Apple Copies Competitors with iOS 5 Features

by Jeff Wiener on June 9, 2011

As expected, this year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference came and went without an iPhone, a notable departure from Apple’s metronome-like release schedule. But the lack of next generation hardware aside, I found this year’s WWDC to be particularly disappointing. Gone were the flash and pomp that usually accompanies the thrill of seeing the latest and greatest from Cupertino Company, replaced by almost seemingly contrived enthusiasm over its lacklustre software revelations.

In fact, without an iPhone or any other hardware to show off, this year’s WWDC was distinctly software focused, but again, no surprise there, Apple told us as much. But to make a software-based annual conference exciting it takes some serious upgrades, major changes that show that Apple knows how to innovate in all corners of the mobile market.

Alas, what we got was something quite different, as it struck me as a conference characterized by unoriginality and a distinct lack of creativity. Like a child copying off his neighbour’s test paper, iOS 5 sports features adapted from competitors to look new, but that lack the usual innovation we’ve come to expect from Apple. Nevertheless, here’s a break down of some of the notable features of iOS 5:


Looking for a way to correct Apple’s current notification system of pop-up menus that always seem to appear right in the middle of something important, its seems the mobile giant has taken a page from its closest competitor, Android, with its new upgraded Notification Center

The Center will combine messages, updates, missed calls, your personalized weather, and a stock ticker in one single place, accessed by swiping your finger downward on the screen. While it is interesting, it’s certainly not innovative, and I would expect Google to take issue with this in the near future.


Before Cisco scuttled its popular Flip instant camcorder, the draw of the device was that it was both portable and instantaneous, the latter being a distinct advantage over cameras on cellphones, which take so long to access that the picture worthy moment as often long passed. With that in mind, iOS 5 will come with a camera shortcut on the lock screen, meaning that users can access the camera immediately, bypassing the lock code and all other time wasting buttons.

“PC Free”

One of the key features in this underwhelming release is clearly the switch to “PC Free” updates, meaning that Apple will now be delivering updates and activations over the air, no computer required. It’ll be interesting to see how this syncs with the new iCloud feature to allow users to backup and restore devices.


I’ve saved the best for last. Buried within the keynote address at the WWDC was an announcement that could conceivably spell the official end of Blackberry in the business market, Apple is challenging Blackberry Messenger. In much the same way as the Notification Center mirrors Android, so iMessage mirrors BBM, offering the same ability to exchange text messages, photos, and videos with your contacts.

In the end, Apple has wowed crowds for so many years at its WWDC that perhaps our expectations are simply too high, but in a conference that was full of uncreative, uninspired upgrades, I know I was left wanting.

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August 16, 2012 at 6:12 am
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YP June 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Note that the camera idea was also copied from Windows Phone 7. Nevertheless, it gets the Apple marketing buzz.

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