For iPhone 4.0, Apple Mixes It Up, Copies Everyone Including Themselves

Posted by OCEntertainment | Posted on 1:11 PM

The iPhone 4.0 OS was revealed today. Soon the iPhone 3GS as well as whatever new iPhone comes out this year will be able to take part in Steve Jobs' grand vision for all the new, revolutionary, totally never-seen-before features of the iPhone 4.0 software. What completely unbelievable, probably patented features can you look forward to? Well, let's take a look at them one-by-one and see which companies retroactively copied Apple.

-- Multitasking
What it is: It's finally here. Probably the single most-requested feature and most criticized flaw of the iPhone OS. Apple is finally giving you multitasking. Sort of. I mean, they're going to let certain things run in the background. Seven things in fact. Like audio. Or local notifications. Whatever the heck that means. Of course, one might ask, "Well isn't this kind of a gimped multitasking?" Well, I can't think of anything else you might need background processes for. And obviously, if you or I can't think of it, then no one on the entire planet will ever come up with an idea for something outside these seven categories. This makeshift, jury rig of a repair job on a usually-single-tasking system is obviously perfect.

Where it comes from: Android and WebOS (Palm), obviously. Both of these platforms have multitasking built in. Palm has the prettiest interface with their card-like window manager. Android has a workable-but-not-quite-gorgeous solution with an alt-tab like app switcher. Apple picked the uglier of the two to rip off. For some reason.

-- Folders

What it is: For the past three years, Apple has operated under the assumption that, despite having over 150,000 apps to download from, you would never ever need to organize your homescreen. Because you see, the iPhone isn't for the nerds. It's for the average user. And the average user has a metric crap ton of icons just scattered all over their desktop in a sleek, intuitive way. But you nerds wouldn't shut up. So now you get folders. You can create a folder, which looks like a regular icon. Except you can put other icons inside it. So you can sort of organize your icons. Instead of having a pile of app icons, you can have a pile of folders. Besides, there's nothing users like more than having to organize their desktop every time they download an app.

Where it's from: Every computer you've owned since the 1980s.

-- Unified Inbox

What it is: If you have ten billion email accounts like I do, chances are you don't want to check all of them individually. Unless you're a sadist. Are you a sadist? May I interest you in Windows Mobile, then? Anyways, back on track. Yes, the iPhone is now capable of merging all your email into one inbox. huh?

Where it's from: Blackberries, the Palm's WebOS, Android (2.0 and up). Pretty much every smartphone that was capable of figuring out people might not like different apps for each individual email account.

-- iBooks

What it is: Now, finally, the iPhone has the ability to read ebooks. Nevermind that it's been capable of reading ebooks since the kindle app. Or that some apps are nothing but individual ebooks. This is totally different. Because these books? They're from iTunes. Which, as you know, only comes with awesome. Except for when iTunes sucks. Like on Windows.

Where it's from: This one's my favorite. In addition to copying Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all the other publishers of ebooks and ebook readers, Apple is also copying themselves with this one. Not only has the iPhone been able to read ebooks, but the iPad came with iBooks built in. though the iPad will also be getting this upgrade in the fall. So the iPad will be upgrading to get iBooks support when, before, they only had iBooks support. Gah, I love this friggin' upgrade.

-- Custom Wallpapers

What it is: You heard me.

Where it's from: The early-to-mid 90s, I think?

-- Game Center

What it is: An online meeting center for gamers. Similar to Xbox Live. In all seriousness, this sounds pretty cool. The iPhone/iPod Touch have been great for games and an online meeting place, point you gamers use Xbox Live for, heck I honestly don't really know. It sounds great.

Where it's from: Xbox Live and/or PlayStation Home, of course. But if you think "well, it's the first time one a phone", think again. While it's not out to the market yet, and yes Apple will be the first to put it in consumers hands on a phone, Microsoft already announced Xbox Live integration for Windows Phone Super Mega 7 Ultra Power Windows Phone 7, which is due to launch by the end of this year.

-- iAds

What it is: It's advertising. It's ads inside your phone. While certain other app markets prefer to let developers find their own in-app advertising solutions (even if they're owned by the same company). But Apple wants to bring the kind of ease and integration to your mobile advertising experience that you've come to expect from their products. With the iPhone 4.0 upgrade, you can expect to see in-app ads on free apps, paid apps, ridiculously over-priced apps....all kinds of apps! Because Apple knows, above all else, that what you, as a consumer, can never get enough of, it's ADS. And it's certainly not to get back at Google over something petty*.

Where it's from: The most obvious comparison is to Admob. Though it's hard to say that Apple is copying them in this regard. While the company is now owned by Google, Admob provides ads to Android phones and iPhones alike. But what the hey? We don't want to spoil a perfect score over a technicality do we?


So there you have it. Another year of Apple playing catch up. Admittedly, they did better this year than they did last when they only added MMS and copy and paste and a friggin' compass. But all in all, Apple's done it again. Revolutionizing the world by bringing their products up to par with all the "inferior" products that have had their "new" features for years.

*-- Unless you count this little tidbit as petty: "We tried to buy a company called admob, and Google came in and snatched them from us." -- Steve Jobs during the Q&A session.

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