Apple and Google have inherited many roles from each other over the years. Still, there are some that are just too good not to share. The iPhone could be improved with some great Android features.
A place for notifications
Notifications are one area where Android excels over iPhone. One change that would make a big improvement would be adopting Android’s only location for notifications.
iOS puts notifications in the Notification Center and a separate place on the lock screen for “Recent Notifications”. This is unnecessary and will cause confusion and missed notifications. Just put the notification center on the lock screen and call it a day.
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Speaking of missed notifications, Android has a neat trick for finding them. The Notification History page is a page that shows all notifications that have arrived on your device in the last 24 hours.
It’s nice to know there’s a place to check if a notification was accidentally dismissed. Notifications can get messy on iPhones, so a feature like this could be very helpful.
System-wide color themes
Starting with Android 12, Android can change system theme colors based on your wallpaper. It’s an easy way to personalize your phone without tweaking a lot. iOS is even better prepared for such a feature.
iOS doesn’t have the personalization options that Android has. No home screen launchers or custom icon shapes. That would make it very easy for Apple to add simple background-based themes to iOS.
Third-party control center settings
The iPhone’s control center is an obvious response to Android’s “quick settings,” but it’s severely lacking in features. Starting with iOS 16, the Control Center settings are all made by Apple.
Android allows third-party apps to toggle their own quick settings. You can add incredibly useful features with just a swipe and tap. Apple should allow third-party apps to make settings for the Control Center.
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Press the power button twice to start the camera
Granted, it’s not that difficult to quickly launch the camera on an iPhone. It’s just a swipe on the home screen, but it could be even faster. Almost every Android phone can launch the camera when you press the power button twice.
This shortcut is better than the lock screen method because you can launch it before your phone is out of your pocket. Taking photos quickly is important, which is why this shortcut is very useful.
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Wait, I suggest that iPhone should steal a messaging feature from Android? Yes.
iMessage is great, but sending text messages on an iPhone without iMessage isn’t great. The reason for this is Apple’s refusal to adopt the newer “RCS” standard. “Green Bubble” calls still run on the iPhone using the old SMS standard.
Android users’ photos and videos look awful on iPhone because Apple downgrades non-iMessage calls to SMS. It would be better for everyone if Apple used RCS. iMessage users can continue to use iMessage.
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Most Android devices have some sort of “always-on-display” — a low-power display mode that typically shows a clock and notification icons. This has been present on Android devices for many years, and it’s high time the iPhone joined in.
An always-on display is an easy way to see what’s happening on your phone without fully unlocking the device. It’s especially nice when you’re propping your phone up on your desk all day.
Split screen mode
Apple packed the iPad with multitasking capabilities, but the iPhone doesn’t have as many. Now, most Android phones have had some sort of split-screen mode for many years now.
iPhones these days have pretty big screens; They can easily support split screen mode. It’s not something most people would use, but it would be a welcome feature for the productivity-minded crowd.
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Home screen shortcuts
It’s no secret that the iPhone home screen is limited. One feature that wouldn’t require major home screen changes would be shortcuts that lead to specific sections within an app.
You can long-press an app to reveal its shortcuts, but on Android you can take it a step further and put those shortcuts right on the home screen. This makes it even easier to get to your most-used sections in apps.
Toggle to mute calls
Ending a phone call on a smartphone isn’t as satisfying as slamming a landline phone. However, Android has something that comes as close as it gets – toggle to mute calls.
The feature is exactly what it sounds like. When enabled, you can place your phone face down to mute a call and mute notifications. This would be an easy feature for the iPhone to adopt, and it’s pretty handy.
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Android and iPhone are more alike than ever, but neither is perfect. They offer two very different smartphone experiences, and that’s a good thing. A few more features here and there would enhance the iPhone even more.
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