“Copying iOS 7 is going to be a big problem for cheap hardware.”


Marco Arment, the developer of Instapaper, shares his thoughts on why he sees iOS 7 as defense by Apple. In other words, it’s going to be difficult for competitors to replicate this version of the mobile operating system:

Copying iOS 7 is going to be a big problem for cheap hardware. iOS 7’s appearance and dynamics require a powerful GPU and advanced, finely tuned, fully hardware-accelerated graphics and animation APIs. This will hurt web imitators most, but it’s also going to be problematic for Android: while high-end Android phones have mostly caught up in GPU performance, and recent Android versions have improved UI acceleration, most Android devices sold are neither high-end nor up-to-date. The gap is much wider in tablets, and even “high-end” tablets usually have insufficient GPU power to drive their high-DPI screens.

Apple’s even attacking Android’s screen technologies by making heavy use of 1-pixel-wide lines on Retina screens. Most Android phones have high-DPI screens, too, but their feature-checklist battles have actually driven many of them to have too-dense resolutions for 1-pixel lines to be useful. And many Android phones, notably including almost all Samsung Galaxy models, cheat on resolution by using PenTile screens, which poorly render text and thin lines.

The theme is clear: iOS 7’s UI requires some of Apple’s biggest strengths, and efforts to copy it will be hindered by some of Android’s biggest weaknesses.

One thing is for sure: iOS 7 is polarizing. The design is so different compared to iOS 6, any attempts to replicate it will be obvious. Arment shares some interesting thoughts–check them out here.

Arment’s thoughts are similar along the lines of Allen Pike, who says:

iOS 7 was clearly designed to show off what’s possible in 2013. As a side effect, they’ve embraced conventions that will be hard to emulate with commodity hardware or web tech.

What do you think? Will we start to eventually see the ‘cloning’ of iOS 7?

[via Daring Fireball]