Every year, around Apple WWDC time, I like taking off my Android geek and fan cap, putting it aside, and enjoying what our friends-slash-rivals from Cupertino are doing for their users. While a few years ago, I might've enjoyed discussions about which OS was superior, these days I'm mellower and more pragmatic. iOS has borrowed a lot from Android and continues to do so, and vice-versa. The two ecosystems have a mutually beneficial rivalry and keep pushing themselves further, and in doing so keep pushing each other too.
That's why I have fun watching WWDC's main keynote. I expect Apple to implement a few features that I've been wanting on Android for years, and to add a few innovative and obvious options that I never knew I needed but now can't get out of my head.
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We're the Android Police, and Google's mobile operating system is our raison d'être, our bread and butter, the most essential and integral part of our site's very existence. Still, it doesn't exist in isolation. Apple's iPhones continue to dominate the US market, and the new iPhone SE might have some of us wondering if the grass is any greener with iOS these days. That's subjective, and I can't really answer that for you. But I can say that the 2020 version of the iPhone SE pushes its $400 price tag further than any mid-range Android phone, and in the last month, I've grown to appreciate its value even more — though coming from Android, it is a dysfunctional relationship.
Android’s built-in backup system has improved immensely over the years, but it still falls short in a number of key areas, leading to much frustration for users. Its shortcomings are even more apparent when compared with Apple’s iCloud backup for iPhones, which — while not perfect — is better at copying over app data so users don’t have to spend hours setting up a new phone.
You might have seen the news earlier today that you can jailbreak an iPhone with an Android phone, but that's just the start. "Project Sandcastle" builds on years of development to promise even more: running Android itself on an iPhone. For now, the project is in "beta" (more like pre-pre-alpha, given the current limitations), and just a single Apple device is compatible, but it's a start.
YouTube Music is slowly spreading its tentacles and establishing itself as Play Music's successor. While the service still lacks many essential features for some users, it's good enough for others. Its most recent addition is Siri support on iOS — while Android integration with Assistant is still iffy.
After the Pixel 4's announcement, we were surprised to discover it didn't offer free original quality backups on Google Photos like its predecessors. The next day, a Redditor made things even worse for Pixel users by explaining that the new iPhones do get unlimited original quality backups on Photos because they use the HEIC format. We've reached out to Google and got confirmation that this is indeed the case, but it's a "bug" that'll be fixed.
While you might assume that the relatively few people who use a Chromebook as their main computer are more likely to have an Android phone than an iPhone, it would still make sense for Chrome OS to be capable of tethering to an Apple device for the purpose of data sharing. That isn't possible at present, but it could be coming soon.
Every year, just like Google conducts its I/O press conference to introduce developers to the new Android version and announce all the upcoming features and APIs it will bring, Apple does the same. Its WWDC event took place this past Monday and, as any mobile enthusiast, we tuned in to see what the company has in store for its operating systems. While the dominating rhetoric over many years has been Apple's uncanny ability to announce an Android feature that has existed for years as innovative and ground-breaking, things have changed recently. 2019 was one of the most interesting thanks to plenty of both small and big additions to iOS 13 that leave us a little doe-eyed and jealous.
Last year, Apple's iPhone X literally changed how the company's customers used their phones, dropping such steadfast design choices as the home button and fingerprint sensor in pursuit of that all-screen dream. Yesterday's announcement wasn't as shocking, but it did democratize 2017's changes with the new, more affordable iPhone XR. In its own way, Apple is set yet again to change how its customers use its phones by delivering most of its flagship features at a new, more palatable price.
For years, fans and analysts alike have clamored for Apple to release a proper "mid-range" iPhone. Today, they finally got what they wanted - sort of. The new iPhone Xr represents an entirely new direction for the iPhone lineup, and one that poses a serious threat to "flagship" tier Android phones that lurk anywhere above its $749 MSRP.
While you may be thinking "there's nothing 'mid-range' about $749," be reminded that the iPhone Xs and Xs Max cost $1000 and $1100, respectively, making the all-new Xr a fairly significant price cut in Apple terms. It's also not even the smallest iPhone: the Xr features a 6.1" LCD (the Xs is a 5.8" OLED, the Max is 6.5") that Apple claims will wipe the floor with any other in terms of color accuracy, and given their history, I believe them.