Why The iPhone Is Falling Behind

glass

 

Apple haters, Android geeks and misinformed Wall Street analysts will tell you that Apple’s iPhone is falling behind because Apple can’t innovate anymore.

I don’t buy the Apple-doesn’t-innovate BS. Apple is super innovative, and their innovation is focused, disciplined and ultimately results in industry-dominating revenue and profits.

But iPhones are still lacking some of the best innovations out there. This isn’t because Apple can’t innovate. It’s because Apple can’t share. Apple can’t play nice with others. Apple wants to control the user experience, even at the expense of the user.

Apple isn’t open.

This quality used to be a benefit because it prevented the platform from becoming an ugly, confusing, fragmented mess.

But in the past month, Apple’s lack of openness has become a serious problem.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

Android phones have a reputation for customizability. And to a certain extent, they almost require tinkering to optimize the experience.

iPhones, on the other hand, are known for simplicity. Everything just works right out of the box. Apple does this by controlling every aspect of the user experience.

The company pays special attention to what resources apps are allowed to gain access to.

Apple’s aggressive controlling of the user experiences has three major effects:

1. Using an iPhone is the most bullet-proof, elegant and seamless experience in existence.

2. A huge movement to unlock iPhones has emerged in order to get around Apple’s controls.

3. iPhone users who don’t unlock are left behind as the industry innovates in ways that require access to Apple’s locked-down areas of the platform.

This third effect is becoming a serious problem. Instead of being unable to use obscure little apps, users are now being locked out of the major, sweeping, culture-changing trends in mobile computing.

Here are some examples.

Google Now

Google Now for iOS shipped Monday.

It’s no small irony that Google’s breathtakingly awesome Google Now service runs on more iPhones than Android phones — two and a half times as many, according to one estimate.

The Android version works only on Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2 plus all future versions of Android, but the majority of Android users are stuck with older versions.

Google could have decided to keep Google Now as an exclusive feature of Android, and thereby motivate millions of iPhone users to switch platforms just to get the service. Yes, it’s that good. Instead, they tried to duplicate the full Google Now feature set on iOS, but were hobbled by Apple’s policy of control.

Unlike on Android, where Google Now is a core part of the user interface, Google Now for iOS has been implemented as a sub-feature of the Google Search app. So Google Now doesn’t interrupt you to alert you with new cards unless you’ve launched the Google Search app.

This corralling of Google Now into an app defeats part of its purpose because interruption is a core benefit.

Another major, one might say magical, quality of Google Now is the ability to read your email and calendar and figure out who you’re interacting with, where you’re going and what you’re doing.

But these work only with Gmail and Google Calendar. Without working with Apple’s alternatives, Google Now is practically useless for people who use those alternatives.

Google Now on Android sees on your calendar that you’re meeting with someone and will actually tell you that you must leave now if you want to be on time. It just jumps out and tells you without you asking. This doesn’t happen on the iOS version.

If you’re going to be late, a button below the map lets you notify that person instantly that you’ll be late. This feature doesn’t exist on the iOS version.

The Android version of Google Now can be used hands-free. You use a “wake command,” and say: “Google!” The app wakes up, ready for another voice command. On the iOS version, you have to launch the app and press the microphone button.

Each of these limitations on the iOS version is by itself a small thing, but they add up to iPhone users missing out on the magic of Google Now.

iPhone users are missing out on the Google Now revolution not because Apple isn’t innovative. It’s because Apple isn’t open.

Facebook Home

Facebook Home is a user interface layer for Android phones that puts Facebook social interaction and content on top of other things on the platform. For example, the lock screen is taken over by fullscreen pictures posted by your Facebook friends. Circular “chat heads” appear on top of whatever Android app you’re using, and persist even as you use the app.

I’m not interested in using Facebook Home and you may not, either. But the point is that a social layer that sits on top of a smartphone OS is a thing, a trend, a paradigm shift in how millions of people will use their phones.

I’m sure Facebook would love to offer Home for iOS for those users who choose it. But Apple would never allow that.

As a result, Facebook has added Chat Heads to their iOS app, but like the iOS version of Google now, this limited feature set is corralled inside the app.

iPhone users are missing out on the Facebook Home revolution not because Apple doesn’t innovate but because Apple isn’t open.

Google Glass

Google Glass is Google’s main wearable computing project. It sits on the right side of your face and head, and beams a screen into your right eye. A touchpad built into the side enables control. And voice commands and even eye blinking is another way to control Glass.

Google Glass will be intimately integrated with Google Now, Google+, YouTube and other Google Services.

We learned this week that Glass will will get an iOS app to facilitate messaging and other features via iPhones. However, unlike the tight integration Glass will likely have with Android phones, the iOS app will mainly just give Glass access to the iPhone’s GPS data and Internet connection.

The real magic will occur when companies design Android apps to work with cloud-based Glass apps to do a bazillion currently unpredictable things — and iPhone users will almost certainly be left out of all of that.

These are just three examples of huge, culture-shifting developments in technology that iPhone users will be left out of.

It’s not about Now, Home and Glass. It’s about proactive and knowing artificial intelligence assistants, social media smartphone layers and wearable technology. These are the giant shifts that Apple users will be watching from the sidelines.

Sure, Apple will continue to work on Siri, integration with other social networks and probably an iWatch as alternatives. But these will always be second-rate alternatives.

And for you Apple fanboys who say that Google Now, Facebook Home and Google Glass are lame technologies for suckers, airheads and dorks, respectively, — and for those of you who believe that jailbreaking will solve all these problems — your argument is invalid. It’s not about you. It’s about what real people really want to do in real life.

Apple is falling behind. And it’s not because Apple isn’t innovative. In fact, even if Apple is more innovative than any other company, they cannot be more innovative than every other company.

That wasn’t a problem when obscure apps and features popped up here and there on other platforms. But now huge technologies are leaving the station, and Apple isn’t on board.

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  • lwdesign1

    I disagree with your central assumption that Apple won’t come out with anything better than what Google offers, and that Apple MUST adopt what Google is doing. Apple has been the most innovative company in the tech sector for 20 years, and based on past experience, Apple will continue to be, but on its own terms.

  • dcj001

    I use an iPhone 5 that is not jailbroken, and I like it a lot. I neither need nor want any of those features that don’t work with iOS like they do with Google’s OS.

    For me, Google Glass is a novelty. It is new, which makes it appealing. But, until I can tell it what to do telepathically, and not vocally, I am not interested.

    Although I disagree with much of what you said, this is another great article, Mike.

  • gnomehole

    In some ways I agree. However, I don’t find Google Now useful, don’t care for the Glasses idea, and definitely see Facebook Home flopping. You need better examples, as these are really just half assed attempts or ideas that won’t go very far.

    When Apple does come out with something (ok Maps aside, though right now I find it way better than Google’s maps ever was) it will be great, not just half assed. Its worth the wait, even if not knowing can drive nerds mad.

  • dcj001

    Plus, iOS 7 is coming soon. I expect it to change everything.

  • Snarleyyow

    Adding all those, and by the same reasoning every other in your view *must have* feature, IOs will become the same as Android – terrible. Why does it not occur to you that millions of people buy Apple products because they enjoy Apples curation of the overall experience which is second to none in Usability, Quality, Service, Integration, Safety, Apps, Updates etc. If you like Googles services it seems sensible to buy a google device, if others want to be free of them and prefer Apples services then they buy Apple.

  • vaio1990

    This article is garbage… All iOS users don’t give a crap about those Google features. Siri is already good enough today, and will become amazing in the future. I dont want Google or FB messing up with my precious iPhone. Google Now is mediocre, it’s not as fun to use as Siri.

  • Obsidian71

    Absolute fantasy. As a writer, where are your credentials or relevant experiences with talking with regular customers. I’m in sales and I find that discussion from people who actually “sell” this technology often is superior to those living in a castle and pontificating about the ramifications of such overyhyped technology.

    Google Now doesn’t do anything that I can’t get with existing iOS apps. Facebook Home is for a a small niche of Facebook fanatics.

    Apple doesn’t need to be open. They simply need to follow the same course they always have and that is pleasing their customers and ignoring those from the press who haven’t a clue what customers want from Apple and technology in general.

  • dm1111

    Leaving out the reality of the malware on Android that affects so many is on purpose?

    Leaving out the power of the iTunes (app, movie, TV, iTunes Match)/iPhone/iCloud integration is on purpose? It’s part of the iPhone.

    Putting an iPhone and an Android on a table and saying the iPhone doesn’t work with this or that app – but Android does – iPhone/Apple is falling behind is pretty simplistic – IMO. And Android IS an ugly, confusing, fragmented mess right now.

    Put an iPhone and an Android phone on a table right now and and ask people who’ve never used either to go ahead try them out. Which phone will be being used within seconds to make a call, on the web, email etc… iPhone – as people will fumble with an Android trying to figure out the same tasks.

    The big kicker though is Google can stop working on the Android OS anytime they want too. It costs Google millions, eating into Google’s profits. Android doesn’t generate profit to Google. And Android is not free to manufactures of Android phones – they pay Microsoft for the patents Google used in Android. Microsoft makes money on Android and Google doesn’t – now that’s a kick in the business head. And Apple? Glad I kept my Apple stock even when it hit $13 dollars many years ago.

  • Paullloydjohnson

    Saw the title and knew this would be a heap of steaming BS courtesy of Mike Elgan.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can we have a hide all Mike Elgan version of Cult of Mac. This utter nonsense should not be on here. These opinion pieces are absolutely horrendous. Everyone of them has the same comments and yet you still let him post.

    Seriously, sort it out.

  • Paullloydjohnson
  • xavizen

    Well…

    “breathtakingly awesome Google Now service” of delivering all your data for free.

    “social media smartphone layers”, the same and worst. No thanks.

    “wearable technology” Just read “Your Body Does Not Want to Be an Interface” (from MIT): http://j.mp/127rZNE

    “It’s about what real people really want to do in real life.”. Real people also smoke in real life, and many other things that are harmful to them.

  • d33r59

    Here is what I know, I just got an iphone about 3 months ago, after swearing off smartphones for 6 months. Previously I had a HTC Incredible and eventually busted it, (too much dropping and finally its computer brain stopped working) Replaced it with a Motorola Bionic (and expensive piece of garbage) With both the Incredible and the bionic I would get frequent force close when i was in an app, or both at times would freeze up and I would have to remove the batteries to get them to get out of whatever loop they were stuck on. I did really like the Incredible the issues mentioned were weekly, but the Bionic it was everyday that somehting was wrong with it, and often the 4g would never work. None of the above problems have happened yet with my iphone and the battery has been more then double the time with either droid. (they would be dead in 6 hours and I wasn’t doing much at all with them.) So for my money, I would rather have something that is consistent then the Android platform that gives me all this freedom to screw up my device, or as I discovered with platform upgrades sometime screw it’s own self up.

  • JacktheMac

    Sensational headline, vacuous content. Google Now really isn’t a big deal, I don’t go near Facebook and Google Glass looks great but isn’t available to mere mortals. But somehow these are ‘huge culture-shifting developments in technology that iPhone users will be left out of’ ? Puuuuhleeaze.

    Why does CoM keep posting this guy’s stuff ? If they want contrarian content they should at least make it informed and intelligent.

  • bdkennedy

    Google Glass is a niche product that most people won’t buy because it costs over $1000. I wouldn’t buy one for $200 because I would look like a douche bag walking around wearing it in public.

  • dencio1898

    Stupid article. Heard of cyber attacks and malwares? That is the issue. These features you mentioned are not essential and not game changers to me. I am happy with my well secured and well integrated Apple devices.

  • SulaymanF

    This article was well-written. You have listed some important issues that Apple will have to deal with going forward. However, these are all the Pros to an open architecture, and there are many Cons: fragmented phones with un-upgradeable OSes miss these features. There’s a looming problem with malware, and difficult troubleshooting.

  • technochick

    Saw the title and knew this would be a heap of steaming BS courtesy of Mike Elgan.

    He and DED over at AppleInsider should start their own site. They are a perfect fit

  • Parvanit

    What a load of crap. Google refuses to work with any normal email or calendar and its Apple that’s not being “open”??!!?

    Google demands total immersion in gmail and its services. Apple has nothing to do with it.

    Google could easily use apple’s notifications for its alerts. It refuses to do so.

    Google desperately needs iPhone users, because the vast majority of mobile internet usage is iPhone. Over 80%. Without iPhone users, googles revenue would plunge off a cliff. Get real.

    Facebook demands total takeover like a parasite. Google is already reeling and trying to figure out how to kill the total loss of branding from phones using Facebook’s new home screen. Facebook also commendeers messaging and tries to takeover mail, which would hurt gmail.

    Apple isn’t at all dependent on mail for revenue. It’s about keeping a platform equal access for every developer, not favoring one that demands total takeover rights. How would that be fair to the tons of alternative email clients available on ios?
    That’s actually called open.

    Android gives priority and lock in to google services, or punishes a user by loss of functions. That, my friend, is closed.

  • dedt02

    I need to get this off my chest. First off EVERYTHING does not need to be Open Source. If everything was open source like these free loaders want ( yes I said FREE LOADERS) then nothing would work eventually. Software and Firmware can only be tinkered with but so much. Second the people who are yelling “Open Source” are people and companies that want to take your hard work, staying up late at night, trial and errors and use them for free and make profit i.e Google, this guy, Samsung, and many others. Apple is doing the right thing and keeping STANDARDS so in the long run the user is not paying for it. Ask any person with a Windows PC how long have they had the PC. Then ask a Mac user the same question. Quality over everything. Take a step back and look at Google. Android was built on top of a Linux Kernel (for Cameras) along with other companies patents (also trying to say it’s not a part of the Linux family). Then bought Moto for Android to survive (which that didn’t work out for them at all) and is now paying Microsoft (a major competitor) for every Android device being made. On top of that they are playing catch up in the PlayStore trying to get rid of all the malware and virus apps due to them being so open. How many people lost handsets, data, identities, and money dealing with that issue? Is the Playstore still OPEN as in anyone can upload an app it? No. Why is that? Due to the very same idea you’re trying to push in this article. Google now have STANDARDS for the app store. So with this article’s comment section you’ve just proven that your knowledge in Apple and Tech security in general are subpar. The sales in Android Phones are passing iPhones due to one person buying multiple phones due to a breakage in the previous handset. But eventually after they get tired of buying phone after phone they buy a iPhone and are happy as can be. The ONLY thing you can do on an Android phone that you can’t do on iPhone is customize. But if you Jailbreak then what?

    P.S. You should have put this article on an Android website. You would have gotten far better responses.

  • Eldaino

    Leaving out the reality of the malware on Android that affects so many is on purpose?

    Wow. Whens the last time you used an android device? Malware is such an overblown issue… All the articles that discuss it are ancient.

    You have to Physically try to get malware on an android phone. Google doesnt let it get through on the play store and you have to be downloading shady apps by unblocking unknown sources to do so. Stuff the average user wont do.

    Educate and stop being a misinformed fanboy.

  • Eldaino

    I need to get this off my chest. First off EVERYTHING does not need to be Open Source. If everything was open source like these free loaders want ( yes I said FREE LOADERS) then nothing would work eventually. Software and Firmware can only be tinkered with but so much. Second the people who are yelling “Open Source” are people and companies that want to take your hard work, staying up late at night, trial and errors and use them for free and make profit i.e Google, this guy, Samsung, and many others. Apple is doing the right thing and keeping STANDARDS so in the long run the user is not paying for it. Ask any person with a Windows PC how long have they had the PC. Then ask a Mac user the same question. Quality over everything. Take a step back and look at Google. Android was built on top of a Linux Kernel (for Cameras) along with other companies patents (also trying to say it’s not a part of the Linux family). Then bought Moto for Android to survive (which that didn’t work out for them at all) and is now paying Microsoft (a major competitor) for every Android device being made. On top of that they are playing catch up in the PlayStore trying to get rid of all the malware and virus apps due to them being so open. How many people lost handsets, data, identities, and money dealing with that issue? Is the Playstore still OPEN as in anyone can upload an app it? No. Why is that? Due to the very same idea you’re trying to push in this article. Google now have STANDARDS for the app store. So with this article’s comment section you’ve just proven that your knowledge in Apple and Tech security in general are subpar. The sales in Android Phones are passing iPhones due to one person buying multiple phones due to a breakage in the previous handset. But eventually after they get tired of buying phone after phone they buy a iPhone and are happy as can be. The ONLY thing you can do on an Android phone that you can’t do on iPhone is customize. But if you Jailbreak then what?

    P.S. You should have put this article on an Android website. You would have gotten far better responses.

    Android sales are due to multiple phone purchases? Are you on crack? Wheres your source bruh?

  • djcolley

    It’s always amazing that everyone with less than a billion dollars in the bank, they all know what Apple should do with their company and products. That of course would include me. My point is Apple is very successful and most companies are not. As long as they take care of their customers needs, they will continue to be successful. I hope that they never follow the tech pundits or anyone else’s advice. They just need to continue to make great products.

  • dedt02

    @Eldanio How many Android phones have you bought? I myself had 4 My wife bought 6 ALL due to problems with the phone (software, hardware, and firmware). Now are we the only ones with that problem? No! So do the math. There is a reason Apple has fans. It’s funny how android fans like to point out Apple fans but what are you?!?! An Android fan trying to tell apple fans what to believe on an apple webpage.

  • MrsCleaver

    Sorry Mike, but this whole article is a lot of bunk. It’s just a bunch of words strung together into something that appear to be sentences, but make no sense, and have no basis in reality.

    Apple is on top in nearly every category you can list. And even when it isn’t, it hardly matters. There are only a few major players in all of these digital devices, and which one is on top at the moment doesn’t mean a thing. People buy what they want, and the companies do just fine as a result. When a company like Microsoft consistently introduces crap (as they always do), the public knows and doesn’t buy. The Zune and Surface are perfect examples.

    As far as the notion of Apple not being innovative, one only need look at the tens of millions of buyers and the hundreds of imitators. And as far as being “open” or “closed”, whatever Apple has been doing since the late 70’s—and especially since the introduction of Macintosh—has been nothing but a stellar rise of innovation and fortunes. Whatever Apple is doing works, and that’s the kind of success that’s seems awfully silly to criticize.

  • bregalad

    I will never let Google read my email, calendar and GPS and use that information to tell me what to do. I don’t understand why anyone would want a machine or an advertising agency making decisions for them.

    I will never let Facebook follow me around everywhere I go and pop up UI elements that don’t go away.

    It’s called a lock screen because the phone is supposed to be locked. That means no personal information showing. Turning it into a chat screen defeats its entire purpose.

  • Junaidkureshi

    Who the f**k wants ur phone to tell you get out you are getting late and then keep fingering you unless you reach there, i dont want my phone to be my boss, i dont pay the money to have a boss on me. Google is smartly getting all your private things and is sharing it with the world, soon google users will have no personal life, we must not forget that google is about advertising and in advertising if you get this kind of personal data of people means you rocks.

  • Seraphiel

    The thing is that it only looks like Apple is falling behind. In reality it is and both isn’t. Apple has a totally different approach to innovation. They take time to think while innovating. Samsung and Google and the rest focus on getting new products out as fast as possible so they are in front of the innovation race, but quite frankly they forget to think about how people want to use the new products they create. Apple laughs and looks at these products and just uses them as case studies. Apple looks at Samsung phones and study how people use them and quietly change their iPhone and release it a year or so later with the specifications that are at more thought through and fit 95% of the smart-phone users. Apple looks at Glass and studies it. Thinking about the consequences of a person using Glass. Thinking about if it is something people could or couldn’t live without then draw their conclusion and innovate on that. Apple is using Samsung and Google as a free study-recourse.

    The same has happened with iPads. Companies have made iPads before, but the technology wasn’t ready yet for people really wanting to use it. Apple in stead of “innovating”, simply waited until the day it was technologically possible to release a product that people wanted to use. The iPad was on the drawing board before the iPhone, go figure. That’s typically the way Apple works. It’s their way of doing business and has nothing to do with falling behind. They are most likely a few years ahead already, but just not releasing anything until they have come up with something people would be happy about using.

  • mambo966

    Apple is not falling behind, it just some people think it is cool to have “do-it-all” but useless, cheap gadgets;

  • f4780y

    I wasn’t disagreeing up until you said – “But these will always be second-rate alternatives.”

    That’s pretty closed thinking right there, and if there is one think Apple has proven time and time again, it can innovate as you yourself pointed out. Just because it is a closed environment does not mean it is always second-rate.

  • dm1111

    Eldaino wrote “Wow. Whens the last time you used an android device? Malware is such an overblown issue… All the articles that discuss it are ancient “

    Yup – February and April of 2013 is ancient.

    Android malware more than doubled worldwide in 2012
    http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/android-malware-more-than-doubled-worldwide-in-2012-1

    BadNews malware downloaded by at least 2 million users in Europe
    http://www.androidguys.com/2013/04/19/badnews-malware-downloaded-by-at-least-2-million-users-in-europe/

    Most mobile malware hits Android devices: report
    http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/most-mobile-malware-hits-android-devices-report-1C8753186

    New Malware Attacks Smartphone, Computer to Eavesdrop
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/malware-attacks-smartphone-computer-eavesdrop-172652055.html

  • TheMadTurtle

    “…your argument is invalid. It’s not about you. It’s about what real people really want to do in real life.”

    Real people really want to have their phones tell them when they need to leave for their next appointment? Maybe. Facebook? *snore* Google glass – maybe once it’s affordable for “real people”, but by then, Apple and other companies will have innovated past it.

  • technochick

    “Sure, Apple will continue to work on Siri, integration with other social networks and probably an iWatch as alternatives. But these will always be second-rate alternatives.”

    And you base this in your vast insider knowledge

    Oops no you don’t. Just Iike all your other doom and gloom articles and comments. It’s embarrassing, Mike. Please go find another site to write for if you are going to shill for the other boys. Or at least wait until there is an actual product announced and stop believing that rumors=fact

  • iSteve

    Elgan, you are an asshole!

    Apple is a religion that will never fade away…

  • WXMAN2001

    Google now? What a useless app. It’s for people that are idiots. That’s why they created android. Google glass is a fad. With business and government already putting restrictions on their use, nobody is going to waste money wearing those foolish things. Facebook is for those who have no life and feel what they post is actually important.

  • MalteDegener

    Google now? What a useless app. It’s for people that are idiots. That’s why they created android. Google glass is a fad. With business and government already putting restrictions on their use, nobody is going to waste money wearing those foolish things. Facebook is for those who have no life and feel what they post is actually important.

    Read:

    And for you Apple fanboys who say that Google Now, Facebook Home and Google Glass are lame technologies for suckers, airheads and dorks, respectively, — and for those of you who believe that jailbreaking will solve all these problems — your argument is invalid. It’s not about you. It’s about what real people really want to do in real life.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/226210/why-the-iphone-is-falling-behind/#0zv8VBtRUKb7dUq0.99

  • matttalkstech

    Great article Mike. I have used Google Now on my Galaxy S3 and it is an amazing, almost magical technology that integrates really well. It does a whole lot more then just tell you when you need to leave for a meeting and it does it well. I read the comments below from angry Iphone fans and they are the same arguments I hear from Iphone users on my site, or friends that I have that defend their Iphones. It’s the “we didn’t want that anyway” argument. We don’t want a bigger screen, anyway. We don’t want a Swype keyboard. We don’t want a fully integrated Google Now. We don’t want NFC. I’ve never used it, but if it was good, Apple would have given it to use already.

    Your point is completely valid and it’s the point that I have also been making for years. Apple make a fine phone that works great. But they only make 1 closed system phone, and to quote you “even if Apple is more innovative than any other company, they cannot be more innovative than every other company.”

  • Steven Quan

    This is one of the worst article I’ve ever read on Cult of Mac from an analytic perspective. One of the big reasons why Apple will not allow Google ability to “read your email and calendar and figure out who you’re interacting with, where you’re going and what you’re doing” is because Google has been shown that they can’t be trusted.

    A year ago the Wall St Journal showed proof that Google was violating users privacy rights through a loophole in Safari and tracking iPhone users. If Google has so little regard for users privacy rights you think a company like Apple, who takes user privacy rights seriously would allow Google total open access to an iPhone user’s emails, calenders, alerts, and so forth?!? Are you serious?!?

    Incidentally one big reason Google made Google Now available for iOS was so that they could track their users and use that knowledge to better target advertisers. This is the reason Google made Google Now available to iOS users Mike. How you could fail to see this is beyond my comprehension as Google has always been about advertising and gathering information about it’s users.

    Even if the above had never happened, the basic premise of your argument makes no sense. Why would I expect to have full core functionality of Android on my iPhone? That’s like a Playstation 3 user complaining about not having the ability to play games over the XBox Network.

    If you want to play on Xbox network you need an Xbox. You want the full Android functionality with Google Now and Google Glass, then buy an Android device!

    Just an aside, how can you talk about Google Glass like it’s an established platform? It just came out and it’s not even accessible to the general masses. If you’ve seen the Youtube vids on it, many people are not welcoming Glass with open arms and there’s all kinds of politicians that are gearing up for the privacy challenges Glass will pose. There’s no guarantee this is even a viable platform.

    There’s literally no critical analysis done on this article, nor was it entertaining to read, really pathetic.

  • Paul Burt

    Google Now- Nope, don’t need something else draining the crap out of my battery. Just because Google says it doesn’t, doesn’t make it true.
    Facebook Home- Pointless. If someone messages me, I get a notification. I don’t need a stupid Chat Head sitting there all the time.
    Google Glass- Allow it to access more services on my phone? Only if it comes with a modification for unlimited battery life.

    All three of your examples fail your own criteria: “It’s about what real people really want to do in real life.” Google Now is by no means used by a majority of users of either platform, Facebook Home is going to see the same result, as will Google Glass whenever it is finally available to the general public. Google Glass is going to have the strongest opposition of all from privacy groups, as is already developing, and is the least worthy of the three to be on this list. All in all, this is an article filled with crackpot conjecture and useless ramblings which don’t belong on this site. Someone phone the boss!

  • Parvanit

    So its a walled garden now?
    Exactly what they condemn apple for doing? Filtering out spam, malware, etc.

  • xX_JMO_Xx

    The author proves Apple’s point of view by one statement alone.

    “The Android version works only on Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2 plus all future versions of Android, but the majority of Android users are stuck with older versions.”

    That and the fact that the Google Now app is installed on 2.5times as many iPhones as Android Devices.

    There are plenty of nice customizations that can be done to Android, but unfortunately so many users are left behind on updates.

  • sirobin171

    Ok I can go along with you’re argument that Apple is not open. Yup, you’re right. So what.. Facebook Home? That started dying the day after they announced it. Who cares..Google now is coming to ios, and I have no problem letting google do what they do best on my iphone, and if google manages to make glasses that I can browse the internet with, than I will use them, blue toothed to my iPhone, as they will be supported on Apple, so again, who cares..Let google do what they do best and Apple do what they do best. I am perfectly happy not having to tinker endlessly to make my phone just the way I want it, guess what I did that for way too many years with Windows..Its like this. As a young guy I liked to constantly alter and play with Windows, to the point where it usually did not work right anymore. Than I grew up and I dumped Windows for a Mac…Hence I use an iPhone and not Android, because I would rather use the device than constantly tinker with it. I had an employee once tell me his alarm on his phone did not go off because he had re-flashed his phone and the alarm was broken after the flash. I just don’t care that much about flashing my phone, it does every damn thing I want it to do and now that it is on T-Mobile it costs less and I can tether anyways..lol.

  • Ed Clowes

    Google Now is great, I don’t really need it or use it, Facebook home I have zero interest in, Google Glass is a year away at least.

    One thing that my iPhone does that the three Android devices I tried didn’t do was actually *work*. Every time. No stupid glitches or hacking settings needed.

    I saw an ad for the Galaxy S4, they were showing off an “Easy Mode”. If you have to add an “Easy Mode” to your phone, you have failed in a very fundamental way.

    I do wish I could choose my default browser and the like on my iPhone. Beyond that, Apple is making a product that works well and does what I need it to do. That counts for alot with me.

  • Ed Clowes

    Oh, and one more thing… (since I can’t seem to find an edit button for my last post)

    I *really* would like Apple to get with the program and make a bigger screen. Seriously.

  • StelradPDoulton

    If Apple isn’t careful iOS will become niche.
    Oh and the fanboys are as blinkered as Apple in this respect.
    *Mac user for 20 years, iPhone up until Jan 2013 when I switched to Android – I miss the hardware but Apple and it’s monopolistic ways needs to adapt or die.

  • rwmcgrann

    I don’t mean to troll but you really need to differentiate between “Unlocking” and “Jailbreaking”. They are two totally different software changes to the iPhone. In this article you are referring to Jailbreaking…not Unlocking.

    I expect a mistake like this on a local news station…”it happened here in Charlotte” but I expect much more from this blog…because it is the best apple news source out there.

  • markymac

    So Apple’s biggest issue is that they’re not open. They control the experience and dictate what they believe the user wants to see/do. So by your estimation having an open architecture that allows anyone or anything to come through is a better model that fosters innovation.

    Allow me propose something: open up Cult of Mac so that ANYONE can post articles. This will open the floodgates to fresh and innovative writers that can take the site to new heights. Speaking of which, why haven’t you rebuilt your entire site from the ground up in the past 6 months?! This site is old. It’s looked like this for months. I’m impatient and I want a totally new site by tomorrow.

    I need to be able to access my Facebook and Twitter accounts without leaving the site, it should only display the articles I want to see and that doesn’t work I want the WordPress theme code so I can “root” the site to my specifications. If you’re controlling the experience and posting the stories without letting me in on the action it’s just no fun and shows how out of touch you are. Allow us to root the site to build sites off of your site but with more innovative/interactive features that you’re clearly don’t have the vision for.

    Get it?