Re: Has Apple lost its innovation?: Via iMore Blog
This is exactly it. Many manufacturers are adding many new features, but a feature isn't always an innovation. Innovations improve the way something is done. How does half of samsungs new features "improve things" many of them just don't seem as useful.
Originally Posted by ruger141
Here are some "innovations" in smartphones over the past 7 years in order (I may miss some so feel free to add more )
- the original iPhone: this took several pre-existing ideas and combined them into one solid easy to use smartphone. Other smartphones at the time used a very clunky and outdated OS and just didn't have what it took to make smartphones go mainstream. I was not even an apple fan when the iPhone came out yet I knew then it was a game changer.
- the App Store: this locked in the iPhone as an innovator and initiated a wave of simple and trustworthy app purchasing which, surprisingly didn't exist before this point. People may hate apples "walled garden" but it works far better than rummaging through websites and uncertified apps.
- webos: if you never got to see webos in action than you missed out as many of webos's innovations were implemented in other smartphones and some have yet to be implemented. I have to create sub sections just for this
- true multitasking cards: webos took multitasking to a new level. One which ios had not even touched yet and android was horrible at. It was simple really. All your open apps were cards. If you swiped it off the screen, it was closed. Androids multitasking didn't allow for closing of apps until ics and even that doesn't always close apps. Webos cards have influenced androids multitasking, windows phones multitasking, blackberry playbooks multitasking and now ios's new multitasking. It just worked, and worked so well.
- synergy: synergy was the buzz word used to describe having accounts migrated into apps across the phone. For instance, if I used google, I could integrate a google account and I would see google calendars, contacts and whatever else the phone allowed. Webos synced various info with Facebook, yahoo, aim, google, and the palm profile. This allowed for unified contacts, calendars, and even instant messaging in the messaging app. Later, android followed suite and iPhone sort of added this (though not nearly as fluent.) windows phone also followed suite, however, I will say they did the best job at evolving synergy and innovating it as it now migrates things like Skype, news feeds, photos from services, and other cool things.
- gestures: while the iPhone had added some awesome gestures on screens that were included in the initial iPhone innovations, webos had gestures like no other. The bottom bezel of the phone acted as a gesture area, allowing one to simply swipe back from the middle of the phone to the left, or visa versa to go back and forth in apps. You could also swipe across the bottom of the phone to switch between the nearest cards, and swipe up from the button slowly to bring up the apps in the app launcher in a wavy bar which was awesome. Webos also was king of swiping to dismiss or delete. Gestures STILL haven't come close to being as innovative as this. Swipe to delete sort of existed in ios but not nearly as often, and android was all about taping. If apple were to incorporate these types of gestures, they could easily get away with making a larger screened model and still easily keep their "one-handed" title. No phone I've used beats the palm pre in its one handed ability.
- notifications: they existed first in android, but webos really made them awesome. You were noticed unobtrusively while in any app, the bottom notification area would simply move the screen area up to reveal a notification (similar to how ios does now except webos didn't block anything, it literally moved everything up and shrank the screen area so everything was accessible). Notifications could simply be swiped when received, or later on from the notification tray. This influenced android ics heavily (no surprise, the designer from webos moved to android). This also appeared in some form on both ios and windows phone as well (both have banners on the top of the screen that come in instead of middle of the screen notifications or status bar notifications).
- Siri: voice assistance might have existed, but Siri opened the door for the future of jarvises' ! You could simply talk to Siri and have her do things. You could even reply to her! While initial functions might have been disappointing to some. Siri is still pretty useful and will only become more useful as it uses more sources, and has more access to functions and apps. It's only competition is google now.
- google now: while google news voice assistant derives from Siri, and in some ways isn't as easy to use (Siri allows you to take multiple steps for things like setting reminders, sending messages, ect and understands common language much better) google news innovations are in its predictive notifications. Google now will remind you of flights in your email, tell you about traffic delays, inform you about your sports team scores, let you know hen you are at a bus station and allow you to check its stops, and serval more helpful things. Google now will continue to grow and while it can never replace what Siri or google voice assistance is used for completely, it will continue to be a great source of information without asking which, once again leads us into the world of phones with Jarvis (at least I hope!)
- blackberry keyboard: virtual keyboards still suffer from accuracy however there just isn't any good phones with keyboards anymore. Blackberry has proved that typing on a phone should be easy. It's keyboards predictive text allows you to simply swipe words up from the keyboard. It's like swiftkey but better!
- Motorola maker: this is an AWESOME way of buying and creating a custom phone with custom accessories. It's simple, unique and is not something outside of what I would expect from apple honestly, it may not be a game changer, but it really is an innovative way to buy and customize a phone. I hope apple offers more customizing options like this someday!
That's all I can think of as of now. Everything else has just been features that existed or don't really improve upon anything significantly. Companies like Samsung throw many features in their phones, but few are executed well and hamper performance. That's not innovation it's called throwing any idea you come up with at a wall and hoping it sticks, I am in a capstone class right now where we are learning about creation of things. As an architect my process is different, but other students from engineering and other departments are required to go through a process of thinking of ideas, then eliminating ideas that don't solve a problem. I feel like Samsung skipped that stage.
Has apple stopped innovating? Who knows. Apples not out of business! It's last innovation might have been Siri, but o don't doubt it will have many more. Take a look at all the companies trying to race to make smart watches ever since the Iwatch was rumored. (and likely non-existent yet). No ones done it right yet. Apple could easily innovate the watch. Apple can innovate still with Siri, with the iPhone, with Many other things. Also, to be fair, not many others have truly innovated lately in the field. High specs and tons of gimmick features aren't innovations.