If you haven’t already heard, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled today. Yes, the new iPhone’s are bigger, faster and more amazing than ever – but they are far from revolutionary. Since we’re an Android site, we’re not going to go into too much detail on the two new Apple smarthpones unveiled today, but we will look at some of the new features that made the cut – new features which have been available on Android devices for quite some time.
In the technology world, there are leaders and there are followers. Apple deserves the credit for sparking the smartphone revolution, but the list below shows that Google’s Android and the dozens of manufacturers who build the smartphones we love are still ahead of the curve.
- 4.7-inch display: it wasn’t too long ago that Apple stretched the iPhone’s screen to 4-inches. According to Apple, that was the perfect size display since it was optimal for one-handed use. Apple has now thrown that marketing line out with the trash and embraced the 4.7-inch display size as its new standard – a screen size that was the used back in 2012 for nearly all flagship Android devices.
- 5.5-inch display: if Apple thought that a 4-inch display was the perfect size, we’re trying to imagine how Tim Cook, Jony Ive and the rest of the product team at Apple could justify a 4.7-inch display, let alone one that measures 5.5-inches. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 made the 5.5-inch form factor extremely popular in late 2012 and it could very well be the default screen size for most flagship Android phones in 2015. It’s nice to see Apple make such a large leap in size, but we hope the company is ready to give consumers a 6-inch device in 2015.
- 1080p resolution: ladies and gentlemen, welcome to fall 2012! Oh, wait… this is 2014. Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus has been upgraded with a Retina HD display which features a resolution of 1920Ã—1080 pixels with 401 ppi. That’s a big jump for Apple since the original Retina display sported a 326 ppi, but it’s still at least a year behind the curve. The 5.5-inch display on the LG G3 features a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels with freaky 538 ppi. We’re not saying Apple really needs that many pixels to compete, but it would be nice if the 4.7-inch iPhone 6′s display wasn’t an odd 1334 x 750 just because Apple wanted to maintain the same 326 ppi form the original Retina display.
- NFC with wireless payments: The new iPhones finally have NFC which enables Apple Pay. NFC has been used in mobile devices for nearly a decade, but Google officially started supporting the wireless communication standard with the Nexus S. The Android platform uses NFC to send and receive information like contact cards, website URLs, images, videos and it can even be used for mobile payments. It’s nice that iPhone users will be able to use NFC for mobile payments, but Apple seems to have overlooked all the sharing features that can be enabled with NFC. Photo sharing over NFC may sound as overrated, but it’s a feature I use dozens of times a month.
- Optical image stabilization: while we’d like to poke fun at Apple on this point as well, we’re going to give them a little credit here. Optical image stabilization has been around for years and was used on a handful of flagship phones. Unfortunately, LG and Nokia appear to be the only manufacturers really committed to the technology. HTC used it in last year’s HTC One (M7) but then backed off with the One (M8) since it wouldn’t be compatible with the phone’s two sensor DuoCamera setup. Yes, Digital Image Stabilization works really well on a handful of Samsung phones, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more Android manufacturers adopt OIS now that Apple has included in on the iPhone 6 Plus.
- HRD selfies: yay…. ?
The fact that Apple is playing catch-up (again) and adopting features that Android phones have had for years is flattering. It legitimized the decisions that Google and its hardware partners have been making. In many aspects, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are still inferior to today’s flagship Android phones. But they are close, and that’s a good thing. If the general public thinks that the new devices from Apple are the same or better than the current Android devices on the market, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and every other Android manufacturer on the planet will be taking notes and deliver a new generation of products that are even more impressive than Apple’s.
Current Android users will also benefit from the fact that Apple has now adopted NFC. Major banks and retailers will now see mobile payments as a legitimate alternative to the outdated and unsecured credit cards that we have in our wallets. This means we’ll see support for mobile payments from more banks and wider adoption at retailers in the US and around the globe.
The battle between Apple and Google is far from over. Apple can still boast that it has the best selling smartphone lineup on the planet, but we all know that sales number don’t tell the full story. What new hardware component do you think Apple will finally adopt with its next hardware refresh?