Apple’s Not First, It’s Best

Apple didn’t release the first smartphone, they didn’t release the first touchscreen phone, but they did release the best, by a wide margin. Since then, other smartphones evolved to look more like Apple’s, and from there, we get the iOS vs Android duopoly that we have today. Apple wasn’t the first to make a GUI, the first PC manufacturer, the first to put a fingerprint sensor on a phone, they weren’t the first with two cameras, or even the first to make an MP3 player, but they’ve done the best versions of all of these things, changing the market forever. That’s why I hate graphics like the ones above, which seem to come out every time Apple releases some exciting new iPhone. No, Apple wasn’t the first, but they’ve done everything so much better, so the question becomes, why did the others create such half-assed projects to begin with? If you’re going to do something right, take your time and do it right, don’t rush it and release something that’s less than the best. That’s Apple’s philosophy, it’s why iPhone users stick with iOS, and it’s why we’re excited to use the iPhone X.

So, what about the points raised in the graphics above? I’m going to tear each of them apart. Why? Because I hate the spread of fake news far more than I hate know-it-all fanboys, and this involves both.


Facial Recognition

One of the key features of the iPhone X is its new biometric security, Face ID. Facial recognition has been around for a while, and, as Samsung fanboys like to point out, has been a method of unlocking a Samsung smart phone for 4 years now. What they don’t mention is that Samsung’s facial recognition can be fooled by a photograph. Yeah, a simple photo. That’s not security, everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn photo somewhere. Pop it up, perhaps print it out or blow it up, and boom, you’ve got in to some poor Samsung user’s phone. That’s why almost no Samsung users use the feature, and security experts say not to use it.

These would all fool a Samsung phone. Hell, a photo of these would fool a Samsung phone.

FaceID, on the other hand, creates a 3D model of your face, uses an encrypted secure enclave to store it, separate from the rest of the OS, and uses advanced machine learning to figure out what your face would look like with glasses, makeup, or other small changes, you know, like a scarf covering your chin or even a beard. It can’t even be fooled by realistic 3D printed masks of your face. Samsung’s can’t come anywhere close to that. In fact, Samsung’s facial recognition is nothing more than a gimmick, Apple’s is actually secure.

Oh and Samsung? Fingerprints leave smudges, maybe try not putting that next to your one and only camera on the back of your phones?
Performance

Oh boy, now we’re counting processor cores? Yes, Android phones have had more cores and memory than iPhones for years. What the photo doesn’t mention is that, even with those higher clock speeds, extra cores, and extra RAM, Android phones are always slower than their iPhone counterparts. Even iPhones that are a few years old crush their Android counterparts in real world tests and some benchmarks. Speaking of benchmarks, the iPhone X beat out a MacBook Pro in single core benchmarks, and makes every other Android phone look like a calculator.

Not to mention Samsung is a terrible example here, as they cheat in benchmarks and offer significantly slower performance than Android phones running stock Android because their silly gimmicky customizations add a layer that slows phones down and causes them to begin to bog down to a crawl later in life. Really, fandroids shouldn’t even bring up performance, but Samsung fanboys definitely should ignore the topic.

Waterproofing

Yes, the iPhone X has waterproofing! It can last up to 30 minutes at up to a meter of water. It may even do better, but Apple can’t guarantee it. That’s IP67, for those who know their dust and water proofing ratings. Samsung’s is rated at IP68. 8! That’s more than 7! What you need to know is that it’s only half a meter better in this case. The IP68 rating covers anything that can go deeper than 1 meter of water for at least 30 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S8 can survive at 1.5 meters, a meter foot and a half, more than the iPhone X. And, knowing Apple’s dedication to quality (and Samsung’s lack of dedication in that field), I’d risk my iPhone at 5 feet of water before I’d risk my Samsung Galaxy S8 there (did I not mention my work phone was an S8?).

Camera

Anyone who knows anything about cameras knows not to count megapixels. The size of the pixels, depth of the pixels, number of sensors, software, lens quality, aperture, focal length, and more define quality. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a wonderful camera, no doubt, but Apple’s will likely be far better, even on a technical scale, like those measured by DXOMark. Not to mention the aesthetic quality of the photos. Apple’s using machine learning to improve photo quality, Samsung’s just trying to throw “beautification” filters in to make your friends look like big-round eyed anime characters. No, seriously, that’s a thing that comes built-in to the Samsung camera app.

Basically, if you think 16MP is better than 12MP, you know nothing about cameras and should probably stop making graphics.

Display

Sure, Apple wasn’t the first to go with small bezels, and that was annoying, but at least they did a fantastic job with it.

Apple’s latest display was built by Samsung! And, get this, their processors were built by Samsung too! Well, at least for the iPhone 6s, Apple switched to a manufacturer capable of producing their chips with better performance this year. Apple designs their hardware, they spec it out, but for the actual manufacturing, putting the parts together, they outsource that. Samsung doesn’t even have Samsung-branded processors, they make processors for other companies, like Snapdragon. So, yes, the screen came from Samsung, but it’s to Apple’s specs. That’s why the iPhone X will have a greater screen area to body ratio than the Galaxy S8, and why it’s going to look so much better as well.

Thickness

Got us there! Of course, a piece of paper is thinner than an iPhone, has terrible battery life and no processing power though. I’d take a thicker, more durable, and longer lasting phone over a wafer any day.

NFC

Got us here, too! Apple’s NFC only works with Apple Pay… and Apple products like HomePod, and third party products that have gotten certification from Apple. That’s because contactless systems like NFC should have security, otherwise they can be taken advantage of. Basically, it’s one of the reasons the iPhone is more secure than Samsung phones.

Headphone Jack

I… I really don’t even want to defend Apple on this. But, I will say this, I suppose. With external digital to analog converters (DACs) and amplifiers, Apple could force their users to have music that sounds far better than it would if they went with an internal headphone jack and built-in DACs and amplifiers. Much of the industry is also moving to Bluetooth, but this luddite prefers wired, because there’s no latency, it’s easy to plug and play without setup, works across all my devices, doesn’t require a battery, and usually sounds better.

In a few generations, Samsung will ditch the headphone jack too, mark my words.

Wireless Charging

Sure, Apple was late to the wireless charging bandwagon, but they did it so much better.

Apple’s aluminum iPhones kept us from having this, it’s true. It’s also true that Apple abandoned the glass back design with the iPhone 5, and shouldn’t have, because they look beautiful, as the iPhone 8 and iPhone X prove. Apple’s on the Qi train now, with standardized charging that can use a variety of 3rd party chargers. Android manufacturers beat Apple to the punch, and I really can’t defend Apple on that one, they should have had this long ago, but now that they do have it, they’re doing a great job, even releasing a charging mat that can charge all your devices and report on the progress from your iPhone.

Split Screen

I’ve had Samsung phones over the years and never used this. I use it on my iPad all the time though. That’s because a 9.7″ screen is just large enough to make use of it. Could I perhaps use it on the iPhone X? Maybe, but it likely would feel cramped and actually slow productivity down. Do you actually use it much, other Samsung and Android users? It looks neat, but really, doesn’t seem like it would actually ever be useful. I guess that’s what they call a gimmick though, huh?

So there you have it, folks. Apple wasn’t the first to create these technologies, they weren’t the first to market them, but they did use them to make a far better product than anything that was on the market. That’s just one of the many reasons we’ve stuck with Apple. That, and the quality of the products, the tight-knit ecosystem, the speed, the power, the security, and the high-quality designs. Sure, I might take a good long look at an HTC U11 (oh, man, in that red finish? Uh-ma-zing!), but the iPhone’s just a better phone overall, and that comes from being fashionably late on features to ensure they’re delivering the best the industry can offer. Sorry, haters.

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