Jun 9th, 2019

Apple recently announced the latest version of its smartphone operating system at WWDC 2019. iOS 13 brings a bunch of new features to iPhones and iPads, but as usual, there are plenty of moments for Android fans to chuckle as they see Apple announce features we’ve been using for years. Here are some of the features new to iOS users we’ve long enjoyed.

Sign In with Apple

For us, it’s “Sign in with Google,” a feature that allows you to log into services with your Google account rather than making a new account for every app and service. It’s definitely a very useful tool to manage many different accounts. Sign in with Google is already available on thousands on iOS apps, but now Apple will be requiring its app developers to app Sign In with Apple if Google or Facebook’s Sign-In feature is used in their apps, forcing them to add a feature that they may not necessarily want.

Look Around

Look Around is basically street view, and it has finally come to Apple Maps. The controversial map and navigation app is getting better with every update, but Google Maps has long offered Streetview. Look Around does offer some benefits over Street View, like floating icons for favorite restaurants, so there’s something Google can improve next.

Apple keyboard swipe typing

Yes, this is something that doesn’t ship on iPhones yet. Swiping to type is so much easier than typing, especially with one hand and has been around on Android for the last nine years. To be fair you could download Gboard and other keyboards for a few years now, and they allowed you to get this functionality, but a stock swiping keyboard is always good.

Xbox One and PS4 controller support

The latest version of iOS is getting native support for both Xbox One and PS4 controllers over Bluetooth. This will improve the gaming experience on phones, which is only getting more robust and in need of better controls. And surprisingly, this came to Android with the 9.0 Pie update. Quite late.

Connect to WiFi and Bluetooth from Control Center

This is an odd one. iOS has long had a control center you can access any time, but all you could do was toggle settings. And even then, those toggles didn’t always work right. iOS 13 will now allow you to connect directly to WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices without going into the settings app.

Now, this is a funny one, because Android used to allow you to do this, but now the toggles are just that: toggles. You can long press them to bring you to settings, but gone is the drop down network menu. You win this time, Apple.

Local storage support

This one is specific to iPad OS, the new fork of iOS specifically for the companies tablets. You can now attach flash drives and other storage media to the tablet using a Lightning to USB adapter and the new file app will be able to access it. This has long been available on Android devices, both tablet and smartphone, and is incredibly useful.

Siri can read incoming messages using AirPods

When you are wearing AirPods and receive a new message, Siri will be able to read it to you when you’re on iOS 13. This is limited to the AirPods and won’t work with any Bluetooth earphones. Google Assistant has been doing this since its debut on earphones and headphones. While this also doesn’t work with all Bluetooth devices, it isn’t limited to first party earphones and will work on many support headphones from Bose, Sony, Master & Dynamic, and more.

So there you go, seven features iOS users are finally getting that we’ve long enjoyed. Well, technically six because one is now gone from Android. This isn’t to say Apple is ripping off Google; in fact, we’re happy to see users getting access to these improvements. The competition is getting stronger and will hopefully push Google to further improve Android with the upcoming release of Q!

Bonus: iPad finally gets mouse support

This one doesn’t technically apply to iOS13, but rather Apple’s new iPadOS fork of the operating system. The good news for iPad users is that they’ll finally be able to connect a mouse and use it to navigate the UI and be more productive. Again, this is a feature that Android has had for a very, very long time.

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