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Think the Galaxy S6’s hardware rips off the iPhone? Take a look at its software

March 5th, 2015 at 3:45 PM
galaxy s6 iphone copy

From a hardware perspective, there’s been a lot of talk regarding how the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S6 borrows a lot of design inspiration from the iPhone 6. Indeed, it’s hard to look at the two devices side by side and not see a number of striking similarities between the two.

And, truth be told, that’s quite all right. Apple, after all, shouldn’t be the only company on the planet allowed to make thinner smartphones with advanced and sturdier materials. Further, it’s not as if Apple itself is shy about lifting design cues from smartphones that it itself deems to be inspiring. But where Samsung runs into foul territory with the S6 is software.

Related: Watch Samsung Pay in action on the Galaxy S6 edge

While there’s only so much one can do with the hardware design of a smartphone, software affords designers endless avenues for creativity and originality. Unfortunately, some of the software cues we’ve seen on the S6 seem to indicate that the copying spirit at Samsung is alive and well.

Below are two quick examples.

First off, we have the setup screen for Samsung’s fingerprint reader. While there’s nothing wrong with Samsung incorporating a fingerprint reader onto the S6, the design Samsung opted for during the setup process is a blatant ripoff of the iPhone.

In order to get the iPhone to recognize a new fingerprint, users must tap on the iPhone home button repeatedly. With each successive tap, an animated photo of a fingerprint grows in size as to indicate that the iPhone is successfully gathering more information about the print.

Upon completion, it looks something like this.

Now, let’s take a look at Samsung’s design [Photo via Dom Esposito]

That certainly looks familiar.

What’s more, Samsung incorporated the design cue of an ever-growing fingerprint photo to indicate a successful read, as the video below from Phandroid clearly demonstrates.

Almost comically, the narrator exclaims at one point, “it’s almost exactly how they did it on the Apple iPhone.”

Now one can make valid arguments as to how Apple shouldn’t be able to patent rounded corners and the like, but come on, Samsung could have come up with any number of ways to configure its fingerprint setup process. Alas, they chose the easy route and just copied a scheme Apple introduced way back in September of 2013 when it unveiled the iPhone 5s.

But wait, there’s more!

Cult of Mac directs us to a photo of the stock keyboard on the S6.

Look familiar? It certainly will for iPhone and iPad users.

Here’s what the default keyboard in iOS 8 looks like.

Now all that said, there’s no denying that the Galaxy S6 may very well be the best Android phone we’ve seen yet. Still, it’d be nice to see Samsung completely wring itself free from its seeming reliance upon Apple design.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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