It's not stealing when Apple does it, because it wasn't stealing when Google did it either
0. phoneArena 13 Jun 2013, 16:17 posted on
Every time there are new features announced for iOS, there is an uproar around the web about Apple "stealing" features. I have talked before about why I think this is a silly argument, but I wanted to put up a refresher on the idea, because the claims simply won't die out. Here's the simple reason: it's not stealing when Apple does it, because it wasn't stealing when Google did it either...
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159. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Another 400 words would'ev been superb Michell H®
43. DragonWarrioir (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
@Micheal :- seems like you have really spend some time to defend IOS 7 :). Thanks for your efforts. Glad that you have missed the multitasking swipe up gesture copy from HTC sense.Good going :)
45. Hallucinator (Posts: 337; Member since: 24 May 2010)
And thank you for not being able to comprehend an article
48. DragonWarrioir (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
I respect his work ...I just expressed my view...thats it :).Good to see apple merging all Android features.Am sure Micheal will spend more time writing such articles when Android 5.0 comes out ;)
60. alltechinside (Posts: 197; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
Where in the world is he defending iOS? I dunno where you guys get this idea?? Michael has said everyone copies and there's nothing wrong with that...
Please explain your reasoning.....
53. alltechinside (Posts: 197; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
Excellent article Michael! I believe innovation occurs when a person builds upon other people's ideas. That's why sometimes I think software (and some hardware) should not be patentable (slide to unlock, row of icons, etc...) I think the tech industry could have progressed much more had we not had any lawsuits.
56. JMartin22 (Posts: 394; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)
Apple likes to pretend they're doing it better than the competition they sourced their inspirations from, even if the competition has had all of these features many years before the former themselves. Let's not forget that it's still the same half-baked OS that's still fairly limited in what it can do, as far as potential user experience is concerned. All they (finally) did was add basic multi-tasking features any modern-day device should have.
99. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Yeah, that's called marketing. Your job as a company is to get your user base excited about new products.
57. bachir8k (Posts: 51; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)
LoL, again Micheal? I will not argue with you anymore, because you are a genuine fan for Apple, and I respect that, but let me ask you something, let's say in the IOS 7 conference, Apple introduced new features and innovations, that no body has had them before, and Samsung "borrowed" and improved them and used them on its wiz/devices, is there any chance for us (PA followers) to read this type of articles written by you??? I think the title of this article would be "Samsung is stealing again, when they will learn how to innovate their own features" :)
63. Sniggly (Posts: 6197; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Haha, but no, really, you have no idea what you're talking about.
67. alltechinside (Posts: 197; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
I'm not certain, but a couple of months ago I think some users here criticized Michael for being an android fanboy. Now I find it ironic seeing people say it the other way around lol
101. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
A couple months ago? I get called an Android fanboy and an Apple fanboy every couple weeks.
The truth is, I'm a Google fan, but I respect the work of others. I don't see myself buying any Apple products for myself in the near future, but I understand those who like the products.
158. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Good don't buy Apple products.
Android Google Ftw™
102. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
How you choose to interpret my articles is up to you, but for the last time, my name is Michael. No Michael on Earth spells it '*eal'.
62. Sniggly (Posts: 6197; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I agree that by itself Apple's borrowing from other OSes isn't *bad.* What I've always iterated is that it smacks of extreme hypocrisy that they take from everyone else without giving credit or payment, and at the same time sue everyone else for doing the same.
Granted, yes, that latter part has been winding down, so while I'm still wary, I'm not as upset this year as I have been in years past.
I think what a lot of us feel is that because Apple is such a strong brand presence in peoples' minds, they'll blindly jump for iPhones because to them iOS has the cool features AND that Apple logo on the back. It obviously won't play out like that, but I can see how people would think it.
64. edfmac96 (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
I agree with this article, however I think the reason that so many people are getting upset is because Apple seems to throw a fit whenever someone seems to copy them, but they have no problem copying others.
103. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
As stated in the article, that hasn't happened since Tim Cook took over.
66. Slammer (Posts: 672; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
---" In the past, maybe I've been a bit too philosophical and abstract, saying that nothing has been stolen because everything is built on ideas that came before it. I thought that was a fairly straightforward argument, but every time the argument pops up again"---
It pops up again because many of the readers of this and other sites are kids still living with their parents and only care about arguing against the opposition of their choice brand without really knowing anything about the product they own. It just becomes a barrage of game playing. There never seems to be a counter rebuttal of informative info on why they own the products. It's always either "Android sucks" or "Apple sucks" or thumbs down without rebuttal. Never anything intelligent to offer.
You can always tell the adult's input from the kids. I thoroughly enjoy viewing what other adults have to offer in their experiences of good or bad with phones because they articulate with knowledge that informs.
With this said, I feel your article will fall on deaf ears once again by those that don't really care about anything except conjuring up useless, uninformative info on their device of choice. Unfortunately, these same people let useful information go over their heads. This is a shame when there is so much more to learn about products and services that make the wireless industry work.
76. alltechinside (Posts: 197; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
It's not just kids. There are adults that says the same thing. I find that ignorant people are usually someone who only used one OS (lets say iOS) and criticize some other OS (lets say android) over things they heard or seen (or imagined) without actually trying it (Android lags terribly, Android is slow, etc...). These kinds of people are very attached to that particular product (or belief) so much that nothing else will convince them.
I think people should open up more so that they'll see other things that they didn't notice when they were closed minded.
What do you guys think?
133. Slammer (Posts: 672; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
There is no way of actually controlling whose minds open or close. In the game of debate, those that feel strongly about their opinions, can't be easily changed. There are those that purchase on the premise of self-gratification. I have a friend who purchases because he "heard" it's the best. Cars, TV's, Etc. He has done little to actually experiment with other options because he feels good about owning the perceived "best". The problem is, he also is the first to complain if something is not right to his liking with the product. Again, he does little research to find possible compromises or what actually maybe better for him.
In this case, he is not a kid as you point out so I agree with your statement. It isn't all kids. I do, however, feel that most of the time, much of the ignorant attacks are from those that just want to argue about something without really knowing about both sides of the total packages. This often equates to a common denominator. Kids with no formal experience other than hearing what others market. Perception then becomes reality to them and they only use limited, untrained knowledge of the words " it sucks" in a debate. Then they wonder why nobody gets educated on the product they try to defend.
82. MartyK (Posts: 651; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Oh please Slammer,
Here's the problem-- every time Apple says anything is new or their idea the tech site ( including PA) goes haywire, even if they saw it before, they go crazy, when Android,WP WEB,BB fans try to call them out, that's when we get this type of article written ( peace & love);
They have and always find something great about Iphone vs any OS out there, the Iphone can be 10 years old vs a 2013 WP, guess who will win the comparison? Apple or they will say it's too close, or we don't compare different OS..this is old!
105. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Yes, and what you're describing is my hatred of fanboyism, which is mostly directed against Apple around here. If we had more Android haters spouting idiotic arguments, I'd have to write more articles with that bend, but we don't (aside from Mxy of course).
Those were the kinds of articles I wrote when I first got here, because the readership was more Apple fanboys than Android. Our readership has changed.
137. Slammer (Posts: 672; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
Who do we blame in the game of marketing? The one who markets, or the one who buys into it? Apple has played the game well. I've been on both sides of the teams. Even though I have my reasons for not relying on Apple anymore to conduct everyday living, Apple does a lot of things well. But, so does Android. I personally love the open platform of Android. It simply works the best for me. However,I have colleagues that have been 20+ year veterans of Apple and won't switch.
As far as tech sites such as Phonearena, I think we will all find faults with some sort of media news coverage due to differences of opinions. I do feel media hubs "SHOULD" be unbiased, but, the media is run by humans and humans have emotions. We get caught up in our personal choices or beliefs and can easily transcend to articles. But, articles can also be props for readers that use strawman tactics to elevate their own beliefs.
It would be so awesome to see people debating the editors of these sites such as Michael with mature, articulate, and logical arguments, rather than using childish dialect to unsuccessfully convey a feasible point of debate due to lack of factual, backing information.
71. android_sucks (Posts: 110; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)
This is a very well said article. I agree totally!!! Thanks for sharing!!
107. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Thanks! (Although I wholeheartedly disagree with your username)
73. deathgod (Posts: 94; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)
If Tim Cook was really against lawsuits like he said, why not reach an agreement with Samsung to drop the lawsuits and have each company pay their own lawyers fee? I'm sure as CEO he could have convinced the investors that the money spent on the lawsuits would be better allocated elsewhere, maybe in R&D.
Apple are just hypocrites, they can implement others ideas into their work and its OK, but if/when the reverse happens, the hammer comes down. Are there any Android manufactures that have initiated a lawsuit on the grounds that they had it first?
110. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I wish I knew the answer to that. The best I can guess is that the lawsuits in progress are more in the hands of the lawyers at this point, and even if Tim wanted to stop them he couldn't. Either that or Samsung doesn't have any interest in stopping the suits either since it has been winning more recently.
181. Vendetta (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
Tim Cook is getting the point that they were wrong before and are now. But they won many times. Now, he knows that there is no more place for apple to win the patent war anymore. Apple is not a thief, it is the LEECH. APPLE the Great LEECH.
144. Slammer (Posts: 672; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
---" Apple are just hypocrites, they can implement others ideas into their work and its OK, but if/when the reverse happens, the hammer comes down."---
While I agree with this, we need to question the judicial system. The medical and jusdicial system are the two largest cash cows in this country. If the court system has its way, the revenues will keep flowing through litigation and very wealthy corporations such as Apple, will take full advantage of the situation if they feel it stands a chance to win. Business write offs are every day practices.
75. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
I clearly remember both Samsung and Apple being told to work out their differences but Apple refused to do so, under Tim Cook's leadership. Maybe it's a difficult Google or Apple has been in court so much it's easy to overlook who started what, but what is crystal clear is Apple has done little to nothing to stem the ongoing court cases they are currently in. Thoughts of them wanting to pay Samsung pennies for use of their patents while demanding $24 in return for generic patents held by Apple come to mind. Maybe you're right about them not starting anything in the last two years, but it's hard to care when they've been so draconian and dirty with the cases they are in. Total banning of a competitors products over generic, poorly issued patents is hardly something to just idly forget or forgive.
And the saddest part is this article could be well received, it if wasn't for the way Apple has acted the past 4 years in court. If Apple really wanted to impress people, they'd settle the Samsung case out of court like adults. Maybe then people will stop looking at Apple as hypocrites. Maybe.
77. MartyK (Posts: 651; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Okay, now you're just splitting hair....
1. Your started with Steve arguement--all Tim have to do is tell them to drop it (lawsuit).
2. Your NEW vs Unique argument..Bull!!, just because the IFan have never witness anything else do not mean people like yourself ( Tech site) should give them a pass.
3.NO COMPANY ever accuse another company of stealing tell Apple brought their corrupt brand of competition to the mobile world; mobile world use to be peaceful and enjoyable.
81. Stuntman (Posts: 590; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
Michael hit the nail on the head with this article. The reason that Apple gets criticised about its new features copying Android and others has a lot to do with the law suits that Apple filed while Steve Jobs was leading the company. It is true that Tim Cook has taken the reigns and has not tried to continue the "thermonuclear" war that Jobs declared on Android. This thermonuclear legacy of Jobs is something that Apple under Cook is still unable to shake. Jobs will be remembered by many as the person who brought Apple from extinction to the position it is in today. Jobs will also be remembered by Android fans by his declaration of war on Android in his last years. He has left this lasting mark with his law suits "thermonuclear" quote and so far, Tim Cook has been unable to shake it. It seems that many non-Apple fans still remember those last words from Jobs that is targeted directly at Android and they so far have not let Jobs live it down even in death.
I really think it is great that manufacturers try to incorporate features in their product to improve them. No doubt some of those features were copied from or inspired by products made by others. As a consumer, I will always demand a product that is the best for my needs. If a company takes those aspects from multiple rivals and makes a superproduct of my dreams, I'll plop down my money to get it. I will get upset of I want a product and someone manages to block me from getting it. I don't care whose fault it is, I just want a solution to my getting my hands on that product.
It's been a year and a half since Jobs passed away. Tim Cook is now running Apple. Ideally, we should judge Apple under Cook's leadership. Tim did continue with those law suits that was started under Jobs. I think that Tim had to not only out of resepect for Jobs, but also he should not show any weakness in this respects. Also, the suit netted Apple a huge monitary gain and a reputation that Apple can win these law suits. In a sense, it may make patent trolls, whom we all hate regarless of platform affiliation, think twice about making a move.
We all live in a less than ideal world. Steve Jobs is one of the biggest names in technology. In his last days, he has left a lasting impression on many with his "thermonuclear" declaration of war. All of the criticisms about Apple copying is part of the lasting legacy that Jobs left behind. I feel that as long as Apple and Google are major rivals, people will always accuse Apple of copying/stealing even though we know that everyone does it in order to improve the products we use.
87. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Tim Cook had to continue the lawsuits Steve started? Nonsense. All those lawsuits did was make Apple look bad to many. They haven't netted a single dime from the Samsung suit, it's getting retried with many of Apple's original patents being invalidated since it started. Tim could have sent a strong message about Apple being new but kept the thermonuclear war alive by not working out the differences with Samsung and others. And you're right, he can't shake the bad image of being sue crazy that Steve started, namely because he fed into it by not settling like adults.
104. Stuntman (Posts: 590; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I don't think that any of Apple's rivals would show them any more courtesy had Cook dropped the lawsuit. Samsung provided many parts to Apple over the years. They had some insight on Apple's future products due to the fact that they were making parts for them. I doubt that Samsung would have just ignored that incidental information they get just because Apple dropped the law suit. I would say it would be regarded as a sign of weakness more than anything else.
I also doubt, it would really win over that many non-Apple fans. The iPhone doesn't become something an Android user finds attractive because the law suit was dropped.
If Apple indeed does in fact continue to refrain from filing new lawsuits that are similar, then that is a good step for them to take. I would rather companies spend the money creating better products instead of lining the pockets of lawyers.
84. fanboy1974 (Posts: 817; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I don't care about Apple copying to keep up. I care when Apple sues the competition for essentially doing the same thing. And iOS 7 does not have one innovative feature that Apple thought of on their own. They basically spray painted and slapped new rims on a stolen car.
86. RangersK (Posts: 59; Member since: 15 May 2012)
LOL. You're the defensive player of the year!
93. maulgandhi (Posts: 19; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)
To begin with, the issue here is not who copied from who. The problem is Apple; Apple is vixen, they patent everything. For example. Slide to Unlock & Siri. Apple didn't invented Slide to unlock, the siri & just about everything else. Slide to unlock was created by some company i forgot the name. it was open source so just about anyone else can use it. Apple saw what android and other operating system were doing with slide to unlock, so they bought the company and patent it. Same goes with siri. Apple bought siri, which suppose to be part of verizon droid phones. Verizon had agreement with some company and they were only going to release on Moto Droid phones. Apple sees an opportunity, they bought the company. my point is Google, Windows, Hp dont mind if Apple copies from them, but Apple plays dirty. If someone tries to copy from em' they sue them. So yes Apple copied notification bar , notification toggles, multitasking, automatic updates, find and kill my iphone and much more. If someone plays dirty, others are not going to sit there and watch, they are going to play dirty too. I can see the future of the Apple...Going in Sewers.
109. putes (Posts: 37; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
You should have stopped writing at "First of all, I know that Apple has a dodgy past with claiming a feature is new, original, and unique to iOS ..."
Because this is reason we are having such arguments.
When Apple stops suing everyone for things they did not create then people will stop educating Apple fans as to what Apple really did or did not invent.
113. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
You should have kept reading past that, because the fact is Apple hasn't done that in a long time. And, it hasn't started any new lawsuits under Tim Cook.
143. carlos5593 (Posts: 21; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
Wrong. They did add the s4 and acused Google of intriguing their patents with Google now and that was on 2013
212. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
They added the S4 because Samsung added the iPhone 5 and newer iPads. At this point, Samsung and Apple are equally at fault for that lawsuit mess.
223. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2346; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
exactly , both apple and Samsung are the same at this point. neither are better then the other.
but as the majority on here are android fanboys they see samsung as a hero. there are always rabid fanboys for companies that are on top all as bad as each other.
this article proves it, a fair excellent article yet most only seem to see a defense for apple where there isnt one. just facts been put across
111. PermanentHiatus (Posts: 229; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)
Nothing wrong with Apple blatantly stealing from Android.
It just means that you're doing something right and have Apple's full attention,
114. Altair (Posts: 253; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Check this "iOS 7 vs. Windows Phone 8" video and decide by yourself.
124. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Saw that before writing the article. Doesn't change my argument.
115. Hammerfest (Posts: 322; Member since: 12 May 2012)
This article completely misses the point of why people continue to say "stealing" when in relation to Apple and Android, that point of course is that Apple is continually accusing Android of stealing, ergo when something from Android shows up in Apple, its a reversed role...
The continual "stealing this stealing that" talk is mearly just a mirror image of what is being done between the two company's!
120. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Actually, that's all in the section titled "The elephant"
118. GoVinci (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
At least Android didn't go brandishing the word "innovation". That's the backlash Apple will have to live with. They have this habit of "owning" things. Or just very good in making people think that they did it.
123. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
So, you're annoyed about marketing? That's petty.
127. phatcow (Posts: 16; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
So you are ignoring the fact that Apple tries to own what isn't theirs? That is petty...
213. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Again, when was the last time Apple sued someone over a patent when Apple wasn't being sued back? You're talking about the Steve Jobs Apple, not the Tim Cook Apple.
Oh, and BTW, "owning what isn't theirs" is the definition of a patent, and that fault is with the USPTO.
119. jimjam (Posts: 225; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
Yes but there is a difference between using something from a desktop or other unrelated system and using something directly from a similar competitor product. Apple copying from wp8, webbos and android is a direct copy from competing OSes.
146. jimjam (Posts: 225; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
Different applications and different medium. Not saying that it is totally right and of course there may be issues with brands, patents etc. but ripping from equivalent competitor products is just the worst.
214. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 May 2011)
So, if I were to do a comic book version of "Slaughterhouse 5", I wouldn't have to obtain the copyright from Kurt Vonnegut, right? Different application, different medium.
And, I'll ask you since nobody else has given an answer: what other options are there? How would you propose Apple or WP (which will soon have it) design a notification center on a smartphone that doesn't look like Android? There are limited options with the hardware we have, and smartphone OSes are young enough that we're still just figuring out what the base feature sets should be. Notification centers, quick settings toggles, etc are all necessary features for a mobile OS. Or, how would you propose Apple change the design of a calendar or calculator app, which have had standardized views since the days of paper?
122. jellmoo (Posts: 201; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Very nice article that makes some great points. As hard as it is to believe, the modern smartphone era (and let's be honest, it started with the launch of the first iPhone) is only about 6+ years old. 6+ years, and look at how much the industry has changed, evolved, and grown. Like it or not, each manufacturer and ecosystem has borrowed pretty heavily from one another in that time. Sure, a lot of mistakes were made, and Apple got overly litigious along the way (though they are not alone in that, just the most obvious culprit) but the reward for us as consumers has been some very awesome stuff.
I'm an admitted WebOS and MeeGo fan, and think it sucks that neither is around anymore because I loved what they did. That being said, it's still cool to see other groups recognize what made those systems great and get inspiration from them. Not everything is about 100% innovation. A lot of polish and emphasis on user experience can take a great idea and make it better.