First to the race: Apple or Android?

It's the question that sets conversation on fire amongst the nerdier crowds: who was first to the race with a particular feature: Apple with its iPhone or Google with one of its countless army of Android phones?

We asked you this question recently, and now, it's time to look at the answers to those questions and your votes about them.

#1: Who came up first with an on-screen keyboard?

Who came up first with an on-screen keyboard?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Apple

The T-Mobile G1 launched in October 2008 to the tune of the following highlights: 3.2” display, Android running at version 1.1 (no sweet names were publicly associated with those early versions), a signature chin-up design, and a physical, slide out QWERTY keyboard.

The reason for the latter, however, is not just convenience - Android at that version simply did not support a virtual, on-screen keyboard. The physical was thus the only way to type on the device. This is an interesting little detail showing how little faith Android engineers had in the efficiency of a virtual keyboard.

Luckily, they quickly changed their position on the issue. Some six months after, Android 1.5 Cupcake was released, and the update brought one of the key features that we take for a given on all modern smartphones now - a virtual keyboard. It took quite a while until the Android world was ready to dump the physical keyboard completely. That happened with the launch of the HTC Nexus One in March 2010. Fast forward to today, and a device with a physical QWERTY keyboard would look strange at best. That’s progress for you.

So yes, that does mean that the original Apple iPhone that launched way back in mid 2007 was the first to the race here as it shipped with an on-screen keyboard.

#2: Who was the first to have a fully functional modern app store?

Who was the first to have a fully functional modern app store?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Apple

Apple is first to this one. The iPhone App Store opened its virtual doors on July 10, 2008, via ways of an iTunes update. It embodied Apple’s approach to apps: one of quality control and one to take a cut of the price of the app for operating. A day after the iTunes update, Apple started selling the iPhone 3G that came pre-loaded with iOS 2.0.1, the newest version at the time and it had App Store support.

The Google Play Store (initially, Android Market) was officially unveiled on August 28, 2008, but only arrived to Android users a few months after, on October 22nd. It introduced support for paid applications on February 13, 2009, a feature that was initially reserved for developers in the United States and the United Kingdom only. What’s notable about it is its different approach: Google did not vet apps and you did not have to wait for long approval times to get your app out there.

#3: Who was the first to feature 4K video recording?

Who was the first to feature 4K video recording?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

This is an easy one: Android phones have been offering 4K video recording since late 2013 when the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 first introduced it with a limitation of 5 minutes. Quite a few phones since than have arrived with support for 4K video, but the majority still have that suffocating, 5-minute limitation.

Apple’s iPhone only started recording 4K video with the iPhone 6s in the fall of 2015, so it was definitely late to the 4K party. Yet, it’s worth noting that Apple did many things better here: unlike Android phones up to this date, it introduced a new version of iMovie - a full-blown video editor on mobile - that supports 4K video, plus, the iPhone does not have any time limitations when it comes to 4K video recording.

#4: Which platform was first to have widgets?

Which platform was first to have widgets?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

If you guessed this one wrong, then you must have been living in a cave in the past few years. Android fans have repeatedly proudly stated that their platform was the first to support widgets, and later in time, it even got lockscreen widgets and other fancy customization options.

Apple, in comparison, introduced widgets in a very different manner and much later: with iOS 8 in mid 2014. Rather than allowing widgets to clog up space on your homescreen, they found a new home in the today panel, in a dropdown menu that you bring by swiping down from the top. While seemingly limited, it seems that Apple has not only caught up in functionality, but this kind of dynamic information in the notification dropdown is simply not available on Android in many cases. Lockscreen notifications on Android have also, interestingly, been quite limited in the latest versions of Google’s platform.

#5: Who was the first to have multitasking?

Who was the first to have multitasking?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

Android grabs the title here easily. Google’s platform was built from the ground-up with ‘real’ multitasking features and none of the aggressive app killing policies of the Apple iOS. iOS, on its part, has only supported multitasking since iOS 4 released in the summer of 2010, and phones such as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS are the first to support it (earlier models were not capable).

#6: First with a 64-bit system chip?

First with a 64-bit system chip?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Apple

Here, a disclaimer is due: we’re talking about the first commercial mobile product to have a 64-bit ARM chip. And Apple has the lead here: the iPhone 5s with Apple’s A7 system chip was the first to jump to the new instruction set and set the path forward for the whole mobile industry.

The transition, however, was a lengthy one and we only started seeing phones with 64-bit chips en masse in the beginning of 2015 when Qualcomm rolled out its new Snapdragon series.

#7: First with a fingerprint scanner?

First with a fingerprint scanner?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

This tricky question can be answered both ways, but the technically correct one is to say that Android phones were first to the race with a fingerprint scanner. Way back in the dark days of phones, the Motorola Atrix 4G released way back in 2012, brought a fingerprint reader on its back, but with limited platform support and use, the feature seemed a bit gimmicky and not fully mature.

Apple’s iPhone, on the other hand, arrived late to the show - close to the end of 2013, but it came with system support for the fingerprint scanner and not long after, Apple introduced Apple Pay in the United States, so that you could use your fingerprint to make secure, cashless payments.

#8: Which platform was the first with a phone payment system (via NFC)?

Which platform was the first with a phone payment system (via NFC)?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

Again, a double-edged question, technically, Android was first to the race with the Google Wallet app and platform (released in September 2011) that allowed for NFC-based payments, but this was not an ideal solution: support was scarce, and many Android phones at the time simply did have an NFC chip.

Apple, however, rolled out their own system - Apple Pay - at scale with the iPhone 6 and it quickly caught up. While it was not first to the race, it did seem to have the larger impact.

#9: Who was the first to offer split-screen multitasking?

Who was the first to offer split-screen multitasking?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

Well, this one is easy, isn’t it? Android phones like Samsung’s Galaxies and LG’s top devices support split-screen multi-tasking and it works great in the latest gadgets by the two companies. The Apple iPhone, on the other hand, still does not support this feature.

#10: First with voice actions?

First with voice actions?

Apple iOS

Correct answer: Android

Voice dictation has been around for a long while, steadily evolving and becoming better and better. Despite all those nuances, though, there is no arguing that Google is in the clear lead here: Android with 2.2 Froyo was the first to support voice actions, while Apple only added its smart voice actions with the iPhone 4s, when it introduced the Siri smart assistant.



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Got them all right... Where is my sticker at?

3. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

I got 'em. I was right first.

5. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I got Pokemon stickers!!! I did get then right as well.

76. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

same but still who in the world thinks of these flamewars, I guess they need to generate some ad revenue somehow.

81. plck74

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

why last one answer?

95. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Technically, I think the answer to the on-screen keyboards should go to Palm, then Blackberry, then Microsoft, then Apple. Although those first two had physical QWERTY keyboards, I know I had an app on my Palm that allowed me to enter non-QWERTY characters from an on-screen keyboard - well before 2007. Also, Windows Mobile 2003 definitely had an On-Screen keyboard. See below:

108. HildyJ

Posts: 342; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

And lest someone says PDAs don't count, all the Treo smartphones could use the OSK as well as the physical keyboard (not to mention Grafitti) so that puts it at 2002 with the Treo 180, five years before the iPhone or iOS were announced.

2. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Android FTW!

4. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Number 10 was a tie ;)

26. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

it wasn't available for voting.

63. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

no s**t sherlock, hence the 0 votes

87. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

don't worry you missed nothing just more apple B.S.

6. AlikR

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 05, 2013

So, Apple was first with 3 out of 10... Speaks highly about their "innovation" hahahah

17. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Now if only Google and Android OEMs would innovate their marketing to make those firsts actually matter to consumers when they launch...

28. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Open your eyes, it's Apple vs rest of the world. Google didn't implement fingerprint scanner in Android, it was Motorola. It didn't implement 4K recording, it was Samsung. It didn't invent split screen multi-tasking, it was also Samsung. Of course Android is more open platform, but I'd say 3 innovations (BIG innovations, because Appstore is much more relevant than let's say 4K recording or NFC) for one company is pretty good score. And Google got 4 so it wins but Apple is almost there.

35. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Yes and no, because Google came up with the the AppStore idea off others like Nokia before Apple, but Apple offered it 1st, they was going to 1st add it as plug-ins in Safari , but when Google 1st showed off android it listed an App Store, so Apple changed to App Store also, but got it out 1st with the he 2nd iphone

46. Joulukas

Posts: 115; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

Oh boo-huu-huu "But Android didnt do it!" The questions wasnt Apple vs Google, it was Andoid OS based phones and iOS based phones, so no point cry about how PA is wrong, everyody is wrong and Apple rules. Secondly, your view on "how appstore is much more important than 4K or NFC" show how narrow your view actually is. Just take it as a man and stop crying about it!

67. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Please tell me how 4K recording is more important than Appstore. I'm not crying, I know that Android has more features and it doesn't bother me who had anything first, I just care if features I want are on a platform, that's it. I just posted logical statement, agree with it or not

71. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple rules with 3 out of 10? Seriously?

69. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But the poll was based on which platform it appeared on, not who actually made it.

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Atrix 4G was released in 2011 not 2012. Also, with regards to #10, didn't the iPhone 3GS have voice command?

12. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I was about to post this as well... January 2011... Phone Arena don´t even bother to due a proper research... and if they do, its probably to avoid making Apple look worse...

14. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

They're making Apple look worse by not counting voice commands for the 3GS.

22. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

The thing is that Apple will take credit for bringing ALL 10 of those thing to the market and brag about how innovative they are when they only brought 3 things out first between iOS and android.

39. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

PA is always like that, iBiased!!! Atrix 4G was not launched in 2012 but a year before!!

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Funny that nobody voted on the last one.

9. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I remember back in the day everyone and their mom would argue that Android took voice actions from Apple. Siri was limited and it was just a silly talkback feature with funny answers sometimes. But anyway... Which phone was the first to be marketed to work with iTunes??? ;) This one is a kicker.

77. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

It was some Motorola, don't remember which model though

10. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Comment to the 3rd point : Talking about the 1st platform who brought the 4k video recording FIRSTLY, why did you mention the video editing apps such iMovie, Victor? I saw an ignorance.

11. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

With Android, you can probably jusy buy or download a free app. I thought that was a little strange.

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