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iOS 12: 5 features we first spotted on Android

Bundled notifications and digital wellbeing are just two prominent features also seen on Android.

Published onJune 5, 2018

Apple's iOS 12 update.

Apple held its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote yesterday, giving people a taste of updates to come on Apple devices. As is now tradition, the company showed off the latest version of iOS at the event (iOS 12), delivering plenty of new features to the platform.

Upon closer look, however, you’ll find that some of these new features have previously been announced by Google or are in Android already. Let’s take a look at a few of these features…

Autofilling one-time PINs from texts

The Google SMS Retriever functionality.

One-time PINs via text message are a staple of bank apps and messaging clients, so we’re glad to see Apple put an end to manual copy/pasting of the code. Instead, the platform will now automatically retrieve and fill in the code when the text message is received by your phone.

Automatic SMS Verification has been available in Android for app developers since last year at the very least, working with the likes of WhatsApp for a while now. No need to go into the messages app to view and copy the code, as the app does all the heavy lifting for you.


Apple Memoji.

We’re cheating a little with this one, as Apple is responsible for popularizing the current trend of face-mapped emoji in the first place. Nevertheless, the move to adopt customized avatars in lieu of generic emoji is a take on Samsung’s AR Emoji feature, which took this route.

Where Apple’s effort seems to shine over Samsung’s take is that you can customize your avatar’s looks with a ton of diverse parts. Meanwhile, Samsung users can scan their face to get a supposedly accurate AR Emoji face. The results have been criticized, however, along with the customization options.

Device activity and parental controls

Android P's Wellbeing features.

Apple also delivered a new Screen Time feature with iOS 12, giving you a breakdown of your child’s app activity (along with time spent in each app). The feature also allows parents to restrict apps or limit time spent in specific apps. Furthermore, the function also allows parents to create self-imposed app/time restrictions because digital wellbeing is so hot right now.

In any event, Google beat Apple to the punch by announcing two near-identical features. First up, it launched the Google Family Link app last year, which lets parents lock their child’s device, set screen time limits, and approve/reject Play Store downloads.

Digital wellbeing was also a key theme for Google at last month’s I/O conference, introducing the Dashboard in Android P. This gives you a breakdown of time spent on your phone, as well as most-used apps. Google will also offer an App Timer feature, which grays out an app after you’ve exceeded X minutes or hours of usage.

Bundled notifications

Bundled Gmail notifications in Android.

One of the best things about Android is the notification system, so it’s no wonder Apple has been cribbing a few of these features for its own platform. The latest notification-related Android feature to surface in iOS? Why, bundled/stacked notifications.

This feature sees alerts from one app or conversation bundled or stacked into one notification. Simply tapping on the notification will reveal the other alerts. It’s smart stuff and we’re glad to see Apple pick this up for iOS 12, as notifications have arguably been one of iOS’ biggest weaknesses for quite some time.

Photo sharing suggestions

Photo sharing in iOS 12.

In addition to photo backup functionality, Google Photos has plenty of smart capabilities. These range from automatic fixes to brand-new features like colorization.

Apple has grabbed another major Photos feature for iOS 12 in the form of intelligent sharing suggestions. Much like Google Photos, Apple’s photo library will suggest sharing options based on people in the photos. So if you take a photo of your best friend, it’ll ask if you want to share it with them.

Apple has also touted search suggestions in its Photos app, which Google has had for a while too.

A long history of feature swiping

It’s always interesting to note when Apple announces features that are already familiar to Android users, but this is just the latest chapter in the never-ending saga of shared features between the two mobile platforms.

Android P: the top features you need to know

After all, Android P certainly grabbed a few iOS features, like iPhone X gestures, just last month, and you just know that more features are going to be copied by both parties in the coming months and years.

Have we missed any iOS 12 features taken from Android? Or maybe they were grabbed from elsewhere? Either way, let us know in the comments below!

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