Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple’s iOS WWDC strikes back after Google’s Android I/O

Daniel Eran Dilger

Google and its supporters enjoyed intimating an all out war on Apple during the company’s I/O conference a couple weeks ago, disgorging a sea of propaganda that likened Apple to North Korea and its iPhone platform as a dystopian “1984” world. At its own WWDC, Apple never really turned up the rhetoric on Google, but the company did deliver a series of real, competitive assaults that will matter.

iOS 4 melts Android 2.2’s Froyo

The first is, of course, the new iPhone 4 and its iOS 4 software. Apple’s marketing makes it very clear that iOS delivers multitasking that works, rather than an unrestricted environment where your battery doesn’t anymore. Strike one at Android.

Steve Jobs also articulated on stage the value of creating an integrated product, highlighting both FaceTime and iMovie as integrated applications of the new cameras. Google has no impetus to deliver sophisticated applications of hardware it isn’t selling; it leaves that up to the hardware makers, who are all terrible at software.

That’s why, despite having a fancier camera than the 3GS, the Droid was panned for not being able to take decent pictures. Which is why most people want a camera in the first place, as opposed to having bragging rights on hardware specifications. Strike two on Android.

Apple’s focus at deep, significant and desirable features for the new iPhone comes in stark contrast to Google’s focus on shallow, flashy and pointless features for Android. Apple showed off its high resolution Retina screen and pedestrian but smart Folders, while Android phones (particularly Google’s own Nexus One) have celebrated problematic OLED displays and battery robbing, useless frills such as “Live Wallpaper” animated backgrounds.

The Nexus One bellyflopped into the same shallow nonsense that Microsoft dove into with the Zune HD: displays that only look really good in candlelit rooms and flashy screen animations that make for a wizzy demo but an unpleasant or at at least non-optimal experience for end users.

Both Google and Microsoft are trying to impress the press, not their customers. Incidentally, that’s also why both are championing Adobe Flash rather than explaining to their customers that a beta-level Flash Player is not worth their time or battery. That’s a third strike on Android.

Google Nexus One vs Apple iPhone 3GS
Google struggling to support angry Nexus One buyers
Microsoft frets Google’s Nexus One will suffer Zune’s failure

Welcome indie ad networks (no AdMobs)

Next, Apple has tightened its restrictions on iPhone App Store developers, forbidding them from including spyware that reports data to third parties unless it is both approved by the user and directed to an independent company solely for the purposes of delivering relevant ads.

Apple specifically pulled Google’s AdMob out of the running by forbidding App Store developers from sending spyware data (and that’s what it is; it spies out what you do, what you have, where you are, and what you’re looking at, and then reports it) to companies that sell or deliver phones or mobile platforms. Google has just been evicted from installing its spyware on iPhone OS devices.

Going forward, AdMob won’t be able to release monthly stats explaining how they are seeing more activity from Android compared to the iOS, because they won’t be able to see anything from iOS. And AdMob will lose the ability to sell ads on iPhones and iPod touches an iPads that benefit from any sort of spyware analytics.

The reason Apple wanted to buy AdMob was to prevent a competitor from gaining access to deep analytical data on its platform. That’s also why Google “swooped down” to buy it, and why Jobs was so upset about that. Google is using AdMob to harvest lots of data about Apple’s platform and use it compete against Apple. Not anymore.

Quick, what do you call the number one ad network that isn’t on the iOS? Not number one anymore. That was an expensive acquisition for Google.

AppleInsider | Apple iAd program to monetize iPhone apps with interactive media
AppleInsider | Apple iAd plans to eat up half the mobile ad market
Apple’s modified iOS terms allow outside advertisers, limit AdMob

Safari Reader strips web experience of ads

When I postulated that Apple could include an ad-blocking features in Safari to erase Google’s display ad business, I was not actually expecting that Apple would have the balls to do it.

Apple didn’t release an ad-blocking plugin (which would prevent ads from even being presented or counted as an impression); instead, it created a “Safari Reader” feature, which senses when you’re browsing a page with an article, and then reformats the article into an easy to read view (it also works for noncommercial layouts, such as Wikipedia).

It does not block ads. In fact, there’s no way to browse the web using Safari Reader without displaying ads; when you click a link within Reader, you get a non-Reader webpage and have to opt back into the Reader layout. However, once you hit the Reader button, the ads fade into the background. Content providers still get their ad impressions counted, but the user doesn’t have to focus on flashy, animated ads while they are trying to read web content. It’s a bit like TiVo for the web, as I suggested.

What Reader really eviscerates are those super annoying contextual ads that pop up over the content on the page while you’re trying to read it and accidentally mouseover one of their fake hyperlinks. With Reader, all of the ads injected into the content disappear. That’s a strike at Bing, which has been specializing in that most annoying type of ads.

Of course, Apple has also added Bing to iOS and Safari as an option to Google’s own search. That’s not much of a blow to Google, but it does level the playing field, offering Microsoft the opportunity to prove itself as a viable alternative in search. Ironically, Apple’s Safari and iOS seem to offer Microsoft the potential in search that Microsoft has not been able to accomplish on its own, using its own Windows and Internet Explorer dominance.

How Apple could slay Google at WWDC 2010

What’s next for Google: a tough fight

And so, while the tech press tries to decide whether they are impressed by Apple’s announcements or not, Apple has managed to completely flip Google’s seemingly menacing Android on its side, where it will flounder as Apple continues onward.

iPhone 4 has erased the idea that HTC (and Motorola!) had wildly surpassed Apple as a hardware vendor, just because they had managed to beat the iPhone 3GS six to nine months after it was first released. Apple’s new phone has a lot of smart features that really work, rather than just flashy hardware specs designed to woo the bloggers who create matrixes of feature comparisons to radicalize their followers.

iOS 4 will get delivered to existing iPhone and iPod touch users, for free, a few days before it shows up on the new iPhone 4, another major difference between Apple’s ecosystem and the Android platform, where existing phone users are treated with the same indifferent contempt that Microsoft demonstrated for its Windows Mobile installed base. Will Android buyers who bought into the platform more than a few months ago ever get Froyo? Will even many new buyers get an upgrade path within the next few months? In many cases, they’re just out of luck.

iAd is a big boost for App Store developers: better, more sophisticated ads (and advertisers) that are less obtrusive and don’t result in pulling users away from their apps. It’s a big pain for Google though, which hoped to just waltz in and buy up the entire mobile ad businesses, overturning Apple’s platform with spyware data analysis it could use to bolster Android. Turns out Apple isn’t completely stupid after all, and managed to convert mobile ads from a way to bilk mobile developers and leach off their properties into a business that delivers most of the ad revenue to the content creator as an inducement to make more great content.

Imagine if ads turned back into “sponsors” rather than just being predators that destroy users’ experience of your content!

  • martimus

    Not much to add to your report. Excellent as usual.

  • stormj

    The bottom line is this: Google can ape software features of the iPhone in Android, just as they have, but their hardware suppliers simply cannot keep up with Apple on the hardware design front.

    Yes, Android isn’t as good software wise. But the fact that it is simply a knock-off of the iPhone makes it uncool. It’s the Sam’s Choice Cola of the phone world, the Kia Optima.

    Bullet lists aside, people still would rather have a Coke and a Lexus.

  • Blad_Rnr

    Great analysis that I have not read anywhere else. No one is talking about the bigger, more detailed picture like you have. Google got taken to the cleaners and you were the only one who dissected the details from yesterday. Excellent piece!

  • tundraboy

    If the point of Android is to ensure Google the largest possible mobile ad audience, then they have just shot themselves in the foot because they have just about been shut out from iOS 4. AdMob has not been banned from iOS but without the ability to collect analytics data on iDevice users, then they are at a competitive disadvantage against Apple’s own iAd and indie Ad servers. Add to this the facts that Android hardware and hardware-software integration will always be inferior to Apple plus Apple will always get the upper-income end of the market, then Google will soon realize that the Android strategy is backfiring big time and they would have been better off not competing against iPhone.

    What in the world made Google think that they can go toe-to-toe against Apple in Apple’s own backyard — devices for which hardware-software integration is critical? The same arrogant attitude that made them think they can just go into consumer retail of smart phones with nothing more than a website, an email address, and a fulfillment center contract. They couldn’t even bother to google “consumer retail operations” before setting up their failed store.

  • http://www.josegaldamez.com JoseGaldamez

    I’ve gotten so sick and tired of hearing how the Android phones are “killing” the iPhone, both in terms of features and sales. The Adobe and FSF fanbois are continually swearing up and down that the iPhone won’t be worth a dime until they get rid of the app store approval process and allow devices to run Flash. Please.

    Between Facebook and Apple, I think we can really see some stiff ad competition against E. Schmidt & The Crew. Incidentally, I think Apple has set itself up nicely to release the iPhone 4G next year. Now if only something could be done about AT&T…

  • kerryb

    Remind me to never play Steve Jobs at chess.

  • http://scottworldblog.wordpress.com scotty321

    Awesome. Thank you for posting this.

  • http://www.rhoderick.org Josh

    I think you are reading too much into Safari’s new Reader. Many web users, myself included, have been using this feature for a long time now in the form of Arc90’s free Readability cross-browser bookmarklet. Instapaper also does something similar. In fact, if you read the acknowledgements, it appears that Apple actually implemented Arc90’s Readability code for Reader. Nothing wrong with that, since it was Apache licensed, but let’s not pretend like this is some swipe at Google. It isn’t. It’s just Apple implementing cool stuff.

  • lmasanti

    The other thing, I think, is that with FaceTime all the other iDevices become communicators.
    I do expect iPads, iPod touchs, laptops and desktops to become “wireless” phones.

    Also, I do expect Apple to release an iBook version for Mac OS X.

  • gctwnl

    Yes, yes, iPhone 4 and iOS are brilliant and I’ll buy one. But dude, where is my truck?

  • drheywood

    Nice article!

    Ha! Didn’t notice the Reader-button in the URL before! Thanks! Awesome!

    I’m just amazed no one is still copying Apple. I mean at a business strategy level. Mind boggling. Especially since it’s incredibly profitable. But I guess abandoning the one-software-must-rule-all-idea is too far away from the comfort zone. How people automatically assumes Apple is on that strategy too should be a clue to how deeply entrenched it is.

    (It’s as if people would think that there can be only one car interior, and all cars must adhere to this. And if there’s suddenly a new, different car interior (read user experience), one *must* go away, because that’s, what, rational? Mad. I think people are still living by the intuition they developed in the 80’s when file formats were named after the programs that created them. “Can you open .DEG-files? Degas Elite? No man, I’m on an Amiga! Oh, dang. Well, I better get one too then!” Back then one software to rule them all made sense, because it would mean an increased user value for all. But that time has gone, dude. Then again, people still use vinyls…)

  • hi.wreck

    I think Steve’s brilliance is that he doesn’t really let the telco’s into the loop. We are Apple’s customers. The customers of Google/Microsoft/Nokia are Motorola, HTC and what have you.

    Now AT&T has certainly spoiled the party with regards to the video chat feature. I’ll be the iPhone 4G will run on LTE and isn’t that what Verizon is rolling out? (Though Verizon will likely botch pricing too, just like they managed to eviscerate the Kin). Roger’s lost their monopoly on Apple’s phones when the dinosaurs rolled out an HSPA 3G network instead of building on top of their increasingly irrelevant 2G CDMA stuff. Thankfully, Wind Mobile (in Canada) now has truly unlimited data (and somebody has managed to use over 100G in a month…). So perhaps the winds of change will be coming to the US too.

  • http://jonnytilney.com Jon T

    Good stuff Dan.

    I think happy days are here again. Really happy days, when Apple runs rings around even the Googles. And the best thing about it is that the twits out there shouting up Android and non-existent tablets are simply unaware of what’s happening!

    Long may it continue. Hats off to a crazy clever team at Apple.

  • addicted44

    Good read Dan.

    I know you have insisted that Apple will not move outside of ATT (and have, as yet, been right), but I think its about time they change their strategy.

    If nothing else, so they can massage Jobs’s ego.

    We all know that there is only 1 Android feature (besides its incredible ability to destroy software’s value) that has allowed it compete with the iPhone. Its availability on all US networks. Apple should renegotiate their deal with ATT, and sell the iPhone on all carriers, which will pretty much relegate Android to a Linux like, Geeky existence.

    I am not sure what advice Google’s management is getting, but competing with all your partners is not a good idea. Especially when switching costs for your customers is 1 click away, and you are so dependent on being the “default” on your partners’ devices.

    Google did this with Firefox (creating Chrome), Apple (Android) and Motorola/Verizon, Sony, Dell, HP, etc… (Nexus One).

    Apple, on the other hand, is used to being the underdog. My worry is they wont correctly anticipate anti-trust issues, which will cause them legal trouble, which I think is the only thing that could hold them back. They need to be especially careful since they barely have an existence in DC, while Google has been ramping their lobbying efforts dramatically over the last 2-3 years, and MS has always been a huge political spender.

  • GusDoeMatik

    Dan you was right on the nose as to what will appear at the WWCD.. Except for the fact that Apple didn’t announce, hint or reveal anything about a HTML5 WYSIWYG application that can contend against FLASH…

    Will there be one soon? I suppose so…

    I figure Apple has been focusing so much on the iOS4 that they haven’t had time to worry about that… I think they believed that Google is/was a bigger threat to deal with first than Adobe… Now that threat is squashed, I hope they focus on Adobe and the HTML5 thing…

    Plus the new introduction of Safari5, that is totally HTML5 compatible, is a step towards Killing Flash. I guess they had to make sure they have a browser that fully supports HTML5 first before they can bring forth an app that creates such content…

    I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did create a HTML5 app, that it would come out with iWeb4, so that they can have complete integration between the apps… So that Pro and Amateur web designers could have the full capabilities of HTML5 at their figure tips…

    Maybe even the ability to create templates for the iWhatEveas that use templates… (i.e. Apple Mail, iWeb, iMove and iDVD. (That’s wishful thinking.. but whateva..))

    My only concern right now is the whether or not they will create a Pro App for HTML5…
    Dan do you think they will???

  • Maniac

    @ daniel : “Apple’s focus at deep, significant and desirable features for the new iPhone comes in stark contrast to Google’s focus on shallow, flashy and pointless features for Android.”

    Exactly. Google is turning into the new Microsoft in many ways. Blindly copying the features of Apple’s products without understanding why Apple added those features. Just so they can check those features off some marketing droid’s to-do list.

    And, not to pile on or anthing, but Google’s concept of aesthetics and how a good UI design contributes to the overall user experience is arguably worse than Microsoft’s. On the other hand, maybe Google just wants their ads to look great in comparison to their actual web pages and apps.

  • rizzior

    Thanks Again Danny Boy. Couldn’t have said it better my Friend.
    You have Outdone urself on this one.

    “One true Voice of Reason & Clarity”

  • paolo

    And now, you should reaad what is happening out there, with everybody telling that “this feature has always been on Android” and “yuck, retina display is not something new, it’s always been out there”, and “yawn, when will we see nested folders?”, and so on, forever!

  • gus2000

    I know that Apple fans can get a bit rowdy, but the Android crowd is downright nutty. I keep seeing the Freetards compare iPhone 4 unfavorably against the HTC Evo 4G, using criteria such as the display. Apparently, the larger physical size of the Evo’s screen is a huge plus, but there’s no minus for having a colossal phone. The OLED beats the IPS LED, even though it’s got limited brightness and visual artifacts due to the lack of a third subpixel. The iPhone’s higher DPI and higher overall pixel count, however, amount to nothing more than marketing fluff.


    (P.S. How long before Steve’s keynotes replace “boom!” with “bing!” ??)

  • enzos

    I’m on a flakey ISP connection that all-too-often – frustratingly – conks out a few items short of short the sowing the actual text in a page. But Safari 5 has almost cured the problem (amazing speed and smoothness, and the blue progress fill is a welcome return). In contrast, I had to revert to Firefox (latest) on the PPC machine (because Safari5 refuses to start) and it is much slower than Safari 4 was (and despite a few neat features is a real clunker to work with and look at!).

    As for iPhone HD, am I glad I waited!

  • scottkrk


    Great analysis as always!

    Hopefully the penny is dropping for the developers/content providers that Apple have there interests at heart with iAd. I imagine the chorus of hate for Apple, will slowly die down as these stakeholders realise that clinging to Flash and Android for spurious ideological reasons will only keep them poor and allow Adobe and Google to profit.

    I liked the fact that Steve highlighted that they support one open platform controlled by a standards body HTML 5 and one Apple controlled platform the iOS4 APIs and App Store.

    Google do the exact same thing they control the core of Adroid APIs but allow people to add crap on top. All Google can argue is their walled garden has lower walls, it is not the ‘open commons’ they pretend it is.

    Microsoft will be very glad that Apple has shown them how to effectively deal with Google on mobile devices, I just hope Microsoft gives back 60% of more to developers/content providers.

    As I mentioned at the beginning, if iAd is successful it will highlight Google’s true role as internet vampires sucking the money/life out of developers/content providers. Search is valuable but Google has extracted way to much margin for this service. I expect Siri and other AI personal assistants to relegate search to a faceless background service in the next two years.

    It will be interesting to see how the A-G-M competition works out. :-)

  • sprockkets

    kerryb, don’t you mean poker :)

  • Dorotea

    Have to say I really, really hate the idea of ads in apps. Hate. HATE.

  • lmasanti

    “Its availability on all US networks. Apple should renegotiate their deal with ATT, and sell the iPhone on all carriers, which will pretty much relegate Android to a Linux like, Geeky existence.”
    The problems is with the technology: Apple should make different phones with different radio technologies to cover all the US telcos.
    And Apple loves the “one size fits all” for products. (Maybe except for color.)

  • lmasanti

    “kerryb, don’t you mean poker :)”

    Playing chess requires intelligence and planing.
    Playing poker, although it alse requires intelligence and planing, is more about cheating.
    I think Steve plays chess.

  • Myaushka

    Well damn, good job on calling Safari cutting out the ads.
    I just downloaded it for my Windows laptop after having used it on my Mac just to read your blog post :)

  • http://www.lowededwookie.com lowededwookie

    Just so you know, this site is infinitely more readable with Safari 5’s awesome Reader feature. None of the ad crap , just pure article.

  • http://themacadvocate.com TheMacAdvocate

    I had to endure a couple of months of freetard ragging about Android sales, but the iOS/iPhone announcements made it well worth it. Google has to have the feeling of a small school sports team that keeps a game close for the first 2 minutes only to be blown wide open by superior talent. Would have loved to have heard the pins drop in Mountain View when they rolled out FaceTime.

    Google just caught the vapors.

    SJ is on top of his game and was phenomenal at D8 – as lucid in his in-person presentation as he was in Thoughts on Flash. Contrast this to Ballmer, who, as usual, had to motorboat through 37 disjointed words when 6 would do. He reminded me of the SNL Chris Farley motivational speaker character.

  • FreeRange

    Google has redefined the word EVIL! Unfortunately, many of the techtards and freetards are brain damaged from all their years swimming in their own toxic pools, and are now out there spewing misinformation and hate speech on an unsuspecting public. Fortunately, those of us that actually use Apple products are out there showing others what truly great products these are.

  • Lee R.

    Has any CEO lost more market cap than Steve B.

    Has any CEO made more market cap than Steve J.

    Loved Facetime and hope to see it on many Apple products in the near future.

  • tact

    GusDoeMatik { 06.08.10 at 3:10 pm } wrote:
    “Dan you was right on the nose as to what will appear at the WWCD.. Except for the fact that Apple didn’t announce, hint or reveal anything about a HTML5 WYSIWYG application that can contend against FLASH…”

    Actually early in the keynote Steve spoke on the App store and approval process and included in that part of the talk comments about HTML5 saying Apple supports TWO platforms (for developers)… App store AND HTML5″ or words to that effect.

    He talked up HTML5 as being fully supported by Apple and other players and some words about HTML5’s being open etc.

    (I just noticed Scottkrk refers to this too.)

    So to devs the message is that if you want to dev apps for the Apple ecosystem you can go via AppStore or HTML5.

    When I saw that I saw a retort to those who talk about Apple’s “walled garden” or closed eco system – as well as a shot at critics regarding rejection of “flash” on idevices. As good a subtle shot as the others that Dan identified in my opinion.

  • cadillac88

    “Imagine if ads turned back into “sponsors” rather than just being predators that destroy users’ experience of your content!”
    Yeah – you sure said it. Apple will evolve and inovate it’s hardware. iPhone 4 is big news but it’s all hardball focused. Apple wouldn’t be tops in Tech market capital just playing hardball. Compare killer hardball to iAds,which is all about softskills.
    iAds is a great example of what a big part of Apple is all about, how they are different from most other competitors, and is also illustrates the reason they are most often misunderstood. The hope is that developers will make more money. Then they will use at least some of that extra cash to make even better Apps.  And Apple will sell more iPhones as a result.  And if the strategy works, cycle through it some more. But,  a lot of people ignore the fact that Apple operates best in win-win senarios and instead just focus on Apple winning and that’s enough for them to choose any alternative. Going from underdog to topdog must mean win for Apple and lose for whoever they were cheering for. Adobe hasn’t really lost anything due to Apple but many feel strongly that this must be the case. Apple is playing on it’s greatest strength with iAds. Using ad profits to indirectly fund a core business growth is new for Apple. Google hasn’t done that in a long time; perferring instead to fritter away it’s abundance of ad profits on ‘get rich quick’ schemes even at the expense of old and loyal partners. Indeed, there is poetic justice in what Apple is doing here but it’s not the reason for the strategy. No Coup de Grâce, but definitely a Tour de Force Google will feel none the less.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • shantz

    You’ve got to be kidding me..Either you are the biggest fan boy out there or you haven’t actually used an android phone or read anything about android at all..Few points in consideration:
    1. Apple took google to cleaner? Lol, iPhone 4 and iOS4 did NOTHING except play catch-up to android..The only things they did better was probably the higher res screen (ridiculuously termed as “Retina display” to get the iBoys hooked on) and the battery life (which is something I really liked, if they are being truthful about it). Apart from that everything they mentioned is already present on Android and has been there for a long time..

    [Android has some advantages over Apple’s iPhone, but many of those go away when you jailbreak the iPhone. Of course, that involves new disadvantages (no security!) but that’s the same set of disadvantages you get with Android out of the box. As far as your opinion that Android offers everything the iPhone does, consider that Android has no iTunes, no decent book reader, no sophisticated games, no system wide copy-paste that works everywhere, no spellcheck, no decent auto update system for apps, no security from spyware (rogue apps OR Google approved spyware for ads), and poor integration between software and hardware. I could go on for some time. iOS 4 focuses on real, useful things while A OS 2.2 adds flash and Flash. 4 is also going to be available to all modern iPhones/iPods for free, before it ships on iPhone 4. Androids’ OS always ships on new hardware first and then trickles down very slowly, not even making it to many new or year old phones. So no, you are very wrong in many ways in terms of facts. – Dan ]

    2. HW wise they are going to be trumped in no time with tri core chips around the corner (though I suspect Samsung Galaxy S already 1-ups them)

    [It used to be that people complained that there was a new iPod (and then iPhone) every year. You’re saying its a feature to have your brand new Android phone obsolesced (and removed from software OS support) every two months? You need a hardware upgrade that often? Why not have a phone that can work for at least a year and that you know will get software support through its lifetime? How many people apart from nerds will get a new phone every month or two? ]

    3. Why do they always go OLED vs LCD? Android phones are available in OLED as well as LCD models.. Take your pick..

    [The disadvantages of OLED are very obvious. It looks nice in the dark but isn’t color accurate, has poor viewing angles, and isn’t clear (or even usable in some cases) in bright sunlight. Apple isn’t about offering bad choices, it’s about offering a good product. ]

    4. Facetime? Jetsons? Future made realtiy now? Really? Its more like FacePalmTime. Not only video chatting has been here for a long time (really long time) but you can do it over any kind of network and between different phones, and can even have n-way conferences going on..This is such a basic thing that even dumb phones from Nokia do it..

    [If 3GPP video calling was something anyone actually did (or could afford to do) or wanted to do with the very limited bandwidth available for it (terrible quality), then FaceTime wouldn’t be news. The fact that it is defeats your argument.]

    4. And yeah, did I mention multitasking on iPhone will still suck BIG TIME till the time they fix their notifications..Modal Dialogues for notifications ? That’s what the best UI designer in the world gives you?

    [Notifications could be improved, but this isn’t the biggest problem with the iPhone, nor is it an issue with multitasking. Android has far larger problems all over the place. And yet Google is giving you “Live Wallpapers.”]

    5. BTW, you want to know what real magic is? Real magic is when you announce to your audience that you are going to flip a switch and the performance on your “existing” device is going to be 5 times as much without any new hardware..

    [And yet you still have a modified Java VM phone with no significant apps from many real developers. Who cares if terrible Java performance was improved if there’s no good software to run? 50k apps and they’re all hobbyist shareware junk. There’s no significant performance problem with iPhone native software, and that’s why it has 225k apps, many of which are very desirable. And not available for Android. – Dan]

  • shantz

    Oh forgot to mention..The “Safari reader” that you talk about is something Apple “lifted” straight out of “readability” project which has been available on “ALL” browsers for a long time now.. But blame the apache license on readability that they didn’t have to give anything back..

    [The MIT/Apache license was designed to allow such use. It’s not part of a ideological effort to force adopters into a freeware-only, IP-free business model like the GPL. So the fact that Apple used the software is exactly what the creators had in mind… because they were hoping to share their code as widely as possible, rather than trying to force global Communism in software. They’re programmers, so they knew they had the option to use the GPL.

    Since you apparently contributed nothing to its development, your opinion about how it was shared is irrelevant. – Dan ]

  • kdaeseok

    iPhone 4 looks good. 3G and wi-fi not working at the presentation sort of spoiled the party a bit, though. Even Jobs panicked. Apple might have to rethink working with AT&T?

  • ChuckO

    How about the gyroscope? Is that the final piece in having iPhone’s and iTouch’s be fully functioning Wiimote’s for a AppleTV with games?

  • maxijazz

    I see Apple is preparing for TV device, so they changed system name from IP OS to iOS.

  • http://motorizedmount.com Alan

    What is your take on AT&T’s recent plan change for data? Just a few weeks ago SJ was bragging about the incredibly cheap $15 for 250MB or $30 for unlimited iPad data. This new change so quickly to $15 for 200MB and $25 for 2GB must seem like a real slap in the face to Apple. While it is true the unlimited was never really unlimited, I believe it was really only 5 GB, but still that is a lot more than 2GB. For every 1GB over you pay an additional $10 fee so 5GB will now cost you $55 vs. $30 before for example.

    Seems like they could at least offer the old unlimited plan for say $40 a month if they are worried about congestion and to appeal to heavy data users. With these new rates it seems like the iPad 3g model is a waste of money. With Netflix it wouldn’t take long to go over that 2GB cap. If you’ve already got an unlimited plan, you’re fine for now, but AT&T is likely going to take the first chance it gets to remove your grandfathered status if you change up your account or switch devices. The $20 tethering fee, which provides no additional data, is likewise ill-conceived and should be changed.

    I hope the other carrier’s do not follow AT&T’s example and do the same. There have been months where I used upwards of 15GB by tethering my phone to my MBP on vacations using Pdanet and I did not have to pay a dime more, so I can’t imagine being limited to only 2GB.

  • tundraboy

    Dan, if you’re not on it already, can you talk about this arrant nonsense being spewed by a certain page-view whore about how Apple has just consigned MacOS to death row?

  • GusDoeMatik

    @ tact

    I know they support HTML5 and so happy that they do… My statement was more directed to “When will he create a WYSIWYG app that a non coder can use to make FLASH like content”… I’m a non coder and I understand HTML and CSS2 pretty well but not javascript… I can make stunning animations and sorts using FLASH… But to be honest I don’t want to use FLASH it’s dying… I want to do the same thing I can do in FLASH in an editor that codes it in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

    So I want a DEV to create such a product… I be the first to buy it…

  • http://www.josegaldamez.com JoseGaldamez

    Related Reuter’s article that came out today

    “Google protests Apple’s iPhone developers agreement”

    Their “response” can be summed as follows:


  • GusDoeMatik

    @ kdaeseok

    The WiFi issue has nothing to do with AT&T… WiFi is based on connecting to an existing wireless network. The 5000 people that attended over 4/5 of them where using the wireless network… And everyone knows the more people on a network the slower it gets… You have to add more hardware to the network in order to speed that up. So AT&T isn’t at fault…

    But I do agree we should be able to have choice of carriers… I also think the government should flip the finger to the Phone Company lobbyist and ban subscriptions that locks a customer to a contract, as well as ban exclusivity contracts to certain Phones (i.e. iPhone). But that’s getting to political…lol

  • kdaeseok

    GusDoeMatik// I know that – but except for the video chatting iPhone ‘didn’t have to’ use the wifi, 3G should have handled that. That iPhone 4 can connect to neither 3G nor Wifi. That’s embarassment- (The audience can use the wifi just fine, why this brand new phone cannot?)
    Well, it might not be AT&T’s fault, I agree.
    Well, I have all the respect for the Apple people, but they should’ve known that there’d be many people and they’d be using the wifi. Ensuring the 3G signal, using the hidden, encrypted wi-fi etc – aren’t those basics? It’s definitely better than Jobs ordering people to turn off the laptops and put them on the floor…

  • enzos

    Tundra: Dan is listening to you!

  • gslusher


    “AdMob has not been banned from iOS …”

    Unfortunately, quite a few “journalists” and commentors are contending that AdMob HAS been banned from iOS–and they don’t want to hear differently.

  • http://tech.shantanugoel.com/ Shantanu

    1. Lets talk about out of the box experience. Android does all those things without you having to having to wait for a jailbreak to come out.

    [Yeah, you have to wait for Android to come out for your specific phone model! Which is a lot longer wait for many people than jailbreaks if you want to argue about that. My point was that Android’s advantages are largely limited to doing things Apple doesn’t approve, but those advantages are also linked to significant disadvantages that Android fans don’t like to think about, and are largely identical to jailbreaking the iPhone. – Dan]

    2. Android doesn’t have iTunes but it is better as it can sync with various other apps. I do fine with rhythmbox which allows me syncing and everything and I can even copy a song from anywhere and drop it into my phone manually as well if I need to. Don’t need to be tied up to a particular piece of software, I’d actually consider itunes as a disadvantage instead of an advantage for iPhone. Anyways, with Froyo itunes support will be integrated along with wi-fi syncing and streaming, so again your comparison against froyo is moot.

    [iTunes is not one feature. It is a host of features, ranging from media management and sync (playlists, organization, Genius, store, etc) to software management (updates, sales, device sync, organization, etc) to data content sync, backups, and a variety of other features. Android lacks a wide swath of functionality and usability by not providing a desktop app. This is a major feature lag/omission, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Being able to sync some media via a plugin is not exactly catching up to and surpassing the iTunes experience. ]

    3. Again, you compare it against froyo and say auto-update isn’t there? Froyo even does better than iPhone and you can even select which apps auto update and which not

    [No, Android 2.2’s app update is not better than the iPhone. Plus Android doesn’t even have the apps to sync, so such a claim is rather absurd anyway. Android is a hobbyist platform.]

    4. I agree with you on games that the number and quality is lesser than iPhone.

    5. Aldiko and Laputa are quite good ebook readers for Android and you don’t even get stuck into one particular store to buy your books at an exhorbitant price. Buy them from anywhere and import into these readers and read away.

    [iPhone users aren’t “stuck into one particular store to buy your books” nor is there any “exorbitant price” involved. When you spew trash like this, it just makes you look unworthy to debate. The point is that eBooks are a feature that Google doesn’t care about, because there’s no adware angle for the company to make money from. Every non-adware aspect of Android is orphaned by Google, and nobody else is going to step in and solve those holes, particularly ones that don’t have other business models. Apple is all about the entire experience because it depends upon device sales. Android is fundamentally flawed on a business level.]

    6. Spyware? Really? Firstly, every android app can do only those things for which it requests permissions and you HAVE to see and accept the permissions that the app requests. This is true for even non-market apps. Secondly, how are you sure that the apps you have on iPhone don’t have spyware? Do they force you to see what all it will do in the background? Are you content with the app review process which doesn’t actually even look at the source code? All this is coming out just because Jobs said google was “spying” through admob? If yes, then let me ask you why apple didn’t know this till now after approving thousands of apps with admob code? Also, what google is doing is what every ad service does, collect data about its target audience. iAds will do the same. If you can prove that iAds doesn’t do this then I’ll quit ever responding to any iOS vs android discussion. Lastly, with Android, most free apps are actually open source because of the culture behind it, so they are open for scrutiny by a much larger audience. With this particular point, you seem very very ill-informed.

    [Apple has no financial interest in promoting adware/spyware, and strong interest in seeking to preventing it, as it has done for the Mac platform and iOS. But adware/spyware is Google’s primary (sole!) business model for Android. If you can’t figure out what that means, I won’t spend paragraphs trying to explain it to you, because it appears you are not capable of accepting ideas you don’t want to believe. It’s certainly not complex nor controversial though. ]

    7. If iPhone gives you eye candy, that is polishing, but if Android gives you live wallpapers, that is “useless frills”?

    [None of the core features of any release of iOS has been related to distracting bs. Live Wallpapers was a signature feature (one of what, five?) on the failed Nexus One. Very Zune-like.]

    8. Flash is not useless. 75% of the web is still in flash. And guess what, Android does HTML 5 AND Flash. So, you have the choice what you want. If you don’t want flash, don’t install it.. Simple. So android users can access the “FULL WEB” now as well as later.

    [There is no real Flash Player for ARM mobile devices, and hasn’t been for the last three years. Android doesn’t “do Flash,” it bundles a poorly performing beta that just came out. A little early to be talking up how great it works, because so far it hasn’t done anything but crash and eat up the battery. This is not some brilliant technology from a competent software developer we’re talking about. It’s Flash from Adobe. ]

    9. The many things you listed that didn’t exist on android (most of which I already told you that they do exist actually), I can also list a lot of things that exist on android but not on iPhone. Widgets, the best thing of android, e.g. You don’t need to go into apps to do all your stuff, lot of the things can actually be done directly through the home screen with widgets. Persistent notifications. I don’t want to reply to every tweet and text that I receive immediately but still want my phone to be able to tell me that there is something that needs my attention later on. Better notifications. I don’t want just a little number showing number of texts unread, I want more details about my different notifications without having to go into apps. Cloud integration. iPhone is, by its base, a last gen device in that it is a tethered down to a PC to use it fully. Android is next gen because you can use it fully without tying it down to a PC. Wi-fi hotspot, Cloud backup of settings, 3G video calling, etc.. the list goes on.

    [Android has some unique features, but if you choose to compare iPhone+AT&T against Android in a theoretical sense, you’re being disingenuous. Widgets could be useful, although on Android they eat a lot of battery (sites suggest you turn them off). Notifications are useful, but come on, I’d rather have real apps and Exchange support that companies can actually approve, etc. Saying Android is futuristic because you can’t sync to a PC is a bit ridiculous.]

    [Dan: It used to be that people complained that there was a new iPod (and then iPhone) every year… How many people apart from nerds will get a new phone every month or two? ]

    Every two months? In the two years of Android, we have seen the complete market share divided in 3 segments that would make it more like 6 months. And with next releases google is adopting an yearly cycle anyways. And since you seem to be so fond of jailbreaking, if you apply the same route here, you can actually get all those releases onto your phone by rooting and custom ROMs.

    [No, in the last year, we’ve had one iPhone 3GS and a series of flagship Android models you needed (according to Android fans): Hero, Droid, Nexus One, Incredible, Evo. That’s ridiculous. And once you buy a phone, you don’t even get updates on a regular basis, because Google doesn’t care about you unless you’re buying a new phone.]

    And these ROMs are actually compiled from source for your very phone, with many people reviewing and adding to the source code which means that these ROMs don’t have spyware elements while all your jailbroken ROMs have is binaries, which could very well be taking all your credit card numbers for all you know..

    As of buying new hardware, its about choice. If you are satisfied with your current hardware, you can keep it but if you want to upgrade to something better, you don’t need to wait an year for Apple to catch up with the rest of the world.

    [Dan: The disadvantages of OLED are very obvious. It looks nice in the dark but isn’t color accurate, has poor viewing angles, and isn’t clear (or even usable in some cases) in bright sunlight. Apple isn’t about offering bad choices, it’s about offering a good product. ]

    Again you are highly mistaken.
    1. As I said before, Android phones are available in OLED as well as LCD, take your pick. Why are you hell bent on pushing that OLED is what everyone uses?
    2. OLED has good viewing angles and infact better contrast ratios than LCD
    3. Daylight: This is the biggest FUD. yes, OLEDs as such are not viewable properly in sunlight, but that is because you are not turning on the damn backlight. In LCD, you have to have backlight on ALL the time to view anything even inside but in OLED, you don’t need it. So, if you are outside, just turn on the backlight on your OLED phone and you will not see any issues. This also means better battery savings.

    [Dan: If 3GPP video calling was something anyone actually did (or could afford to do) or wanted to do with the very limited bandwidth available for it (terrible quality), then FaceTime wouldn’t be news. The fact that it is defeats your argument.]
    1. lol what? Many people use it just fine over 3G (and even edge connections). FaceTime doesn’t even let you do that over 3G plus its iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only. So, they want you to buy iPhones for all your friends as well? And trust me I know about this because I’ve worked quite a bit in video telephony, developing actual code, instead of just listening to marketing BS from a certain person.

    [Have you ever used 3GPP video calls? Or are you just advocating an idea? It’s also really expensive. That’s why its not popular anywhere, despite being technically available and widely deployed in EU and Asia. You’re being super obtuse.]

    [Dan: Notifications could be improved, but this isn’t the biggest problem with the iPhone, nor is it an issue with multitasking. Android has far larger problems all over the place. And yet Google is giving you “Live Wallpapers.”]
    1. Don’t go into denial mode. Notifications are the biggest issue that plagues iPhone (otherwise apple wouldn’t have to poach Palm’s notifications designer).

    [If that’s Apple’s biggest problem, then Android is far more behind than you’re admitting, because Android has far more serious problems that can’t be addressed by hiring somebody.]

    Hobbyist shareware junk? It’s obviously clear that you haven’t actually ever used an android phone. I’m an android developer myself. Although I like creating native software as well given my OS and driver development background but developing in Java is quite rapid. Performance of Java apps is a concern but this is very well handled by Android in its JVM and with JIT, this is even better.
    And on android, unlike iOS, a crashy app will only lead to crashing itself, not bring down you entire system (lol, Flash will crash your iPhone as it crashes macs so often. Seriously, if you are using an OS that can be crashed so often by a user level application, you ought to throw it into the dustbin and demand your money back)

    [More unsubstantiated claims. What apps are crashing iOS? Android’s JVM is a dead end because Google plans to move everything to the web. That’s why it, the SDK, and store are all half baked.]

    [Dan: The MIT/Apache license was designed to allow such use. It’s not part of a ideological effort to force adopters into a freeware-only, IP-free business model like the GPL. So the fact that Apple used the software is exactly what the creators had in mind… because they were hoping to share their code as widely as possible, rather than trying to force global Communism in software. They’re programmers, so they knew they had the option to use the GPL.

    Since you apparently contributed nothing to its development, your opinion about how it was shared is irrelevant. – Dan ]

    My only issue with this is that you and all other Apple fans are rejoicing all over the world as if this is something that Apple “innovated” and brought into the world for the first time. I wanted to point out that they are actually very late to the party and it has already been available on all other browsers for so much of time now. I myself have been using it. Just taking something and rolling it into your browser is not called innovation.

    [That’s a big claim to bluster given that I’ve never suggested Apple did any particular “innovation” to deliver Reader. I simply noted that an adblocker promoted by Apple could kill Google’s display ad business beforehand, and that while Reader doesn’t stop ads from being counted, it does make them worthless. You’re trying to stuff words in my mouth I never said, which makes you someone I can’t really take seriously.

    Go beat up Artie McStrawman on your blog. I prefer to have civil and intelligent comments on mine. – Dan]

  • gctwnl

    Here are two links about the HTC EVO. They support what we RDM readers already know, but it is still fun to read between the lines to see that.

    The first is a long story of all the hoops you have to jump through to get a decent battery life on one:


    And here is an older one with a review. Quote after saying the 8MP camera is far better than the (3GS) 3MP one:

    “Meanwhile, the photo-taking software on Android continues to lag behind the iPhone’s. And I do mean lag — often times it would take up to a minute for the controls to show up onscreen. And oddly, they can only be oriented to take pictures in landscape mode. And it’s far too many clicks to switch between the front and rear cameras (this is buried in the camera settings area). But all of that is somewhat excusable – what’s not is that more than half the time while trying to take a picture, I would get the message “Unable to save file to SD card due to insufficient file permissions.” I have no idea what that means, nor did I care enough to figure it out. Nor will most users when they get the same message. It worked sometimes, and sometimes it didn’t.”

    “All the other problems aside, the software may be what really kills the device — for now, at least. The EVO out-of-the-box runs Android 2.1 with the HTC Sense UI. Android 2.1 is far too slow. Even running on these devices with 1 GHz chips, there’s noticeable lag when doing things such as simply scrolling through your apps. It’s unacceptable. The good news is that Android 2.2 mostly fixes this. I have been using 2.2 running on the Nexus One, and it’s much, much better. The bad news is that it’s not yet clear when 2.2 will come to the EVO because HTC has to update Sense to work with it.”


    The authors are sympathetic to the EVO and Android and certainly not out to get them, but their reviews and tips read like a horror story of user experience (and a bit fragmentation) to me.

  • gctwnl

    @kdaeseok: It was not all those people using the same WiFi, it was that they brought 570 WiFi hotspots in that room (most MiFi devices translating 3G to WiFi). The 570 hotspots turned the room into a radio inferno for devices and using a secret WiFi just for Steve’s phones probably would not have worked.

    NeXT time, Steve will probably have a hidden cable network connection via the connector ;-)

  • GusDoeMatik

    I enjoy the Shantanu (android) vs. Dan the Man (iPhone)

    @ Shantanu
    [(lol, Flash will crash your iPhone as it crashes macs so often. Seriously, if you are using an OS that can be crashed so often by a user level application, you ought to throw it into the dustbin and demand your money back)]

    That’s why FLASH isn’t allowed on the iPhone or didn’t you read that memo?
    On the mac it doesn’t crash the system just the browsers. And not so much any more unless it’s a site with an outdated version of flash on it.

  • masternav

    Nice back and forth with Shantanu there Dan. I figured immediately on reading his first post that he was either a rabid Android supporter or a desperate Android developer. Turns out both – but that is really immaterial. He does however demonstrate the usual failing of nearly all Androidies – in not recognizing that the platform is not built to support the everyday average consumer. Set aside all the other very good points you mentioned and let’s delve into the experience of the common consumer who has one of the early Android phones from HTC (the Dream?) running A1.5. Not enough RAM or chip speed to run 2.1 or 2.2 but he is included in teh great big Android family of phone users. But his carrier isn’t offering updates to the new OS versions – just the opportunity to update to new hardware running the new OS. See while the ideology behind Android (and open source in general) is laudable and to be admired, it is crap for the user experience and for marketability. What people like Shantanu see as FREEDOM, people like our average user see – through the veil of years of the same treatment from Microsoft – piles of features with headaches and inconsistencies galore. Android has had 4 major updates with major and minor UI and kernel tweaks in the last 3 years – this reads to the average user of instability – especially since they don’t seem to produce a uniform and consistent UI experience.

    This is the ultimate failure for Android – and Google, especially Eric Schmidt should have paid attention when Apple went with just one carrier to begin with, not flipping the iPhone to as many carriers as possible. The rest, well, Dan you’ve nailed down the rest above and in your other articles. I can’t hope to compete with your thoroughness, so I won’t. Shantanu, good luck with your dev efforts in Android. It has all the hallmarks of the best unrequited love story to hit the tech world.