I skimmed an article on some of the new changes Apple announced today. Great article, but some of the things Apple is (finally) doing makes me want to get up on my virtual soapbox and do a mini rant.
I’ve been using various devices for a long time, including Apple, Microsoft, Android, as well as many older devices, now defunct. I find it interesting how Apple is considered by some to be innovated when they come out with features that have already existed for a long time on other devices.
It’s nice to see Apple improving their split screen functionality. It would never work well on my iPad. My Android phone handles it better. Split screen functionality is actually pretty new on Android Phones. Android introduced this feature on August 22, 2016, with Android 7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history#Android_7.0_Nougat_(API_24) less than 3 years ago.
Improved Removable USB Drive support in Files
Apple announced support for USB thumb drives and SD cards in their Files App. This one is… not sure what is the best phrase. Surprising that it’ll finally be improved? Disappointing that it too so long? Suspicious that they’ll change their mind and only allow Apple’s own office docs? External storage has always been difficult to deal with on iOS. USB “on-the-go” was introduced May 10, 2011 on Android, and is much more functional. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history#Android_3.1_Honeycomb_(API_12) Eight years ago it was undoubtedly buggy, and wasn’t included by some OEMs, but it’s been extremely useful and stable with the devices I’ve used in past years. If I were a betting man, I’d be tempted to say we’ll only get access to certain files, not a file system.
Widgets on the home screen
Their re-design of the homescreen on iOS is interesting, and the ability to add “widgets” from your notification area… Well, Android had widgets from very early on, and they’ve improved it over time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history#Android_1.5_Cupcake_(API_3) Some won’t care for it, some will.
Don’t get me started with the various features that started out as tweaks independent developers came out with, and Apple managed to “acquire” them, roll it into their ecosystem, and release it (with less functionality) as if it was their idea, and claiming they’re innovating.
I suppose the positive way to look at it is that they are continuing to develop their platform.
You’re going to allow people to view files on a thumb drive? Welcome to the minor leagues, Apple. If you want to do well, uncouple your apps from the baked system image, and allow people to install your apps that they want, and uninstall the ones they don’t. This will also allow you to update apps when there are major security issues, without having to push a new system image.
end of rant