Where is the Killer Feature??

Where is the Killer Feature??

Before I start I want to make clear that I am an Android user. I’ve had a play on iOS for a while in its various guises both jailbroken and not and on iPhones and an iPod Touch. I am not a particular fan of Apple devices but like anyone else I have an opinion, some prefer Apple, some prefer Android. Thats just the way it is.

Now that’s out of the way, I have watched with interest as Apple have announced iOS6, the latest incantation of their operating system and just as with iOS 5, where is the originality?

I’m no iOS expert but iOS 5 and the iPhone 4s saw the launch of the much trumpeted Siri. Apple trumpeted and cawed about their new voice recognition system, only Blackberry had done it first and Android has had theirs built in since year dot. So Apple have simply taken a product and made it better and prettier.

Also included and a big fuss made of was the Notifications bar. Again, been in Android for a long time. Is it better or prettier – well that’s open to debate.

Next, PC Free. Now you don’t need a computer to own an iDevice. Well, you have never needed to own a PC to own an Android device, OTA updates have been available since at least Android 2.1 if not before and apps downloaded straight to the handset.

Of over 200 enhancements in iOS5, some 80% are reputed to have come from the jailbreaking community.

And now we have the announcement of iOS6 which brings with it such delights as reject a call and send a text messsage, facebook integration, passbook and VIP mail. Now call me a cynic but haven’t we seen this all before in one OS or another?

Now before you all start accusing me of Apple bashing and being a fanboy, lets move on to Google. There is court case after court case lined up alleging patent infringement. Google recently “won” the case brought against them by Oracle but there are many more outstanding. Indeed, even Microsoft makes more money from Android than it does it’s own Windows phone operating system due to licensing agreements put in place after infringements.

Google are reputedly working on Majel, their own response to Siri, the folder system in Android now looks remarkably similar to the one in iOS (check who’s came first!!) and the list could go on and on.

The frustration is that smartphones are a long way from perfect. Each OS has its own plus points and negatives but by simply copying what everyone else is doing innovation is being stifled, the rather boring patent wars are draining money and the people who design the handsets will soon have to be experts on copyright and patent law before they even think of designing.

What really needs to happen is for the major companies to come together and recognise that they are all essentially trying to do the same thing and therefore there are some elements that will be similar to one anothers.

But above all, they need to innovate, create and come up with new ideas, something no one else has thought of because no amount of court cases or rehashing of ideas is going to produce that killer feature and that is what the public wants.

Is the author right? Have your say here on our forums…


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  • Djagentm

    The funny thing is That’s Apples strength. They make things look like its their own idea. The thing you can’t deny 90% of the time they dress it up or just do it better. I like my iPad for music but love my HTC for nearly everything else lol

  • John

    If android updates over the air why are so many devices not up to date ???

    The way you come across Simon is that android invented everything and apple just copies it and makes it better…

    Android buys company’s who make the apps/software and claim its there’s so why can’t apple ..

    Dont see android saying who they bought there Siri rep of from

  • Egon Spengler

    Before all the apple hating /android fighting I think we all expect to much and should be more looking into what we have…..

    I believe it’s got more about who has the most CPU than call quality …

    I’m mean quad core do we need that in a phone !!!

  • Mcwarre

    Leigh, great commentary but the “the major companies to come together and recognise that they are all essentially trying to do the same thing” is true but they are in business.  Business, at the end of the day, is about shareholder value and thus removing or reducing the effect of the opposition is key.  Oh the customer?  They may say they care, but actually, they don’t. Just the numbers buying their product and not the oppositions. 



  • iPhone Fan

    Where was the killer feature on the Galaxy S3? What did you expect to be released? If there is going to be a killer feature it will be released with the next iPhone – Siri wasn’t announced at the WWDC but was there when the 4S was announced last September. But if there isn’t a killer feature then iOS 6 still has more than enough to keep people happy and compete with Android and WinMo.

    You talk about Apple copying and dressing up features from others but Google is no better. It’s funny how Google rushed out an announcement about their 3D mapping before Apple after hearing all the rumours. Atleast Apple announced something that was a finished feature rather than the beta from Google. I don’t know why the majority of contributors on this site are so negative about Apple and iOS and insist on writing blatantly biased articles.

    • Blatantly biased or reading what you want to read??

      “Google are reputedly working on Majel, their own response to Siri, the folder system in Android now looks remarkably similar to the one in iOS (check who’s came first!!) and the list could go on and on.”

      • paul

        simon its not just about the voice system as this has been out for awhile its the underneath systems that apple have the trouble with samsung ….

        Making siri gather info is as i belive made by a company which apple bought awhile ago and is now tweating for there IOS .

        they dont just throw stuff at a phone this is why i like my apple products

      • iPhone Fan

        It’s an article which is negative against Apple/iOS which is fine and you make some fair points. But there are very few positive articles on this site about apple to balance it out so I stand by what I said about the site being biased. You have attempted to balance it by adding 2 paragraphs about Google and WinMo but the majority of the article is against Apple so it doesn’t read to me as being balanced.

        How about responding to my other points about where the killer feature on the S3 is and what killer feature you would like. Personally I’m happy with my 4s and I don’t really know what killer feature I’d like to see. Siri is just a gimmick at the moment so it will be interesting to see how this can develop further.

  • Trevor

    We all want the new version, especially a major version step change, to have something fantastic and, hopefully unique. Where Apple is concerned I don’t think the iOS announcement is as important as the next iPhone, but they had to announce it so that developers (who are the audience for the conference, not consumers, after all) can build apps for the next iPhone.

  • As I said on Twitter we are at a point where all OEMs will effectively get very similar interactions and features because of what it is an human nature….

    And before any one says what twaddle,,, take dialling a phone number. Whether its dialling using a pad, a gesture, a look even your still engaging the same action – a phone number…. Limitations on function will limit how you can interact even more so when some thing takes hold and is expected ( ie swipe to unlock )…. eventually it just becomes ‘the’ experience.