Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Oct 2011 22:24 UTC
Google "As an online discussion about iOS vs. Android grows longer, the probability of someone bringing up this link approaches 1." The argument goes that before the iPhone, Android looked like a BlackBerry clone, and after the iPhone, it suddenly turned into an iOS clone. While this argument, with its pictures, is snappy and easily digestible, it doesn't actually seem to be supported by the facts.
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RE: Myths
by EternalFacepalm on Thu 27th Oct 2011 02:46 UTC in reply to "Myths"
EternalFacepalm
Member since:
2010-09-02

Honestly, this really doesn't settle anything. Consider the following:

Even though this video is about a month older than the December 2007 picture that's making the rounds, the iPhone was announced in January of that year, meaning the touch-screen device could easily have been a response.

Also, it's striking that for the majority of the demo with the touch-screen device, he's actually driving it via buttons along the bottom and (I believe) on the side... very much like a Blackberry FWIW. We never see the entire device, so I can say for sure. All of the gestures demonstrated rely on a single touch point, and it appears the home screen is basically the same as the first device, but extended into a portrait layout. We never see multifinger gestures or an on-screen keyboard. Granted, it's a short demo of a prototype, so maybe I'm nitpicking, but overall it looks very half-baked as a touch-driven interface, which lends further credence to the idea that this functionality was added relatively recently. [Actually, a little research confirms Android OS didn't officially support multitouch until 2.0... I'd forgotten that.]

Additionally, you need to keep in mind that Google execs knew about the iPhone well before it was publicly announced. There's no definitive proof (that I know of) that Google got privileged information from Schmidt's participation on the board--different boards exercise different levels of transparency and Apple is famously secretive. However, IIRC, the iPhone launched with Google search, YouTube, and Google Maps. Maps in particular must have required cooperation with Google's engineers. I think the reason Jobs became so vindictive is that it felt like the Mac all over again--Microsoft got early access to develop apps ahead of launch.

All in all, it's an interesting find from a historical perspective, but it's far from a myth-busting smoking gun.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Myths
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 27th Oct 2011 05:02 in reply to "RE: Myths"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think the reason Jobs became so vindictive is that it felt like the Mac all over again--Microsoft got early access to develop apps ahead of launch.


Oh, God. This is exactly like that. When ever the non Apple device is better, its because it "stole" from Apple. While, as many have pointed out Apple "stole" from others.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Myths
by Laurence on Thu 27th Oct 2011 07:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Myths"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Oh, God. This is exactly like that. When ever the non Apple device is better, its because it "stole" from Apple. While, as many have pointed out Apple "stole" from others.

Indeed, Jobs has admitted this himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU

It seems a one ways street with Apple; they're allowed to plagiarise whoever and whenever they like. But if anyone even hints at a similarity to them (such as a tablet shaped like black rectangle), Apple get all pissy.

The hypocrisy is strong in Apple.

Edited 2011-10-27 07:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Myths
by dragossh on Thu 27th Oct 2011 07:45 in reply to "RE: Myths"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

Granted, it's a short demo of a prototype, so maybe I'm nitpicking, but overall it looks very half-baked as a touch-driven interface, which lends further credence to the idea that this functionality was added relatively recently. [Actually, a little research confirms Android OS didn't officially support multitouch until 2.0... I'd forgotten that.]

Well duh, it's a prototype ;) I am pretty sure iPhone's UI looked half baked at some point. Remember that it took Android aboout a year to reach a mature UI.

Regarding multitouch, it wasn't there because of Apple. Once the Google-Apple relationship started to get ugly, Google implemented it in Android.

However, IIRC, the iPhone launched with Google search, YouTube, and Google Maps. Maps in particular must have required cooperation with Google's engineers. I think the reason Jobs became so vindictive is that it felt like the Mac all over again--Microsoft got early access to develop apps ahead of launch.

Hey, we're integrating your stuff into OS X/new shiny app/whatever. And we're gonna fake user agent strings in case you want to look at the logs.

or

Google Engineers, here's what we're working on, sign this NDA and if you speak we'll sue the crap out of you.
^ Since this didn't happen I assume Apple built the apps by themselves with some form of help from Google, but without revealing the iPhone to them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Myths
by thavith_osn on Thu 27th Oct 2011 22:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Myths"
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

I think you missed the point of the argument. Thom is trying to tell us that Android already had a touch phone in the works before the iPhone demo, however, he has sited no evidence for this. Android was started in 2003, but we don't know any more than that (well, unless I have missed something, in which case, please let me know (no sarcasm)).

The point is, the state of the "touch" version of Android looked half baked in the demo, like touch was a recent addition to it. There are some touch functions, but nothing like the integration that the iPhone had quite a few months earlier.

I understand (and remember) that Apple asked Google not to add multitouch and some other gestures to the OS, but the one shown in the demo was lacking swipes in obvious areas, such as switching between histories in the browser. If this had been in the works prior to Jan 2011 then I'd suggest Google are rather slow at coding, and we know this isn't the case.

To me (and many others here) it seems that (note the word "seems" as I have no evidence that the touch version wasn't started before the iPhone demo) that the touch version of Android was started after the iPhone demo. I'm pretty sure a lot of people messed their pants that day, including Google.

Please know, I love competition and I want Android to be around...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Myths
by Beta on Thu 27th Oct 2011 11:24 in reply to "RE: Myths"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

for the majority of the demo with the touch-screen device, he's actually driving it via buttons along the bottom and (I believe) on the side... very much like a Blackberry FWIW.

I had a touchscreen device that also had buttons in 2004, you could navigate using either. And no, it was not a Blackberry, it was a Sony running Symbian.
Google was designing a system that flexibly fitted most devices on the market at the time ‐ which included fully touch screen devices.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Myths
by JAlexoid on Thu 27th Oct 2011 12:02 in reply to "RE: Myths"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Additionally, you need to keep in mind that Google execs knew about the iPhone well before it was publicly announced. There's no definitive proof (that I know of) that Google got privileged information from Schmidt's participation on the board--different boards exercise different levels of transparency and Apple is famously secretive.


A) Didn't your mind protest when you wrote those two statements together?

B) Search, YouTube and Maps have had public APIs for a long time. If needed, Apple could have developed Search, YouTube and Maps in secret. Or at least not say what device those would be used on. In short, it's not proof of anything.

C) It will still not convince all of the rabid WP7* and iOS fans, so I wouldn't even bother.

There is no smoking gun on either side. The facts are only these:
- iPhone demonstrated/popularised new interaction/input paradigm for smartphones.
- Android was known to exist since 2005
- Android's demo devices first appeared later than iPhone, much later.
- Dev devices are rarely what they end up to be.

* - Yes, WP7 fans are hypocritical enough to forget that finger touch orientation was popularised by none-other than the iPhone. But as long as they are Android bashing they don't care for little things called "facts".

Reply Parent Score: 3