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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126. phatcow (Posts: 17; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
Here is the problem with iOS. With android and the nature of open source the idea of innovation by bettering past or current technology is established. With iOS they do steal by stealing the credit. The way they express the self is to come off as to creators. That is the real theft. I find iOS fan boys to go along like this. When Samsung obviously tried to copy but yet in their way perfect the iPhone design in their galaxy one there was an uproar of android stealing Apples design. Was there an article explaining that its not stealing because apple too made things that already exist? Nope, in fact they were sued for more than 2 billion dollars. Then when tables turn iOS lovers protect apple and say its ok. Another example, apple patented the slide one image to a predetermined area to unlock. Sued oems and caused huge mess. Now they have lock screen that just straight up mocks windows and android and we are to be fine? You are trying to level the playing field by making google sound just as bad but apple is the one that feels the pressure. You can judge by their busy strategies and how they are now doing what Mr. jobs wouldn't have as many say. I am not a fanboy. I have an iOS, macOS, windows, Linux, android and webOS devices and other random is devices and I appreciate what each does. But I find this article to be ignorant that I couldn't read past a few paragraphs. Even the title I knew this is and iOS defensive article. Sorry if there are mistakes, typing on and iPAd...
129. lonestrider (Posts: 86; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)
It's just... Apple fanboy vs Android fanboy.
Just say, no one is stealing.
Then, let's say. iOS7's new feature is an usual feature in current Android version.
Hats off for Steve Jobs. His presentation really looks promising and amazing. Every word and feature he introduced really looks like an amazing new feature and will change the world. That's why iPhone become so legendary.
Tim Cook can't copy that.
130. DerryAhmad (Posts: 248; Member since: 05 May 2012)
I don't know whether Apple copy from other OSs or not.
One thing for sure, IOS7 doesn't have any real innovation and Apple is just playing catch up with those 'new' features.
131. TBomb (Posts: 311; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)
I think what the big problem is, is that Apple calls it "theirs" and uses a special type of wording that makes it sound like they invented it, but don't mean it that way... and I think they do it on purpose. As far as I know, and correct me if I'm wrong, other comanies will be like "Well, we added 'Feature X'. Enjoy" where Apple would say "We created this new 'Feature X' for the iPhone." when 'Feature X' has been around for ages. And I realize it's marketing... good marketing in fact because it's clearly working.... but it's like a psychological marketing that makes all non-iphone users mad when they use it.
Again, Correct me if I'm wrong.
215. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Okay, I'll play along. So, Apple says "We created this new 'Feature X' for the iPhone." What would you rather they said? "Google used this 'Feature X' (which was created by Palm, and Microsoft before it) and we liked it, so we're using it too."?
When Apple adds something to iOS, of course they're going to say they created it, because they did the coding. They're going to call it "new", because it is new for iOS and its users.
No company ever gives credit to the originator of an idea, why would you get angry at Apple for not doing it?
233. rcl4444 (Posts: 38; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)
It's not about giving credit where it's due (nice idea, just never going to happen), it's about taking additional credit for themselves that's not.
Instead of intentionally implying they created or invented something they could say "As a first for iPhone we have brought 'Feature X' to iOS7"...or "...As an iPhone first we now give you 'Feature X' in iOS7"
132. lumialove (Posts: 75; Member since: 16 May 2012)
I think that the credit shouldn't be given to Wright brothers too,bcos they copied it from birds.
136. Whateverman (Posts: 3235; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Nice article Michael!!!
Apple definitely copied their OS, that's just the word I use instead of saying they we"re very, very heavily influenced by other OSs. But I don't think any of these companies are "stealing" either. You hit the nail on the head with this one. Thank you sir!
138. rocketlog (Posts: 26; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)
I don't have any problem with the stealing part, or borrowing, inspiration, copying, whatever it goes by nowadays. Adapting innovations and trying to improve them is how technology moves forward.
The problem is lawsuits. More lawsuits means more legal expenses and more legal expenses means higher prices. I don't think anyone here wants prices to be higher if it can be avoided. I hope Tim Cook's aversion to legal action will soon rub off on other companies.
148. jimjam (Posts: 252; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
Except apple didn't adapt anything or improve anything. They just copied them as is and rebranded them and passed them off as apple innovation.
216. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I'd say the Apple notification center is a definite improvement over Android. The quick settings aren't the best design, but it's nicer to have the brightness slider and such right there than just a link to the settings menu.
228. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Michael..check again...on Android 4.2.2 there are two drop down notification section. The right one reveals quick setting, which include Bluetooth, brightness, etc., all there ready to change...plus you can have a widget on any screen. I wonder if you really do use Android.
232. rcl4444 (Posts: 38; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)
Michael, networkdood is right about 4.2.2.
Regardless overall I do agree that Apple has done a very nice implementation of both the Notification and Settings areas, and that it's better than Android.
However if not in 4.3 than in 5.0 Android will likely improve their notifications to something better again.
(And just to stir the trolls...) I wonder if Apple will try to sue them should they make it opaque...?
139. PhoneCritic (Posts: 423; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
Mike well written article. However, I think what many are saying here should not be missed. If Tim Cook wanted to he could reign in the lawyers with a simple phone call and certainly work things out with Samsung also with a simple phone call. ( Mind you we are not priv to this type of info. for all we know this could be taking place). Prior to WWDC Apple management made some big statements about it's new os design and defending it vigorously any one who tried to copy it.
That alone was a very scary statement once iOS 7 was shown, So much of it comes from what others had already implemented. So will Apple patent control center and quick toggles plus pull down notification and then sue everyone else for having these features ( even thought they had them for years and the USPTO track record seems to temporarily always side Apple forgetting about all prior art)?
Based on these statements I am not so sure that we won't witness Apple not filing silly lawsuits anytime soon. I certainly hope Tim slows down the proceedings.
218. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Prior to WWDC, a financial analyst predicted that Apple would start up lawsuits over iOS 7, there was no word from Apple on the subject, and no indication they will sue over anything.
As I've said in other places, I don't know that Tim Cook can stop the Samsung lawsuits at this point, because by now Samsung is causing just as much trouble as Apple.
142. carlos5593 (Posts: 27; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
You said that apple has not filled any claims since cook has been in office right? Now, I'll like to invite you to check out technobuffalo where they clearly have apple claiming Google now infringed their patent and a request to add the s4 for the new Apple - Samsung case coming in 2014
217. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
As I've said many times, at this point Samsung and Apple are equally at fault in that mess. Apple has requested to add the S4 because Samsung requested to add the iPhone 5.
151. ntsiotinos (Posts: 16; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)
Well written. It is indeed true that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that humans do is MOSTLY a rework of a previous idea and perhaps an improvement. That is how our society survives and we as a species is surviving. We need to adapt. It is no different for businesses, they need to adapt to the prevailing business conditions or die.
Everyone knows that all of the mobile businesses have copied each other to get to where they are. It is an essential part of survival and accepted as such.
That is why everyone became so enraged at Apple when they pretended to invent everything and went on the lawpath to damage competitors.
Now that they are blatantly "borrowing" ideas and playing catch up, it is no wonder that people are up in arms.
IF it is true that Tim Cook has seen the error of their litigious ways and is now refocussing on delivering innovation as opposed to litigation to compete, then that is a win for everyone.
219. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Let's imagine that Apple didn't "borrow" ideas. What options are left? How would you propose they design these solutions (like a notifications center and quick settings) that NEED to be a part of any mobile OS? These are basic feature sets of a mobile OS. What other option is there? Leave them out completely? Design a worse way to offer the functionality, like a notification center app that you have to back out of what you're doing to launch?
There are limited design options on the hardware we have. What would you suggest Apple, or any other company do, other than "borrow" ideas?
231. rcl4444 (Posts: 38; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)
Until iOS6 & 7 Apple DID leave all these features out!
No one expects any manufacturer to say 'we borrowed' or 'copied'. Its that Apple intentionally imply they invented or created something that already exists. Yes, it may be a first for iPhone and so strictly speaking it can be said they have 'created' it for iPhone...however if they did not want to intentionally foster such false beliefs they could instead say 'As a first for iPhone we have brought feature X to iOS7'...
153. Taters (Posts: 3742; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I am pretty sure the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 just doesn't add itself to product ban lists. So of course Apple are still being hypocrites. The worse thing is that they even sue Samsung for software in Nexus devices, which us software created by Google, not Samsung.
I am sorry but if you support Apple's actions, you are a disgusting human being.
220. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I'm pretty sure that Samsung is just as responsible for the lawsuit mess right now as Apple.
And, I'm pretty sure you get a warning for that last sentence.
156. evarod48 (Posts: 152; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
people just want their preferred company to be the first and the best. Sometimes they look past the facts in order to back their beliefs. I don't like apple per se, but a lot of people benefit from what they provide. No company is perfect, no company is completely unique.
162. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6946; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
Then why the hell did the courts favor with Apple? And don't call it STEALING with Apple gets away with gov't and courts system too get away with law suits
163. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1313; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
It's a shame that this is what we're talking about after the announcement. Apple created this "I've been robbed" image to the public over the last 2 years and now Apple has stole from Android, Windows and WebOS combined. I didn't think it was possible that a company could low ball 3 companies while suing others for rubber-band effects.
I actually thought that Apple would bring some original ideas to the table but I was wrong. No wonder Google kept Keylime pie out of the spotlight; they didn't want their ideas stolen
165. allen83 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Mar 2012)
Come to think of it, many OS take the idea of the old Symbian platform and just improve it to make it as their own.
166. droidboy (Posts: 33; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
I thought the article is well written. I do however disagree with parts. iOS 7 may not be a "copy" of android, but its nothing we haven't seen before in android. It's not new or innovative in any sense. I think the problem is that android was the first to put together these features all in one place. Not the first to create the abilities they have. How ever android did it right! So apple may not have copied but they don't win any innovation awards.
167. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Stealing is at the very core of concept pf "LEAN MANUFACTURING" not sure why Apple is so selfish ... steal and let steal should be their moto ... aah no. "Shriller" would say Steal my arse ...
170. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)
Michael I hope to say this one more time
It's not the stealing, borrowing, etc that is the problem.
It's the patents and lawsuits started by steve joba. Instead of sharing ideas and borrowing ideas from one another. He created a closed system that brought politics into the equation.
It doesn't matter who the owner is now. Apple can stop the lawsuits. Plain and simple. It doesn't have to continue. Tim cook can easily stop it the fact that it continues discredits everything he says. Plain and simple
173. cyborg009 (Posts: 94; Member since: 17 Sep 2011)
This article could been called "Lets talk about Apple cause I want to defend them"
Just to clear I use Android phone but I appreciate both Apple and Windows phone for doing such a good job with their platforms and I like them all. But this article is on such obvious defending notes that I feel like Tim cook and MichaelH were having few beers together while MichaelH was writing this one.
Nonetheless very well written article.
176. ilia1986 (unregistered)
I actually think that Apple HAS changed. There are various signs all over iOS 7 indicating that. They seem to be about 700% less religious about what iOS looks and feels like. I'm not actually certain that's a good thing for them either.
iOS1-6 had a very very strict structure. There was the lockscreen, the icons, later folders, later still the multi-tasking tray, and finally the notification center. It was obvious that when it comes to graphical UI elements - nothing big could be added because it was all about simplicity.
iOS 7 is much more "open". For example if someone said to Steve back then "I want users to have two options of going back - the back button and swiping to the right" - he would have probably fired them for just proposing something that could 'confuse' the user'.
In iOS 7 of course there ARE two options of going back. And a control center popping up when swiping up from the bottom. And folders with pages inside them. And a new multi-task interface. Hell, Apple even indirectly admitted that now - unlike before - this is true multi-tasking. Steve Jobs is probably going mad inside his grave now.
iOS7 shows that apple IS catching up with the competition. Which is good for apple and I believe good for Android - for the competition to continue. With iOS 7 we - Android users - don't have nearly as much of an advantage over iOS anymore, because some key things we used to boast about - like having quick access to settings, having true multi-tasking, quick access to the flashlight, sharing files wirelessly, having unlimited icons in a folder, having live wallpapers and heck - maybe in the future - having multiple keyboards as well - are now in iOS.
Of course most advanced android users still have 500% more functionality than iOS7 but when it comes to the casual android user who uses 1-2 widgets, no custom launcher, doesn't root, doesn't install a 3rd party keyboard - iOS7 is almost on par with that.
Welcome to the modern world, iOS users. Still a shame though that your phone now looks like a neon post card. :)
178. nothingmuch (Posts: 184; Member since: 03 May 2013)
Copying, stealing, borrowing, whatever you call it, it still comes down to "NOW THAT THESE FEATURES ARE ON AN APPLE PRODUCT" Apple will most likely patent these features and render them obsolete for other OS users, ban more devices, or charge fees! Yes Jobs is gone and Cook clearly has no intention on of stopping a money making lawsuit like the infamous samsung vs apple deal that will most likely have a new and VERY GOOD reason to ban ALL Galaxy series for good. And not to mention ALL the other lawsuits that will be re-opened. There is still controversy over Apple attacking all of android with Samsung being an example with the S4 series... I can't be the only one who sees this one coming!!
Im sorry but Apple has this BULLY reputation to take what they want from whom ever and then shoot them down with a patent Apple made up or took that has similarity, look, feel, or even dumber, an idea!! And don't say that it happens with business is business BS! Or Apple has good marketing, its that we are letting it happen by supporting them, and the blind users don't see is that what they are doing is ruining the true innovators, true creativity, make it better in a way, because Apple has become this evil tech giant that makes every other tech company afraid of INFRINGEMENT.
Yes clearly I dont agree at all with Apple in anything they do, and I do give Samsung props for standing up to them and laughing off their lawsuits instead of settling matters because it shows that Apple is weak in the field of progression, creativity, and ingenuity, and most of all different...Apple did it to themselves by taking on freedom of choice to the consumer, trying to control the consumer is what we're all pissed about, and just because they add older than my dog UI controls still dont change a thing, Apple will always be Apple
179. pept68 (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
Sorry Michael... But i totally disagree with you about Tim Cook! He is no better than jobs! You pointing out that no new lawsuits have been filed, does not change the fact that i beleive that he does have the power to end them. That he was quick to respond after the verdict on "how justice was served", Justice or abuse of the patent system? He and apple are hypocrites...
182. hmmm... (Posts: 65; Member since: 05 Jun 2013)
Thought the article is okay, I think it is weird that such an article only appeared when IOS7 came out. The timing for such article is totally off and questionable. It sounds so much like defending Appple when they started copying balantly. If this article had appeared before IOS7 then it would not be considered bias. Why wasn't an article like this written for android when some people alleged them for copying ideas? This article only appeared after IOS7 had so many similiar feautures from other OSes. So yeah. totally bias article to defend IOS7.
183. frydaexiii (Posts: 1270; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
My gripe isn't that Apple was "borrowing/stealing" features, what I have a problem with is Apple keep on harping about being innovative and saying Android is inferior and stuff and immediately after that, just present features that were ripped directly from Android.
My other problem is of cause, the ifans themselves, one day they were all "Android was stolen from iOS.iPhone was first hurdurhur. " And when these features show up, suddenly it's not stealing anymore or who came first, it's "not who came first, but who does it right.". These kind of double standards shown by Apple and their cult is probably what pisses me and probably every other Fandroid off.
189. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 698; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
BIASED to Apple.. the topic itself proves this.
204. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Go eat grass
190. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
When i say apple is stealing a feature, i mean its something that we've seen on other OSes but apple has filed a patient for it but changed the wording of how it works, even though its exactly the same the original patient. If apple was to add the same feature but request a patient license for from the company who has the original patient, then that would not be stealing.
This is the reason why nexus devices dont have a SD card slot. Because Google didnt want to pay microsoft for patient license for this feature. This keeps the price of nexus devices down.
191. syedzain (Posts: 175; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
Excellent Post well Said michael.. Not biased.. Thats the reason i like PhoneArena.
195. AppleOrAndroidS (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
Well you see you guys only blame apple remember that the iPhone 5 was alumina and the htc one copied the design but no one blamed them so you see you have to shut up if you are like that
201. Ruisleipä (Posts: 31; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)
One of the best articles here on PA I've read for a while.
202. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
Actually, mike, it's still stealing. Both of them or rather all of them steal ideas from one another. But none of them want to give credit. I think what pisses most people here saying that you're unbiased is the fact that when apple introduces a new feature, it is well advertised and with fireworks that makes it looks like they 're the first one to implement it, e.g panorama.
Everybody is stealing the concept but no one really wants to admit it. Besides, who'll be silly to market their products with that.
Anyways, great article.
205. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3310; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Great article Mike, this will create a healthy competition in between them and consumers gonna win with every App development.
208. rcl4444 (Posts: 38; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)
Congrats on a well written article. I respect your unbiased approach to diffuse an ongoing stale argument.
I agree with much, in particular judging Apple going forward as opposed to on its past. Apple has alienated many through what it has done (dubious claims of innovation, others stealing and litigations for anything it can)... and it's a long history! Apple were once the underdog, they were innovative, a battler, and humble (or at least far less arrogant than IBM). Now Apple is not only doing to others what was once done to it, it has been doing so with unmitigated Fire and Brimstone abandon! This has polarised the fan bases.
What started as frustration towards Apple fans blindly believing anything Apple tells them was met with almost fanatical backlash from those fans, which in turn triggered similar responses from those supporting other OS's, which escalated into the next round and so on... a viscous circle. It's going to take some backing down on both sides and cooler heads to simmer this down.
Your slant implies all should be forgiven (of Apple). This will need some well demonstrated actions (and words) from Apple over a long period. I agree it looks like they may have started, and if so then yes we need to move on.
There are three points I challenge:
How far do we go when looking for what's stealing?
Files came from files on desks, which came from scrolls, came from slates, from stone tablets which came from cave paintings...where do we draw the line? Is it Stealing or Inspiration?
Inspiration vs Stealing:
Inspiration often comes from something around us, something someone said, something seen, etc, triggering an idea which is brought to reality. Roses come in many colours, if I create a black one am I stealing or inspired? Planes fly and so do birds, did the Wright Brothers steal or were they inspired?.
This is no longer clear cut in the mobile OS race. Where I agree that taking an idea (inspiration) from something already invented and making it your own or better is a fact of life, it's very different from claiming it as Innovation, whether direct or implied., which leads to my last point.
Apple was very careful in the Keynote to always say "this is a first for iOS" and made no claims of innovation that I recall, a big departure from the past (as you said). However the implied intent is still there in the words "this is a first...". If Apple didn't want to create a belief/doubt/suggestion in people's minds that they have innovated, they could have said "Today, we are giving our fans what they have been asking for..." "What they wanted..." "What they've been waiting for...". Isn't that a far more powerful way to drive loyalty yet clearly not suggest you have created the wheel?
To echo Dr Phil, 'Who are the Leaders and who the Followers?' If Apple gave credit where its due or stopped their rhetoric they could Lead the way for all by example, and diffuse all these arguments!
221. roopesh (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
C'mon Michael!! Its not just about stealing... Its about stealing by Apple who even claims rounded rectangular shape was invented by them!! :)
225. grbrao (Posts: 33; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
No one know how the high level people sketch things? Each and every company depended on another by one way or another. Samsung got popularity and sympathy from android fans when apple sued them? Is that really necessary for a brand like apple to sue Samsung? These are business people, apple earning billions, Samsung doing good business, those who are writing reviews also make good money, the only people who feel bad is common man. Before it sound like tech fight, now it sounds like they are fooling the people. Just imagine what kind of advertisement Samsung got when apple sued. If it would have spent billions also it wouldn't have highlighted to that extent. Every where it is business.................... So don't worry guys, just go with what you like. Stop hating what you don't like and start loving what you like..
226. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 698; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Steve Jobs said in an interview, "We have been shameless when it comes to stealing great ideas from other companies."
Dont believe. Search on YouTube. Watch it & shut up..
I rest my case.
227. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
If Cook was really different he could simply pull the plug on all lawsuits...
229. roopesh (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
Everybody asks Can apple be still innovative? But! What did they invent? Did they invent GUI? no, they got it from Xerox... Did they invent Smart Phone? No, It was IBM & Palm Inc... Did they invent Tablets? Even before Ipads there was Tablet PCs... Did they invent App Store Concept? Electronic AppWrapper and other Linux distribution App Stores like CNT were there much before Apple App Store. And finally, did they invent the rectangular shape with rounded corners? :) So What did they really invent? Did they really invent anything other than improving or polishing already existing product ideas?
230. Ronny666 (Posts: 108; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)
It is totally absurd when number of fanboys making accusation of stealing. Everyone is actually stealing from each other and it is just that not everything is very obvious.
But I have to say that when Apple trying to patent every new or unique features, they may have forgotten about stealing. Patent law for smartphones in US is becoming a joke around the globe.
235. unregistered (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jan 2015)
Lets all be honest. We are holding tiny glorified computers in our hands. The way i see it l, nobody is stealing from anybody, they're just reinventing the computer....over and over and over...