Apple and Google have appropriated many features 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 is head and shoulders above the iPhone. One change that would be a huge improvement would be the adoption of Android’s single location for notifications.
iOS places notifications in Notification Center and in a separate place on the lock screen for “Recent Notifications.” This is unnecessary and creates confusion and missed notifications. Just put Notification Center on your lock screen and call it 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 the notifications that have arrived on your device during the last 24 hours.
It’s good to know there’s a place you can look if a notification is accidentally dismissed. Notifications can get messy on iPhones, so a feature like this could come in handy.
System-wide color themes
Starting with Android 12, Android can change the system theme colors based on your wallpaper. It’s an easy way to personalize your phone without much modification. iOS is even better prepared for a feature like this.
iOS doesn’t have the customization options that Android has. There are no home screen launchers or custom icon shapes. That would make it very easy for Apple to add simple wallpaper-based themes to iOS.
Third Party Control Center Setup
The iPhone’s Control Center panel is an obvious answer to Android’s “Quick Settings,” but it’s severely lacking in features. Starting with iOS 16, Apple performs all settings in Control Center.
Android allows third-party apps to make their own quick settings changes. They can put insanely useful features with just a swipe and tap. Apple should allow third-party apps to make settings for Control Center.
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Double press the power button to start the camera
It is true that it is 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 all Android phones can launch the camera when you double press the power button.
This shortcut is better than the lock screen method because you can launch it before the phone is out of your pocket. Taking photos quickly is important, which makes this shortcut very useful.
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Wait, am I suggesting the iPhone should steal a messaging function from Android? Yes.
iMessage is great, but texting on an iPhone without iMessage isn’t great. The reason for this is Apple’s refusal to adopt the new “RCS” standard. “Green bubble” conversations on the iPhone are still up to the old SMS standard.
Android users’ photos and videos look terrible on iPhone because Apple switches non-iMessage conversations to SMS. It would be better for everyone if Apple used RCS. iMessage users can still use iMessage.
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screen always on
Most Android devices have some sort of “always-on display,” a low-power display mode that typically displays a clock and notification icons. This has been around on Android devices for many years, and it’s about time the iPhone joined.
An always-on display is an easy way to be able to see what’s happening on your phone without unlocking the device completely. It’s especially nice if you keep your phone propped up on your desk all day.
split screen mode
Apple has been loading the iPad with multitasking features, but the iPhone doesn’t have as many. Meanwhile, most Android phones have had some kind of split-screen mode for many years.
iPhones have pretty big screens these days; 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-focused crowd.
RELATED: How to Use Apps Side-by-Side (Split View) on an iPad
Home screen shortcuts
It’s no mystery that the iPhone’s home screen is limited. One feature that wouldn’t require much change on the home screen would be shortcuts that go to certain sections within an app.
You can long-press an app to see its shortcuts, but on Android, you can go one step further and place those shortcuts right on your home screen. It’s an even more convenient way to access the sections you use most often in apps.
Flip to mute calls
Ending a phone call on a smartphone isn’t nearly as satisfying as slamming a landline phone. However, Android has something that’s as close as you can get: flip to mute calls.
The feature is exactly what it sounds like. When enabled, you can turn your phone face down to mute a call and mute notifications. This would be a simple feature to adopt for the iPhone, and it is quite useful.
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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 make the iPhone even better.