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What a difference three years can make. Or not make.
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118 comments
 
But there's a background with water droplets!
 
Didn't Andy Rubin work for Apple or wasn't Android inspired by work done at Apple, can't remember which one it was.

Wait.... It was both! :)
 
Which is a good thing. For the longest time I thought Apple suffered from 'Not invented here' syndrome. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by your competition.

Samsung, that's just boorish. ;)
 
Uaaaaa, es que el primer iPhone ya era perfecto... :-)
(Uaaaaa, the first iPhone was already perfect... :-))
 
+Thomas Bhatia No, Andy Rubin left Apple more than 10 years ago, to found Danger. Android has many former engineers from Be, (old-school) Palm, and Danger, so if it's "inspired" by anything, it would be those.

Danger often doesn't get credit for it, but 10 years ago they were doing everything smartphones of today do (just slower and with poorer graphics.) Including app stores.

If anything, Apple was inspired by Andy Rubin. ;)
Prash D
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+Dan Morrill I'm so glad someone agrees with me on how much impact Danger's back end service and hiptop in general have pushed the boundaries of smart phones even before iPhone ever came out. I owned one since the B&W version all the way up to the LX, it was still the best messaging platform and hardware keyboard I've used till this day.
 
Interesting. But let the market (and sale figures) decide :)
 
So what are you trying to say??? that in Android 4.0 they finally understood that docking your phone, messages, browser icons at the bottom is a good idea?

People got used to having to get something NEW with every release, but sometimes now having to change just means you did it RIGHT the first time.
 
+Arek Zarycki Do you really enjoy the "right-at-the-first-time" screen and don't wanna any changes? okay you are a classic fan.
 
I don't get it? They both look pretty stagnant...
 
I will gladly learn something new, just point out please the misinformation on my part.

I have experience using both platforms (actually owned a Galaxy Tab for a year) and this is where my information (or misinformation as you say) come from. Most (if not all) Android users who bash Apple had never used an Apple device for more than just few seconds playing with a friend's phone or pad. Now that is misinformation. Blindly following one platform and dismissing anything good about the competition.

I agree, Android has a lot of great features, but the picture in the original post was showing UI changes, and there is not one UI designer on this planet (one who holds a job) who will say that making unnecessary changes to the UI is a good thing.
 
docked yes .... distinctly separated (as pictured in v4 above) no .... again just proves a point that apple had it right from v1 hence no need for change. what other changes besides the search bar do you see?
 
Ok, but please someone should teach Google on how to make good-looking icons... ^_^ Sorry to say, but there's no contest for now.
 
+Arek Zarycki The graphic was just to poke fun. Obviously if we want to talk about actual differences you need to go a lot deeper than just the uncustomized launcher and look at things like the stock apps and developer APIs. That would only make this graphic even more embarassing for iOS.

I should say that the launcher has always been a user-replaceable component, and replacement launchers with "docks" have been around for a long time.
 
+Ernesto Carbonera Some of us actually think that requiring all apps to have rounded square icons with a chintzy "plastic" gloss effect is tacky and ugly.
 
and those of you have a choice (don't use iOS) ... all of you Android fans don't get one thing ... us brainwashed apple fanatics have no problem with Android, or you using it, or the features is introduces and in what order. it is you who always have a need to compare and point out how Android is better. if it is better and you're using it then you're already a winner. just take it.
 
+Jason Hsu - I completely agree, I'm a Googlist after all! :-) BUT, you can't mix tron-style graphics with old-gif-style in the same place. The phone icon, for example, seems like one you can find in "icons CD collection" from the early 90s... :-) But hey, I'm gonna buy this baby!! ;-)
 
...not to speak about the messaging icon!!! a smiley inside, really!? :-) "hey moom, look at this new icon i made for android" - "oh, dear, it's wonderful!!" ^_^
 
While the 4.0 Software along with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus marks the first time I have considered leaving Apple.... posting this picture set is a bit unfair in a comparison of software.... just because the screen is a little bigger...
 
I like that, now if only Nokia take back their words and start making androids... that will be apples end
 
Well said,+John-Paul Ensign. I completely agree, iOS and Android truly are both fantastic platforms, each with their own unique pros and cons. There is no question that Apple has invested heavily in their "walled garden" approach, and that has paid off in terms of reliability and consistency among all iOS devices.

That said, I prefer Android devices because I can root them and have real control over the device and its OS, all the way down to reading the actual OS code (and hacking it to my heart's content). But when it really comes down to core of the issue, the #1 reason I choose Android over Apple is so I can multitask all I want, then swap in a fresh battery when my phone runs dry due to actually using it exactly how I want. It's all about control!
 
+John-Paul Ensign I recommend learning to root your phone and trying out some custom ROMs first. If you're interested in hacking on the OS, start here: http://source.android.com/. To root your phone, just try some google searches like "root <my phone model>". You'll probably wind up on http://www.xda-developers.com/, but it's good to read a couple different guides before you actually take the plunge. Once you're rooted, you can do all kinds of great stuff, like remove any bloatware installed by your provider, enable Android's wifi hotspot feature (for free), and install apps to backup (and image) your entire phone, block ads, and all sorts of other things.
 
+John-Paul Ensign I haven't actually hacked on the code for Android, but it makes me happy to know that nobody is stopping me from grabbing the source and creating my own builds and ROMs if I want to.
 
While I appreciate the sentiment behind this image (and even agree for the most part), I don't think the lack of change in iOS really indicates a lack of improvement, nor do I think the drastic changes we've seen in Android indicate that it keeps on improving. +Arek Zarycki's main point rings true to me: Apple's consistency seems to indicate that they got the user experience right the first time (for the most part), while Android is still searching for a similarly pleasant experience.

I've never owned an iPhone and am a huge fan of Android, but that doesn't make Android immune to criticism. Even as Ice Cream Sandwich has introduced many wonderful new features and improvements to the UI, I think it has also introduced new flaws which will need to be addressed.
 
+Brian Koppe Idk if I would agree that they "got it right the first time". Putting aside the fact that design sensibilities and tech usage cases change over time, trying to claim that your product desires no improvement is, imo, either apathy or pretentiousness. Even Apple users themselves will readily admit that the iOS launcher has flaws.

The difference between iOS and Android is that Android is designed to allow the user and the carrier to replace pieces of the base design they don't like with something that suits them better.

Realizing and accounting for the fact that your users do not all fit neatly into one box while still maintaining a consistent platform for developers is what Android really kicks iOS's ass in, and its something few analysts grok well.
 
Now add a comparison between windows mobile 6 and 7 ;)
 
+Jason Hsu You're right, it's not that they "got it right" exactly - if they had, I would be using an iPhone instead of an Android phone right now. Maybe a better way to describe it is that they had a specific idea of what they wanted the user experience to be and they accomplished that goal.

I'm not sure the Android team knows what they want the user experience to be exactly. If they do, I'm not sure they know how to achieve it. I could also be projecting my own preferences onto Android, but I think that's reflective of my point: Apple executes their vision so well that they convince large numbers of users, "THIS is the user experience you want," while Android comes across more like "How do you like it this time? Is it closer to what you want? *We're trying!*"

I appreciate Android's openness, and I appreciate it's power. I appreciate that Google generally wants to listen to the users. Nonetheless, I think Google often loses sight of how important design is when creating a user interface. Little things count.
 
I'd rather use a software package that continually tried to better itself than one that tells me it's already perfect and i'm the one that needs to adapt.

Even Apple gives in sometimes. See their caving on multitasking (which btw still sucks) and their blatant copy pasta of Android notifications.
 
Recently the iOS stole dropdown notifications from Android. Android was the only one that had that and they've had that since day one. Apple never had that until now. Copying Android is an understatement considering if you look at the design of the top bar on both Android and the latest iOS; they look almost identical.

People talk about malware; I have yet to see or hear anyone with an Android phone get anything but I've known a ton of iPhone people who had malware even on the latest OS.

In terms of the features, Android 4.0 puts iOS to shame. It's way more user friendly and intuitive when you compare the two and I guarantee; more people will be adopting Android soon considering these great changes. Android is truly innovating; iOS is just copying everyone else.
boo Jay
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C'mon guys, give Apple a break. iOS 5 has finally caught up to Android 1.5 Cupcake.
 
+Branni Mikal You're generally right, but I'm watching This Week in Google right now and +Leo Laporte and +Gina Trapani both addressed this, pointing out that Google often takes things to 90% completion and then Apple tends to finish that last 10%. Siri was used as an example, which takes the command-based Android Voice Commands and turns it into a more natural conversation-based system.
 
Oh and by the way....Siri wasn't invented by Apple so they didn't innovate shit...they just made a smart purchase.............for once

and Android had this feature for years
 
Yes, the idea that Apple "innovates" is a joke.
boo Jay
 
It's too bad Apple couldn't invent a good phone.
 
You don't need drastic visual changes to improve a system. In fact, on that note, you can divide the Macintosh operating system into two distinct visual eras: OS X, and pre-OS X. Seriously. The GUI has been EXTREMELY consistent, with the original Macintosh System Software having effectively the same overall look & feel (excluding aesthetic improvements) from 1984 - 2002.

Meanwhile, Apple's main competitor on the OS level, Microsoft, has made drastic changes to the Windows GUI with nearly every iteration, alienating its entire userbase every time. It does not serve the customer base at all to alienate them with arbitrary changes that don't effectively improve the user experience.
 
+Andrew Matecha Yeah but the thing with Android is that along with the redesigns; the base and performance of the OS is always improved and features get updated and some are newly added which is often the case. Android improves with every version rather than sticking to the same outdated technologies. Did I mention the iPhone still hasn't went 4G YET and Android has been doing 4G for years now. LTE is another one that Android is doing and is miles and miles ahead of iPhone with.
 
+Andrew Matecha As I pointed out in an above reply, this simple graphic only pokes fun at the differences in iOS and Android's stock launchers. A comparison of the entire operating system would have to discuss the platform apps and the developer APIs. Android innovates past iOS in those areas too.

Consistency is not always a good thing, and Apple users (of Mac OS and not just iOS products) know how frustrating it can be when Cupertino decides that it will be done THIS way and no other way.
 
+Branni Mikal True, but I never use 4G on my Evo because it kills my battery. I do appreciate that I at least have the option though.
 
+Brian Koppe Yeah, I can see your point on that. I know for a fact that that they are fixing some of the battery issues with the latest Android. Android 4.0 is the start of it getting even better than it used to be on that. It's mostly to do with the developers though so if they write the app; they should incorporate enhancements to keep it from sucking so much data and such.
boo Jay
 
You guys are forgetting the big picture here. Apple has managed to implement the most successful business model of all time. They churn out the same goddamn thing over and over again, expect their consumers to pay more for less, and have managed to brainwash millions into believing their lies time and time again. If that's not genius, I don't know what is.
 
Marketing genius vs. engineering genius.
 
I don't think Android is floundering trying to find "what's best" that's such an Apple way of thinking, that a "best" exists. It's more like Google is seeing how they can make changes that improve, innovate, and enrich the user experience. It's not about best, it's about what the USER wants. I had a G1, it wasn't broken, it worked just fine. And my EVO works just fine with Gingerbread, and my Lenovo Thinkpad running Honeycomb works just fine. You'll excuse me, i've got 30 minutes of work left, and I have to start shutting down apps NOW on my Mac or it will lock up when I'm trying to leave work.
 
iOS went from being very dark to being verry bright. Android took the reverse route. Interesting. I prefer ICS (style) over any other android platform. 
 
Let's all fight over which giant corporation sells the best nearly identical mobile telephones!
 
+Maurice van Creij No need to fight that, Apple is the best at selling identical looking mobile telephones.

Think different!
boo Jay
 
precisely +Jason Hsu , Steve Jobs was a marketing visionary, not an innovator. He told people his poop was gold and people bought it. To have that kind of persuasion is otherworldly and not easily obtained! It takes years and years of telling lies until it becomes the truth.
 
+M A R C U S N E W T O N Thank you for letting me know about this incredible discussion. I want you to know that you do NOT have to apologize. Google Android is THE BOMB, and it will continue to be so for many years to come.

To Everyone: I speak in favor of Google Android.

Like yourself +Jason Dabrowski I am also an EVO (3D) owner, and it's a blessing to experience Gingerbread on my device. Through Android I learned about the amazing craft called "Rooting." This process taught me how to transform my phone into a modem that I could use to get online. In the essence of time, let me pause so that I don't write too much of a comment here. I just know for sure that I adore Google Android like crazy. Maybe Google TV with Honeycomb has something to do with it. :)
 
+boo Jay , that's why OS X Lion was $29, right? Charging more for the same? Except they made tons of substantial changes, and charged less for that upgrade than probably any prior update. ^_^
 
+Jason Hsu Indeed, there are occasional changes I'm not a fan of (like removing the left/right arrows when viewing Photos in iOS 5), but overall their changes are insanely well-thought-out and do not require any "adjustment time" to get used to. This is very very rarely the case with changes in Windows or other Microsoft software (namely, the Office suite which is so different from version to version, it's a nightmare for pretty much anyone who has been forced to use it for years in their work environment). As for Android, I'm less familiar with it, as I only use it for mobile web dev testing. My experiences aren't too favorable though, with things not being all that intuitive as far as I was experiencing. :\
 
to be fair, why not compare iOS5 screen to ICS? Not that there would be a huge difference.
+boo Jay Sometimes if you repeat a lie enough long, people will start to believe it's the truth.
 
The calendar icon advanced 4 whole days, if that's not innovation I don't know what is!!
boo Jay
 
+Andrew Matecha Check eBay to see how much iphone 4 and 4s are going for then get back to me about how much people are grossly paying for the same thing. I've jailbroken and unlocked dozens of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gen iphones, and could not tell the difference b/t them other than speed. When you use an iphone, that's all you get, is an iphone which looks the same from generation to generation and only lets you do what Apple allows you to do. Even a jailbroken iphone cannot do what a stock Android is capable of doing.

+Meng Wang You would think that's a senseless statement, but it's absurd how accurate it is in describing Apple. Apple commercials and reps are always beaming about their product, saying how they're the first to introduce this, the best to have that, and in general, have a product that "just works". They take advantage of the fact that the average consumer is not willing to do research and prove or disprove these claims. The guy on the TV told me Apple was good, so it must be!

I'm just glad that Android dominates the smartphone market share and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. It shows that there are many people out there who can distinguish quality over what's trendy and fashionable just because someone with enough charisma said it was. Last time I checked, Android was nearing 50% of the market share, if not more, and Apple is somewhere in the 20% range and likely to remain stagnant. Android 4EVA!
 
Wow shows how much apple doesn't evolve & how dumb & gullable people are for buying there sooo called great products.. ios stands for idiot operating system "Chuckles" Google & Android are now and always will be winning!
 
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Why Apple always does things right at the first try? They're Dull! They should do like their copycats, and start with a crappy UI so it needs a total remake every time it's updated, and people have to learn everything all over again. Now That would be exiting!
boo Jay
 
Here is the simplest illustration of Google Android's unwritten mission statement compared to Apple's iOS:

During Google's presentation, they introduced Face Lock, which I found to be quite gimmicky, although I'll reserve judgement until I can actually try it out. At the very least it may be fun to play with. That said, Apple's promotion of Siri was equally gimmicky if not moreso. Voice action/recognition software has been available on Android for ages and works very well, but I've never found myself needing to use it. I'm sure Apple users will be the same way. Talking to your phone in public looks just as retarded as talking through bluetooth (apparently, to no one, it seems). That's not to say it isn't a nice feature to have, but it will not go mainstream, at least not until we have true AI.

Unlike Android, though, Apple REALLY emphasized Siri as a selling point, whereas, Android merely glossed over Face Lock as one of the many new improvements they made to their system. That's the difference b/t the two. Google lets you decide if something is useful to you and lets you make improvements if you feel the stock experience isn't good enough. Apple tells you what you're supposed to think is good and if you don't, then tough luck because that's all you're getting.
 
C'mon, the radical change was in IOS4 when it got folders. I suppose a lot of things don't change since they get the job done. The aforementioned keyboard, mice. The major change to the mouse is encrusting it with more buttons.

As for the unchanging wall of icons, if you are a phone, there's not a lot of screen real estate to play around with. A wall of icons seems a reasonable way to fill the space so you can find your apps. What is the purpose of all the open space in the android examples?


 
Poor Android users. Never seen such ugly icons since Windows 98.
 
oh android 1.0 looks bad and 4.0 is not really better. is this the difference you want to see?
boo Jay
 
Android: If you don't like it, change it.

Apple: If you don't like it, go fuck yourself.
 
Lol... don't show the isheep, they may amass a huge army and attempt to hurt you.
 
+Torsten Meise cause the icons are what matter in an OS. The web 2.0 glossy button meme of 1999 are sweet! Wish I had them on my Android.
 
spoken like a true apple fan ;-) if you got what you all truly wanted, the iphone 5. you'd be raving about all good hip new changes. The bigger screen etc.

I won't argue with you that 4 years ago iphone was ahead of early android, at least when it comes to end user experience. at least in the beginning, Android was about possibilities and openness. things have changed. this happened in the eighty's, it is happening again now. when a new market opens up, a small closed controlled company that controls everything has the advantage. apple computers took off with an early lead.
because you control everything, you can get a more complete product to the mases more quickly.
you don't have to wait fit the world to come along.

To build a multi-national multi-corporation project that is open to everyone to do with as they please, takes time. (just ask Ubuntu) But once it gets going, it's the best and only sustainable method for a worldwide market. The Apple business model is doomed for failure. I am glad they exist. The iPhone forced the open market to team together and respond. the iphone has not had a significant upgrade since the 3g model. Once again, an early lead, higher initial quality. No advance since. One company cannot keep up with the world. yeah they may have gotten faster but every phone has. They have simply kept up with hardware. Hardware developed and made by other companies. Give credit where it belongs, the hardware makers, nvidia, intel etc. If this is the only iPhone for a year that gets released, they are in trouble. and for the first time, the iPhone, even on release date is not the fastest phone, nor the thinnest. I can't believe they still have that huge bevel. So much wasted space.

An OS must be open. Windows, was open enough. At least you didn't have to pay Microsoft 30% to sell a program. But to have a true open source os in the wild is even better.

but really,, it just comes down to opinion and style... I like change I think most people do, if youre willing to admit it. Every a couple weeks I change my font, my home screen, my launchers, it makes a feel like a new phone. I customize my device incessantly. iphone users have been using the same interface the same exact user sperience for 5 years. that would get boring to me. but hey, that's just me.
 
This is nice, I like this. "Changes everything again"... yeah, 2 new icons in 3 years - (R)evolution right?
 
That's why I convinced my whole family to get android phone, gotta share this!
 
That ICS screenshot should show resizable/scrolling widgets to truly show progress! 
 
It's just a launcher comparison. iOS may look dated but don't confuse familiarity with lack of evolution. 
 
+Adam Foley Right. The comparative lack of evolution in all other aspects would have to be shown in a much longer and even more embarrassing set of comparison shots.
 
Not into hacking or rooting - just sounds wrong. Never had an iPhone, have had Android since the G1. But don't take the lack of change in iOS as a bad thing folks. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". A repeated, unchanged use of icons has meant a familiar feel to each iPhone, you know what does what. To keep changing icons, docking & constant evolution means relearning your phone again & again. Perhaps Apple did get it right first time and stuck to it, whereas us "droids" are still searching for and striving for perfection & evolving. Darwin v God.
Ahmad D
 
Schmidt had served on Apple's board all the way through the launch of the iPhone, and Apple never interfered with Google's core business. Then 10 months later Google launches there mobile OS
 
Wow, that is amazing! It only took Android 4 years to change their theme from white to black.
 
Holy fuck. I can't believe I actually read all this drivel. Has it been 24 hours since you did a patch to your android OS? You might be due.....
 
What I find far more amusing than the debate about interface evolution is pointing out how Apple cannot stop referring to their devices as revolutionary, even when they are simply iterations.
That said, both sides of the argument really could really calm the hell down and enjoy their own products.
 
Fuck androids and iPhones lets go back to walkie talkies and portable cd players ;) 
 
Androids is still trying to find the way to beat iPhones. That's why.
 
Jason, have you ever seriously tried a current version Apple product? an i7 Macbook Air or the iPhone 4S?
 
My first Android had Sense UI.. but Vanilla was so appealing in its classic functionality and elegant simplicity I bought a Nexus One as well. Android 4.0 takes that functionality, embellished it, and made the look even more simple, clear to see under any lighting conditions.. Man, an Android is a communicator that is fast, usable and beautiful. It just work and is smart. There's no way am Apple user won't be convinced of she used an android for a few hours. Apple best stick to laptops. Game over. 
 
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty." - Steve Jobs.

Prepare for Apple.... This is gonna be good.
 
Something like this would be a more accurate screenshot of iOS1 vs iOS5 (though I think my left screenshot is from iOS3... couldn't track down a site that had all of the default home screens): http://twitpic.com/77veoo They doubled the resolution of all the graphics.

That being said, there's nothing remarkable about either screen comparisons. Are you really trying to say Android OS has changed dramatically because they took out a giant clock and used a different blue wallpaper? Or was your point that nothing changed on either platforms?
 
Many of you are confusing innovation with invention. Invention is the creation of something totally new. Innovation is making something better. Apple often (but not always) innovates by taking something that has already been done (iPod, anybody?) and often (but not always) improving upon it.
 
Thats why i got bored with iphone..they give you same shit every year and just says their brainwashed sheeps this changes everything lol...how could people buy same 3.5 inch shitty screen full of large grid of icons for 5 years...
 
+Eric Gideon could not have said it better myself! I am an apple user. I have an 06 MacBook and an iPhone 4. I had an android phone for about two years and personally I just couldn't get used to it. And I've tried using my brother in laws Evo recently and again can't do it. In my opinion iOS is the better platform FOR ME. I'm not trying to say that either platform is better but I can say which one is better for myself. But I digress. I still really enjoyed the image! Definitely made me laugh +Jason Hsu!
 
1. "this changes everything. again" was meant for new api not ui !! '-.-

2. the only reason the iPhone still has a 3,5 screen after 5 years ?? so you can reach EVERY AREA of the screen while holding it in one hand !!!!
there is no way you can hold the S2 or the new nexxus and do your everyday tasks with a single hand !!!
what's the point of having a 4.65 screen ?? more room ?? yes, but tell me in which app does it make a difference ?? :-s

3. the fact that the ui hasn't changed a lot shows that apple was right the first time and thought a long time about every single detail ; for those of you who want a different ui, how do you want it to be ??

4. when apple launched their iphone in 2007, Jobs said : “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,”
So the 2012 or 2013 version should be radically different (screen size, ui,...)
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