It’s difficult to be an Android fan and follow the Apple WWDC, Worldwide Developer Conference, without comparing Android and Apple iOS features side by side. Each of the platforms has its own features, advantages and drawbacks although reading some of the Apple websites, these verge on proclaiming Apple iOS to be the most advantaged operating system on the planet with many more features than Android. Another industry myth is that Apple refines ideas from elsewhere so that they “just work.” The first year of Apple Maps should lay that one to rest. And so it is with WWDC 2015, where Apple have showcased a number of new features coming to iOS later this year. Many of these new features have been incorporated as part of Android for some time. Let’s take a look at Apple’s inventions.
The first is Apple’s development of Siri to make it useful. The Proactive Assistant has a number of features including setting reminders for appointments coming up based on location and anticipated travel time, plus can suggest applications based on learning user patterns. Rather creepily, it’ll scan through your email so that when an unknown number calls, it has built up a reference of potential numbers that it could be and will identify the caller. There’s no word if it will be able to check for incoming parcels and similar as Google Now does – this being the anticipatory service built into the Google Search software that was released three years ago with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Apple Maps will soon be able to provide public transport directions incorporating the time it might take to walk from one platform to another. Google Maps introduced this technology in 2011 for the Android platform, but has had the resources integrated since 2007.
Apple are also adding the ability to support two applications side by side on the iPad, which is a feature that stock Android does not yet support although manufacturers have been incorporating the technology into their own interfaces for some years now. Samsung, LG, Asus, Lenovo offer split screen multitasking, plus Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 tablets and the Surface range; the iPad is not short of power to allow split screen applications (although RAM may be an issue for older models). Apple have also invented power saving modes, with a “low power mode” designed to increase battery life by up to three hours when enabled. Google introduced a native low power mode into stock Android with the release of 5.0 Lollipop although many manufacturers have been using similar battery extending software for several years.
With large screen devices and improvements to the operating system, it seems that under new leadership, Apple is embracing a more modern way of using smartphones. Perhaps we’ll see NFC being released from the Apple Pay cage at some point soon?