Pictures. If there is one thing we love to share on the internet, it's images.

And I think that's because it's kind of difficult to communicate what we see in life without them - you need that visual aid. Printing or developing photos is time-consuming and inconvenient, and so when digital cameras began to catch on in a big way, right around the same time as broadband internet, people went absolutely mad sharing photos on the web. It was two technologies coming together at the perfect moment. It was a leap forward.

Since then, digital photography has gone from being a disruptive force to the norm. And sharing pictures has gone from cables and uploads and minutes of waiting to instant, unwired gratification, thanks to smartphones and their mobile data connections. Sharing what we see has never been easier than it is now. We share so many photos Facebook has a crisis on its hands trying to keep them all sorted.

But even though the volume of things we share has increased dramatically, the things themselves are largely the same as they've always been. Images look better than they did 10 years ago (a lot better - especially on phones), and we can share those images more quickly and easily than ever before, but they still communicate the same basic information. Be it a place, a person, or a moment in time. In fact, if you think about it, aside from the storage medium and advances in quality, photographs are pretty much the same as they were over a hundred years ago: flat, two-dimensional images. Sure, panorama has taken us a little further, but really, those photos are sort of a pain to look at. And 3D pictures? Maybe someday - when we get those Star Wars-style holograms, perhaps.

But in the here and now, Google has done something truly amazing with photos. And they've done it using nothing but some fancy algorithms and a regular, run-of-the-mill smartphone camera. It's called Photo Sphere.

nexusae0_Screenshot_2012-10-31-14-44-59 nexusae0_Screenshot_2012-10-31-14-45-52


You've probably already got a good idea of what it is, and if you don't, you can download it here (it may not work very well, depending on your device). If you want an example of a Photo Sphere image, here's one from our own Liam Spradlin on Google+. Or check out this awesome one from the Nexus team in Times Square.

Granted, images like this have existed for years. But they required special software, a lot of effort, patience, time, and proprietary viewer plugins to even look at them. You couldn't just go out and make a 360 degree picture and share it with all your friends. Photo Sphere changes that.

Make no mistake, Photo Sphere is a leap forward: it gives regular people an amazing new way to share their world. It's like taking a glimpse through the eyes of the photographer, like being there - truly capturing a moment and place. It gives you a sense of depth, scale, and presence that a traditional photograph simply can't. And we probably have Google's Street View project to thank for making it all possible.

Think of it kind of like the electric car - it existed decades ago, but until recently, wasn't really practical outside a few, limited applications, or as an expensive novelty. Photo Sphere is sort of the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Model S of 360 degree photos: it's bringing a previously inaccessible technology to people in a form they can live with every day. It isn't perfect, but it's without a doubt the first product of its kind that's ready for consumers. We can only move forward from here.

And Google, being Google, has made the format of these Photo Sphere images totally open. They're compiled using XML metadata embedded in each Photo Sphere, and encoded as giant JPEG files. Anyone could, in theory, build a Photo Sphere viewer. Currently, you can only see them in Google+ and Google Maps, but I have no doubt Google is working on an API, or will be soon (that's kind of a given with Google - I hope).

I truly believe this is the greatest advancement we've seen in photography since that first "digital revolution." This is big. This is important. It changes the way we share with people, with what we are able to show them, and it does so using a tool in the pocket of half of all Americans, and hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Imagine someone being able to share a 360 degree image of a war zone, which would then makes it way to the newswire. Or the interior of a beautiful cathedral. Imagine being able to capture the day of your child's birth, in a way that every time you looked at it, could take you back to that place in a way no other picture - or even a video - could. That's something incredible. That's a leap forward. And you can share them in an instant - for now, via Google + or Maps, but in the future, who knows how fast and far this could spread.

Maybe I'm just waxing poetic here, and maybe this won't end up being that important at all - some other technological breakthrough in imagery could utterly overshadow it. But sometimes, there are those things that come along and really do change our lives, even if it's just in some small way. I think this is one of them.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.WonhoPhoto.com/ Frank Lee

    I am very excited about this. This is definitely a big jump from the regular old panorama.
    What I like the most is, how it is being presented; just like Google's street view.

    • LewisSD

      Very Excite!

  • Jacob Pope

    This is incredible, I can't wait for more viewers to built, so I can share on places other then Google+. I'm already working on a photo sphere(s) of our office so we can use them on our site.

  • http://papped.webatu.com papped

    While it's cool, I don't think a large portion of the shots that people take are going to benefit from this...

    They'll try to use it for the sake of using it. In reality it's stuff like crappy Instagram filters that have a much more realistic impact on general purpose photography.

  • numpty

    Zzz. Panoramic photos are a gimmick, always have been. They're fun once in a while, but the amount of distortion, the limited ways in which you can view them and the inability to print them in any meaningful way makes them pretty useless for most purposes. I see nothing about Photo Sphere to change that.

    • Jacob Pope

      Yea, Street View is useless and I never see prints of Panoramas. /s

    • Julio M

      Hmm. I see your point. /s

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      How is a digital photo medium's worth contingent on its ability to be printed? I'm curious about this point because it's clear that Photo Spheres are meant to be created and viewed digitally, and doing so is easier than ever.

      • jacob

        don't worry about him, he's still coping with the advent of the digital camera

  • http://twitter.com/scabbard1 Dennis Moore

    I believe Microsoft has had a very similar tech for a while called photosynth

    • CordellCollins

      It is similar but like the article says it is time consuming, and takes patience. Android makes it easy and fast as it is all on your device and you can view them on google+ as you would a street view

    • marcusmaximus04

      sorta, but photosynth requires a plug-in to view it and users have to stitch together photos later on an internet-connected computer rather than being able to just have the phone camera directly make them

      • Dan Helyar

        I don't have an iOS device to test on, but the iTunes page suggests it has On Device Processing? https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photosynth/id430065256?mt=8 Maybe it's been updated?

        • http://twitter.com/marktchilds Mark Childs

          It does have on device processing, it joins the photos as you pan and capture, just like photosphere.

      • Mike

        I'm not sure where you got the idea photosynth needs internet connection to stitch the photos together, but you're wrong. I just used it in airplane mode.

  • adi19956

    They need to put out some adverts, all these new devices and software is great, if people know about it

  • jamaall

    1 year later - Apple would like to introduce to you the revolutionary iSphere. The biggest thing to happen to pictures, since pictures.

    • asianrage

      I hate you, because you are right.

      • jamaall

        I love it. Apple is the follower now

        • Guest


          • fyr

            and Apple will try and sue.

          • jamaall

            I will patent the name iSphere and I will sue apple when they use that in one (or two) years :)

          • randomchars

            You can't patent names.

          • jamaall

            Sorry i wrote trademark at first then changed it. You get the point though. Apple parents/trademarks everything

          • Casen Brashear

            Trade Mark it.

          • http://twitter.com/philipleaper Phil Leaper

            got to be iBall, no?

      • Nicholas Loomans

        He;s wrong, it'll take them 2 years to get to it. They need to finish readin up on that newfangled NFC first.

        • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

          not to mention, once another company does something and advertises it, apple prefers not to include it for a number of years so it doesn't look like they're following, and they're just rolling out features on a different schedule

        • Isisescul

          It's gonna be iNFC. And they will have a patent. Or sue someone for it.

          • lasertrex

            A friend of mine showed me an apple app called 360 which makes sphotosphere like pictures. I was sad knowing he made such pictures before i did....

    • http://fnords.org/ Markoff Chaney

      Actually, Microsoft had this 4 years ago with Photosynth, and now Android fans are praising Google for inventing it.

      • jamaall

        Yea we know already. But what you dont realize is that google has had this for a long time. They use it for street view. Also, as others had said photosynth requires online processing and is not user friendly. While I'm not sure exactly who invented this, us android fans aren't praising google for inventing it. We are praising them for including this as a cool new feature in stock jelly bean.

        • Williams Alexander Aguilar

          Agree with you Jamaall... many things (technologies, products, etc) have been around for a LOOOONNNGGGG time. What is impressive is that you can actually have it available at the palm of your hands.

      • Citizen1985

        Haven't tried photosphere yet, but the gf has Photosynth on her iPhone and it's... eh. She's probably used it all of 3-4 times, and the images are quickly skipped over for traditional ones. Hopefully photosphere is a much more pleasurable and valuable experience.

        • GlennStile

          It is.. I've been playing with photosphere on my sgs3 and its amazing..everyone I've show it too literally goes WOW! and seeing the pictures from new york after Sandy, its just another level of immersion

          • Matthew Fry

            Yeah but is it a lasting wow? Or is it a: that's a cool concept, but I'm happy taking normal pictures that don't require me to stand in the same spot for a full minute especially since what I'm trying to photograph is directly in front of me, wow.

          • GlennStile

            I've been out this afternoon with a few customers and whilst I was working I've let them have a play with the photosphere feature, 2 are now planning to buy the Nexus 4, I guess that's a substantial WOW

    • btod

      Google needs a better marketing team. They came out with so much great stuff but no one knows about it. Apple is the master of this. They give you the illusion of creating/revolutionizing something when they are in fact the last ones to do it. Panorama, LTE, bigger screen, Dual core, the list goes on...

      • G_Ret

        I disagree, I like that Google doesn't glorify everything and market it intensely. I mean, they would definitely see an increase in profits but they're better than that.

        • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

          They're better than making profits? You're right, what kind of a business are they?!

          • Andrew

            They're humble. It's one of their most admirable qualities as a company.

          • Hgaara

            Haha sorry man but that's ****ing stupid. Google is not humble. Far from it. And as a muli-billion dollar company with investors, they're in the business of making profits.

        • fadilkarim

          You might like the fact that they don't make a big deal about everything, but that's not good for a company that's trying to compete with Apple who glorifies literally every single aspect of their phone. I want Google to start marketing and destroyApple

      • Bajey

        They could do it with the help of GS4

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas-Snowdeal/627272243 Nicholas Snowdeal

      Once Apple figures this out and steals the glory from android they will be suing Google saying they made it first.

    • H3xTo

      And it'll be Google's fault for not advertising it like Apple does. Like panorama or Google Voice, this won't get notoriety until Apple makes it "theirs" like they always do. Can't say that I blame them, its made them billions while Google let's it happen

  • Philip John Cervero

    im gonna use this on every street here in Manila(Philippines) upload it to google maps so to make google's job easy because I love google.

    • Jose Marie Maquinay

      I agree, we need to have more pics of the Philippines. Mabuhay kabayan!

    • LewisSD

      I feel the same way. Google now has an army of street view enthusiasts that will contribute to maps

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=797830564 Michael Ward

      What's great for me is I can now take a photo sphere of my new home and share it with distant relatives. So awesome!

    • Andrea Rossi

      We don't have Street View in Luxembourg, so I think I'll do the same work all over the streets, maybe with a task force of fellow Letzebuergers! :D

  • tylerwatt12

    awesome, I've been wanting a program like Photosynth offline.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    It's worth noting that the Microsoft Photosynth (http://photosynth.net/) app on iOS does the same thing as this; however, this concept will probably become more mainstream with Android since Photo Sphere will be a stock camera feature. But anyway, I'm still excited for Jelly Bean 4.2 and I can't wait till I get the upgrade!

    • http://beaugil.es BeauGiles

      Exactly, and you can even view it on other devices using HTML5, no "proprietary viewer plugins to even look at them". Yawn.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        Using a browser to go to a URL where Microsoft keeps the picture in a proprietary format. Yeah, that's open. I can literally take a Photo Sphere JPEG file and share it with somebody - it's mine, created on my Android device. They can then open it in Google+. And most likely, eventually, the Chrome browser itself. I don't disagree Microsoft got the tech out first, but Google's the one doing this right.

      • Julio M

        I have the feeling you were being sarcastic.

    • Julio M

      Not only does it require online processing, it is not a smooth out result. It is just collection of photos take in a particular area view from given points. While it's very cool too, I don't think it fully serves the same panoramic category as this.

      • Mike

        It doesn't require online processing, I'm not sure where you guys are getting this.

        • Julio M

          You are right! My bad.

  • Dany

    I definitely agree with this but I'm just gonna go ahed and drop here something that burtst into my mind when reading the final paragraphes:

    Imagine the power of this *combined* with the Lytro camera tech? Like... a peripherical view of the landscape from every point in said landscape. wow.

    • Julio M

      hmm.. uhh. How would that work? I think Lytros focus on focus (totally intended) but isn't it all from the same angle and point of view?

      • Jordan Pt

        Lytro's cameras capture the entire light field of a shot. This actually provides three-dimensional info that is then used to allow dynamic focusing, but this can also be used to create 3D photos. Making a Photo Sphere with Light Field tech would be the ultimate immersive tech, allowing dynamic focusing and immersive 3D in a 360 degree environment.

        But Yes, that wouldn't allow you to look at something from a different angel.

  • Disqus Sucks

    If this is going to change your life, then you really need to get out more.

    It's a gimmick, and will be until you can view them as easily as a jpg. No extra viewers. Even then, it'll be basically a gimmick.

    • marcusmaximus04

      everything that's remotely new or interesting is a gimmick. The word has lost all meaning, largely due to people like you.

    • GraveUypo

      thank you.
      god. like everyone will take the time to cover a 360 degree field multiple times taking snapshots just to build a photo. panoramas enough of a pain in the ass. you want to "capture the moment like you were there" go buy yourself a gopro hero or some other action camera. that's what i did. and it's awesome

  • eazyean1

    How can I get this on my gnex

  • Androidium

    I sense a fellow car geek in you, David, as you referencing specific cars to emphasise a point on multiple occasions, was not left unnoticed ;)
    More to the point though - photo sphere is definitely impressive, however I fear that the actual photo taking might be sort of a fussy task and end up in "meh, not worth it" bin.

  • mattdonders

    I love it so far - I can't wait to use it outside and share my photos all over the place. I am a huge, huge fan of phone photography. The ability to take pictures anywhere at any time is amazingly powerful.

  • Derrick Hodges

    Apple is applying for a patent as we speak. They'll be suing Google by the end of next week! Ha!

  • Jorge Murphy

    I hate to bust everyone's bubble but Microsoft has had this tech for many years, and is an exclusive technology to Windows Phone. Not to say this isn't cool for Android users, but don't go saying Apple is copying this when Google is copying it from Windows Phone. It's called Photosynth and I use it all the time and yes anyone can view my photos no special app or website is needed to view them. http://photosynth.net/

    • Dan Helyar
    • Dan Treacy

      No special app needed huh? I just tried to look at your link and was prompted to install Silverlight...

      • fixxmyhead

        so just install it. whats so bad about silverlight

        • Colton Walker

          It doesn't work on anything but Windows and Windows Phone, thats what's bad about it.

          • fixxmyhead

            good enough for the 90% out there.

        • Jordan Pt

          How about the fact that nobody but Microsoft and Netflix uses it, it's barely supported on linux, and it runs worse then flash. Plus it's a proprietary format.

          Photo Sphere works in any HTML5 compliant browser(basically every platform under the sun), loads fast, works smoothly, and uses a completely open and non-proprietary format. Meaning you don't have to go to one place to view the images.

          • fixxmyhead

            well i barely use my laptop and windows 7 is good enough for me and i do have netlflix so yea i guess i dont mind it

      • storm14k

        And that's why nobody knows about it. Nobody uses Silverlight. And MS knows it so they basically killed it for HTML 5.

  • IncCo

    Hate to be the realist here, but i seriously doubt that this will "take off" in any big way. I guess time will tell...

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Topperfalkon Topperfalkon

    Looks pretty cool. I've taken a few panorama shots with my One X. If we get this when HTC eventually brings out 4.2 I'm sure I can make use of it.

  • Robert Hicks

    I've been playing around with it and have only been able to take a couple of shots. The app likes to crash on AOKP JB M1 on my SGS3. When it does the phone has to be rebooted before the app can connect to the camera hardware again. From what I have seen this is going to be a incredible app. I just hope Google gets a patent on it before Apple "invents" the technology two years from now.

  • DoubleP90

    Google... patent it!!!!

  • Milind

    It's a gimmick that will be tried by everyone when they get the OS and quickly forgotten. This is a very small upgrade, possibly the smallest ever after the 2.0->2.1 and that's fine. Nothing wrong in a upgrade that just polishes things up. 4.0 and 4.1 were blockbuster updates. But let's not go all Apple over hyping something that is not really solving any major problem or enhancing a critical user experience. The multi user login on tablets, while also of limited appeal is possibly the most notable update in 4.2

    • storm14k

      Gotta disagree. This puts street view in the hands of ordinary people. Inside of your business hasn't been photoed for street view? Do it yourself. Leasing apartments and need 360 views? Make them yourself for less. Want a complete shot of your wedding chapel and reception....

      Time to start talking up the wonderful features of Android. If this was on iPhone we'd still be flooded by articles talking about it uses or how it saved the life of some grandmother and other "heart touching" stories.

  • paddington dube


  • http://natefanaro.com/ Anonymous

    I won't say that Apple came up with this first, but they did create QuickTime VR back in

  • ranova

    eh, tried it, and it turned out to be a mess. stitching was horrible.

    maybe its better outside when theres even lighting

  • William Pickering

    I used to have an app called (in typical android style) droid...something. It made these sphere pictures, though not nearly as well.

  • LewisSD

    FYI the dxa port of the camera and gallery app doesn't just work on the G Nexus. I flashed it on my SGS3 running CM10 and it works great!!

  • Matti

    Meh, spheres are lame, man. Nothing beats the good il 10.5mm fisheye lens for that trippy dramatic effect... and no, software processing doesn't quite compare to results shot directly with a lens.

  • GazaIan

    I won't lie, I'm totally amazed by photo sphere, but disappointed by the camera app itself. There seems to be a lot of missing features that we had in 4.1, like Macro focus for one, and all the other cool shit. Still, the Photo Sphere is pretty damn impressive, and I'm glad Google is trying to stay one step ahead.

    And this, is why competition is awesome :)

  • DavidB23

    Its neat; its not revolutionary. Everyone will try it once and get bored with it like panarama. Plus the need to go to google+ to see it is going to significantly hinder its use. Google+ is a wasteland.

    • TheWhiteLotus

      1. Google+ is not a wasteland
      2. You can see them anywhere, including Google Maps, email, and other apps that want to display them
      3. It is revolutionary
      4. Stop trolololing

      • DavidB23

        1. You are in denial
        2. Anywhere? How then do you suggest I send one to a non JB user if they dont use Google+?
        3. Its a neat trick; its hardly revolutionary.
        4. Are you 12 years old?

        • David Kerkes

          1. You should join Google + and add me. I'll send you some circles you'll like and probably lose yourself for hours reading and commenting.
          2. You send them the link to the Google+ page. They don't need to be a member to view it as long as the picture is set to Public.
          3. It will be revolutionary for some people. Imagine being a realtor that can Photosphere entire homes etc.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/Topperfalkon Topperfalkon

            With regards to 3, even more importantly Google are providing the viewer code, so it can be embedded directly on estate agents' websites.

  • Aleksey_US

    Even though Sphere is awesome I'd like them not to forget to add simpler and maybe more useful things like taking multiple pictures of a bunch of people and picking the best faces/removing images in the background etc... similar to what that one company showed off at CES 2012 (forget the name) and I believe Nokia bought them and is adding it to their WP8 devices...

  • cy_n_ic

    Ok now i can view photo spheres on my evo lte. These are cool. I wasnt excited till i started viewing some i took at work. Its like panorama but more betterer!

  • Gav456

    Best thing about PhotoSphere: it's actually a lot faster, smoother and more intuitive than you may have thought - it just works.

  • andy gowrley

    I think the best remark was from the person who commented how they would make loads of images Manila a city poorly catered for on Google maps at present.
    Microsoft or someone else may have made a version which created a similar image but what apart from putting in a gallery can you do with them? If people start uploading shops and public buildings plus areas poorly served by street view at present Google maps is going to be taken to another level.
    Even the smallest villages, places of interest or resorts in remote areas of both the world and their country can put themselves literally on the map...

  • Imran

    think in this as an option in galaxy camera

  • Andrew

    I think you're massively overestimating the importance of this feature. Yes, it's cool, but it isn't all that incredible. This is coming from a guy who's spent a considerable amount of time and effort doing the real thing with real cameras (like this http://goo.gl/NOL1t), so - believe me - I appreciate this type of image. It's a great feature to have on a phone, but you're talking about it like it's the single greatest thing to ever happen to smart phones, and it really isn't.

  • Guest

    Photosphere is nothing new, I have been using this on non Android devices for years http://www.ted.com/talks/blaise_aguera_y_arcas_demos_photosynth.html

  • http://twitter.com/marktchilds Mark Childs

    I'm looking forward to 4.2, but PhotoSphere is nothing new. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p16frKJLVi0

  • Fanatic

    "That's something incredible."

    *imagines creepy guy standing in operating theatre clicking tons of pictures around him with his phone while his wife is screaming in pain being attended to by 5 people at once* ...umm..in that particular case, not really.

    In general, yes it's pretty big.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    I dont think this is really all that useful as a feature to the phone (Ive only used the panorama feature twice) but I could see it being a stepping stone to "crowd sourcing" street view. Right now you can "report a problem" and add/move businesses/addresses on the map. Maybe in the near future you could do the same with Street View. If it is outdated you could submit new pictures to update it.

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    works great on htc one x.

  • Danny Holyoake

    I hope AndroidPolice realises that photospheres are nothing new. In fact, iOS has had this for years thanks to Microsoft's own mobile app.

  • Dips

    Why can't we just discuss Android here? Even the first post has to refer to Apple. Sad.

    • jamaall

      I'm not sure what else there is to discuss. David told us everything we need to know :)

  • mechapathy

    Photo Sphere might be a really cool feature, but "Android's greatest feature yet?" I'd give that award to Google Now. It has the ability to completely change the way we use our devices. It takes Android from what is basically a dumb pipe for apps and information to an intelligent platform that is aware of what you do and delivers relevant information without a request. That's huge!
    Finally our devices can actively assist us. It's like having someone around to constantly give you information you care about. "Hey, you should leave soon if you want to make that flight. Hey, just so you know, that Nexus 4 you ordered is on the truck for delivery today. Hey, you biked 30 miles more this month than the last. Good job! Also, your football team got crushed Sunday, and it's gonna snow today."
    I really can't think of a bigger step forward in terms of daily use than that.

  • louis_g

    First, it's cool to see this stuff showing up on Android, but no one should claim that there is any innovation here.What crack is the author smoking when he says "but it's without a doubt the first product of its kind that's ready for consumers"? EXACTLY this technology has been available on Windows, and iOS for years.

    Second, most of the comments about Photosynth here are wrong. Most importantly it does all the processing on the phone (no web service required) and second it has a great HTML5 and in app viewer (no Silverlight required).

    It's actually quite hard to find anything in this technology that isn't copied exactly from Microsoft.

    The panorama capture UI - check - copied exactly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-ZkGVkFEx3o#t=153s

    The "inside of the scene." - check - copied exactly - http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=33c08c5d-e9c8-40d4-92ef-d6ce6816a0fa

    Crowd source and upload to maps - check - http://blog.gigwalk.com/post/6879057954/gigwalk-tips-capturing-panoramas

    Embedding panorama metadata "in the image" - yep it's copied -http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/TagNames/Microsoft.html

    HTML5 viewer - Microsoft's is better (even was Bing background a few days ago):http://blogs.msdn.com/b/photosynth/archive/2012/10/26/bing-s-pano-bling.aspx

    To see where this tech is going take a look at Microsoft labs (you know Google is):http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/hdview/

  • Mr. Yolo

    no offence, but panorama in ios 6 is alot better quality like no frames around the photos. Correct me if they are two totally different things.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Topperfalkon Topperfalkon

      What frames?

  • iPlaylist Creator

    I don't want to burst anyone's happy bubble. I know everyone here just loves to bash Apple and praise Google and it's ingenuity, but the app 360 Panorama by Occipital for iOS has been on the AppStore since July 2010! It does exactly what this article is claiming as "Android's greatest feature yet".

    So where would we really be in phone technology if Apple had not taken the step to push touchscreen technology on a phone or to create a place where you could buy third party apps for your phone. Let's not be so quick to bash an innovator, they do a great service by opening our eyes to possibilities. What I have noticed is often times those innovators get left behind because they could not get past the smugness of their own invention. Apple is starting to experience this as they are stuck in a rut and can't think outside the box. I actually believe they started the AppStore to get ideas from developers so they could steel those ideas for later updates into their iOS. I should know as my App idea was incorporated into iOS 4.0 without as much as a sorry! Now they are implementing ideas that have already been put into other phones, they are playing catch up and they know it.

    You wouldn't kick a person when they're down on the ground, so why bash Apple?