Is iOS slowly lagging to Android on the software front?

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Apple revealed iOS 14 at their online WWDC 2020 conference and there was an underlying theme in the presentation: We thought we were going to see a lot of some new features since iOS 12, Apple has been adding a lot of features but surprisingly we have seen some of these features before on Android.

On iOS 14, Apple announced some of these changes that we have seen on Android before.

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Widgets

iOS 14 will feature redesigned widgets that can be pinned on the Home Screen. This is a feature that has been present on Android since Android 1.5 Cupcake from 2009. A cool feature, however. is Smart Stack which are widgets that are intelligently curated based on the apps that you use the most.

App Library

We have known iOS as having a home screen setup with an infinite scroll of pages of apps. It has never had an ‘app drawer’ like on Android and they did that with this new feature.

Apple markets the App Library as a central hub which will organize all of your apps into one simple easy to navigate view. They are sorted by category and your most-used apps are always a tap away.

This feels like a smart app drawer of sorts and it has two effects: One, there will be no need for folders since it does everything for you, and secondly, it will make it so easy to get apps.

Compact calls

Finally, iOS will allow calls from your iPhone, FaceTime and third-party apps display in a compact design. This has been available on Android for a while now.

This is a feature that many iOS users have been lamenting about and it is good that it has been finally implemented on iOS 14.

Picture in Picture

Apple has implemented native picture in picture on iOS 14 where you can keep watching videos or continue with your FaceTime call while you use another app.

Remember when the Galaxy had this feature in 2012? Interesting enough, Google implemented this natively with Android Oreo in 2017.

Translate

Apple finally introduced a new first-party Translate app, which can translate across 11 different languages. Android has had Google Translate for years

It also features fully offline translation experience for downloaded languages. Google Translate on Android does this for 59 languages.

A small step in the right direction but Apple has a long way ahead to catch up with Google Translate.

Siri is now compact

Siri has always loaded in full-screen mode on iOS and that is about to change. On iOS 14, it will load as a blob below, which is something we have seen with Google assistant.

Siri also has been given more capabilities like having 20x more facts than 3 years ago (cool I guess?), web answers for a broader set of questions and sending audio messages with Siri.

Safari translation

Safari will now feature translation, where you can translate websites in seven different languages on iOS 14. This is a feature that has been present in Chrome for Android for years now.

App Clips

Apple introduced App Clips for iOS 14 which are small parts of an app that are to be used right in a moment. Like ordering food, paying for parking and so on. They are small in size and load quickly. This sounds eerily similar to Android Instant apps.

Emoji search on iOS

Apple finally added an emoji search on iOS 14’s stock keyboard. You can type a keyword and it will show you the emojis that match the search text.

This is not new, we have had this feature on Gboard for Android for some time now.

Changing your default email

Apple forced you to use the default mail app and now with iOS 14, you can change that to use third-party email apps.

The funniest thing about all of this is that Apple didn’t explicitly mention it, they just added this as part of the slides. This is a huge deal for iOS users since they have been lamenting about this for years.

Android does not limit you to the stock mail app so it is good iOS is catching up on such a basic feature.

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