Wow! Apple held its WWDC yesterday and Apple CEO, Tim Cook, introduced some amazing innovations to the new iOS 7. Of course, I had better things to do, so as usual, I waited for iPhone J.D. to summarize the event, polled some stuff from various Android-related websites, and bring you Part Deux, or Why you’re not going to care about iOS 7 if you’re an Android user.
Jeff starts his post by highlighting iOS 7’s “comprehensive redesign of the user interface.” It’s “three-dimensional,” Jeff says, “because of the use of layers.” Well Jeff, onions have layers, that doesn’t make them fantastic. But I digress. In fact, the feature is cool because “there is a parallax effect that makes the apps appear to move and float over your background photograph.”
I hate to burst your bubble Jeff, but my Android tablets and smartphones have long held this effect. It’s almost as if Apple engineers snuck into Google’s design room and plucked out all of Android 2.3’s best features. In fact, my background scrolls behind my desktop as I stroll through my app pages. Oh, and lets not forget that on iOS’s new weather screen, the background will change according to the weather. This is a great feature my wife asked me to remove on her Samsung Galaxy S3. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Android’s live wallpapers that do the same thing.
Next, iOS 7 adds app auto-update. Whew! I’m so glad Google Play already does this for me.
And actually, I’m surprised iTunes didn’t already support this.
The Control Center
Sure Jeff, the “control center” in iOS 7 looks stunning. Now you can “swipe up from the bottom of the device to flip those common switches.” Another nice innovation from Apple. But, once again, nothing new for Android users. I have a widget that puts “power to the people,” and my notification bar drops down from the top to give me access to important information.
While I prefer to still use a widget (mostly because I use Nova Launcher), Android 4.2 gives users complete control over the power settings from the notification drop down (I’ve kept “stock” on my Nexus 7).
Siri Means No More Control Center
The improvements to iOS 7 and Siri sound promising, but I’m sure Google Now and voice controls will have this in no time.
Google Now currently, and will probably continue, to kick Siri’s but when it comes to controlling your phone.
Of course, if you’re a Samsung user, you also have S-Voice, which is very cool.
This feature sounds cool, but it’s surprisingly similar to Samsung’s S-beam feature that is over a year old (I sense a lawsuit). Also, Android includes Android Beam that allows you to transfer content via NFC with other phones. Granted, this isn’t “over-the-air” sharing, but there’s always Bluetooth.
Be grateful iOS users, because you’re no longer limited to cramped folder spaces. I’m not sure why anyone needs “multiple pages” for folders, but we can already stack up apps to our hearts content. In fact, I’m grouping a bunch of apps for my OBA presentation next week. I can only say great things about folders, and I’m sure iOS users will love the feature, too.
Finally iOS users will be able to “multitask” by switching between apps running them all the time. This is a really “innovative” feature, which Android 4.0 introduced and Android 4.2 perfected.
This is another feature I’m sure iOS users will love! Additionally, if you purchase a Samsung device, you’ll see true multitasking (i.e. running two programs simultaneously on the same screen), rather than this wanna-be multitasking.
Jeff points out that “iOS 7 has a cool new interface for switching between apps that includes a preview of the app’s screen, in addition to the icon.” Seems awfully familiar to me . . . Has anyone else ever seen a more innovative multitasking scenario? Hint: look up at the picture.
I’m really shocked that iOS users still tolerate Safari. Even with its “improvements,” Safari is panting on the trail just ahead of Internet Explorer. Chrome’s tabbed browsing rocks, and already includes “a cool new 3D interface for flipping between tabbed webpages.”
Plus, if I’m on one tab and want to view another tab, I can quickly swipe left to right, or vice versa. Bam!
Oh, and “more of the screen is devoted to the webpage itself” in Chrome already, since Chrome introduce full-screen browsing in a recent update. When is the Safari update in iOS 7 coming again? Also, don’t forget Chrome browser for Android syncs with the settings on your desktop, so you only enter pages once. Oh, and I hope Safari includes the “swipe-to-remove” feature like Chrome, because that’s very cool.
What Impresses Me?
Now, there are a few iOS 7 features that do impress me:
- iOS Camera: the fact is, no Android phone compares to iOS’s camera settings and features. Cyanogenmod 10 has some slick tricks, and photospheres in Android 4.2 are sweet, but iOS reigns supreme, so far.
- Passbook: this app is neat, fun, and very useful. iOS 7 updates some of the features, but still keeps things simple. Love it. Nothing on Android comes close.
That said, the best Apple could do was showcase its rendition of Android 4.x. Of course, Apple’s motive in iOS 7 wa “a pure representation of simplicity,” and that’s what Apple-philes will get. Simplicity.
Incidentally, Jeff and I will probably have a couple more remarks and jabs at an upcoming CLE in New Orleans. If you’re available, join us at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, on Thursday, November 7 at 2:15, for an Android v. iPhone duel.