7 features that Android should steal from the iPhone
iPhone and Android phones have more in common than ever before, but they are also very different on many levels. There are unique iPhone features that we would like to see on Android. Could this happen?
The focus on the iPhone is basically specialized Do Not Disturb modes for specific situations. Android has a feature called “Focus Mode”, but it’s very different. Android also only has one “Do Not Disturb” mode.
It’s handy to be able to create specialized “Do Not Disturb” modes for different situations. You can make one for work, fitness, reading, dating, etc. In each Focus mode you create, you decide which people and applications can disturb you.
Introduced in iOS 12, “Shortcuts” is a nifty automation feature for the iPhone. To be completely honest, shortcuts seem like something that would have arrived on Android first. It’s quite a “technical” feature that can do some powerful things.
The idea of having a built-in app that you can use to create custom routines, automations, and shortcuts is great. Of course, there are plenty of third-party Android apps that can do these things, but having it built-in makes it more accessible.
Face ID was released in 2017, and Android still doesn’t have a comparable feature. Sure, there have been Android phones with “Face Unlock,” but it’s never as good or as secure as Face ID on the iPhone.
I never realized how great Face ID was until I used an iPhone for a while. A fingerprint scanner is certainly nice, but there’s just something about seeing the lock icon unlock when you pull out your phone and look at it. The fact that it’s secure enough to use with mobile payments is the icing on the cake.
RELATED: Why Face ID is much more secure than Android’s Face Unlock
Separate notifications and quick settings
Notifications on the iPhone are a bit messy, but there’s one thing Apple did right: split Notification Center and Control Center.
The notification center opens by swiping down from the top left of the screen. Control Center, comparable to Android’s Quick Settings, opens by swiping down from the top right. You don’t have to swipe down twice to see all the toggles like you do on Android. You can be more direct with what you want to open.
RELATED: Android notifications are still miles ahead of the iPhone
Shake to cancel
Typing on a smartphone keyboard, whether it’s an iPhone or Android, can be a pain. We all make mistakes, but the handy Ctrl+Z keyboard shortcut isn’t there to help. The iPhone solves this problem with “Shake to Undo”.
It works exactly as it sounds. After typing something, just shake your phone, and a message will pop up asking if you want to “Cancel typing”. Easy like that. On Android, you have to resort to less than ideal methods.
RELATED: How to undo typing on a Samsung Galaxy phone
The iPhone has a pretty amazing system-wide search feature called “Spotlight.” It doesn’t just search apps or contacts on your phone, it can search apps, messages, photos, notes, and the web.
For example, a simple Spotlight search for “sleep” shows search suggestions from Siri, photos from Google Photos, photos in the Messages app, a Google Keep list, a text message from a conversation that mentions “sleep”, a calendar event, the dictionary definition of “sleep”, and shortcuts to search the App Store or Maps.
Android does not have a universal tool like this. Samsung and Google have system-wide search tools, but they’re not as good as Spotlight.
RELATED: How to Perform a System Wide Search on a Samsung Galaxy Phone
“Universal” communication applications
Finally, there’s one thing Apple has identified that Android has been desperately trying to replicate for years: communication apps. iMessage and FaceTime on iPhone are essentially unmatched.
Technically, you can use FaceTime on Android (and iMessage if you’re committed), but that’s beside the point. A company that imposes its services on everyone is a little against the spirit of Android, but Google already does a lot of that. It’s time for Google to take control.
Google’s Messages app is very good. Its video call app is also very good. Let’s make these apps the standard built-in methods that all Android users have. It would make communication much easier if you knew how to message or video call all other Android users.
RELATED: How to Use iMessage on Android and Windows
Will Android ever get these features? Some are more realistic than others, but we can dream. There’s value in both platforms having different approaches, but some ideas are too good to keep to yourself.