Phone 7's stock one from launch), launching the camera bypassing the lockscreen is achieved in Windows Phone 7 by holding the camera button, reading list in the browser can again be done with an app (so can the newsstand feature) and iMessage is quite obviously a copy of the BlackBerry Messenger service that has been around for more than five years.

Then there's the other major feature we almost forgot. Device updates without connecting to a computer. This has been one of the best features of Android's update system and loved by its users while iPhone users struggle downloading 600 MB updates. Only now, four years from the release of the first iPhone, has Apple figured out that perhaps people don't want or need a computer to update their phone, and they don't want to download ridiculously huge system updates. 

This is the point where it gets ridiculous. Releasing old features and calling them new is simply a joke waiting to be made. We know Apple can come up with interesting new features and ideas, such as multi-touch gestures, brand new and appealing devices to tackle areas of the market and even cool names for their Mac OS' (eg. Lion, Snow Leopard), however todays WWDC showed none of this. Apple is leaving the creative spark to other companies; to Microsoft and Google; when two years ago it firmly held the reigns.

No one can reasonably call any of the new iOS 5 features revolutionary, because they are simply copies of other mobile operating systems, or ideas that have already been thought up. No user can call the new features magical, because they aren't when you look briefly at Android or WP7. Apple can't pull the usual "it's slimmer, lighter and faster" to wow the market because nothing was slimmer, lighter or faster this time around.

Apple, it's time to pull your own weight. It's time to get back in the magical innovation game.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

E3 2011: The Booth Babes of E3 - Day 1

Next Story

Duke Nukem Forever leaked to torrent sites

199 Comments

View more comments

J_R_G said,
Cupertino, start your photocopiers?

I really wish MS would make a banner with that on it. Just for irony, you know? I'd bet that would get some laughs.

What a lame sensationalist article. disappointed to find it here on the front page of neowin instead of buried in the forum pages where it should be.

bobbba said,
What a lame sensationalist article. disappointed to find it here on the front page of neowin instead of buried in the forum pages where it should be.

Agree.

It wasn't about who copy whom's features. Features , or the idea in itself is easily copied. What matter is the implementation. And people blame Apple for copying? COME ON, look at Microsoft, Not only do they not copy, or cant be axxed to copy. Even when they do they actually make an bad implementation of it.

It is painfully obvious the author is an Android fans, hate Apple, and dont understand the value of it.

And when iOS 5 brings these features Millions of iPhone users. Individual Android users will have wait for their Skins, their version of OS to get an update.

Please, Neowin, be fair, netrual. And give credit where it is due.

The reason why people think Apple is innocent don't see Apple as a threat to technology and it moving forward.

Considering they brought out there famous 80's tv spot claiming to break the chains of a "Communist" Rule of pc's at the time.
They themselves have become what they preached to not be just a few decades ago.

It's hard to have faith in any company that claims one thing to get everyone on board then does a 360 to become what it fought to not be.

I remember a time when Steve jobs was out to make apple different, now it's just make everything my way for a ton of money and unfortunately people don't want to make up there own mind and get told HOW to do things instead of deciding for themselves how they want to do them.

Oh how the mighty is falling. Hopefully this will teach Apple a lesson on better bang for the buck, and owning up to mistakes made....and recently, there have been many. Apple used to be about R&D. Why years ago I bought one of the last wheel model ipods 30gb video. I now keep it plugged in my car in 110+ heat and it always turns on and works great. But that was back when they were more about quality and not making a quick buck.

*input sarcasm where you see fit. *

I like evolutionary products far more than revolutionary ones. "Revolutionary" ones often take one step ahead and two steps back.

So, why you people expect Apple to say? "We are unoriginal and this has been done before"? Every company lies. Read again: EVERY COMPANY LIES. It's called marketing. Apple is singled out because, well, Neowin has turned into a fanboys nest. You people think you need to debate about these things.

The recent announcement of iOS5 is a clear sign of Apple's arrogance that they are untouchable and far ahead of the competition.

In fact, this arrogance has also made them so delusional and clouded their judgement not knowing where the company stands against the competition. The features announced are a clear sign of an imminent defeat within the Apple camp.

The F*? This rant isn't even an article! I don't know who the editor is; he's probably in his 20's or 30s, but he sure sounds like a kid not getting his meal at 6PM sharp.. This is an utterless useless article.

Mathijs Delva said,
The F*? This rant isn't even an article! I don't know who the editor is; he's probably in his 20's or 30s, but he sure sounds like a kid not getting his meal at 6PM sharp.. This is an utterless useless article.

Agreed, this article brings nothing to Neowin.

Why does the original poster care? He clearly isn't an Apple fan so why write an article that can only be one sided. Do you think the general consumer cares? These are welcomed features so the general consumer is only going to be happier to own an iPhone... Seriously, i don't care if iphone had them first and i dont care who copied who..

And how is this even new? even the original iPhone missed out on features that all phones should have, ie MMS. There was no competition then so it didn't matter, but now there is i can see apple bringing their phones up to speed with features that they maybe should of had from the beginning... maybe it is the wake up call Apple needed, i'm all for that. But direct copied? i don't think so... these are features that are, and should be in all phones. Someone said it's not about feature but implementation.. o'rly? there are only so many ways a notification can appear on screen. The camera features, they have been around since sony ericsson started putting awesome cameras in the phones... so you could say google/ms copied sony ericsson?

over the air updates.. this is going to become a standard way to update most devices as network connectivity and cloud networking takes over every device we own. This is technology moving forward, all companies will adapt this.

I could go on.. but most of them fall under the same category as must have features on a phone.

Besides the fact that Jobs didn't claim any of these features were magical and revolutionary, i don't kno why people get so bent out of shape because it's only a marketing strategy, it works so why would they change it? As someone mentioned it's like Daz saying they get clothes whiter than white.

There is an article on win rumors showing side by side screenshots of the iphone 'ripoffs' and windows phone features.. all that did is make the win phone look like something from the 1999. fugly.

Maybe people are just annoyed at the fact that Apple can miss out key features and people still WANT them...

[quote:empty]Wow, what a rant! I definitely agree with a lot of your points - namely that Apple is playing catch-up now, however since I got my iphone 4 the major problems I've had with it (notifications, lack of a hard camera button) have now been addressed. Whilst I don't think it's a particularly 'magical' or 'revolutionary' udpate, I do definitely think that it has refined iOS to a pretty untouchable place.[/quote]

couldn't of said it any better.

This thing sounds like a big whinge from an Apple fanboi.

The expectation that Apple can continue to release "revolutionary" and "magical" software is ****ing retarded.

They are releasing software based on what it's userbase wants. If that means taking good features already on the market, then so be it.

I actually like this iOS 5 release, since it has nothing really new, it will give Microsoft the required time to get on par with features and gain momentum when Mango and Nokia phones are released.

WOW, should somebody who obviously has an issue with Apple be able to write articles on a website like Neowin? My answer is NO but seems Neowin doesn't agree!

Quapps said,
WOW, should somebody who obviously has an issue with Apple be able to write articles on a website like Neowin? My answer is NO but seems Neowin doesn't agree!

What do you expect from this site. It's let more and more unprofessional sensationalist idiots through the doors over the last couple of years. Never before has that "unprofessional..." strap line been more appropriate.

Matt Hardwick said,

What do you expect from this site. It's let more and more unprofessional sensationalist idiots through the doors over the last couple of years. Never before has that "unprofessional..." strap line been more appropriate.

Agreed!


The iPhone was launched (pretty lonely) in 2007. Android came in 2009. So... I think two years is a long time in technology. The iPhone set up a new category for smartphones. So that is not after all a lie.
Marketing is always catchy. And they do it pretty well.

yeah it was lonly in US, and ppl think it was inovation, now go out and search u will find devices from HTC were in other parts of the world and yes those were touch screens.. so yeah they got better device but certainly not the first ones.

I was actually very impressed with this update, which makes a change because I usually think "whatever" about iOS updates.

iCloud is a really cool feature and I think Google needs to come up with something like it.

The notification lock screen idea was pretty cool.

iMessage is a brilliant idea.

Probably not enough to make me leave Android, but it's enough to make me think. I will at least have a play with the new iPhone when it's released and see what I think.

Commenting is disabled on this article.