For iPhone users, iOS 16 is a fresh coat of paint that makes your iPhone almost look like “new”. Originally announced during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the software update for the iPhone will be available in public beta next month, then released widely later this year, around the same time as the launch of the iPhone 14. But if you’re an Android user, then some of the new features in iOS 16 don’t exactly sound “innovative” and “different” from what’s been available on Google for years Here are five iOS 16 features that Apple “borrowed” from Google and Android.
New lock screen experience
One of the most talked about features of iOS 16 is the new lock screen customization experience that lets you add widgets for a quick glance at the lock screen. These include the weather, the battery status of your AirPods, upcoming calendar events, and more. The new lock screen on iOS 16 looks fantastic, but it’s a feature that debuted on Android in 2012 with the launch of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. In fact, Google has allowed users to add a clock, calendar, and other items to the lock screen. With Android 5.0, Google removed this feature, but Samsung (English only) OneUI still offers pre-determined lock screen widgets. Suffice to say that Apple took heavy inspiration from Google for a smarter lock screen.
Once iOS 16 becomes widely available, iOS users may find it easier to translate text in images captured through the iPhone’s camera app. All they have to do is open the Camera app and then point it at the text to be translated. Hardcore Android users will instantly recognize this feature available through the Google Translate app, allowing you to point your camera at text for a translation overlaid in the live viewfinder. Although Apple is finally bringing this feature to iOS users, it is limited in nature. Basically, the Translate feature takes a photo and then overlays a translation over some text in the captured image.
Auto-share in photos
A highly requested feature in iOS 16 that users have wanted for a very long time is Shared Photo Libraries. Finally, Apple has made it easy to set up a separate photo library that up to five people can use, thanks to iCloud Shared Photo Library. For those unaware, Google has had Shared Libraries since 2017. So Apple’s iCloud Shared Photo Library feature was pulled straight from Google’s Pagebook, minus a few tweaks here and there. iCloud’s Shared Photo Library feature can be shared with up to five other people, and each contributor has access to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos. By comparison, Google Photos allows “unlimited” contributors to an album, but you can also use the Partner Sharing feature which limits sharing your library with just one person.
The best of Express Premium
Another feature that arrived on iOS 16 but is already available on Android is Live Captions. Apple said Live Captions can transcribe any audio content — FaceTime calls, video conferencing apps or in-person conversations — into English on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Google started pushing Live Caption features with the release of Android 10 and are now available in English on Pixel 2 and later devices. It’s good to see Apple finally catching up with Google and bringing live captions to a lot of people.
Cancel/schedule sending emails
iOS 16 will allow users to schedule your email and unsend. It’s something Google first added in Inbox, an experimental alternative to Gmail. Unfortunately, Google killed the inbox from the Inbox app in 2019. Either way, you’ll be able to use the same features with iOS 16’s built-in Mail app. iPhone Mail, the ability to schedule emails to be sent in advance, and the ability to unsend an email when needed (you’ll only have 10 seconds to undo sent emails) makes Apple’s native mail app competitive with rivals like Gmail.