iOS 18: Apple's Latest Operating System Borrows Heavily from Android's Playbook

Apple's annual iOS update, iOS 18, has arrived with a slew of new features and enhancements. While some of these features are entirely new, many of them bear a striking resemblance to existing Android functionality. This article delves into these Android-inspired innovations in iOS 18, highlighting the similarities and potential implications.

Revamped Lock Screen

iOS 18 introduces a major overhaul of the lock screen, offering a more customizable and interactive experience. Users can now add widgets, change the font and color of the clock, and even create multiple lock screens with different wallpapers and settings.

This feature closely mirrors the lock screen customization options available on Android for years. Android users have long enjoyed the ability to customize their lock screens with widgets, live wallpapers, and various themes.

Interactive Notifications

iOS 18 introduces interactive notifications, allowing users to perform actions directly from the notification banner. This can include responding to messages, marking emails as read, or controlling media playback.

While interactive notifications are a relatively new concept on iOS, Android devices have offered this functionality for quite some time. Android users have been able to reply to messages, clear notifications, and even control smart home devices right from the notification shade.

Focus Modes

iOS 18 introduces Focus Modes, a feature that allows users to create custom profiles that filter notifications and distractions based on their current activity. For example, users can create a "Work" focus mode that only allows work-related notifications or a "Personal" focus mode that filters out work distractions.

This feature is similar to the Do Not Disturb and Focus Modes available on Android devices. Android users can create custom notification profiles that silence notifications based on time of day, location, or specific apps.

Live Activities

iOS 18 introduces Live Activities, a new feature that provides real-time updates for ongoing events, such as sports games, food deliveries, or ride-sharing pickups. Live Activities appear as small widgets on the lock screen or in the Dynamic Island (on iPhone 14 Pro models).

Live Activities share similarities with Android's Notification Bubbles, which allow users to keep track of ongoing tasks or conversations without leaving the current app they're using.

Always-On Display

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max now feature an always-on display, allowing users to view the time, date, and notifications without unlocking their device.

This feature has been a staple on Android devices for years. Android OEMs like Samsung and OnePlus have offered always-on displays for several generations, enabling users to quickly glance at essential information without reaching for their phone.

Other Android-Inspired Features

In addition to the major features mentioned above, iOS 18 also includes a number of other tweaks and enhancements that draw inspiration from Android:

  • Haptic Feedback for Keyboard: iOS 18 introduces haptic feedback when typing on the keyboard, a feature that has been present on Android devices for years.
  • Battery Percentage in Status Bar: iOS 18 finally brings back the battery percentage indicator to the status bar, a feature that Android devices have always had.
  • Copy and Paste Improvements: iOS 18 simplifies the copy and paste process by allowing users to preview pasted content before inserting it into text fields. This feature is similar to Android's "Paste Preview" functionality.
  • Safety Check: iOS 18 introduces a "Safety Check" feature that allows users to quickly revoke access granted to apps and people in emergency situations. This feature is reminiscent of Android's "Lockdown Mode" introduced in Android 12.

Implications of iOS 18's Android Influences

Apple's adoption of Android-inspired features is a testament to the growing popularity and maturity of Google's mobile operating system. It also suggests that Apple is willing to borrow ideas from its competitors when it makes sense for the user experience.

However, it's important to note that these similarities do not necessarily diminish the value or originality of iOS 18. Apple has implemented these features in its own unique way, tailoring them to the specific needs and design principles of the iPhone.

Ultimately, the convergence of features between iOS and Android is beneficial for users. It leads to greater competition and innovation in the mobile operating system market, resulting in more powerful and user-friendly devices.

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