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iOS 18 Features Already Available on Android

TL;DR: iOS 18 introduces features like customization, scheduling messages, AI photo editing, on-device AI, and app locking. However, Android users have had access to similar features for some time, with options like Material You, Magic Eraser, Gemini-powered AI, and Secure Folder. While iOS 18 brings new features, Android has been offering comparable functionality for a while.

Apple recently unveiled a plethora of iOS 18 features, many of which Android users have been enjoying for some time. While these features won’t be readily available until September, when Apple launches the public software version alongside the newest iPhones, you’re not alone if the company’s early teasing is tempting you to upgrade your phone.

Fear not.

Here are five of the most significant iOS 18 features that are already accessible on Android devices, including Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones.

1. Customizations and Theming

Android has allowed users to rearrange apps and widgets anywhere on a home screen grid since its inception. A long tap on an app or widget on the home screen will “lift” it, allowing you to:

  • Rearrange it
  • Remove it from the grid
  • Resize it (in some cases)

Material You, a color-theming tool introduced by Google with Android 12, achieves what iOS 18’s new app coloring does. While Apple’s interpretation is more refined, with a “Tinted” option in addition to the standard Automatic, Dark, and Light, Material You has had more time to mature and now offers better colorization for a wider range of apps.

2. Scheduling Messages

Both iOS and Android users can already schedule messages on platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp. However, when it comes to native messaging apps, Apple is just catching up with Android.

The process is straightforward on both operating systems: type your message, then tap and hold the Send button to set a specific date and time before delivering it.

3. AI-Powered Photo Editor

One of the most anticipated AI features going into WWDC was the new photo-editing tool, which Apple calls “Clean Up.” It can detect subjects within a photo, remove them from the background, and fill in the blank space based on the surroundings.

Android phones have similar features, such as Google’s Magic Eraser and Samsung’s Galaxy AI-powered editing tool. In fact, Android devices now have features like Magic Editor that take things even further thanks to generative AI, allowing users to add new subjects or reposition elements of an image.

4. On-Device (and Cloud) AI Features

If you’re sold on the new Apple Intelligence features, you can already get a taste of them via Gemini-equipped Android phones, including the latest Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices. These phones leverage on-device and cloud-based processing to:

  • Summarize webpages and emails
  • Draft messages
  • Transcribe audio recordings
  • And more

Since the new Siri is ChatGPT-powered, you can achieve a similar chatbot experience via the official app, which is free to download on iOS, Android, and the web.

While not exactly the same, Google’s Emoji Kitchen allows you to create custom emoticons. They may not be as intricate as the AI-generated ones on iOS 18, but they can come in handy when you’re split between using two emojis.

5. Locked Apps and Folders

iOS 18 will let users lock apps behind Face ID and passwords, preventing unwanted entry when they hand their phone to someone else. While Android phones don’t have app-based locks, features like Samsung’s Secure Folder (and soon, Android 15’s Private Space) offer even more security and privacy.

Secure Folder allows you to store apps (and app data), photos, videos, documents, and just about any other file type within a password-secured drive. You can lock the items with a fingerprint, PIN, or password, and all the information is stored on-device only.

The wait continues.


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