“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” A certain megalomaniacal CEO is famous for this phrase, though the company that he co-founded seems to have forgotten the often-repeated mantra in the last few years. There seem to be plenty of “great artists” left at Apple: In addition to basically lifting Android’s notification system and slapping it into iOS 4, then copying homescreen folders for iOS 5, it looks like they’re planning on yet another misappropriation for iOS 5.1. BGR caught an early glance at the new lockscreen for the March update, which has an “innovative” feature added: users can either swipe right to unlock the phone, or swipe up to go straight to the camera app.

Yup, it’s a tongue-in-cheek copy of Ice Cream Sandwich’s new unlock screen, which offers the same two functions in right and left swipes, respectively. This wouldn’t be aggravating, or even notable, if it weren’t for the fact that Apple’s suing the pants off of absolutely everyone it can drag into a courtroom over its original slide-to-unlock patent. They’re suing Motorola in Germany and Samsung right here in the good old US of A… for the Ice Cream Sandwich unlock screen. The same exact feature that they’re copying for an OS release four months later. Stay classy, Apple.

It’s not as if Android hasn’t used other mobile OS platforms as an influence. The app switch feature in Ice Cream Sandwich is basically a version of WebOS’ card system originally developed by Palm. And speaking of Palm, the iPhone homescreen grid that Apple has so staunchly refused to change is a carbon copy of PalmOS’s launcher that goes back to the early 90s. It really doesn’t bother us if Apple wants to use good (if less than original) ideas to make their products better – that’s part of the consumer electronics world. But to bust out the lawyers to sue a companies that are improving on your idea, then steal it anyway? That’s just downright hypocrisy.


  1. It really frustrates me when Apple does this, and they repeatedly do. I don’t quibble the fact their products are well made and are good for the people they suit. But they don’t suit me or my opinions. But when they keep doing all this stuff in court only to be hypocritical and copy themselves, it’s just infuriating!

    I hope Google have filed their face-unlock feature a long time ago as this needs to be stopped/stripped from iOS when the patent is hopefully granted IF they actually filed for one, which I REALLY HOPE they did.

    • This seems to be the problem… google apparently doesn’t patent some of these ideas. I mean, if I’m reading the news right, apple is using siri against the galaxy nexus because the voice search is similar looking.  I’ve had android phones since long before siri, and the voice search on my Nexus is pretty much exactly the same thing it has always been on all of my android phones.  Apparently google didn’t think to patent it?  

      • The think about apple that gets me is that they patent the minutest thing. Things that people have been doing for years just not bothered to patent as they are trivial and a gift to everyone. Its like GOF patenting design patterns. Nobody is going to tell me that these guys invented these things all the did was document them for the masses, no gain apart from book revenue and kudos, Apple however…..
        I used to like apple now I will never buy anything from them. They used to make Microsoft out to be bad, they are far worse than Microsoft ever were.

      •  Very True, Apple has been copying from other OS for a very long time. I have said for a long time that Steve Jobs didnt change the world he just made everyone think he did, and was a marketing genius. I have no brand loyalty and will buy the best device for me at the time whether it is apple, android, or windows. Apple has left such a bad taste in my mouth over all these petty lawsuits that I will now refuse to buy any Apple product. The simple fact is that Apple is scared and since they can’t sue over android with it being open-source they have decided to go after the manufacturers.

      • your a fucking dumbass. The iphone reinvented the phone no matter how much you android fans want to argue it. Im not an apple fanboy, I’m just stating the facts. My family owns both apple and droid products and honestly, droid is clearly the cheap imitation. Apple comes out with the iphone in 2007 and droid phones start popping up on the market around late 2008. Apple comes out with the iPad in 2010 and literally a year later all of the other companies are coming out with their own versions, most of which being slower, fatter, and uglier. You can say what you want about Apple and Steve Jobs, but you cant argue that they are pioneering in the tech industry. Apple comes out with the new ideas that all of the android phones try desperately to copy. The front facing camera, the slide to unlock, the pinch to zoom were all innovatinos by apple. They invented multitouch technology, they were the first to put the accelerometers and the gyroscopes in the iphone and ipad. Droid thinks they can come out with a phone or tablet, put a better processor in it and suddenly call it better. The product is not all about processing speed. Apple is coming out with innovative new products and powerful ideas while all of the droid imitations are coming out with cheap versions with slightly better tech specs. Even the windows phone has a more unique OS then android. Not a fanboy, just stating the facts.

      • Google bought Android Inc. in 2005 (2 years before the iPhone was released). Android had the first front facing camera with the release of the HTC Evo.

      • I couldn’t help but laugh reading all the banter. One thing is for certain, neither the iPhone or any android phone had the first front-facing camera.  That distinction belongs to Nokia, or perhaps an earlier manufacturer.  
        http://digital-lifestyles.info/2005/04/28/nokia-n91-n90-n70-nseries-mobile-multimedia-handsets/ . Truthfully, none of the device makers of iOS (Apply only of course) or Android based phones have invented much.  Both have learned how to implement them better than the other manufacturers. Even Slide-to-Unlock and Pinch-to-Zoom were previously used on other devices.  This is a paper from 1999, and I believe the idea at least dates back to the 80’s. 
        In other words Apple and the other device manufacturers have NOT INVENTED much, but rather implemented great technologies very seamlessly for ease of use by an average consumer.  

      • I had to laugh when reading this comment about front-facing cameras. This is a joke right, your own private joke at all the people reading what you just wrote and believing it. I have to assume that most of the posts here are jokes about the gullibility of the average internet user. It’s either that or blatant idiocy.
        I had a front-facing camera on my phone several years before either Android or Apple were pumping out their imitations of each other.

        Apple didn’t invent the smart phone, the front-facing camera or sliding to unlock. They took existing ideas and impractical or ineffective existing devices and created something that is new and functional. The original iPhone really wasn’t that brilliant a phone, nor did it introduce many components that hadn’t been seen before, but it was a revolution all the same.

        Android didn’t invent much either. They took an existing idea (the iPhone) and used its concepts to create something new and functional. They found ways to make the Apple technology available to a wider market than iOS can ever reach. Some things they did better than Apple, others worse. It was their own take on the existing technology.

        Apple has since copied Android, and then been copied in turn. That’s what development is, taking an existing idea and changing it. These are all very similar to the previous versions, but each one nonetheless advance the technology slightly. This does make Apple’s suing of everyone else entirely ridiculous and ultimately counter-productive; however I would also point out that Apple is being sued by everyone else in turn. This isn’t about technology or quality any more, nor even about ownership; it’s about lawyers who want job security.

        For the record, I use an Android phone and an iPad. iOS was more stable when I got my phone, but their hardware left a great deal to be desired. Due to the various companies copying each other, the Apple hardware has since improved and the Android OS has become more reliable. I would still place some of the Android phones higher than Apple’s, and iOS above Android, but the margin is shrinking. My (temporary) loyalty will be to whichever company has achieved the best balance when next I purchase a phone, as it always should be.

      •  Very True, Apple has been copying from other OS for a very long time. I have said for a long time that Steve Jobs didnt change the world he just made everyone think he did, and was a marketing genius. I have no brand loyalty and will buy the best device for me at the time whether it is apple, android, or windows. Apple has left such a bad taste in my mouth over all these petty lawsuits that I will now refuse to buy any Apple product. The simple fact is that Apple is scared and since they can’t sue over android with it being open-source they have decided to go after the manufacturers.

      • if it werent for apple you wouldnt have a droid. Compare a windows phone to a droid phone and see which one is more similar to the iphones OS. Android is honestly a cheap imitation. I’m not saying they make bad phones but they try desperately to imitate apple. They patent  everything they invent because its the smart thing to do. The pinch to zoom, the accelerometer, the slide to unclock. These were all created by apple and even though they were patented, they easily are seen in android. It’s funny how all the android fans flip out when apple has a pull down menu because it was used on android but when droid steals everything ells from the iphone they dont care. 

      •  You are a retard, Apple didn’t invent ‘Slide to unlock’ they simply implemented it, and Apple DID NOT invent accelerometers, they just implemented them. You are hailing Apple in a similar manner as one would a speaker manufacturer for inventing ‘sound’

      • No. Siri Inc. had the tech in the early 1990s, long before Android came out. So, Google couldn’t patent it, Siri Inc. already had the patent for it. Apple bought out Siri Inc. and now Apple owns the patents of Siri Inc. But if no one updated the patents of Siri, it would either be expiring soon or they have already expired. 

      • Google could try to patent, but since Apple already has patented the “slide to unlock” it’s not really original.

  2. Notification Center was copied from Android, maybe, but this camera unlock has been there since before the ICS launch. It was just in a form that wasn’t as easy to use and required double clicking the home button and tapping a button. Remember, Apple, not Android, invented the “slide to ” concept on smartphone lockscreen.

    You want to talk about “no shame”? Ha! Home screens, multitouch phones, centralized software markets, the entire Android concept is a direct and blatant rip off of iOS, right down the fact that you have to *gasp* SWIPE an unlocking mechanism to unlock your phone! Stop whining every time Apple does something Android did first and always remember that Apple did the majority of the features in Android OS first.

    • If you do some research you will see all those features in products before the Iphone.

      Personally I see no issue with Apple using the features Android has made work so well. You will not see Google going after them with a lawsuit for it like apple would.

    • The fact is… There are only so many ways you can use a touchscreen device… To try and patent troll just accomplishes one thing… It craps on competition and innovation…

    • I’m not gonna call you a troll, but make sure you read the full article and think before posting. First, the “issue” that he mentions isn’t the feature of accessing the camera from the lockscreen. Everybody already knows that the iPhone can do it. His problem is that the way to access it is by swiping in a different direction, similar to the ICS implementation.

      Aside from that, he even says that he has no issue with them using the implementation to improve their OS. His REAL issue is that they somewhat copy a similar styling so often from other OSs, yet will sue ANYBODY who creates an implementation that barely resembles theirs. And THAT’s why their hypocrites with no shame. Not because of who copied who, but because of who sued who.

      • I think you need to read his comment again. If “slide-to-unlock” was Apple’s idea, then how are they copying Google…? 

      • “It’s a tongue-in-cheek copy of Ice Cream Sandwich’s new unlock screen, which offers the same two functions in right and left swipes, respectively.”
        I can’t stress this enough – it really helps to read the article before commenting 🙂

      • No, slide to unlock dates way back in time.

        When you had to slide a metal bar to open a door.

        The door company should be patenting these things and suing Apple for doing it.

    • do also take note apple was not first by any means to touch screens and slide to unlock. i have seen an old nokia phone that used this option well before the iphone was out. the fact that apple brought it to the masses makes people believe they originated it. no matter where this conversation goes a touchscreen has limitations and only so many ways of being useful… eventually we need to just let it go and let a way of using a phone be what it is. stop acting like because you swipe to unlock i cant do it too. its a gesture not really something they created

    • This whole who-stole-from-whom debate can go on and on but what it all comes down to is which device or os is more functional. Based on that, Android beats Apple hands-down by a EIDE margin in both software capabilities AND the hardware features of its phones. PERIOD!

  3. How is swiping upwards to camera a rip off of sliding right to camera? Different direction.. granted the same action, which Apple came up with first anyway..

  4. Depend on who own this patents. If the owner of this patent is licensing out the technology for a fees. It’s illegal if you own the technology and licensing to Android only. 

  5. I’m completely missing how this is stealing. This seems nothing like the action I use to.get into my gnex and if I’m nit.mistaken, the iPhone.had this straight to camera functionality before android.

  6. I would like to point out that Apples notification system came out in iOS 5 and the home screen folders came out in iOS 4. Apple also made some improvements to the notification system which google then copied. Sure they stole those things, but it’s better to steal them and make it their own than to just copy them which is the point of the quote. You should know your facts before you write an article.

    •  The point is (Matt), apple is suing the pants off of anybody who they assume copied their work while they themselves have done the same thing. It’s proven over and over again and this is just another prime example of steve job’s hypocrisy.  The fool in charge now, little timmy cookie is doing the same thing.

      • Thank you, for that explanation. But what my point was they had most of their facts wrong about iOS and should have atleast checked what they were righting about instead of carelessly writing about something they have no knowledge of. I read this website since I like android and want to know about the latest updates and phones. Not to hear about them bashing Apple.

  7. I think this is the article that’s gonna make me stop coming to this site. First, this is rumor, and its from beta software so it may not even make it to users at all. Second, Sliding up to slowly reveal the camera is not the same sliding left/right to unlock to the camera app. Furthermore this kind of criticism is even WORSE than Apple. It’s petty and inaccurate.

    Also to all the people commenting, both companies have been stealing each others ideas for years. If Apple wants to sue over things that they feel are theirs, its well within their power to do so. The same thing applies for Google and its partners. Get over it.

    • fanboy detected.

      It’s slightly different, but still a copy.
      The feature is on the beta, so it’s not a rumor, jackass. It’s a fact.

      • Pot. Kettle. Black.
        It’s a different implementation that doesn’t directly copy. Would you prefer it required you to shake the phone three times while standing on your head?
        Also, until it is released and in the hands of a lot more people it is a rumor. My dev release does not have this so yeah, rumor.

  8. Actually the article is quite accurate. Both features have been copied by Apple and God forbid anyone talks bad of such a great company. Why are you even on a site called Android central if you are brainwashed like the rest of the isheep with your tiny phones that were made for women. Apple is trying to stop Android with lawsuit after lawsuit and they aren’t getting anywhere. Have fun with your fashion symbol phone.

    • I would like all of you so called informed writers to check the dates of the first release of the first iPhone and then check the release date for the first android. Pretty clear that the iPhone was first and the idea of a smart phone was copied from Apple by Android. Don’t get me wrong both operating systems and the many different phones have some amazing features but do be so callow to post some of the things you all have posted. If you like the specific phone the like it privately. There is no need for all of this behavior that makes you feel better by trying to “inform” people about things you clearly have no idea about. 
      Mdud this was not directed to you in anyway. I just wanted it to be at the top of the list.

      • actually RIM was the first people to bring up the smartphone….or maybe it was palm………or windows mobile

      • Check Apple’s first iPhone video launch, and then maybe you can get the idea about what he meant by a Smartphone.

      • Umm.. That video is about the Motorola ROKR(?). How is that the first iPhone video? The Handspring Visor already had a phone springboard module that made the PalmOS based PDA device also a cellphone. Now THAT would be a better image of a smartphone than what seems to be described in your youtube vid. Also note the ‘home’ screen having a grid icon layout. See this article at “The Gadgeteer” back in 1999.

      • “There is no need for all of this behavior that makes you feel better by trying to “inform” people about things you clearly have no idea about.”
        How ironic, given that the patent for combining PDA and phone belongs to HTC and RIM, Palm and others were doing smartphones long before Apple arrived on the scene.

      • OK DIRR, WHAT WAS FIRST YAHOO OR GOOGLE MAN are you guys retarted or what!!!!! dude let it go. an idea is an idea. you take it and make it better if thats the case don’t go buy a new computer or upgrade your operating system don’t be such a tardo for real that is your argument who had it first. come on! Apple is just pissed that they are not the only player in the game anymore and the guy is crushing them. get over it make a better device. they are all our of ideas so now they are crying!!!!!!!

  9. Wow, someone else notices and writes it down finally? This should be made much, MUCH louder on social networks. Honestly. One of the core reasons for me to downright despise crapple for.

  10. It ALL depends on wether whatever being copied has been patented or not. If not, then it’s fair game.
    *cough* ICS ‘folders’ *cough*.


      • That’s a lot of vinegar and water in one post.

        BTW. Google sucks. Apple sucks.
        But Google and Apple FANBOYS suck beyond comprehension.

  11. this is so sad…how can so many be so misinformed about so many things….it’s like two children fighting in the school yard and calling each other names….grow up already with all the cussing and name calling….do your research and present your facts like adults,try to speak and act like adults already…..please!

  12. These patent wars are silly and costly – but let’s be honest, everybody is suing everybody in this business. It’s been going on for years, long before Apple entered the phone market.

    If you want to get down to who invented what first, I think the first GUI was invented at Xerox Parc back in the 70’s, probably based on research done in the 60’s. It ran on a machine that cost USD 30K at the time. Then Steve Jobs and team saw that, did their own version of it, adding some bits in the process. Then Bill Gates got access to the source code and still had to fiddle with it for about 10 years before he got it right (M$ is nothing if not tenacious). So Apple had a big part in developing the GUI. Which of course is what all modern smart phones are based on …

    Apple invented the Newton with a lot of tech that Palm could build off. Like the whole idea of a handheld device controlled with a stylus. Apple had it all wrong though, because each new version of the Newton got bigger and heavier.

    In the process of developing a lot of ideas like the pc, the gui, the PDA and then seeing other companies take all the profits, they switched tactics. Instead of developing new markets they decided to enter existing markets and revolutionizing them. The iPod was late to the MP3-player market, but it was the first MP3-player that was done right. And Apple figured out that it had to be big enough to carry more or less all of your songs – not just 3-5 CD’s.

    Same thing with the iPhone and the AppStore. iPhone wasn’t the first smart phone, it was just the first smart phone that wasn’t a f-ing pain to use. Not sure if Apple invented the idea of apps, probably not, but they sure as hell made it work better than anyone else before them.

    Yeah, I’m a Mac head. That doesn’t mean I hate Android though. Most of the criticism I see against the iPhone (walled garden, controlled by Apple, inflexible, too expensive, rarely very impressive hardware) is completely true. What most critics fail to realize though is that most iPhone users don’t care about those things. It’s beautiful. It’s easy to use. Uncluttered. That’s all we care about.

    And oh yeah, if you buy the latest model around the time it launches, you don’t have to worry about a new iPhone coming out a week later that’s twice as cool at half the cost. You’ll have the latest and greatest iPhone for at least a year, hahaha

  13. Android improving on iOS? You really are a complete embarassment.  So where did Android get the “slide left to right” to unlock from?   Wait, they took it from Apple?  Oops.  Yet again proving my point that you’re a dumbass.

  14. Lovers of Andrioid are always point out that Apple ‘stole’ Android’s notification idea. Well, actually, I saw it on Apple products long before Android came to be, you see Android’s notification idea was being used on a Mac for about eight years before Android was ever heard of… it was called … Growl for the Mac! 

  15. Sorry, wrong on multiple accounts. Palm OS stole from the Apple Newton, which was the first PDA to use a home screen grid for app launching. The Newton was ’93, the first Palm was ’96.

    Oh, and if Eric Schmidt hadn’t been on the board of Apple while they were discussing the creation of the first IPhone, there would likely be no Android.

    The swipe up to access Camera feature is nitpicking compared to everything else.

  16. It’s not hypocritical at all. The guy that designed all of that stuff for Palm has gone on to work at Apple. It’s HIS STUFF. Sorry Android fans, but that’s how it goes.


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