While a great deal of Apple’s iOS presentation at WWDC yesterday seemed to be a cover album of Android’s greatest hits of the last decade, there were a few features that I thought Android could possibly borrow in return.
With the exception of one of these features they are relatively minor tweaks, so if it seems like I’m nitpicking, you’re probably right. While I absolutely believe these features would make Android incrementally better, there was nothing that Apple put on stage that should have been a mind-blowing new addition to Android users or those that have been paying attention to Android.
Let’s take a quick look at a handful of new features from iOS 14 that I would love to see on Android.
Just kidding, Android has had this for about a decade now, but congrats Apple and welcome at long last to the widget party. The one thing I wouldn’t mind seeing Android adopt here is the smart stack concept that lets you either rotate through a collection of different widgets by swiping or set specific widgets to take over a given spot depending on the time of day.
Ok, now I know the inclination is to also say that Android has also had the App Drawer forever, but Apple does have some good ideas here that I would like to see implemented on Android. We have a little taste of this with the recommended apps that appear at the top of the App Drawer when you open it, but some of the automated folders there would also be useful like categorization, recently added or recently used.
I don’t really know what to say here, Android messaging remains such an intractable mess that there’s a good chance you wouldn’t even know which Android messaging app I was talking about. From the pinned messages, inline replies, and mentions it all sounded pretty great. I hate iMessage for the horrendous lock in that it creates and there are better messaging clients out there, but Android’s native messaging is not and has never been one of them.
App Clip codes
Now again App Clip is obviously just Android Instant Apps in an Apple wrapping, but the one thing I did think was kind of clever was the various ways to access them including the App Clip Codes. While I have occasionally made use of Instant Apps, I think it is mostly one of those features that no normal person ever finds or makes use of and the more readily available presence of codes to quickly pull them up would definitely help the average Android user actually take advantage of this now years old feature.
Nothing groundbreaking here and we are given ample opportunities once we have downloaded an app to know what data it is accessing, but I like the idea of seeing this information up front before I even click to download an app. The transparency would probably motivate even more developers to consider what data they absolutely have to have as users become increasingly privacy conscious.