5 Android N Features iOS Should Use
With all their differences aside, Android and iOS are quite similar. A number of features first to appear on either of the two systems were shamelessly "borrowed" by the other one.
None of the two OS pals are free of guilt - things taken include widgets, keyboards, interface and the form factor itself. It seems like the way to the perfect OS requires outsourcing of ideas.
The latest OS releases by both Google and Apple are a living proof that the idea of convergence still lives on and that iOS, Android will continue the practice of taking the opponent's idea and implementing it into their respective products.
The two releases were not about breakthrough features and revolutionary steps. As it fits for seasoned products, they were about polishing the overall user experience and adding certain perks that leave a mark for everyday users.
So let's a have a look at specific features where iOS is set to trail behind Android until it gets them baked into further releases.
Multi-window Mode For Phones
While multi-window mode has been live on iPads for a while now, the feature is still to be seen on iPhones.
On the other hand, Google upped the ante and rolled out multi-window support to all devices running Android N, however few there are.
When used in portrait mode, the apps take up a waterfall shape, resting on top of each other. This is an incredibly useful feature as it allows you to share data without leaving either of two apps. With properly optimized applications, even desktop tricks like drag and drop are possible.
This feature is available on iPad albeit not every aspect of it, and yes, you'd have to wait until iOS 10, at least, to see the split-screen feature enabled on iPhones.
Rest Your Eyes
There are two great adjustments to Android N's performance, and both make it easier for your vision to cope with throughout the day.
The eye-saving feature pioneered by f.lux on desktops and laptops is getting trendy and it's already incorporated into both Android as Night Mode and iOS as Night Shift.
There is a core difference, however.
With iOS, you set the time when your device should change the tint of your display to a more natural one. Android, conversely, does this automatically using your time and location data and can replace the white light for good should you invert the color scheme to the dark one.
The flexibility and the all-black mode is certainly something that Apple could use in their future releases.
Every great feature that gets unveiled on every major event still hits the same old roadblock.
Yep, you're right. Battery life.
Both Google and Apple are well aware of this, and they have two responses specifically targeted at tackling this issue.
Their approaches are different, however.
In iOS, you have to enable the Low Power Mode, which kicks in at 20% of your battery left, sort of like Android 5 does at 15% with battery saver, shutting off background refresh and voice control. The mode helps you preserve some of the juice to be able to barely make it through the day when needed.
Android N uses a variant strategy with Doze.
You don't have to set the threshold, as Doze starts working whenever your device is idle, including the time when the screen is off and the phone is in your pocket. The feature thus extends your device's standby time, which contributes significantly to lengthen your battery life.
Apple is yet to make its move in this regard.
The area where Android and iOS are radically different is their method of handling quick settings. With Android, you have to go top to bottom, and it's completely opposite in iOS, where you draw the menu up.
Much like other iOS aspects, you can't customize what you see in the quick settings menu, while in Android N, one quick swipe gives you the 5 options you use the most. Add another gesture, and you'll see a plethora of choices, all of them completely customizable.
Moreover, with quick settings API open to third-party developers, you'll soon be able to go directly to apps from the menu, which is quite handy and iOS trails behind in this regards as well.
Switching between apps can be a nightmare on iOS, especially if you're using an older device - which could mean data and time lost.
Quick navigation between the apps is addressed independently in both systems. Apple went software with their Back To button which takes you to the app you've been using earlier.
Android takes a hardware approach - you either double-tap the home button to see the cards in a carousel or, with N, just tap the square button right under your screen and you'll be sent back to the previous app in no time, home screen included.
Using a dedicated button is way easier and more user-friendly than trying to tap the tiny characters in the corner of your screen, so iOS has some ground to cover in this regard.
These are the features that truly highlight the differences between Android and iOS and the ones where the latter lags behind, in our opinion.
Stay tuned for the next part, where we will discuss the things that Android should embrace from iOS.
Have something to add to our opinion? Share it in the comments below!