Android 4.0 adds style but borrows heavily from everyone

Information is still coming in but Google and Samsung just showed off Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Coming first to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus which will feature a 4.65” HD Super AMOLED display technology at 720p resolution and a 1.2GHz dual core CPU, ICS looks to finally bring a little pizazz to the robotic OS.

A lot of the new "look" to Android 4.0 can be tied to Matias Duarte, who worked on Palm's ill-fated webOS UI till he was snagged by Google about a year and a half ago. Because of that, it seems quite obvious that things like Android's new calendar and especially the "card view" for multitasking look very familiar (something that even Windows Phone "borrowed"). We not sure making the card-view vertical instead of horizontal is going to fool anyone though. Other things like the People App and even the camera also look heavily borrowed from Windows Phone. Heck, they even said "Putting people at the heart..." instead of "Putting People First", so yeah.

Reader Anthony submitted the following observations he noticed during the recently YouTubed Keynote:

  • Swiping between menus instead of tapping them is Metro
  • action bar is copied from wp7 (especially making it common between apps, is exactly what Metro is)
  • photo album UI looks exactly like WP7 gallery
  • contact groups is from WP7
  • people app is direct copy of wp7 people's hub
  • folder creation method (dragging two icons together to make a folder) is from iOS
  • Lock screen to camera is from WP7/iOS (which iOS copied from WP7)
  • switching reply method between email/sms/call in contact card is WP7 (Actually, webOS did that 1st -ed.)

And in general, the consensus at least from the Twitter-sphere seems to be yes, Android borrows a lot. We always said Android was pretty ugly so this at least goes a long way to addressing that though we're not convinced that it's as elegant, smooth or as unified as the Metro design language. Just see the Windows Phone version after the break for comparison...

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Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Nokia, MS, and all the other OEM's better bring their A game starting with Nokia world. The two big players keep borrowing our features and design, and we hardly have any advertising presence at all.
  • At least the Windows Phone people hub doesn't lock you into Google+. Facebook and Twitter are far more popular and the people that use them are far more active. The Android people hub is a plow to grow and save Google+.
  • actually it uses open api's, you don't need to sign into any accounts to add people
  • I find this post incredibly fanboyish.....
  • LOL, welcome to WPC.
  • It's true, here at Windows Phone Central we tend to be fans of Windows Phone.I'll allow you to sit down and take a deep breath at that revelation. Just let it sink in.Next week, we'll talk about how at Android Central, they tend to be pro-Android. Total shocker.
  • And that's why I like this site. Sarcasm where it's needed.
  • Well let's hope when Apollo comes out next year it doesn't just catch up with competition but far exceeds it to give windows phone some breathing room to sell some damn phones and distinguish itself from other OS's.
  • I'm a windows phone guy who used to use webos for good 4 months and although there was nothing wrong with the os, the lack of cpu power made me to hate it! The thing i like about this video, android 4.0 specifically, is the ability to see all the notification and decide to swipe them away like wp7 and webos, ability to app swtich and close at the same time like webos(this is something that i don't like about multitasking in mango). As for the similarity goes, i don't see any UI similarities but idea similarities is def from windows phone 7!
  • the way multitasking is working on Mango, you never actually need to close any apps manually.
  • there isn't multitasking on any mobile os other than webos. everything else is quick switch.
  • borrowed a lot from wp7 but wp7 will be left behind because of crappy marketing and no real carrier/OEM support.nobody can argue with me on that. NOBODY!
  • No real carrier? In regards to what? Android pretty much owns verizon, iPhone owned att, if anything att is wp7 official carrier.
  • I've seen Lock to Camera on Samsung Behold before it was on WP7 actually. What's with that action bar during the "live effects" demo??? It even has the 3dots!! People HUB!? Notification Swiping! And even "Android Beam" was taken from Nokia and their NFC uses. They demo that on the N9 all the time.Wow, no wonder it was called Ice-Cream Sandwich, it takes all the "flavors" from other OS' and smashes them together. And seriously? "Putting People at the Heart" ??I can't believe I used tone a fan of Android. . . . . .I'm so glad I found WP7
  • you are very misinformed or just a confused soul. I use iphone but i have to reply to your comment. Android notification swiping is original from android 1.0 and am glad ios 5 borrowed it. It is not from nokia. The android beam, people hub(though  called different names-the features) were originated by webos. Google bought a lot of patents from HP covering some of this features, i don't know which is which but am sure of it. Please feel free to verify and hit me back.
  • Not gonna lie Android stepped their game up. Windows needs to market their stuff and i mean quick because everyone is going to think Winmo 7.5 copied IOS and Android when in actuality they stole alot of ideas from Mango. Oh well i believe Nokia will blow our minds with their new phones but Winmo need to up the hardware requirements and i mean quick before they get left behind because time when they catch up to the hardware now it will be to late if they continue like this. In another thread Apollo is suppose to be coming out early next year if i believe which is much needed because no one is looking forward to Tango really.
  • You know the phrase... "theres a app for that"??Well guess what... all the things you say they have copied, have been out as apps for android for a very long time.for exampel: "Lock screen to camera is from WP7/iOS (which iOS copied from WP7)"take a look at WidgetLocker Lockscreen... you have been able to do it with that from way before anyone even knew about WP7.You guys sound just as fanatic as the iSheeps... lol."SEE me, i invented that, and that...... and that.... me sue you"
  • Apps for Android don't count as features built into the OS.And come on, it's more than obvious that Android is borrowing a lot from iOS, Windows Phone and webOS.
  • they bought patents from hp(webos) covering a lot or some these stuff and most things you listed windows borrowed from webos. They even have the guy that designed webos working for them now. Secondly these things were apps on the android app store so google borrowed from their app store not from window, just like my beloved siri used to be an app in the app store. So windows borrowed from android app store. You are a fanboy obviously.
  • The fact is that WP7 wants to reduce the need for apps. While we want our marketplace to grow, the fact remains that if you have to install something in the device, it require what? SPACE!; when your phone doesn't have much space left, what happens? DEGREDATED PERFOMANCE!; which generates what? CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS!; And may cause a consumer to do what? CONSIDER A DIFFERENT CELL MAKER/OS;From an IT perspective, what has been an issue for IT Departements for years? Drive space! We have to purchase servers with more space or SAN device with costs lots of money. Hence Skydrive, icloud, etc. which reduces the need for phones with lot of memory bacause you can simply access need items for the cloud. I could go on and on but I'll rest my case for now. GOOD DAY CHAP!!
  • wow can you say STOLEN FEATURES?
  • I find it a bit ridiculous that everyone is so up in arms over who stole what design element from who. Yes, there were a lot of WP7 designs shown in ICS, and even some iOS designs as well. Android is doing that because those designs are probably pretty good, right? I think we can all agree on that.What would you rather have, 3 or 4 separate ecosystems where no one can copy each other and you have to chose which system you're in based on what design elements/features are most important to you or a world where all the best features are in each system but with a slightly different take on each, like we're starting to see now?
  • I really didn't see much impressive in that. It still looked kind of messy to me and I'm willing to be open-minded. I love my WP7, but I recognize the value in the other two OS's. Setting a data cap and seeing your data usage would be helpful I suppose, but I'm on an unlimited data plan, so no use for me. And I spend most of my day on wifi. Also, live photo editing? Squishing someone's face? Okay. I can live without that. What is the Beam feature? Sending a stream of what's on your device to another?
  • too bad no existing Android phones will get this seeing that not all of them are even on gingerbread yet.