iOS 7 Control Center-like Android app draws complaints from Apple, but returns to Google Play

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Google recently pulled an app from its Play store due to its reproduction of copyrighted elements of Apple's Control Center, but the app has since returned, again giving Android users a taste of the look and feel of the feature from iOS 7.



Control Center Control Center debuted earlier in July on Google's Play Store, with some Apple fans noting its unabashed similarity to the Control Center function in Apple's iOS 7. The Android app reproduces almost completely the look, feel, and functionality of Apple's forthcoming iOS feature, and even adds the ability to customize which features should be easily accessible.

The Android version of Control Center included the same swipe-up-from-bottom gesture that activates the iOS 7 version. Once activated, the app allowed users to control their Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, display brightness, and ringer volume settings, as well as airplane mode and several others.

Apple has not taken the imitation as flattery, though, and the iPhone maker sent notice to Google that the Android Control Center app did indeed infringe on aspects of Apple's iOS software. Google subsequently pulled the Control Center app from the Play Store, informing the app's developer of the decision via an email, which is reproduced in part below:
Location_of_copyrighted_work: The application ?Control Center?, which is available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.easyandroid.hi.controls, copies, without authorization, the ?Control Center? feature of Apple?s iOS 7. Apple owns the copyright in its iOS software and each of the features thereof. The aforementioned application infringes Apple Inc.?s (?Apple?) copyright rights in the iOS 7 software.

Represented_copyright_holder: Apple Inc. (via BGR)
Since the initial version was pulled, though, the developer has posted yet another version that presumably removes whatever Apple said to be the offending material.



The functionality of Control Center, while novel for Apple's platform, is not new within the Android mobile segment. It is, in fact, similar in function to the persistent control menu available on Samsung Galaxy devices running that company's TouchWiz user interface. That feature has users swipe down from the top of the screen, whereupon they can access music, Bluetooth, screen rotation, and other controls. Samsung's version, though, is not accessible in all apps; full-screen games, for instance, do not show the pull-down bar for access. Apple's Control Center, though, appears accessible across all apps with the same swipe-up gesture.

The easy settings access Google introduced with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean also largely anticipates the functionality of Control Center, with quick access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other settings, as well as music and screen brightness control. That feature, though, also lacks the universal gesture present in Apple's implementation.

Neither the developer's discussion of the copyright notice nor the subsequent reporting on the issue have detailed what exactly Apple found sufficient to issue a takedown notice. The Android app appeared to reproduce virtually every visual aspect of Apple's Control Center, though, so the actual visual presentation of the app may be at the center of the copyright issue, as opposed to any functionality.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    gustavgustav Posts: 822member
    " the actual visual presentation of the app may be at the center of the copyright issue, as opposed to any functionality."

    I would say yes, that's that reason.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    I guess copyright ought to be renamed to copy right.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member


    AI is reporting some third-party app that most people never knew about returned to Google Play without the infringing features? I am not sure how this warranted a news article.

  • Reply 4 of 46
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    philboogie wrote: »
    I guess copyright ought to be renamed to copy right.

    Copy, right?
    negafox wrote: »
    I am not sure how this warranted a news article.

    It illustrates the age old adage: you only get away with theft if you're rich enough to buy off the government.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,370member
    wonder how ads were tied to the Android version
  • Reply 6 of 46
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    I don't think they have a copyright case at all, but what a scumbag move.  


     


     


  • Reply 7 of 46
    froodfrood Posts: 771member


    Since all of iOS7 is basically a copy of Android holo light I'd think Apple would tread carefully here.


     


    Even one of the local Apple spinners in one of his weekly rants could only come up something along the lines of 'Well it may look like Android, but its completely different because it has menus on the *bottom* instead of on the *top*'    Revolutionary.


     


    Either way who really cares, let Android users have a UI that looks similar if thats what they prefer... most of the functionality was borrowed from stock Android anyway.  I hope Google lets Apple users keep their holo UI if that's what Apple users prefer too.

  • Reply 8 of 46
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    frood wrote: »
    Since all of iOS7 is basically a copy of Android holo light I'd think Apple would tread carefully here.

    Since that's not the case, stop the FUD.
    Either way who really cares, let Android users have a UI that looks similar if thats what they prefer…

    No, sorry. That's not how it works.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    AI is reporting some third-party app that most people never knew about returned to Google Play without the infringing features? I am not sure how this warranted a news article.



    I personally found it interesting and newsworthy for a site which posts information of interest to Apple fans.  If want to debate news worthy items, why not go after mainstream news organizations for constantly posting front page articles about Justin Bieber or reality TV stars. If it does not interest you, dont read it. 

  • Reply 10 of 46
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    This developer will be hired by Samsung.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post


    Either way who really cares, let Android users have a UI that looks similar if thats what they prefer... 



     


    Looking at the download numbers it's clear that it's not what Android users prefer.


     


    I always figured this was a joke app.  I'm sure it works, but I looked at it as a "Hey, here's Apple's new control center but with more options and it's even customizable" type jab.  Android users got a chuckle and proceeded not to use it.  Hearing that the dev worked to get it back into the Play Store signals that he might actually care about the app.  I'm surprised to learn that.

  • Reply 12 of 46
    frood wrote: »
    Since all of iOS7 is basically a copy of Android holo light I'd think Apple would tread carefully here.

    Even one of the local Apple spinners in one of his weekly rants could only come up something along the lines of 'Well it may look like Android, but its completely different because it has menus on the *bottom* instead of on the *top*'    Revolutionary.

    Either way who really cares, let Android users have a UI that looks similar if thats what they prefer... most of the functionality was borrowed from stock Android anyway.  I hope Google lets Apple users keep their holo UI if that's what Apple users prefer too.

    Ah yes, this argument was expected. A variation of the "everyone copies from everyone so how dare Apple sue" argument. Apparently Google agreed with Apple in taking it down. Or did you miss that part?
  • Reply 13 of 46
    jessijessi Posts: 302member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post


    Since all of iOS7 is basically a copy of Android holo light I'd think Apple would tread carefully here.



     


    You really have to wonder about the moral depravity of people who know android is a blatant  ripoff of iOS, and rather than accept that, instead run around making asinine claims that Apple copied Android. 


     


    It's as if they think everyone else is too stupid to know which came first.  When Apple announces new features, Android adds them, and then these people claim that Android had it first and Apple is just copying them.


     


    You think we're unable to grasp the concept of time? 


     


    I wonder if maybe these people are just running around screaming that Apple is copying in the deluded thought that if they scream loud enough and long enough that *they'll* believe it themselves?


     


    Either way... just because google has gotten away with this theft so far doesn't make it right.  You can't tell us asinine lies to try and pretend like it's ok.


     


    It just makes you look bad.   We're not going to forget the history of who came up with what first.

  • Reply 14 of 46
    The Android app is garbage. It provides less features than what is currently stock on Android, its less customizable, and swiping up from the bottom conflicts with Google Now.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    danv2danv2 Posts: 29member
    Android Holo Light looks like trash compared to iOS 7. It lacks parallax, it lacks color, and most of all it lacks 100% of the feel of iOS 7. There may have been some feature lift in the past on the Notification Center, but that's really all I have ever seen Apple "borrow" from Android. As a point of fact, Notification Center was a jailbreak hack that Apple officially implemented even.

    That being said, that was in the Forstall era. This is the Ive era. The new Notification Center is a complete departure from the old one, and much better than any of stock trash on Android.
  • Reply 16 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jessi View Post


     


    You really have to wonder about the moral depravity of people who know android is a blatant  ripoff of iOS, and rather than accept that, instead run around making asinine claims that Apple copied Android. 


     


    It's as if they think everyone else is too stupid to know which came first.  When Apple announces new features, Android adds them, and then these people claim that Android had it first and Apple is just copying them.


     


    You think we're unable to grasp the concept of time? 


     


    I wonder if maybe these people are just running around screaming that Apple is copying in the deluded thought that if they scream loud enough and long enough that *they'll* believe it themselves?


     


    Either way... just because google has gotten away with this theft so far doesn't make it right.  You can't tell us asinine lies to try and pretend like it's ok.


     


    It just makes you look bad.   We're not going to forget the history of who came up with what first.



    Well since you bring it up. Please explain to me how android is a blatant rip off of iOS. I still have yet to hear any evidence just rants. And also what feature did apple announced first that google then placed into android that android fans say was in android first. Please if you are going to make wild claims back them up. 


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by danv2 View Post



    Android Holo Light looks like trash compared to iOS 7. It lacks parallax, it lacks color, and most of all it lacks 100% of the feel of iOS 7. There may have been some feature lift in the past on the Notification Center, but that's really all I have ever seen Apple "borrow" from Android. As a point of fact, Notification Center was a jailbreak hack that Apple officially implemented even.



    That being said, that was in the Forstall era. This is the Ive era. The new Notification Center is a complete departure from the old one, and much better than any of stock trash on Android.


     


    iOS 7 looks like crap. It does not have scrolling wallpapers or widgets and it lacks 100% of the feel of android... See how using the same idiotic rationality will also make iOS 7 look bad when comparing to android if you subscribe to a way of thinking then you must accept that counter arguments using the same logic as true as well.. Have you used the notification center on android 4.1, it is miles ahead of Apple's iOS. Android notifications are expandable, Actionable.

  • Reply 17 of 46
    rjc999rjc999 Posts: 69member


    Jessi, The history of who came up with the quick-settings overlay is Android had it first. Period. Fact. End of Story. In fact, they had it in two different ways: A persistent homescreen widget, and a pull-down.  Way before iOS7, and before iOS6 even. The homescreen "Power Control" widget, all the way back to Android Gingerbread, allowed you to change brightness, wifi, gps, sync settings, and bluetooth with one touch. The pull-down was added for Jellybean.


     


    Anyway, why do people care if a third party app down by some individual made something that looks like iOS, but no one cares about thousands and thousands of web sites that were designed to try and look like OSX or iOS? There are lots of mobile web apps which try to mimic iOS, but there's no outrage for that, but yet people are pissed off about someone doing it for Android?


     


    This is precisely why the "installable app model, centrally controlled app-store" model is wrong and why the web is great, because no censorship can stop developers from doing whatever the hell they want with their HTML/CSS/JS/etc, but on mobile devices, you've got lawyers sending takedown notices to appstores for silliness like this. 


     


    Why are Apple fans so obsessed over absolute control? Enjoy your phone. If some guy makes an Android skin (because Android is fairly open and can be customized to look like anything) that makes it look like iOS, you should be flattered, not cheerleading for lawyers. If lawyers started suing Apple for slavishly copying features, or if some submarine patents showed up, ya'll be crying about a busted legal system.


     


    The real story here is Google is started to behave like Apple in terms of controlling the App Store, which IMHO, is against their core Web philosophy. The Web is decentralized, federated, no one controls who can publish content. Turning mobile devices into portable game consoles in terms of publishing control is a massive regression backwards from 3 decades of evolution in computing. We've dealt with this crap for a long time with MPAA/RIAA/GEMA and onerous copyright assertions over fair use, derivative works, etc,  and now we see it come to computing.


     


    Everything is a Remix.

  • Reply 18 of 46
    cyniccynic Posts: 124member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post


    Since all of iOS7 is basically a copy of Android holo light I'd think Apple would tread carefully here.


     


    Even one of the local Apple spinners in one of his weekly rants could only come up something along the lines of 'Well it may look like Android, but its completely different because it has menus on the *bottom* instead of on the *top*'    Revolutionary.


     


    Either way who really cares, let Android users have a UI that looks similar if thats what they prefer... most of the functionality was borrowed from stock Android anyway.  I hope Google lets Apple users keep their holo UI if that's what Apple users prefer too.



     


    If you really believe that iOS 7 looks and feels anything like Holo, which frankly, reminds me of user interfaces in the 90s, you're not using it.


     


    I'm finding this quite funny, it will be interesting to see how many downloads this gets, especially considering how Android fans keep on talking down the iOS 7 makeover. ;-)

  • Reply 19 of 46
    rjc999rjc999 Posts: 69member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cynic View Post


     


    If you really believe that iOS 7 looks and feels anything like Holo, which frankly, reminds me of user interfaces in the 90s, you're not using it.


     


    I'm finding this quite funny, it will be interesting to see how many downloads this gets, especially considering how Android fans keep on talking down the iOS 7 makeover. ;-)



     


    Chances are, it'll get more downloads now from controversy than if AI hadn't linked it. The store is awash in add-ons like this, and it would normally lost in a thicket.

  • Reply 20 of 46
    glennqglennq Posts: 5member
    IOS control centre is WAY better than anything android has ever come up with. I mean come on. goggle obviously had someone on the inside to get there control centre copy out like a month before apple launched it. only an idiot would use that CRAPPER of an os.

    ANDROID copied everything from apple and the new ios RULES.
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