Apple’s iPhone 6s packs loads of new features, but as usual most of them seem rather familiar to fans of other phones. So did Apple actually rip off most of the iPhone 6s’ best bits from Android and other phone manufacturers?
Before unleashing the iPhone 6s on the world, Tim Cook showed off Apple’s new iPad Pro, featuring a soft-touch keyboard case that looked immediately familiar to anyone who’s seen Microsoft’s Surface tablets. Immediately, the Twittersphere turned into a rage storm of flapping and angst, with tech fans calling out Apple on its apparent gift of nicking other manufacturers’ best ideas and rebranding them as its own.
The exact same happened when Cook and co turned their attention to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but did Apple really steal the iPhone 6s’ best bits from Android and other phones?
The iPhone 6s’ stand-out feature is undoubtedly 3D Touch, which uses upgraded screen tech to determine exactly how hard you’re pushing the screen, and differentiate a normal tap from a solid prod. Check out our 3D Touch feature for more info.
This feature, known elsewhere as Force Touch, isn’t anything new. Android has supported Force Touch since its early days, but pretty much no manufacturers actually bothered to capitalise. The first we’ve seen it is on the Huawei Mate S, which only just launched at IFA 2015.
Of course, some of the 3D Touch’s best uses have already been seen elsewhere. For instance, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 gave you the ability to preview a photo or web link or even a video timeline just by hovering your finger over the screen. However, that was a slow, often irritating mechanic that often failed to work, whereas Apple’s 3D Touch is a lot more accurate and super-speedy.
So while 3D Touch isn’t exactly original, at least Apple smashed out a proper good version of it with genuine uses, where pretty much no one else bothered.
This, on the other hand, is a direct rip-off from HTC and Nokia/Microsoft.
Live Photos is a new iPhone 6s camera feature that automatically snaps a short video when you take a photo, which you can play back by 3D Touching the snap in your gallery – thus bringing the picture to life.
In other words, it’s the Zoe mode that HTC’s phones have packed since the original One was launched. Not only that, but recent Lumia phones such as the Lumia 640 have also bigged up Microsoft’s ‘Living Image’ feature, which animates your snaps as you flick through your album.
In both cases, the whole photo/video thing was pretty pointless and often swiftly forgotten, so it’ll be interesting to see if it gets any love on the iPhone 6s.
Apple has basically taken Android’s Live Wallpapers and slapped a new name on it, giving you animated desktops that come to life before your eyes. Here’s hoping it won’t be a massive drain on the iPhone 6s’ battery life.
Selfie camera ‘flash’
Apple’s iPhone 6s can help you to take awesome nightclub selfies by lighting up the screen – and therefore your mug – when you take the shot. Great news – or maybe not so much when you check your Facebook page the next morning and see all the bleary-eyed snaps you posted of your semi-twatted state.
Of course, it’s not a new feature, despite Tim Cook’s insistence that Apple’s tech geniuses cooked it up in the iPhone 6s labs. Plenty of camera apps also light up your screen as a make-shift flash, including biggies like Snapchat.
Always-on voice assistant
Siri will now activate with the ‘Hey, Siri’ command at any point, even when not charging. Something we’ve already seen on Motorola’s handsets for a while.
iPhone replacement scheme
Apple surprised us all by announcing its new ‘iPhone Upgrade Program’ at the end of last night’s launch. This effectively has you paying a set contract price every month, which is a little more than usual – but when a new iPhone comes out, you automatically get an upgrade.
So, kind of like O2’s Refresh scheme then.