As Apple starts to roll out its new operating system we are starting to notice plenty of areas where the company seems to be playing catch up with the Android OS.
It’s clear that a strong majority of the OS is simply a replica of past Android features or apps that have been around for quite some time. I’m not sure what this means for the battle between Android and Apple. Maybe the lack of Steve Jobs is hurting their creativity or maybe they just tried to pick out the few features they actually want from Android to catch up this round.
Regardless, there are a few things iOS 8 copied from Android, so let’s take a look at these features.
Widgets (AKA Extensions)
One of my favorite ways to customize an Android phone is by flipping through my apps and figuring out which ones have the best widgets to use. Obviously too many widgets can drain your battery, but it’s awesome testing them out and settling on the ones that really help you become more productive.
Well apparently Apple agrees with me, since they plan on adding widgets to their operating system. Some people are calling them extensions, so I’m not sure if Apple is trying to separate themselves from the widget name, but it’s a pretty clear copy of the widget idea.
In a nutshell, apps are able to develop small widgets or extensions that users can place on their homescreen. These widgets usually let you check things such as scores and weather and even switch off your WiFi from the homescreen. In fact, there are a few WiFi apps that include nice widgets for you.
One of the main reasons I am able to win arguments with people in my family who have iPhones is the Swype keyboard. Although the iPhone keyboard is fluent and solid, it’s a joke when it comes to speed and innovation. The old Blackberry physical keyboards blow iPhone keyboards out of the water. So, Apple finally realized they need to catch up to the Android keyboard game by allowing people to download third-party keyboards from other developers. This is a huge move, since Apple is known for its strict take on third-party hardware apps.
So basically you’ll be able to install keyboards that have Swype imitations, along with anything else developers can come up with.
Apple also announced that it plans on releasing something called QuickType, where the phone recommends what it thinks you are typing. Android has had this for years. When I think about it, the first few cell phones I ever had included something like that. Feel free to checkout the best keyboards Android has to offer.
Siri Constantly Listens
When you say OK Google, most new Android phones perk up and realize that you are speaking to it. Essentially, it is always listening, even if the phone is not in use. Apple decided to add this feature into the new iOS update, allowing iPhone users a chance to say “Hey Siri,” regardless of whether or not the phone is in use. Siri alternatives and the default Google listening hardware already fill this gap, so it’s clear Apple copied this.
In Android there are plenty of apps and hardware installs that allow you to interact with notifications that pop up on your phone. So if you want to like a Facebook notification or reply to a message app without navigating away from your current content, you most certainly can. The iPhone team decided to add this functionality onto the new iOS 8 update.
I’ve always felt that iPhone led the way in terms of notifications, so I’m interested to see how they differentiate themselves from the Android platform here.
Sync Photos Immediately
Apple added a feature to automatically sync your photos to iCloud, but Android has offered that for a while with Google+. I always thought it was annoying when Google+ started syncing every single photo I took, but when I look back now I was really just getting frustrated with the constant notifications that my photos were being backed up. I eventually turned those notifications off, and now I look back and realize that every single one of my photos is backed up, even if I deleted them from my phone.
Apple still has to catch up with storage space though, since Android provides unlimited storage, and Apple doesn’t plan on doing that.
Video Demos on the Apple Store
This one is simple, but it blows my mind that Apple never included this before. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t notice it, but Android has videos in its app previews and Apple does not. With the new iOS 8 update Apple users can navigate to the Apple store and checkout the videos that are posted by developers. I wouldn’t say this is a ripoff from Android, since I would expect any competitor to do the same, but Android has been doing this for a while now. If you have trouble watching videos then consider downloading a video app.
Since Apple offers more of a closed interface they often find themselves trying to play catch up with Android since so many developers are working around the world to make new innovations and push Android to the next level. In my opinion Apple is for those who want the cookie cutter operating system. They don’t want to customize, but at the same time it is quite stable. Android is for those who are always looking for the next cool thing and take a risk that it might not work perfectly in the initial phases.
These are the things iOS 8 copied from Android, so let me know in the comments section if you have any questions.