Re: They haven't since about 2007 (@AC)
"The GPU claim is just a property of being newer - is Windows RT better than Linux, because it was written in a time when GPUs can be assumed? No. Newer OSs that come out will in turn be able to assume things that IOS could not, but that doesn't automatically make them better, let alone an argument for being revolutionary."
Revolutionary is a straw man. Nobody here has said revolutionary.
Launching when GPUs had become cheap enough is part of what allowed Apple to be first to commercialise the direct manipulation metaphor. The direct manipulation metaphor is a huge advance because it removes one more abstraction. If I want to scroll the web content, I just push it around with my finger, in any direction I like.
Compare and contrast with having mentally to link the position of the content to two individual sliders, and being able to scroll on one axis at a time only. You think nothing of it because you're a long-time computer user. Most of the world isn't.
So, yes, being able to design around having a GPU on hand is part of what allowed Apple to advance the state of the art (though, again, by _commercialising_ an idea, not by inventing it).
I maintain that direct manipulation is a huge advance and is one of the reasons Android now rules the roost.
"I found touchscreen Symbian perfectly fine compared to anything else of the time,"
That's very difficult to believe. I was given an N8 for free by Nokia as part of a developer relations effort. So that's nearly the final touch-screen Symbian phone. To pick one fault at random, from the limited set I recall at this distance: because Symbian was designed around the screen area being known and constant, most applications couldn't deal with a virtual keyboard that would, effectively, dynamically change the screen area — so Nokia hacked around that by implementing a system whereby tapping on a text field would take you to a completely separate screen, without any context, where text could be entered and then submitted back to the original text box, returning you to where you previously were.
I saw that in several places, without installing a jot of third-party software.
"If multitouch is the revolution you claim, then how come the complaint today Apple fans make of Android is that the phones are too big to use one handed - how do you use multitouch one handed?"
I can't actually answer for every Apple fan you've ever heard say something on the internet, but I would assume it's about options. Use it with a single thumb or multitouch it. While my personal preference smaller phones, the market has spoken fairly clearly: the 5–6" Android phones are where the action is. I guess it's all about hand size too, even in the opposite direction: a lot of people already can't reach the entire iPhone screen with a single hand so what advantage is a 4" screen to them?
"Your comments about what Nokia couldn't do with development tools also make no sense - they switched to Qt, one of the best toolkits I've used, and development was as good as Android's for the time (some things were not as good, but some things were better)."
You're rose tinting. Nokia was in the process of developing and trying to push QT Quick because full-fat QT was considered too much hassle on a handset. Even then, we had a thirty-minute presentation on how 'easy' it was to create a push button. Apparently all you need to do is create a graphic of the button, create a depressed graphic, add a touch sensitive area, position it exactly over the graphic, then catch the appropriate finger up/down callbacks and push appropriate messages to show and hide your two graphics.
Android and iOS, of course, just have built-in classes for buttons.
"As for AT&T, if they offered unlimited data to the minority of Apple users and not others, that's not something to praise."
AT&T went from — in line with the rest of the industry — not offering unlimited data to anyone, to offering it to some people. That's not something to praise?