Last week, I wrote an article called The Top 10 Android Features Apple’s iOS 10 Should Steal, and — surprise — it turned out to be somewhat controversial. Over 120 comments reflected a wide range of opinions on the future direction of Apple’s mobile operating system, with most commenters agreeing that iOS should take some inspiration from Android, but only for the specific features they personally liked. Unfortunately, in keeping with our increasingly polarized society, a few particularly caustic Apple fanboys decided to go crazy, personally attacking fellow commenters who liked the ideas, the author who dared to suggest them (“poor old me“), and the very concept of taking any ideas whatsoever from Android.
On one hand, I understand where the fanboys are coming from. Some people just love whatever Apple releases and does, no matter what. Others are so emotionally or financially invested in Apple that any suggestion of potential improvement is perceived as an attack on the company’s well-being. But it’s hard to sympathize with people who freak out when Apple’s described as anything less than perfect. Walt Mossberg called out “cultists” for this behavior in his article, “It’s Not a Church, It’s Just an Apple Store,” naming it the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation. Demanding unyielding praise is nonsensical, and ultimately unhealthy for the Apple community as a whole. Simple statistics suggest that under 0.05% of our readers fall into cultist territory, but they’re abrasive enough to turn off the other 99.95% of readers we care about.
It’s important to understand that these hard-core fanboys aren’t just a tiny minority of all iOS users — they also have fringe views relative to the general population. Reasonable people can debate the precise numbers, but Android currently powers roughly 4/5 of the smartphones out there. It’s easy to credit aggressive Android device prices, but it’s clear that Android has features that appeal to people, too. From my perspective, it’s perfectly reasonable for iOS users to want some of Android’s features — especially if they don’t want to switch to Android devices. Yes, Apple’s a great company, and yes, iOS is a great platform, but they’re not perfect. Even if you don’t like Google, there’s room to learn (and borrow) from Android…
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