Where iOS 8/OS X Yosemite Features Come From

At Apple’s WWDC 2014 Keynote last week, the company told us all about the latest updates to their two famous operating systems, iOS, and OS X. Each update included loads of new features new to both platforms, but not necessarily new to everyone else. So where did the “inspiration” from all these features come from? Many features came from Android, and many came from other operating systems as well.



iOS 8

– QuickType Keyboard

     – Apple spent quite a bit talking about keyboards in their presentation, and we’ll get to a little more of what they had to say in a minute, but first let’s talk about the improvements to their own keyboard. Autocorrect has been a life saver while also messing up a conversation at the same time. Apple hopes to fix that with their new feature called QuickType. This feature looks at surrounding text as well as what you’ve already typed to predict what you might type next and gives you options directly on top of the keyboard for words. This feature was originally found on Android, specifically in the popular third party keyboard Swype as far back as 2010 when it was found on devices like the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Motorola Droid 2.

– Widgets

    – It should be easy to guess where Apple’s widgets were taken from. It’s none other than OS X. Now you were probably expecting me to say Android here, but I’ll explain a little more about that in a minute. If we are looking at the idea of widgets on our mobile devices than yes this was found originally on Android, but if we look at it as just some that is part of an operating system, than widgets came from OS X. OS X 10.7 to be a little more specific. This release saw the addition of Dashboard which brought widgets to the OS. Apple’s implementation of widgets on iOS differs however since these widgets are only seen in the notification panel.

Another place that widgets were seen even earlier than OS X was Windows Mobile as far back as 2007. This implementation however did not work all that well.

 – Third Party Keyboard Support

      – Right after announcing improvements to their own keyboard, Apple shocked us by announcing that iOS 8 would have support for third party keyboards. This was something no one expected at all. Android has had this feature for a few years now, but still, it’s nice to see this finally coming to the iPhone.

– “Hey Siri”

     – In iOS 8 Siri saw a couple improvements one of which caught the attention of many. Now when you have your iPhone plugged in you can just say “Hey Siri” to initiate a Siri command. Sound familiar? While the implementation is not quite the same, this “hotword” feature has been making the rounds throughout the Android market. The first time it was implemented as similar to iOS 8 was in the Moto X. However the “hotword” in general was first seen in Google Now soon after it was first released.

OS X Yosemite

 – iCloud Drive

      – iCloud Drive is a feature found both on iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, but the similarities it has on the Mac are more similar to another desktop OS, Windows. iCloud Drive integrates with OS X and iOS to create a shared file system stored in the cloud that is accessible to both platforms and multiple devices. If you’re a Windows user though, you’ll notice that your device (and your Windows Phone device) have a similar feature with OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) integration (clever name Apple). Another place where this integration was seen was in Chrome OS and Android.

  – New OS X Icons Yosemite

         – “We spent a lot of time crafting a trash can”. Apple took the time to create new icons for OS X, but are they really all that new? Not really as this icon scheme was previously seen in none other than iOS 7. It was only a matter of time until those new icons made their way over to the desktop.

Nonetheless Apple has done a great job in it’s latest update to improve both their mobile and desktop operating system. They’ve not only brought features from other operating systems that they both sorely needed, but also improved on and built some of their own.