Apple's new iOS 16, announced at WWDC 2022, includes several features already seen in Android. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, let's look at some of the key Android features that Apple has adopted for its own platform.
One of the biggest new additions in iOS 16 is Live Captions, providing real-time transcriptions for audio and video. This is identical to Google's Live Caption feature that debuted on Android in 2019.
Android's Live Captions use on-device machine learning to transcribe any audio playing on the device. It supports captions for phone calls, video calls, audio messages, and more.
Apple's Live Captions also work for FaceTime calls. Still, Android had this accessibility feature years before it came to iOS.
Lock Screen Widgets
With iOS 16, iPhones can now add lock screen widgets for at-a-glance info like weather, calendar, and more. But lock screen widgets arrived on Android years earlier, back in 2012 with Android 4.2.
Android removed this in later versions, but OEM skins like Samsung One UI still offer lock screen widgets. So Apple is playing catch-up here.
Shared Photo Library
Google Photos on Android has long offered shared albums to collaborate with others. iOS 16 now brings a similar shared photo library to iCloud.
Up to 5 people can access the library and add their own photos. Google Photos also auto-shares based on faces or contacts. The iOS feature has a familiar concept but adds Apple's own tweaks.
The iOS Translate app can now access the camera for translations via on-device machine learning. But Android has offered this for years in Google Translate, overlaying translations into the live camera viewfinder.
Apple's take is more limited, overlaying translations on captured photos rather than live camera input. Still, it owes credit to Android's early implementation.
Resizable App Windows (iPadOS)
While not part of iOS 16, the resizable app Windows on iPadOS borrows heavily from Samsung DeX on Android tablets. Samsung has long offered windowed, overlapping apps on its tablets, especially in DeX mode.
iPadOS 16 finally brings some of that advanced multitasking to iPad, playing catch-up to Samsung's tablets.
Undo Send for Email
iOS 16 adds the ability to undo sending an email within 10 seconds, as well as schedule sending. But Gmail has had Undo Send since 2009, later added to iOS too. The new Mail features certainly owe inspiration to Gmail.
While imitation is flattering, iOS 16 pulls many familiar features from Android and Google. Live Captions, lock screen widgets, shared albums, translating cameras, windowed apps, Undo Send, and more all originated on Android before iOS.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it increases feature parity between the platforms. But it's worth noting where Apple found inspiration for these iOS 16 additions.