On Monday, Apple revealed the latest version of iOS to the press and developers at its annual World Wide Developers Conference. Apple showed off a lot of new features on iOS, many of which are iterations on ideas from other companies. Unsurprisingly, I saw a lot of people complaining on Twitter that Apple was claiming to reinvent everything and that they stole everything from Android. The truth is that they took ideas from Android, webOS, Windows Phone, and a handful of jailbreak tweaks and, most importantly, iterated on them. Apple didn’t claim to be reinventing anything (they’ve avoided that claim for years now); instead, Apple claimed to be iterating. iOS 7 really is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone was released in 2007.
Tim Cook and crew are now off stage at WWDC, so as is typical around these parts when Apple announces something “revolutionary” (yes, they used the term again), we like to react. And even though Google has moved away from the series of cheap jabs during their own keynotes, Apple still does them in the bitterest and childish of fashions. If we didn’t toss out some thoughts in support, we wouldn’t be proper Android fans. Because after all, we are still Android fans.
So here we go, these are some initial thoughts to Apple’s big announcement of iOS 7 as compared to the current version of Android (4.2, Jelly Bean). In general, iOS 7 is a newly skinned version of iOS that finally matches up to current mobile design trends. Gone are the leather notebooks and green felt gaming tables – in is a minimal flat aesthetic. And to be perfectly honest, it does look beautiful. Jony Ive and his team did a fantastic job at skinning iOS and turning it into a modern looking mobile UI.
We’ll have so many more thoughts on the way related to iOS 7, but we thought we’d start with the eerily similar lock screens. Floating bubble live wallpaper, minimal clock, fading on the actionable icons, semi-Roboto font, etc. Interesting. Apple, showing love or at least giving props to Android for beautiful design.
And before the sensitive types think this is us bashing Apple, we’ll just say right now that the new iOS 7 looks really nice. But again, we’ll have more on that later.
Update: Our iOS 7 vs. Android comparison is now up and worth a look.
If you are a fan of tech as a general subject, then today is a day to pay attention. There may not be many Android-related bits, but as most of you know, there will be plenty from its number one competitor. Today kicks off WWDC, Apple’s developer conference, where they have already essentially confirmed that they will unveil their next version of iOS. But outside of Apple, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) starts this morning with Microsoft on stage to discuss all things XBOX One. And actually, the event runs simultaneously with Apple’s WWDC keynote, so juggling news out of both should be entertaining to say the least. Finally, later this evening, Sony will finish up day 1 at E3 to talk PlayStation 4.
Misfit Shine Activity Tracker From IndieGogo Drops Android Support After Months of Delays and Reaching $846,000 Funding Goal
Crowdfunding of new tech products through sites like Kickstarter and indiegogo has become the go-to method for anyone with a brilliant idea, but little cash to get things up and running. We have probably covered dozens of projects over the last couple of years (some good, some not-so-good), as many of these ideas are amazing concepts that have the chance at becoming a reality thanks to enthusiasts like you and I. One of those ideas from the last year was the Misfit Shine, an activity tracker similar to the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit, only it carries a much simpler, minimal-yet-beautiful, and less intrusive design. It won awards at CES, bragged about its awesome mode of syncing, and attracted almost 8,000 backers before closing as one of indiegogo’s most successful campaigns ever with a closing goal of $846,675.
But where it stood out to Android users, was the fact that its creators were willing to support Android from the beginning, something that even Nike wasn’t able to do after leading us on for months. Just before the campaign closed, they went as far as to show off their Android app, or at least the first render of it. This looked to be one of coolest, most attractive, and well-thought-out fitness trackers to date. Well, that was the case until today.
Heard of Mailbox? It’s an iOS app that was such a massive success as an email replacement at launch, that Dropbox bought it within a couple of months of its existence. Today, the company launched an iPad version of its popular app, but that’s not what Android users care about. In a sitdown with Read Write, Mailbox’s founder Gentry Underwood said that a presence on Android is next on their list of things to do. He wouldn’t specify a time frame, only that it’s on their radar now that the iPad app is out.
We were the first to report the codename of “Babel” as Google’s new unified messaging service, which ended up as Hangouts at public launch, but if you needed actual proof that Babel was around for some time, we thought we’d share this screenshot. It’s taken from my Google Dashboard listing of sites authorized to access my account. You can see that the Hangouts app for iOS is indeed referred to as “iOS Babel App.” (It’s on an iPod Touch that I use for work purposes, don’t kill me.)
You can also hear Google’s director of product management, real-time communications mention it in this video at the 1:40 mark.
Google tipped us off early this morning, aside from the leaks we saw previously, that Google Maps might be getting some love at this year’s I/O. A preview build of the new Maps was shown on iOS and Android. It featured a new slimmed down look with a search bar that took you into a revamped reviews section that has a 5 star scale instead of the previous 4. Google Offers was also worked into this same space to make finding food and deals easy.