back to article Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild

If you're an AAPL shareholder, there are reasons to be deeply troubled by last night's WWDC announcements of new Macs, OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. It was widely believed that "Apple was unmanageable" after its mercurial, driven co-founder Steve Jobs departed in 1985 - without Jobs, egos ran rampant and chaos ruled. Apple in 2013 is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any issues with iOS7 will be fixed in iOS8. Any issues in iOS8 will be fixed in iOS9, etc.

    Anyone who speaks against the greatness of iOS or Apple in general should be strung up by their hamstrings and subjected to the public ridicule they deserve. So sayeth the Gospel of Jobs.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      And iOS9, due in 2 years, will have the features of Android 4.2, out last year

      It's all so tediously predictable.

      1. Manu T

        Re: And iOS9, due in 2 years, will have the features of Android 4.2, out last year

        "Re: And iOS9, due in 2 years, will have the features of Android 4.2, out last year"

        which Symbian had 2 years before.

        E.g. Clock with fatter font as hours (Symbian Belle 2011) or call logs with divider for missed, received, made calls (Symbian since forever)

        All those Americans are thieving hypocrites!

        Desktop OS's ripping off features from UK's invented, created and developed RISC OS (antialiasing onscreen fonts with hinting and kerningm iconbar, contextsensitive menu's etc...)

        Phone OS's ripping of features from Finland's Symbian (which is in essence ex-UK's Epoc32).

        F T all!

  2. Jyve


    It wasn't unexpected the direction they'd be going. They'd really backed themselves into a corner, and WP8/Android were showing that functionality beats pretty UI's that need extra clicks.

    The Notification bar, the quick settings, it's obvious that Apple have sat down with everything out there and /really/ looked carefully at it, probably had meetings on what to take it, improve it, and make it look 'appley' but it's incredibly obvious to anyone who looks at them where the ideas are coming from.

    And that's ok! It really is! Palm had some great ideas too, as can be seen by the switcher.


    You know deep down every iPhone user is going to look at this and think "well, they kept telling me this was better than the competition for all those years, and that they were copying MY phone, but now they're copying them and... I just feel uncomfortable. What else do other phones do better?"

    Then again, maybe it'll get a few others to re-look at iPhones and say 'oo, nice hardware and now a nice OS that works like i'm used to'.

    Shame they're going to Bing though, to get away from Google, they're once again willing to break their functionality. Unless they think Bing's good enough now. But as bad as Google may be perceived to Apple, have they REALLY forgotten how Microsoft works?

    Shows an Apple that's following, following, racing around, sniffing for clues. And at last, the general press seems to be aware that the smoke and mirrors are just that.

    1. Law

      Re: Familiar

      "well, they kept telling me this was better than the competition for all those years, and that they were copying MY phone, but now they're copying them and... I just feel uncomfortable. What else do other phones do better?"

      Actually they will just rewrite history. In a years time the "fanbois" will claim that Apple had been developing these features for years, and the competition must have stole these things from Apple somehow.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Familiar

        You know deep down every iPhone user is going to look at this and think "well, they kept telling me this was better than the competition for all those years

        Yeah, the average Apple user definitely thinks all that, rather than just buying iPhone because it;s cool and pretty. People buy phones because they like them, not as a result of prolonged introspection.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Familiar

        .....the competition must have stole these things from Apple somehow.

        I have a sneaking suspicion that the countdown to the first lawsuit claiming exactly that has just started....

    2. Manu T

      Re: Familiar

      "And that's ok! It really is! Palm had some great ideas too, as can be seen by the switcher."

      Funny I thought the switcher looked more like Harmattan's than Palm's.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They had to do it.......

    ....just because its "that" time of the month. St. Jobs used to do it, so thay have to do it. So anything goes, to keep up the tradition.

    Next year will be the same, mark my words.

    Nothing revolutionary is coming out.

    Would be nice to see some lawsuits flyiing about copying/ripping ! The year will pass interestingly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They had to do it.......

      "Would be nice to see some lawsuits flyiing about copying/ripping ! The year will pass interestingly"

      Just as well they stock piled that cash, sounds like they are going to need it!

      iPhones/iPads have always appealed to the weakest, those who think cool exists, especially because they bought a piece of tech.

      You sad sad people. Only now can you start to see your false messiah!

    2. Manu T

      Re: They had to do it.......

      "Would be nice to see some lawsuits flyiing about copying/ripping ! The year will pass interestingly."

      It wont happen they missed their change.

      Windows 8 without start-button.

      --> this means that the bottom iconbar looks even more like OSX's Dock... and yet not a peep from the fruit-factory.... they've lost their pedals, I guess.

  4. John Savard


    Since the top left icon has what looks like switches on it, I'm going to guess it's for "settings".

    The top right icon has rectangles that look like the iPhone itself, but in different colors. So that's likely to be "personalization".

    The bottom left icon seems to be a sort of color wheel, so it may have to do with choosing colors too, even though that ought to be covered in "personalization".

    But you're absolutely right that people shouldn't have to guess like that; instead, there should be legends under the icons so that people know what they're doing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guesses

      perhaps it's to save on the costs of localization

    2. Ian 55

      Re: Guesses

      The bottom left is photos - but I only think that because of a screen shot earlier in the article.

      Ghod knows what the top right one is.

      1. nanchatte

        Re: Guesses

        Top right is multitasking, iianm.

        1. TK1

          Re: Guesses

          Top Left= Broken (melted) Lego

          Top Right= Venetian Blind Selector

          Bottom Left= Gardening App

          Bottom Right= Ride your bicycle upside down app

  5. Vimes

    Meanwhile Stephen Fry professes his love of iOS 7 via twitter.

    So it must be good then. :)

    1. Mark .

      This is the same guy who a few years ago did videos telling us the wonders of Open Source and Linux, and how it was so obviously better because of course people should be able to do what they like with their machine, and for it to be modified, no different to any other piece of hardware that you own like a car.

      Why, if only there was an Open Source and Linux-based platform for phones. Instead he now advertises for the most closed platform around.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away

    What exactly are the parallax wallpaper effect and rain and snow falling on the weather app, if not "Conspicuous ornamentation"?

  7. P_0

    How could Apple end up with THIS as their best effort? It is without doubt the worst UI design I have seen in a long time. Where did they find the designers? In some dark corner of an insane asylum? I almost want to apologize to Steve Ballmer, cus Windows 8 now seems beautiful.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It's a cross between Nokia's Evolve theme (which came out first with MeeGo/Symbian Belle/Asha) and WP (which came out second), but sadly as Apple are third they get to pick the short straw every time for each icon's design.

      The only thing new they've brought to the table is a white background, but, hey, battery life isn't important.

      1. Mike Taylor

        <clicks twice, turns winpho 7.8 background to white>

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      @ P_0

      Worst UI design?

      What about Windows Mobile:

      ...or the Ribbon

      ...or some of Stardock's stuff

      ...or even Blender; a superb bit of software with a truly, truly horrible interface.

      Bad UI abounds. iOS7 is a long, long way from being the worst out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ P_0

        Actually Windows Mobile 6.1 was a fantastic homescreen.

        You could see everything that's important on one (1) screen. Including missed calls, missed emails, appointements, connectivity, time and date, battery strenght, signal strenght etc...

        without stupid "widgets" or "tiles". Plain and simple text!

        Lord Elpuss: what you linked to is the application's menu not the startscreen. And what's more importantly the icons were clear and concise. That UI was not as horrible as "the press" make us (you) believe. In fact I loved WM6.1. You could record calls with the inbuild notes-app, local syncing (MSFT deliberatly crippled activesync by removing Wifi-support in activesync 4.x but USB and Bluetooth syncing was possible), full outlook compatible, there was some great software (e.g. iGo navigation)

        And there were some great UI's (e.g. SPB Mobile shell) around which unfortunately nobody ever noticed. Probably because it wasn't build by an American company and thus deemed unimportant.

  8. Gene

    There are only so many ways to do something. If Apple is improving their product by including them and there are no patent issues, what's the problem? I think the current Android, Blackberry and Windows phone devices owe more to the original iPhone than vice versa.

    1. Mark .

      That's obviously true for Android and WP, but only because we haven't yet invented Time Travel, so obviously a 2007 device won't owe anything to platforms that were released later.

      However, the 2007 iphone still owed plenty from previous companies like Nokia or LG, or platforms like Symbian or even feature phone platforms. And iphones today owe plenty to platforms like Android.

      You're right, there's no problem with copying, which all companies have done in mobile (and elsewhere). But it is worth pointing it out, when fans claim that one company invents everything and only others copy.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Your entire sentiment that Apple copying other companies is something new is laughable. Jobs was NOTORIOUS for ripping off other companies ideas, then pretending he invented the idea. Remind us all again what amazing new innovations Jobs released over the last 3 years of his tenure. Siri? Bought from another company. Maps? Broken. Spaces on OSX? Already existing in the various *nix environments for decades.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Cue the rampaging responses from Apple fans

    iOS 7 does feel like a coming together of other old interfaces, but it needed to be updated. Maybe 7.1 will be better?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Cue the rampaging responses from Apple fans

      Is iOS7 released into the wild, yet? There is every chance this criticism is valid, and if so it will still be valid after someone has spent a week with this new iOS version.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue the rampaging responses from Apple fans

      "iOS 7 does feel like a coming together of other old interfaces, but it needed to be updated. Maybe 7.1 will be better?"

      Yeah, like Windows 8 needed to be better. Thus tommorow we'll have Windows 8.1... oh dear.

      Now when is that Jolla phone coming out?

  11. JayTee

    Fair comments, but....

    Everyone seems so quick to point out the 'theft' from other device interfaces. Yet nobody seems to be concerned that Eric Schmidt ran away to Google after bagging a whole bunch of Apple ideas, which he then put straight into Android. So theft is fine as long as you are the first person to produce a device with the idea in use.

    1. fandom
      Thumb Up

      Re: Fair comments, but....

      "So theft is fine as long as you are the first person to produce a device with the idea in use."

      And the winner for the first fanboy to say that Apple had been developing those features all along is in


    2. Darryl

      Re: Fair comments, but....

      I think the distinction is the lawsuits and claims from Apple (and iFans) that those dirty rotten scoundrels Google, Samsung, Moto, HTC.... stole Apple's ideas and they must pay, but then Apple turns around and does a fair bit of 'blatant copying' of their own. Good for the goose, etc.

    3. gkroog

      Re: Fair comments, but....

      Yeah, sure, whatever JayTee. Apple started pooing in their pants about "theft" first: the moment Steve Jobs laid eyes on Android he knew it was a threat to iOS. That's why he threatened to nuke it, rather than just act arrogantly smug.

      And lets not forget that he knew how to "bag" ideas from others and run back to Apple...

  12. Richard Wharram

    iOS 7 looks like Yahoo Weather


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, it's a phone OS. It doesn't matter.

    Honestly, mobiles phones are the new religions of this world. How long before someone suicide bombs an Apple or Google office because they didn't like what they were doing?

    1. Senior Ugli

      I think its quite sad how upset and emotional fully grown adults get over defending their chosen mobile phone provider.

      Its a phone at the end of the day, maybe if you worked for the company then you are abit more right to take offence. But no, put your phone down and do something procutive

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " think its quite sad how upset and emotional fully grown adults get over defending their chosen mobile phone provider."

        Actually its not my mobile phone provider that worries me. But the missing of features that I find important which are missing in todays products. Features (like 2 way call recording) which have been exchanged for bigger screens (which i find useles in a phone). High quality and high volume speakers that have been exchanged for thinner profiles and less capable batteries. In fact my SGS3 with it's 4.8" screen and HD-ready resolution looks stupid compared to my Nokia 808PV with 4x less pixels. The Android OS doesn't use that screen estate to the fullest with stupidly big text and ridiculously big widgets. E.g. en email-widget that takes up 3/4 of a homescreen (in 1280x720)... serious?

        I find it very worrying indeed that the majority of consumers favored a completely crippled walled garden phone with less capabilities then sturdy, stable (feature)phones from years past. Solely because they're not fancy enough. Sad indeed.

  14. Thomas Wolf

    "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

    You accuse Apple of ripping off other companies' work - mostly Windows "Metro" interface with a smattering of Blackberry and Android rip-offs thrown in. But are they really? I read an article yesterday that suggested that Jon Ives already had the idea for a flatter UI back in 2005 - which would be way before "Metro" was a glimmer in Microsoft's eye. I dug it up and leave it to your "objective" eye to decide:

    With respect to Apple ripping-off the "layering" GUI elements of BlackBerry - that's also questionable. Z-ordering of GUI elements has been part of computer science even when I was in college (that would be the late '80s), so the fact that Apple did something with it doesn't mean they ripped off anybody. Similarly the card-layout for quick task switching. This graphical way of representing tasks isn't something Blackberry invented (I vaguely remember an Apple product called "Hypercards" that may have used the metaphor in the early '80s....if that is not right, there were other instances I saw it and just can't remember).

    You may have a good point with Apple ripping-off Android's "Notification Center". I don't know. But as with many things, there aren't a heck of a lot of ways on a small, 2-dimensional screen to "notify" someone unobtrusively. I think anybody given that task would come up with something similar to Android's. It just makes sense - you don't have to copy Android to come up with the same thing.

    You mention Air drop being old hat (Lion users already had it) - but leave out that it's been made much easier to take advantage of via the share sheets.

    Your article's main thrust, though, is that Apple isn't innovating and that shareholders should be wary. You back up your opinion with the above-mentioned "ripping off", but leave out evidence that counters your opinion! From where I sit, the new Power Mac appears very innovate. The new power management features in the new version of Mac OSX seems very innovative. What other operating system has the memory compression mechanism they talked about? That alone will allow me to hopefully ring more usefulness out of my 8GB system that needs to swap pages to disk/SSD because of the workload I put on it. There was talk of Siri's "No eyes" integration in many cars in 2014 - that, while perhaps not "innovative" is definitely a good sign for investors. You write off the new music service as a "me too" product. But from an investment perspective, this new product is a VERY GOOD thing: (1) by putting a one-click "buy" button next to every song that is being played, Apple will make a ton of money and (2) it is yet another reasons for people to go to Apple (or to stay with Apple) because it has the most useful features OUT OF THE BOX.

    With regards to Apple not having to announced a new iPhone at MWDC: Management decided to move iPhone introductions to to the fall. They're not allowed to do that, just because Steve did it in June? Since the last two iPhones came in October and September, you'd have an argument if the next iPhone didn't arrive by then. That it didn't arrive by MWDC means nothing.

    1. El Andy

      Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

      @Thomas Wolf: "I read an article yesterday that suggested that Jon Ives already had the idea for a flatter UI back in 2005 - which would be way before "Metro" was a glimmer in Microsoft's eye."

      Not really, Media Center had the beginnings of "Metro" back in 2001 and by 2006 it was in the Zune. Even if Ives was thinking about it in 2005, he really wasn't first. The tiles may have come later, but the focus on typography and simplified design had been around for a long time. It's hard to read Apple's "design" statements and not notice the glaring similarity with those from Microsoft.

      1. ThomH

        Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

        The Metro interface was so named because it was modelled after the design language of mass public transit systems, specifically including the King County Metro that serves Redmond and Seattle amongst others. So it's a little disingenuous to give credit to any of these computer company upstarts.

    2. sorry, what?
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

      "You may have a good point with Apple ripping-off Android's "Notification Center". I don't know. But as with many things, there aren't a heck of a lot of ways on a small, 2-dimensional screen to "notify" someone unobtrusively. I think anybody given that task would come up with something similar to Android's. It just makes sense - you don't have to copy Android to come up with the same thing."

      This is a reasonable point to make if you can tell me that the Apple designers have never, ever, ever seen any of the other devices in question. If they have then they will have been influenced directly or unconsciously by what they have seen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

        "You may have a good point with Apple ripping-off Android's "Notification Center".

        --> which is ripped off in itself from the N9's notification center.

        Just as the slide-down easy access toggles and the card view taskmanager (first comercially used on N9 2011)

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

      " I read an article yesterday that suggested that Jon Ives already had the idea for a flatter UI back in 2005 "

      Well then. I had the same idea back in 1995.

      Cheque please!

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "Ripping off" is a subjective matter

        I had the same idea [for a "flatter UI"] back in 1995.

        Hell, X11R3 with uwm had a "flatter" UI. And it was damned efficient in its use of screen real estate, too, with no window decorations1 and, for most applications, no icons. With a suitable config (it was highly configurable, too), you could use pretty much the entire screen real estate for useful content even when you needed many windows.

        The "simulated 3D" look came after the "flat" look, for obvious reasons - it requires more color depth, generally wastes more screen real estate, and generally consumes resources that were put to better use in the era of simple GUIs. Apple and Microsoft are just displaying a bit of disillusionment with one variety of the eye-candy they were so in love with a few years ago. There's precious little design innovation happening here.

        1Unlike most X11 window managers since, uwm did not reparent windows - the application's window was a direct descendant of the root window. Window-manager functions were selected by holding modifier keys while pressing mouse buttons.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that's not a microphone

    someone has dropped an enormous aspirin caplet in your wine glass.

    here's a thought - skeumorphic is out because icons don't have to emulate the materials the "originals" were made of. But when was the last time you say anyone outside of a radio studio or podcast use a big microphone like that. (telephone and computer headsets have delicate booms, mobile phones have a little slit in the case)

  16. The_Regulator

    Wow, who would have thought that the mighty fruit would have to steal their new designs from everyone else especially from windows phone.

    I am kinda annoyed and happy at the same time. Annoyed that they nicked so much stuff from so many other innovators and happy because copying is the sincerest form of flattery.

    I wonder how the fanbois feel about windroid 7 on their iphones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder how the fanbois feel about windroid 7 on their iphones.

      As a long time iPhone user (fanbois is perhaps too strong a word), I'm actually pretty pissed with the direction Apple's design is taking.

      I got an iPhone because I liked the interface - the smoothness and the polish of the visuals (even if it doesn't quite do everything I want it to). I don't have a Windows Phone because they are just plain ugly!

      Now Jobs is gone and Ives is following the latest design fad of making everything flat and ugly - they have just removed one of the two primary reasons or 50% of my motivation for having an iPhone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Wow, who would have thought that the mighty fruit would have to steal their new designs from everyone else especially from windows phone."

      Microsoft are bunch of thieving hypocrites themselves.

      Besides iOS doesn't resemble Windows Phone in the slightest bit. It's still the same only with "minor" cosmetic changes and garish colours. I'm sure the Asians will like these. I hear Koreans LOVE cartoonish colours.

      So it's clearly made to catch on in China and similar regions.

      If we (westerners) aren't important anymore for them then screw them! Keep my eye on Jolla.

  17. Darryl

    Holy crap. What the hell are those icons?

    I think you're absolutely right with this article. Not good news for Apple

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Oh my eyes!

      I can see the teenies going for this bubblegum shit but as for the rest of humanity… well, I for one would rather wield a Motorola Indecipherable from the late 90s than one of these.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "Answers on a postcard, please."

      Clearly, if you push the old-style Bush-Era minimalist grey icon depicting a pill dropping into your wine glass, you will subsequently be redirected to one of three colourful LSD experiences depicted!

      It's pretty clear to me.

      1. VinceH

        Re: "Answers on a postcard, please."

        "grey icon depicting a pill dropping into your wine glass"

        That's one hell of a pill.

        We're gonna need a bigger boat wine glass.

  18. Simon Rockman

    ooh Andrew

    I think you should be searching ebay for a flak jacket.

  19. Wam

    Apple Style

    A bit off topic perhaps - but on the subject of design and old Apple products I saw a gold/brown iMac G4 in an opticians the other day - looked like something out of "Brazil" - I kinda liked it! i agree with the author otherwise

  20. JDX Gold badge


    That's how every industry works... products evolve most of the time, and they tend to do that by learning/borrowing from each other. Revolution is not the rule. If it were, things would be too confusing because every two years the OS would change totally.

    Did Android copy Apple by launching a full-touch mobile OS? Or did they simply see it was the best way to go?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Copying

      Yes, but who goes around sueing everyone else for their flattery?

      1. ThomH

        Re: Copying (@Charlie Clark)

        Creative Labs (hierarchical menus versus the iPod), then Nokia (swiping on a touch screen versus the iPhone), then Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Copying

      Well yes exactly, tell that every time someone says Apple did it first and others copied.

      And no, both Android and Apple copied the earlier full touch mobile devices.

  21. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Apple does not copy

    Few iPhone users will complain about "stealing"

    Of course not! Apple doesn't steal, Apple invents. If others were quicker with a new design all it means is that those Apple-hating bastards have stolen it before Apple could invent it.

  22. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Ok so I'm lost on this.

    Mr. Orlowski refers to the fact the iOS7 is a cosmetic lookalike for Windows Phone back in 2010. And this isn't the first time I've seen this statement. Simply repeating a fallacy, however, doesn't make it any more true.

    I can't for the life of me see the similarity here. Windows Phone? Square tiles, some are live, some are double-size, most share a common theme colour. iOS7 is like Windows Phone in the same way that it's like literally any other mobile OS - no more, no less. It's a ridiculous comparison.

    1. Tim Parker

      Re: Ok so I'm lost on this.

      "I can't for the life of me see the similarity here."

      Me neither and probably because - aside from a sans serif font on a flat background, something e.g. used in desktop themes for donkeys years, and mobile OSes in the more recent past - iOS 7, whatever you may think of it, doesn't look like Windows Phone circa 2010.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ok so I'm lost on this.

      This one's more like it...

  23. darklordsid
    Paris Hilton

    It kinds...

    Alleged ripping off of Metrodern UI recalls me when someone says iPads were going to be ripoff of XP Tablets, and iPhones were going to be ripoff of CE and Palm, and iPods were going to be ripoff of Creative players...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It kinds...

      iPods WERE ripoffs of Creaitve players.

    2. DHart

      Re: It kinds...

      "iPods were going to be ripoff of Creative players"

      The iPod was a ripoff of creative players. Apple even used the same 30 pin connector. They just used a nicer case and display. The annoying part is that they didn't copy the Creative audio components. To this day, the iPod has inferior sound compared to a Creative player.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: It kinds...

        >The iPod was a ripoff of creative players.

        Revisionist, much?

        The Creative player that preceded the iPod, a Nomad Jukebox, resembled a portable CD player - never the best form for a portable machine, and not a smart decision. The iPod, using a smaller HDD, resembled a more pocket-friendly cassette Walkman- much better.

        Apple didn't rip off Creative's unfortunate decision to solder the headphone jack directly to the main PCB on the 'Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen'. Unsurprisingly this part on my Zen broke, so I took it back to the shop and got a iRiver H320 instead - superb.

        The website's name should give you a clue that they are anything but (biased towards) iPods.

        1. Mark .

          Re: It kinds...

          But all this is that as technology advances, it gets better - my 2009 Sandisk Sansa is far smaller than any oversized equivalent ipod of that time, and especially what was available in the early generations. So I guess the Sansa is better even more so, by that logic. But it's really thanks to the companies making hard disks and now memory chips smaller and larger.

          Sandisk may not be known for their mp3 players, but it is thanks to companies like them we can enjoy music on our portable players, phones, tablets etc.

    3. Mark .

      Revising history

      People didn't say that about ipads. They said they were just oversized [insert any smarphone or media player you like]. Which is true - the continuum of devices from 3" to 10" and beyond shows this, with an increasing trend towards the middle 5-7" for phones and tablets, shows this.

      In fact it was actually Apple supporters who drew the comparison to the older PC tablets - because those devices were (due to limitations of technology of the time) heavier, so they knew it would be easier to spin the ipads as being something new and selling better than earlier "attempts", even though we'd had handheld devices for Internet/apps/music/video being mainstream and popular for years, and the ipads had little in common with the PC tablets (which were full blown far more functional PCs - the closest comparison to them is the Windows 8 devices now appearing).

      iphones *were* ripped off platforms like Symbian, which outsold the iphone platform for the duration of its lifetime.

      Plus no one else has any problem with "ripping off" anyway - it's the Apple fans who accuse everyone else of ripping them off, whilst excusing it for Apple, just like you do now.

  24. Sil


    I don't know what iPhone users do wants - except for good maps - but the iOS7 'novelties' certainly look underwhelming. Perhaps Apple wants to reserve some surprises for the new iPhone's future launch.

    The Mac Pro looks ugly to me, will probably please users that purchase once and never extend but for many it will just mean cables, cables, cables and power strips.

    Finally the new MacBooks Air are super low on innovation but then again I hear they were already superb. The only announcement titillating me is pcie ssds, I hope Apple will set a trend for ultrabooks.

  25. Steve Evans


    Somehow I couldn't see those "arty-farty" icons making it past Jobs if he were still alive.

    He'd be bellowing "What the f*ck is that? What does that look like to you? It looks like crap, that's what it looks like"

    *phone whizzes past ear*

    I do believe it is the beginning of the end. The designers have taken over, with little input from engineers or end users. The new Mac Pro is a case in point. The moment you start using it and wanting to expand things, you end up with a pile of external devices and expensive thunderbolt cables all over the place. Basically a mess.

  26. Chris J

    Sometimes you're up; sometimes your down

    Apple have always innovated in fits and bursts. iOS remains the most usable of the mobile OSs I have tried, in terms of real world usage rather than headline features.

    Having recently moved from Android to iPhone, iOS 7 looks good to me. It will bring some of the eye candy of Android and Windows Phone to the iPhone whilst retaining the iOS usability.

    Even better, I know I will get the benefits on my existing iPhone 5 rather than having to wait to see if my Android OEM will bother to port the latest version; and if my network will bother to release the port.

    There are plenty of other annoyances with Apple, but I don't see a refreshed design as one of them.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes you're up; sometimes your down

      Indeed, people are judging iOS 7 on screenshots, not use. Criticism of it will have more force if they are made once this new version is released.

  27. uhuznaa

    Hard to disagree

    Apple has done basically nothing with iOS while others explored ways to make their OS better and prettier. Now Apple has to trot down the same paths and just to avoid looking too similar has to do it slightly different, even if it isn't as good then. Because, really: WP8 looks way better than iOS 7. Everything looks better than that.

    Even more: Apple's rich style of detailed icons and photo-realistic elements at least WAS a style. This heap of pastel-colored mud isn't. It's nothing. And the OS will clash very hard with all old apps and their icons you will have to run on it.

  28. banjomike
    Thumb Up

    Apple has borrowed ??

    Apple has 'borrowed' ever since Jobs saw the Xerox mouse. Nothing new there.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with Apple is it made people think "design" is more important than everything else.

    In the past years, many praised the highly stilish design of Apple products (sometimes deserved, sometimes not), and the problem is that many others started to think it's not important what a device does, and how - but how it looks, so everybody is now trying to reinvent the wheel putting designers in charge of UIs - and we see what's happening - ideas over usabilty.

    It's something alike SUV cars, a useless design for every day use cars, but people are strongly attracted by their huge aggressive look.

  30. Purlieu

    Don't get excited

    It's an Apple product

    Equals tomorrows fish'n'chip paper

  31. LPF

    Whats funny about this...

    Is that all the responses are from android users, and I'm a s3 Mini user and before that was an HTC HD2. Seriously this article is click bait, trolling at its best. iOS is just acopy of all the other operating systems. Having opacity in windows is a copy, thats been used how many years on desktops?

    As a poster pointedout, Hypercard was using the stack system decades, literally decades ago lol. Ah well I suppose it earns al reg, clicks which earns it money lol.

    By the way I would sell body parts for the new Mac Pro!

    1. greensun

      Re: Whats funny about this...

      1. By "opacity" I think you mean "transparency" ?

      2. You are merely pointing out that Apple copyied things before they copied the things the article points out they are now copying.

      Wiki: "[Hypercard] was initially released in August 1987, with the understanding that Atkinson would give HyperCard to Apple only if they promised to release it for free on all Macs."

      3. You "would sell body parts for the new Mac Pro" and, funnily enough, you will have a desk covered in computer parts when you try and add anything to it.

  32. DrXym

    Kind of underwhelming

    Other mobile phone OSes have been pioneering flat, non-skeuomorphic designs for some time now. And the way that screens and panels get swiped around from the edges and so on. Apple is no longer the trend setter but just one of the pack.

    What is disappointing is was how little else was on show apart from this. A new Macbook Air (promising stuff every other Haswell device promises), a new OS X, a music streaming service. The most noteworthy thing was perhaps the new Mac Pro which resembles a giant biscuit tin or something. I suppose it looks nice but when that and a reskinned UI are the highlights something is really amiss.

    I'm very surprised not to see a touchscreen Mac, or a Mac running ARM, or a unified iOS / OS X which merges the product line. But there was none of that.

    1. Obvious Robert

      Re: Kind of underwhelming

      "a unified iOS / OS X which merges the product line."

      Why???? Why would you want that? That's the whole reason Metro is shite. Using a small handheld computer with a screen <10 inches is fundamentally different to using a desktop/laptop with a larger screen, pointing device and keyboard. I don't want them merged, thanks. Adhering to standards and compatible with each other yes, but merged, no. After a few glory years of smartphone tech I'm getting slowly more disappointed with the latest moves from all the major players, my latest personal WTF moment being when I realised our Galaxy Tab 2 uses MTP instead of being a standard USB mass storage device. Sorry, who does that benefit exactly? UMS is more functional in just about every way conceivable. That and the unrelenting focus on 'social' bollocks... not to mention very creepy moves, such as Google Play starting to recommend music for me to buy based on stuff I've been listening to using the standard Music app on my phone. Sorry? What? When did I say it was ok for Google to start collecting what I've side-loaded and listened to privately on my phone and advertise it back to me??? I'll be watching the development of Firefox OS with interest.

  33. Yves Kurisaki

    Let me get this straight..

    Let me get this straight.. I have the beta installed and it looks nothing like the OSFKA Metro. But I should also add that it's very underwhelming. The icons look a bit shite and there's nothing much excited about it at all.

    My main reaction is very much 'meh'.

  34. Jason Hindle

    I'm not sure I see the problem

    Back when touch was new, it was revolutionary. Now all we have is variations on a theme. In use, you can expect the Apple interface to be a bit more consistent than those of its competitors, because that is what Apple does well. Likewise, I wouldn't expect any of iOS's more deeply rooted limitations to disappear.

    There is one thing I don't get though. Why is skeuomorphism suddenly bad? If its principles were deeply embedded into the application design, then there is risk of inheriting limitations from the paradigms you represent. But in iOS, the skeuomorphism is largely skin deep.

    1. jai

      Re: I'm not sure I see the problem

      you've hit the nail on the head there.

      all of a sudden, skeumorphism was the great Evil and everyone hated.

      so Apple have gone ahead and largely removed it from their interface. and what does everyone do now? they bemoan how bland and flat everything looks.

      c'mon world+dog, make up your frikken minds!!!

      1. Charles Manning

        Give 'em skins

        A few pixels should not define an OS. Rather, they should just release a set of skins so the punters can go flat or skeumorphic as they desire.

        But then what would they have to talk about at the big releases?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Give 'em skins

          >c'mon world+dog, make up your frikken minds

          Mind change, through experience if nothing else: In 2005, few people had used a capacitive touchscreen device, and perhaps benefited from skeumorphic cues. These days, the vast majority of iPhone users will have used a smartphone before, and so no longer need said cues.

          I ain't going to judge it by screenshots, other than I don't like the white... how can that be good for battery life?

        2. Steve Evans

          Re: Give 'em skins

          Yup, support for skins and end user customisation.

          And then that will be it... It finally will be Android phone, but with a play store controlled by a megalomaniac.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    My first thoughts are 'is that it'? To me it basically looks the same, but with slightly lighter colours.

    Problem with putting Ive in charge is that he's a designer. He makes things look nice. He didn't decide what should go in iMacs, what ports they should have, what features, etc. He just made them look nice. It was idiocy to put him in charge of an OS.

    iOS desperately needed something akin to widgets / live tiles - things you can pin to the home screen that can show various info, can be various sizes, etc. If you pick up an iphone, you have to click apps to see missed calls, calendar appointments, news,, etc.. With Android or Win Phone, you can just pick it up and glance at the screen.

    Apple's decline is only going to accelerate after this. Apple hasn't done anything decent since Jobs died. A slightly longer phone, a slightly smaller ipad, a slightly lighter looking OS. That's it.

    1. jai

      If you pick up an iphone, you have to click apps to see missed calls, calendar appointments, news,,

      evidently you haven't picked up an iPhone in some time. because, for the last couple of iOS's before this new one, you can "just pick it up and glance at the screen" and see all those things.

  36. Odysseus

    Blackberry 10

    When Blackberry 10 came out in February, it gave the mobile world true multi-tasking, z-axis cascading layers, a hub which can be accessed from wherever you are (even from an application), and gestural control. Apple fans said "meh", "too little too late". Why is it then, that when some of these features arrive on the iPhone (and not even in full integration into the OS) more than 6 months later that these features are considered astounding?

    1. Senior Ugli

      Re: Blackberry 10

      cos blackberry is proper shit

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackberry 10

      Because, weather notwithstanding, Cupertino will always be cooler than Waterloo.

      Personally, I suspect that Ives is green with envy that he didn't get to design the BlackBerry Q10. He's now stuck forever making little rectangular boxes with minimal decoration and minimal visible functionality, even if he really would like to design a Mighty Wurlitzer.

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: Blackberry 10

      The Blackberry 10 gave the mobile world true multitasking?

      I'm sorry, what rock have you been under?

      Android has had it for years, and before that, Symbian.

      Interesting to see how Apple spin the multitasking side of things, given they've claimed to have that the last few versions already!

      1. Odysseus

        Re: Blackberry 10

        QNX is a real time operating system. Can't get more multitasking than that.

    4. gkroog

      Re: Blackberry 10

      Because it is a bit "little" and "late." Should have happened years ago. Then maybe I wouldn't be using a Torch as a door stop. Seriously.

      Bit as for the same features suddenly being considered astounding, that's just because the fanbois think those features are now where they belong: on an Apple product. No one else should even try make desirable phones. Apple started making them (if you desire Apple's stuff, that is...), so every other manufacturer should just serve Apple's ambitions or close down. That seems to be the attitude, anyway.

  37. Jay Zelos
    Thumb Up

    The articial read a bit like an Apple fan having a tantrum. I think its great that the iOS gui has finally been dragged up to the level of BB10 or Android 4, it was looking very tired and dated. And whats wrong with simplicity as a design objective, would you rather have Googles search page littered with widgets or left as it is, clean and functional.

    Whilst I'm not going to be handing back my Nexus any time soon, I think I'ves has had the right idea.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That Symbian 2010 look

    Or as AllAboutSymbian puts it:

    "iOS 7 looks to catch up to Symbian circa 2010"

    1. ThomH

      Re: That Symbian 2010 look

      I trust a site called AllAboutSymbian to be as objective about iOS vs Symbian as, say, AppleInsider.

  39. thesykes

    There are a lot posts flying around, on this article, and others, asking why are so many people upset with Apple copying Android/Palm/BB/WinPho?

    Well, it's this.

    We all know everyone copies each other. It's how designs and functions improve over time. You see what your competitors are doing, copy it, and hopefully make it better. It's a form of evolution.

    So, Apple are quite happy to take other people's ideas, polish them a little maybe, and then triumphantly announce to the world that they've produced a wonderful new innovation. Nothing too wrong with that I suppose, if a little devious.

    The thing that really annoys people is that Apple are doing this whilst suing the arse off anyone who dares to introduce a feature or graphical style that even remotely appears to be similar to anything Apple has used previously.

  40. ezman

    More hardcore fawn

    Totally on the ball with gruber and his nonsense. Add other career Apple fawners with strange names to the list like Horace Dediu, Benedict Evans, Matthew Panzarino, John Packowski. Oh and Charles Arthur (think he needs to change his about Chadwick Arthurelli?)

  41. Internet ToughGuy
    Thumb Up

    Aren't Apple awesome? This new innovative operating system is going to put them years ahead of the competition. I reckon the Android fans are already trying to find petty excuses to slate it because they are so insecure. And just you wait. Apple haven't just invented flat graphics. I reckon over the coming years they'll invent removable batteries, expandable memory, and even invent a bigger screen. They're so innovative that they released the iPhone 5 with a screen just the right size for using with one hand. then they innovated AGAIN, this time releasing their photo advert in which pretty much everyone uses their iPhone 5 with........two hands. How wonderful. Can't wait till they invent NFC either. Oooh, this announcement's got me all excited. I just know 2010's going to be great.

  42. Irongut


    My guesses would be...

    Top left = settings

    Top right = some kind of library of books or films?

    Bottom left = trippy 60s oil slide projection app or possibly a kaleidoscope app?

    Bottom right = voice recording app, maybe for taking notes?

    They could be anything really.

    1. TK1

      Re: Icons

      Top Left= Broken (melted) Lego

      Top Right= Venetian Blind Selector

      Bottom Left= Gardening App

      Bottom Right= Wine glass with very big aspirin

  43. jsk

    Copy Protection?

    Well, they won't have to worry about anyone copying them now!

  44. Interceptor

    Well I can't speak to IOS but I *did* find a lovely picture of the new Mac Pro!

  45. Jan 0 Silver badge

    Enough with this 'phone stuff!

    This is a techie site. We don't need no steenkin' 'phones, we want computers and that new Mac Pro looks very tasty. Worth the wait. Now I really can have a Cray on my desktop. Apple seems to have redeemed itself to become quality hardware vendor again.

  46. Charles Manning

    Square or round lights on cars

    The actual functional features are no longer important. It seems now that phone UIs are just about setting fashion trends.

    We see this in cars. One year small round headlights and curvy bodywork are in, the next year it is angular lights and bodywork, then back to curves again.

    Same deal here. Flat and symbolic, then skeumorphic (??sp??) then flat and abstract,... then no doubt back to the flat and symbolic - or maybe 3D abstract.

    In the end none of this is life changing, it is just a fashion treadmill.

    It's just pixels. They could easily just make these different flavours into user-loadable skins, but then they would have nothing new and earth shattering to release to the fanbois.

    Is this all that OS design has become? If so, maybe it is time to hang up my file system design hat and reach for MS Paint.

  47. Ken Y-N

    Camera versus Photos icons

    Did they run out of time to tart up the camera icon? You have an old black and white camera (on a gradient background), which takes pictures that you view though some sort of stark psychedelic flower petal thing.

    I'm no graphics designer, but there's a lack of unity on that home screen. Abstract art mixed with ye olde cliched camera and mic. And why does the Weather icon only have its gradient from dark to light unlike all the other ones?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's does everyone have against skeuomorphisms

    I like skeuomorphisms, they make things like nice and polished and grown up.

    This whole flat design / anti-skeuomorphism approach make everything look like it was designed for toddlers with crayons.

    1. Phormic

      Re: What's does everyone have against skeuomorphisms

      There's nothing inherently wrong with skeumorphic design, provided it's used the right context. An animation of a page turn provides context and meaning. A window surrounded by a tacky faux stitched leather surround provides neither. It's just ornamentation.

      You could even argue that the parallax layering in iOS7 is a form of skeumorphism, in that it mimics the 3D natural world on a 2D artificial surface. However is has purpose in that it provides hierarchical information. Skeumorphism that brings with it meaning and inferred information is fine. It's just when it's used as decoration that things fall down. That's what the current version of iOS is guilty of.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flat icons as a "copy"

    What alternatives are there? You can have the icons they had before with a bit of depth to them, try to go whole hog and make icons as 3D as possible, or go retro with a simple and flat look. Flat icons aren't a copy of Windows Phone any more than Windows Phone was a copy of Windows 3.1, or MacOS 1.0 or Xerox Star. Those all had flat icons (low res and with little color, to make them less pleasing compared to what is possible on a modern high res screen)

    Apple haters hated on Apple for having the same look for iOS for years, and said it needed updating. They've updated it with something different, and now they hate Apple for copying. I wonder where exactly they think it would be even POSSIBLE for Apple to truly innovate and come up with something even the most anti-Apple person would be forced to say "wow, that is a completely novel GUI". That couldn't happen because there is nothing anyone could do to come up with something new if even basic qualities like the flatness (or lack of) of icons are considered a copy.

    It probably doesn't make any difference to most of us in the usability of a GUI whether it is flat or has depth, this is more a matter of taste. That's as opposed to say color and resolution, where more color and resolution (up to a point) are useful to create better representations of the functionality behind a given icon - one just needs to look at the ugly 256 color low res icons from early Windows to realize just how true that is. Ive is making a design choice to remove what he feels is unnecessary in the interface. Every OS added depth to its GUI at some point over the past 20 years because it became possible as graphics power increased, and differentiated those who did it from the rest - until eventually everyone did it.

    You can agree or disagree with Ive on his decision that depth in a GUI is unnecessarily distracting from the user experience, as he feels the OS should be as invisible as possible since you use a phone for what it does, not what the OS does. Just like you can agree or disagree with his steampunk Mac Pro design. Despite that being a complete departure from what came before in PC design (for better or for worse) I'm sure there are some Apple haters who will argue that was a copy of R2D2, a Dalek, or a fire hydrant, or will make jokes that Apple is planning on patenting a cylinder :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flat icons as a "copy"

      "with something even the most anti-Apple person would be forced to say "wow, that is a completely novel GUI"."

      Nokia did it. In 2011 with the N9. Even the usual anti-Nokia crowd was in awe.

      (And what do the bloody morons do... they ditch it! At least we can say that WP is really flat!)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lol oh how far the apple has fallen.

    I remember Apple disapproving of MS choice to hide UI options so why are they going Metro? They also borrowed from WP8 multitasking. If rumors hold true MS is adding support to close apps under multitasking and that info leaked before Apple mentioned it. This is the point that Fanbois should realize Apple deserves a plate of crow. All the IP trials but then they turn around and do the same.

  51. Chris D Rogers

    Does iOS Function on the 'new' Mac Pro?

    So smitten am I at this dialogue concerning Apple's slightly revamped iOS 7, one was wondering if its possible to load iOS 7 onto the forthcoming Mac Pro and run this as a giant Phone - obviously a 27in Apple TB Monitor is a must - not too sure what type of batteries I'll need though to power the world's most powerful smartphone - but the looks of envy I generate when walking around chatting to my friends will make this effort most worthwhile - indeed, its the only way to appreciate the new fonts Apple are using - Pure Genius, Job's must be having multiple orgasms in heaven and so am I !!!!!!!!!!!

  52. TeeCee Gold badge


    Still the quaint, old "wall of icons" though, although now with updated icons.

    Less WinPho circa 2010, more WinMo-with-a-launcher and some years earlier.....

  53. guyh

    On use of layers and translucency

    Old hat now I know, but the Nokia N900 running Maemo used translucency to indicate that the "current" task was something happening without disturbing the place where "you" were before.

    It extended to several layers if there were additional pulldown/popup choices could be made.

    Very little "new under the sun" these days. A good idea, well executed, is still a good idea worth using.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's like car manufacturers...

    they all "copy" and "me too" (most industries do - publishing, record companies, film studios).

    The problem here is not that Apple have "copied", it's the fact that they are HYPOCRITES.

    The best thing Apple can do now, is DESIST all their legal squabbles and then everyone can get on with borrowing and "improving" features in rival phones.

    How many car manufacturers start issuing court proceedings over rival models (some of which look very similar) ?

    Mobile phones / tablet computers is just plain STUPID, more than any other industry. We didn't have this with LAPTOPS nor with NETBOOKS!

    The blame is with Jobs and his EDICT to destroy Android and with Apple's rats following his piper's tune right off a cliff.

    One truism is : A man can be great and an ar5ehole at the same time, or if you prefer, as Gene Simmons once put it, "Sometimes a55holes have all the talent...."

  55. sfarkhan

    Love all the negative troll comments but...

    As someone who's actually using iOS 7 (along with 4.2.2 Jelly Bean) I like it - It's a marked improvement - I've handed it to non techie friends and they've picked up most of the basic changes within minutes.

    Being a beta there are a few things that don't render super and a few hangs but it's pretty polished.

    I wish Google would put a bit more (project) buttery goodness into 4.3 as 4.2.2 on my Nexus 7 is not as buttery as I'd like it, even when rooted and O/Cd

    Funny how so many negative comments come from people who have no first hand use... Smells very hypocritical to me but I digress -

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