Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the latest version of the tech giant's mobile operating system, the iOS 5, at the WWDC last week. The latest edition of iOS will have around 200 new features and will start being seen in devices like iPhone 3GS and 4, iPad and iPad 2, and iPod touch 3 and 4, from this fall.
Apple makes beautiful devices and routinely cuts new paths in consumer electronics. So much so that it would be a blasphemy to say the tech giant may have looked at rivals and individual developers for inspiration.
However, it's routinely said in tech circles that Apple may have done that in respect to the iOS 5.
Apple's iOS 5 could go down in history as the operating system whose most features have been inspired by other developers, says Radu Tyrsina, writing in nextiphonenews. Apple has taken a peak into the jailbreakers’ garden and “borrowed” the most popular features available so as to embed them in its iOS.
It had been widely reported last week that consumers were wondering if a few of the fancied features on iOS 5 were not seen already in myriad Android OS-based phones.
The iOS 5 has displayed marvelous features like new Notifications Center, Twitter integration for many apps, tabbed browsing using Safari, modified mail features, refinements for the Game Center app, and the like.
Nextiphonenews has made a list of the iOS 5 features that have been inspired by others. These include the following:
First and foremost is the Notification Center. The features on it are strikingly similar to Peter Hajas’ MobileNotifier and with Android’s notification system, it says. The new Notifications Center will collect missed calls, voicemails and text messages. It will also display notifications from the App Store.
Hajas had blazed the trail in this area, by developing a popular jailbreak notification add-on for iOS. It was reportedly earlier this month that he has been hired by Apple.
And then, the Wi-Fi Sync was available via a homonym app from Cydia, the so-called underground app store. Again, lockscreen notifications in iOS 5 are similar to LockInfo or Smartscreen, which too was available in Cydia for a long time, it says.
For the record, Cydia is the big brother in the jailbreaking world, which, according to the Washington Post, earns about $10 million in annual revenue and counts about 4.5 million active weekly users hunting for apps.
Another interesting feature in iOS that Apple has apparently taken from others is the option to take photos using the volume control buttons. Snappy is one of the first tweaks that offered this function and Apple realized its importance, therefore decided to integrate the feature in its iOS.
The personal hotspot is another feature. Ahead of the launch of iPad 2, Apple had released iOS 4.3 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch with features like WiFi hotspot and improved gameplay. MyWi was essentially a jailbreakers' way of beating carrier charges for tethering. MyWi was crafted by Mario Ciabarra, who then ran an app store called Rock Your Phone, which he later merged with Cydia.
Again, the nextiphonenews says many tweaks enabling FaceTime video calls over 3G had become available last year.
And there are others, and the list could be long. It can be argued in favor of Apple that the tech giant has improved on these ideas for the iOS 5.