Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

Summary: Facebook recently updated its iOS app and added iPad support. It turns out the new version looks a lot like MyPad's iOS app.

SHARE:

Facebook yesterday updated its iOS app to version 4.0, adding support for the Apple iPad, among other things. Designer Josh Hollywood took a look at Facebook's new app and immediately took to Twitter.

Hollywood wasn't impressed. He sent out these two messages:

It's ironic that the mobile site works so much better than Facebook's app, which is now just a fancy wrapper for the mobile site.

I knew Facebook's new layout looked familiar. Facebook: http://twitpic.com/6yhv2e MyPad: http://twitpic.com/6yhv7d

You can see Hollywood's comparison screenshots at the top of this article, for the iPhone and iPod touch version of Facebook's iOS app. TechCrunch took screenshots for the iPad version of Facebook's iOS app, which you can see below. In both cases, MyPad is on top and Facebook is on the bottom.

This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of copying a mobile app. Just last month, after Facebook updated its iOS app to version 3.5, Twitter accused Facebook of stealing its iOS app design.

Here's what I ended the article with:

In Facebook's defense, both designs reflect a respect for the iOS standard constructs, including placement, sizing, and coloring of the icons. Nevertheless, the screenshots do show a remarkable similarity. What do you think?

The same conclusion applies here: it's very difficult to say if Facebook blatantly copying or if it is just following Apple's standards. In both cases, Facebook's design makes sense and it's difficult to envision a significantly different one.

See also:

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Apps, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

22 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    Look, the guy rips everybody off and this isn't surprising! Seriously, how many people have to come forward before people start realizing Zuckerberg is a crook?
    slickjim
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    Oh no I was hoping Facebook would not become another Google who rips off everthing...
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

      @Hasam1991
      I agree. I find it despicable how Google took the very innovative notification bar from iOS and started including it in Android like they created it.
      anono
      • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

        @anono
        what? android was the first with the notification bar
        brad1000
      • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

        @anono I believe Paul Allen is suing google over the notification bar. Could it be that apple paid to use it?
        Johnpford
      • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

        @anono <br>You missed my point. Tech companies rip things off each other all the time. I just mentioned Apple because I know Hasam1991 supports Apple. I could mention MS too. Xbox was a complete rip off of Play Station. Take away the background picture and Bing is a rip off of Google.<br><br>Whether it's Google or not, someone did notification bar before iOS so Apple ripped it off. As for paying for it; everyone pays for it eventually whether it's initially or after with lawsuits. Given the state of our patent system, you could come up with an idea completely on your own and still infringe on someone's vague patent.<br><br>Also, Paul Allen is a patent troll. Didn't he sue pretty much every major tech company except MS.
        anono
      • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

        @anono Sarcasm, nice.
        mrxxxman
  • There are only so many ways to design an interface

    Take e-mail for instance, how many clients are there that look similar or alike? Folders on the Left Column, toolbar over head, Message list and reading pane, with Calendar and Tasks in the far right. <br><br>It isn't all that improbable that people had the same idea, but also a dev on the team did see MyPad and borrowed, I do have to offer that up. But again dealing with standard API's not private and limited screen size hard to say if it is a blatant copy or just weird luck. MyPad could simply sue Facebook for infringement, and see what shakes out, or Facebook could offer the MyPad dev enough money just to walk away.

    Edit:I just downloaded MyPad for iPhone, and other than the little bit of look alike in landscape mode, portrait mode is completely different, also MyPad app seems to have icons now instead of wording in the menu, MyPad requires you to move with your finger the content to the right to see the wording in the menu, certainly functionally they are a bit different.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh

      Now Snooki, don't use facts and logic. We're talking lawyers and big bucks here, facts and logic have no place in this! :)
      PollyProteus
    • Strange

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh It does beg the question "What did people expect this app to look like", no? UI guidelines for most operating systems ask, gently suggest or mandate, often in great detail, how the app interface should look for particular types of tasks. It's bizarre that people get so twisted out of shape when two apps designed to do precisely the same thing look substantially the same. If anything, in this case, the MyPad app looks like it might be designed wrong where the official Facebook app looks like they actually did follow the Apple guidelines. The whole point of UI guidelines is precisely so applications with similar features look the same and work the same. Duh.
      cabdriverjim
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    I find it strange that this guy is complaining when the sales of his app were entirely dependent on data owned by the company in question. That doesnt sound like a stable business plan to be. Its like someone getting angry about coke canning their drinks because now he can't make money putting coke in cans for people anymore.
    nickswift498
  • FB is different enough from MyPad.

    He's just driving attention to his application.
    People
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    The more important question, which one works better?
    bradavon
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    Meh, similar, but not similar enough.
    Marine_01
  • And?

    I wonder how many other apps out here have the same basiclook/design?
    rhonin
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    both inspired by the Twitter app
    Tinny77
  • The look may be similar, but the usage between the

    two is significantly different.
    baggins_z
  • It's Apple. You knew that when you wrote the app.

    Apple encourages a consistent look and feel. It's not really possible to avoid appearing to copy. The whiners need to shut up and write better software and quit pretending they own an arrangement of pixels.
    Badge3832
  • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

    This is as dumb an article as I've ever read.

    NOT ONLY ARE THEY DISSIMILAR WHERE IT MATTERS BUT THEY ARE SIMILAR WHERE IT DOESN'T.

    Jeez.
    If anything MyPad copied facebooks homepage.
    After all isn't that navigation menu practically what you see when you login to facebook. This is probably one of the most stupid arguments I've read.

    I made an app that looks like the facebook website, when facebook makes an app that looks like their website they somehow copied me ???? What???

    Because MyPad came up with that really innovative "News feed" for facebook?? NO it existed on the website.

    Because MyPad came up with that really innovative "Friends" for facebook?? NO again on the website.

    Or Maybe MyPad came up with that really innovative "Groups" for facebook?? NO it exists.

    I guess MyPad will take credit for the Search Friends also.

    I am so angry at this waste of my 5mins to read this article only to find out its another pointless drivel about someone claiming that another copied the obvious.
    onebenjamin
    • RE: Facebook accused of copying MyPad's iOS app

      @onebenjamin
      Almost as stupid as Apple suing Samsung over "trade dress"
      john-whorfin