Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.
Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update.
Apple is, you might say, ever so slightly hesitant to support competing platforms. It took the company years (and the promise of a greater market for the iPod) to support Windows for its massive iTunes program, and some of the more professional tools have never appeared on anything except Apple hardware. Today is a banner day, then, because Apple has released its first ever Android app. It's pretty much exactly what you were expecting.
Apple announced the Move to iOS app way back in June, but it's taken them this long to get it on the Play Store. (Maybe they had to wait for approval.) Like similar apps from a variety of manufacturers, including Microsoft, Samsung, and Motorola, the app is designed to allow you to transfer contacts, SMS history, bookmarks, photos, and account information to the company's hardware, in this case an iPhone or iPad.
OnePlus made a big deal of the camera in the OnePlus 2. There's a whole page on its website to brag about features like laser autofocus and optical image stabilization. However, some owners on the OnePlus forums have been raising concerns about whether or not the image stabilization is even enabled right now.
Full disclosure: I own an iPhone 6. It's not my daily driver (I use it for testing and design research), but when Android Wear for iOS was announced, I thought it might be fun to connect my Moto 360 to the iPhone and see what our friends using iOS might experience if they decide to pair up with an Android Wear watch.
First things first: the Android Wear app for iOS. In general the experience will seem familiar to Android users. Pair up your watch using its special name/code, then view a video going over the basics, etc. The iOS onboarding process feels a bit laborious, since - if you follow the app's guidance - you'll have to do things like venture into iOS settings to enable bluetooth, double click the home button, and go back to Wear, but it's not unbearable and in practice you can just swipe up the iOS quick settings from the bottom.
Today's leak of the Huawei Watch on Amazon referenced the fact that the device was compatible with "iOS 8.2 or higher." Normally, it might be easy to chalk up such a thing to an oversight or automatic field-fill on the merchant page.
But I'd take stock in that information: we've learned from a second, reliable source off the record that Android Wear will be receiving iOS support soon. How soon? It's possible we could see an announcement some time around IFA, which happens Sept. 4-9, though the announcement may not necessarily be at the show or even during it - it's not exactly clear.
Here's an all too familiar story: major app or service gets new feature, releases it on iOS and says it's coming soon or later ... or sometime in the future we don't really know since we just started working on it and our one Android developer is a bit overwhelmed with everything we asked him to do just now and you should be patient because we really value our Android users, cross our heart and hope to die, and we want them to have the same experience as iOS users but it's hard to give you a solid timeline, so trust us that it's coming and we're trying really hard or as hard as we can to make it look like we are, but just leave us alone for a few months and maybe then ask us about it again?
According to a source who spoke to The Verge, Google is almost ready to add iOS support to Android Wear. If the timing is a coincidence, it's a very happy one for Google. Apple is getting ready to start selling the Apple Watch to compete against Android Wear. Of course, Apple could always try to block the Wear app.
A developer has done the (almost) unthinkable: gotten an Android Wear watch to work with an Apple iPhone. More specifically, it's a Moto 360 and an iPhone 6. Maybe more surprising is that he did not need to jailbreak the iPhone to do it, even though his happens to be. It's not exactly clear how much he needed to modify the watch, but he's obviously loaded custom software onto it. Here's a proof-of-concept video:
If you don't like videos, it shows a text message rolling in on the iPhone and an alert subsequently popping up on the Moto 360. The notification on Android Wear has the appearance of a Hangouts-type alert, just with the Apple Messages icon instead.
If you haven't heard of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, usually shortened to EFF, it's sort of like the American Civil Liberties Union for the Internet and other digital issues. The non-profit organization's mission statement says that it "champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development." You'll rarely see a headline-grabbing story where tech intersects public policy that the EFF hasn't at least commented on, if not actively campaigned for or against.
So when these people say they decided to develop an app for Android and specifically not for iOS, there's probably a good reason why.