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iOS 18 Could Be the Android Update Apple Users Have Been Waiting For

TLDR: iOS 18, set to be unveiled at WWDC 2024, is rumoured to bring Android-inspired features to iPhones, including customizable home screens, AI-powered photo editing and summarization tools, unit conversions in Calculator, voice memos in Notes, custom emojis, and RCS texting support. While Android users might not be impressed, iOS 18 could be a significant update for iPhone users.

The Android vs. iOS debate is never-ending, and there is no perfect answer. Both Apple and Google often borrow features from each other’s operating systems. Android has copied features from iOS, and iOS has copied features from Android — it happens all the time.

It’s coming.

With Apple hosting its WWDC 2024 in about a week, reports have already hinted at what to expect from the upcoming iPhone update. As iOS 18 is set to be unveiled during the keynote, here are some rumoured features coming to the iPhone that seem inspired by Android.

Ability to Place Apps Anywhere on the Home Screen
No More Cramped App Icons

One of Android’s advantages over iOS has been its customizable home screen. On Android, you can add any icon anywhere, add widgets, resize them, and more. With iOS 14, Apple narrowed the gap with Android by (finally!) allowing iPhone users to add widgets to their home screen. Now, it looks like iOS 18 will bring another long-available Android feature to the iPhone.

Reports indicate that iOS 18 will allow users to place app icons anywhere on the home screen, a feature Android has had since the beginning. Until now, Apple hasn’t allowed users to place icons freely; they had to be right next to each other with no space in between. It seems iOS 18 will finally bring this capability to the iPhone, allowing users to customize their home screen setups just like Android users.

Customizable App Icon Themes
No Custom Icon Packs Yet, But It’s a Start

While we’re on the topic of customizable home screens, Android also allows you to theme and change your app icons. With some first-party and third-party launchers, you can even change the whole icon pack.

It’s coming.

It now looks like a similar feature may be coming to the iPhone. According to reports, iOS 18 will allow users to change the colour of app icons, giving them more customization options beyond what developers offer. While it won’t be exactly like how Material You theming works on Android, iOS 18 will let users choose their preferred icon colours.

AI-Based Photo Editing Features
Two Years Too Late, Apple

When Google launched the Pixel 6 series in 2022, it introduced a new photo editing feature called Magic Eraser, allowing users to remove unwanted objects from images using generative AI. This feature quickly became a fan favourite, offering photo editing capabilities like never before. Since then, many Android manufacturers, like OnePlus and Samsung, have followed suit, introducing their versions of Magic Eraser for their smartphones.

Now, nearly two years later, it seems Apple is finally joining the party. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iOS 18 will bring similar AI-based photo editing features to the iPhone, including the ability to remove unwanted objects using generative AI.

AI-Powered Summarization Tools
TL;DR? AI Is Here to Summarize Things for You – Now on iPhone

One of the best uses of AI is quickly summarizing long texts. Google and Samsung have been offering AI-based features on their smartphones for quite a few months now. For example, Samsung added an AI-based Browsing Assist feature with OneUI 6.1 that summarizes web pages for the years. Similarly, Google offers an audio transcript summarizer on the Pixel 8 Pro.

iPhone users, rejoice!

Now, it looks like these features are headed to the iPhone. According to reports, Apple’s Safari will gain an “Intelligent Search” web page summary feature, similar to Samsung’s, which will help users identify key topics and phrases and provide a summary. The Voice Memo app on iOS is also expected to get an audio transcription feature — something that has been available on many flagship Android phones for years — along with a summary feature to highlight key points in audio recordings.

Unit Conversions in Calculator, Voice Memos in Notes
Catching Up to Samsung’s OneUI

Samsung’s native calculator and notes apps have long offered features like unit conversion and attaching voice memos to notes. Now, similar features are coming to the iPhone. The Calculator app, often criticized for lacking features and not being available on the iPad, is set to be revamped.

According to reports, the iPad will finally get a Calculator app, thanks to a switch to a universal app for all Apple platforms, which will include unit conversion capabilities as well. Similarly, Apple will reportedly update the Notes app to support attaching voice memos, allowing recordings to be embedded in notes, which can be useful for taking lecture or class notes.

Custom Emojis
Emoji Kitchen, But a Bit Different

Emoji Kitchen is one of our favourite Gboard features, allowing us to combine two emojis to create a new sticker. Apple is reportedly planning to add a similar feature to the iPhone with iOS 18. This new auto-generated emoji feature will create an emoji based on the content of the user’s message. However, unlike Gboard, it won’t combine existing emojis but will create entirely new ones.

RCS Texting Support
SMS Might Finally Be Gone for Good

In late 2023, Apple announced it would bring RCS messaging support to the iPhone. At the time, Apple announced that it is set to arrive in 2024, and now iOS 18 is finally expected to bring this.

RCS will improve the texting experience between Android and iPhone users, bringing rich messaging features like typing indicators, emoji reactions, read receipts, audio messages, and support for higher-resolution photos and videos. RCS support has long existed on Android, and it is finally expected to come to the iPhone with the next iOS update.

Apple Catches Up with Android

We’re just a week away from Apple’s WWDC, where we’ll see what new features Apple is bringing to the iPhone. Many of the features in iOS 18 have long been available on Android, so Android users might not feel the need to upgrade. However, it’s an exciting update for Apple users who will finally have access to these features.

Stay tuned.

We’ll be installing the iOS 18 update to test it out and see how it compares to Android, so stay tuned for our coverage.


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