Steve Jobs may have called 2011 the "Year of the copycats" back at the iPad 2 launch, but it seems it's other firms feeling the warm, muse-like glow of being inspirational in the aftermath of the big iOS 5 reveal. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's director of Windows Phone, took to Twitter to say he was "feeling flattered today" about "lots of great WP ideas headed to iOS."
"Feeling flattered today. Lots of great WP ideas headed to iOS. (Camera button/above lock, auto-upoad [sic] of pics, better notifications ... ) ... wi-fi sync, built-in twitter, background downlad service, short-messaging chats (though we do Facebook!)" Joe Belfiore
Responding to one particularly enthusiastic tweet about the volume button in iOS 5 working as a camera shortcut, Belfiore pointed out that "with a wp7 you get a dedicated camera button.. that wakes the phone from sleep and jumps u to camera." He also couldn't help but mention that it had "been shipping for 8 months!"
There's certainly plenty of overlap in the usage dynamics we've seen of iOS 5 so far, though how much of that is idea sharing and how much is the various platforms shifting to a central point of "good" design is unclear. We've a feeling people wouldn't be so quick to label Apple derivative if the company itself hadn't made such a song & dance about other firms copying its ideas.