Watching features, and designs, get copied is standard stuff in just about any industry. It's no different for smartphones. Every company out there has been copied in some way or another, and has copied in their own right, too. In most cases we as consumers luck out, because some of these features and design cues that companies copy are good things.
That's not always the case, but it should at least be the goal.
And then there are the instances where one company copies another just . . . because. Just because they think that one feature will really take off, or that one design will catch the consumer's eye. We've already seen at least one company shamelessly rip off the design of the iPhone X for instance -- the notch and all.
And we've already seen the Honor brand take on Animoji, an Apple-specific feature that the company introduced late last year along with the TrueDepth camera system in the iPhone X. Animoji use that front-facing camera tech to track your face and then let users look like a monkey, robot, cat, or even poop to send a message.
It even turned into Animoji karaoke. It caught on like a new feature sometimes does, in a way that companies hopes it does. And then it died out. If an iPhone X owner told me that they never send an Animoji, I would not be surprised in the slightest.
I'd probably send Animoji more, but the most attention they receive is when one of my kids wants to try it out and send a message to someone. Unfortunately no one they would send that Animoji too has the ability to send one back, so a lot of the fun is lost in a one-sided conversation.
And now we've seen Samsung unveil their newest processor, the Exynos 9 Series 9810, which not only supports more advanced facial recognition for more security when unlocking your smartphone, but also apparently supports the ability to offer an Animoji-like feature. I'm very curious to see how Samsung sells that later this year. Honor went ahead and splashed Apple's Animoji on the screen when it showed off its own effort. Will Samsung do the same?
Animoji is such a weirdly Apple-specific feature that any company copying it is very blatantly copying it. (It doesn't help when you try to show off how yours compares to Apple's effort during the unveiling of your feature.) And while I like Animoji well enough, I don't think it's a feature that needs to be copied by other companies. Not everything has to be brought over from competing companies. In fact, do something else and make that the thing other companies want to copy from you.
It also just comes down to the fact that if a company like Samsung takes time to show off how their Animoji-inspired feature is "better" in some way, we can't ignore the fact that Apple's own effort is going to get better, too, later this year. That's an ugly cycle to get stuck in, especially for such a random, silly feature.
"Our Animoji are better than their Animoji!"
What do you think? If you aren't an iPhone X owner or an iOS user, are you actually looking forward to seeing Animoji-like features show up on your device(s)? Or is this one thing that you wouldn't mind seeing staying an iOS exclusive? Let me know!