We live in a competitive society, and so the one company that produces iOS-based iPhones and the various brands that make Android-based phones always feel that they need to explain why their product is more spectacular, more flexible, more secure, more fun, and more whatever than the ones powered by the other OS.
Whenever a company introduces a new feature to its OS, it proclaims it as innovative, outstanding, and never seen. Anyone who has attended or watched a product introduction — from Apple, Google, or Samsung — knows what we are talking about.
Apple is arguably the biggest offender here, with a history of taking its time to develop a feature that other companies were quick to jump on as effectively beta-testers. You can almost set your watch to the Twitter takes and memes about how iPhone users are always late to the party of ideas they might think are wholly new if taking Apple at its word.
And here we are again. Apple is introducing its latest phone line, the iPhone 14, and the latest version of its operating system, iOS 16. There are a lot of advancements and new features that will be useful, fun, or both. Many of these features are coming to older iPhone models, while some are limited to the new iPhone 14 hardware.
Multiple Stops In Maps: You are on your way home after visiting your Aunt Bea, and you suddenly realize that if you take a short side trip, you can stop in at one of your favorite bookstores. Don’t want to get lost? Now, in iOS 16, you can quickly add the bookstore address to your trip schedule and get directions that will let you stop there and then find your way back home.
Email: Schedule, Undo, Remind Later, And Follow-Up: In iOS 16, if you hit “Send” on an email and suddenly realize you put the wrong person’s name on it, you now have 10 seconds to modify your mind and undo the send. You can even schedule an email to be dispatched anytime you like or use Remind Later to remind yourself of an email you don’t want to deal with immediately.
Apple Live Captions: iOS 16 has added Live Captions, which offer real-time transcription for videos, audio, and conversation. It is a handy feature for people with hearing disabilities and anyone who needs to track a discussion. Android has had a Live Caption function since 2019 and currently provides immediate translations for those captions in several languages.
Haptic Feedback On Keyboard: Typing on the phone still mostly sucks in 2022, and part of that is from the lack of feedback you get while tapping. Not every input device needs to have the feedback of a mechanical keyboard, but it’s nice to know when you’ve typed a letter on an onscreen board. As a result, iOS 16 has now introduced haptic feedback on its onscreen keyboard. Android has had it for pretty much as long as we can remember.
Shared Libraries: iOS 16 will soon let you create shared photo libraries — called the iCloud Shared Photo Library — based either on a date or on who is in the photos. You can share your photo library with up to five people. Google Photos lets you share your entire library with a single partner based on a starting date or who is in the photos.
Always-On Display: Apple’s new always-on display on iPhone is more customizable and info dense than what you see on Android phones, with widgets, images, and many colors. And sure, an always-on display will drain a little more battery than keeping the screen entirely off, but in most phones, it’s a trivial amount.
Phone Fitness App: Google’s official Fit fitness app has always been available for Android phones, whether you use a watch or not. It comes bundled with Pixels, while Samsung includes its Health app. And while a phone will not track your heart rate or temperature without the assistance of a wearable, it’s still good for anyone to get a fundamental estimation of steps walked, calories burned, etc.
Lock Screen Widgets: Apple’s mostly clean track record of sitting on ideas until they are fully baked will pan out here, and lock screen widgets will become an essential mainstay of most iPhone users’ habits. Or, maybe it will just be another odd quirk only used and beloved by some of us weirdos — like how regular widgets are in the first place.