When it boils down to the nitty gritty, technology is nothing more than a reproduced iteration of an idea brought about in a different light. Those who are able to bring these iterations to the market on a large and acceptable scale are the ones who receive credit for the idea. Those who follow after are often thought of to be imitators and thieves, when in fact no idea is really ever completely new. Even for the iPhone 5, this is no exception. I’ll admit, the iPhone 5 is packing a lot of here, but it’s heat that most of us are already use to. Yeah, the iPhone 5 has a few features that it saw Android was doing well and wanted to have their own iterations of. I won’t go as far to say that the iPhone 5 stole features from Android, but the iPhone 5 did take a few hints from the Android platform and here goes the top 3 features that the iPhone 5 learned from Android.
The 4 Inch Screen
John Gruber said it best “If [Apple] thought 4-inches was better, overall, as the one true size for the iPhone display, then the original iPhone would have had a 4-inch display.” Though John called claim chowder on himself, he deserves more credit than that. The truth is Apple thought the 3.5 inches was the golden number for years. In fact, Steve Jobs made his stance on “hummer phones” clear by reinforcing his belief that they had hit the sweet spot.
What changed Apple’s opinion on what the golden size for a phone is was vastly inspired by Android. Though Android comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, Apple realized that consumers did enjoy bigger screen sizes. All in disregard of how perfect or imperfect utilizing the phone with one hand was. I myself believed that there was no room for the Galaxy Note within the market but they turned around and sold 10 million of those things. Still what Apple is yet to learn from Android (other than bigger is better) is that people want to be able to select what kind of screen size fits their preference. Apple is so used to telling people what their screen size is and they don’t understand that just because they say so, people will agree. A great example of this comes from an old article by Dustin Curtis where he writes:
When you first see a phone with a 4-inch or larger screen, it seems like a much better experience. I thought it was a technical decision, and it could be, but since switching to an Android phone – a Samsung Galaxy S II, the “best Android phone you can buy, anywhere” – 15 days ago, I have realized another huge downside of larger screens: when holding the phone with one hand, I can’t reach the other side of the screen with my thumb.
Here, Dustin is writing on how the iPhone’s 3.5 inch screen is so much better because he personally can reach the four corners of his phone. He assumes that everyone has the same sized hand as his and that everyone holds the phone the way he does. The problem for Dustin and Apple is that it’s not their place to tell people how something should be held; that’s for the customer to figure out and Android allows the chance for customers to figure out what fits in their hands the best.
While I don’t necessarily agree, Phil stated that “perhaps the most amazing new feature in the iPhone 5 is called panorama.” So what Apple is telling me that the most amazing new feature in the iPhone 5 was something that had already been accomplished by Apple’s mobile competitors? Yeah, Android Ice Cream Sandwhich already has panorama mode natively. And while I have only been able to experience this on my Nexus 7′s front facing camera, it works really well and gave me overall satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, Panorama mode is a welcome addition to the iPhone family of features. But as the title suggest, this feature is one that Apple learned from the Android OS.
Another feature related to the Camera is the shutter speed. While Apple is really good at taking ideas from others and improving the overall experiences, they really failed here. Apple improved their shutter speed by 40 percent. That’s really great if your going from an iPhone to the iPhone 5. But it’s terrible if your going from an ICS Android device or better to the iPhone 5. On ICS devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and even the HTC One X, there is no shutter lag. Every time you press that camera button, the phone will take a picture without you having to wait to take another. In fact, if you hold the camera button, the phone will take a succession of pictures right after another in the from of burst mode.
I’d be willing to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 can take at least five pictures in the time it takes the iPhone 5 to take just one. Oh! That whole taking pictures while recording is another cool feature Apple learned from Android.
Console Like Gaming
Although Apple’s App Store is usually first to receive games from developers, when that same game is ported to Android, the Android version usually contains more in-depth layering of graphics with a few graphically extras. A great example of this comes from a demonstration that was done by Slashgear. Slashgear out Apple’s A5 processor and put it against an Android device with a quad core. The video shows how the developers had to exclude elements like, for example, a pool of water from the iOS version. The same was even true for riptide should you head on over there to check out that video as well.
Phil took the time to state that “To marry mobile with console graphics, it’s never been done before.” when he should have said “To marry mobile with console graphics, it’s never been done before on an iPhone”. That would have made his statement more accurate. EA’s demo of Real Racing 3, by the way, that was shown at the iPhone 5 event already has a trailer that was made on Android which contains all the elements they hyped about at the iPhone 5 event.
Overall, the iPhone has some great added features. Just don’t get in over your head when you are telling them to your friends. An Android fan might pop out form the shadows and scream “first”