Apple Desperately Copies Google's 2008 Features but Passes on Innovation

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last week, Eddy Cue, Apple's (AAPL) senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said at the widely followed Code conference to expect the most impressive product pipeline that he has seen in his quarter-century Apple career. Given the iPhone, iTunes, iPod, iPad and Apple TV in the last 13 years alone, that's setting expectations high.

A quarter century. The biggest thing ever. Cue may as well have said the new product pipeline was the moment when "the rise of the oceans begun to slow, and our planet begun to heal."

Apple's annual developer keynote fell well short of these lofty expectations. Instead, Apple focused on plugging a bunch of feature gaps that Google GOOGL product users have been enjoying for the last 2-8 years. Let's take a look at Apple's greatest hits, Summer 2014:

1. Telephone and SMS on the Mac.

You'll now be able to answer the phone and type SMS on your Mac. Charming. Also, I have been doing this using Google Voice since George W. Bush was president. It's so long ago now that I feel I'm a completely different person. Was it seven years ago? Welcome to the party, Apple.

Actually, I've had these Google Voice features on my Mac since Bush was president. I don't need to buy a Google PC to use them. In contrast, do you think I could use Apple's telephone/SMS system on a Google PC, or even a Windows PC? It wasn't entirely clear from Apple's presentation but it didn't sound like it.

2. Automatically save your photos in the cloud.

You'll now be able to save all of your iPhone and iPad photos in the cloud, automatically -- not just the first 1,000 photos. Android has had this feature for so many years I can't even remember anymore.

In Android's case, you get 15 gig of storage for free. Then it's $10 per month for a terabyte. In Apple's case, you get 5 gig for free and after that you'll pay a lot more than Google users pay for their storage. But this okay, for Apple customers don't comparison-shop. They just drink the Kool-Aid.

3. Predictive text in the iOS keyboard.

BlackBerry (BBRY) is calling and it wants its patents back! Android, too, for that matter. Almost every smartphone has had some version of this, except Apple's. Android has been the best, because it allows you, the user, to install whichever keyboard you want. With Apple, it's been "my way or the highway."

Well, at least now it's a highway. Better late than never.

4. Actionable notifications on the smartphone.

Android introduced this in June 2012. It's great. Welcome to the party, Apple.

5. Browser tabs across devices.

Look in the browser and you'll see all the tabs you've got open -- or perhaps even recently closed -- on all of your devices -- PCs, phones and tablets. I didn't even know Apple lacked this. It's been in Google's Chrome browser for as long as I can remember.

6. Any file you want, in the iCloud!

We all know this one was coming, sooner or later. This would have been old if it had been launched three years ago. Dropbox, Box, Microsoft's (MSFT) OneDrive or Google Drive -- have been doing this for many years already. Yawn.

All of these things mean one thing: Apple continues to count on most Apple users being supremely confident in their isolated silos. For anyone who has done a side-by-side comparison between a Google Nexus smartphone and an iPhone in the last two years, it has been easy to see that Google raced ahead in the smartphone feature game, and at almost half the price.

Fortunately for Apple, its users are squarely in the "hope and change" category of obediently tasting the spoon-fed menu dished out by Apple once a year. Apple says it's the best, with frequent references to "amazing" -- and therefore it must be just that: the best and amazing. The alternative is bad or evil because if it weren't we would be using it already. Have you tried it? No, no need to try it.

If you've talked yourself into living inside the isolated Apple device world, it sure must feel good. You are King. Or Queen. Nevermind that the iPhone market share has dwindled to approximately 15%, while Android is now above 80%.

What was completely lacking in Apple's presentation? Basically, all that people actually wanted. Let's count the ways:

1. No Apple TV.

Someone's head must be exploding by now. No new box. No actual TV set. No Apple TV app store. No Comcast (CMCSA) partnership. No new content. Nothing.

2. No iWatch.

The story remains the same: It's coming -- wink, wink, nod, nod -- but not quite yet. We are, however, "excited" about it. Gimmie some of what what they are taking, to get me so excited, seemingly in perpetuity! Perhaps Apple should get into the pharma business instead?

3. No new car partnership.

Apple is vying for a space on every car dashboard, while Google builds... a car. And it couldn't even announce a single new car maker.

4. No new iPhone, no new iPad, no new Mac.

Basically, no new anything. By the the time Apple's conference is over, Google, Microsoft and their various hardware partners for phones, tablets and PCs will likely launch more devices than Apple does in a year.

I think it's now time to give Eddy Cue a new name: Cue Sad Trombone.

At the time of submitting this article, the author was long GOOGL and AAPL.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

>>Read more: WWDC Sets Up Apple for Big Second Half in 2014

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