Android users have broken ranks to praise Apple's raft of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite announcements at the World Wide Developer Conference this week
Is the great flame war between Android and Apple users starting to burn down into embers? Certainly the mood in the Android power user community was surprisingly appreciative when it came to reactions to the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite announcements at this week's WWDC.
Some of this may be down to smugness as previously Android-only functionality, such as 3rd-party keyboard support is welcomed. "When you’ve been in shackles for so long, it’s easy to get excited at the ray of sunshine peeking through the crack of a cell wall", cracked Android Authority.
But some of it seems to be a concession that iOS is finally getting features that drove these users to Android in the first place. And in some cases, such as Messaging or Interactive Notifications, the implementation is much more polished and elegant than that on Android.
Plus there's a feeling in the Android community that Google have taken their eye off the Android ball in some respects, such as the promised integration messaging platform Hangouts with Google Voice calling system.
Envious of iOS 8 messaging?
iOS 8 now lets SMS messages integrate fully with its iMessage app, and allows users to take and make phone calls on a desktop mac or an iPad even when an iPhone is locked and sleeping in another room. iMessage also lets users send multimedia messages easily back and forth from all devices, a la Snapchat. This area in particularly has brought out the Android envy.
One very popular thread on reddit.com/r/Android puts it clearly: 'Okay, Google...Apple just through down the gauntlet on messaging. Time to get serious about Hangouts.
"Just another example of Google having all the pieces necessary to make a Lego Ironman for a few years but not going the whole 9 yards to complete the piece and then Apple comes along and makes a better looking Batman," said user zirzo.
Users pointed out the philosophical difference between Apple as a platform-specific, hardware company and Google as a platform-agnostic web services company.
"Google implements their services and cross device features in the browser. This means I'm not locked into iOS/OS X of course, but it also means that it's harder to get a consistent and fast interface working," said Deltaburn.
But it's not just the Messaging updates that caught the eye of approving Android users. The integration between OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 via the raft of features that fall under Apple's label of 'Continuity' also allows seamless handover of application states between iOS devices.
Says user CurryboiiNZ: "I have a Macbook, and what really sold me was the integration between iOS and OSX - being able to start an email on one device, and picking up on another, etc, and the ability to seamlessly send texts and answer calls from the Mac is awesome."
His comments reflect the fact that a lot of the people who like to tinker with and mod their phones are programmers, and the programmer's computer of choice for the last few years has been the MacBook Pro.
Apple's latest announcements have also addressed some of the remaining 'tweaking' issues many Android users have with iOS. Particularly the ability to have alternative keyboards, set interactive widgets and allowing apps to communicate with each other, so a photo in Photos could have an Instagram filter applied to it without bouncing between the two apps.
The fact that such things have been part of Android's DNA for years may provide short-term bragging rights for the anti-Apple zealots, but they also reduce the obstacles for the less partisan users to switch from the green robot to the green fruit.
ChineseCracker 176 summed up the dilemma of those who have lost sight of the origins for the great Android vs Apple flame war.
"I've always used Android phones - but at this point, I don't know why I wouldn't just buy an iPhone already. iOS just fixed all shortcomings it had. All major Google services are also available on iOS. Apple will release bigger iPhones with iOS8. And iPhones always had the best build quality and the best cameras... I'm not trying to troll here, but can anybody tell me what the shortcomings of an iPhone 6 with iOS 8 are (presuming that Apple can deliver everything it just claimed, and that the rumored 4-5 inch iPhones are happening) compared to an (unrooted) android phone?"
Yes, there were plenty of people left who came up with a raft of answers. But 'choosing default apps' and 'rooting the roms' don't really have the passion and fire of the old Android battle cries.
Could a Worldwide Developers Conference also be a Worldwide peace conference...
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