Last week, Google released the first developer preview of Android N for selected Nexus devices. The company usually releases the developer preview of a new version of Android at its yearly I/O conference, but this time around, the company decided to change its schedule a bit.
While Marshmallow focused mainly on under the hood improvements, Android N comes with many user-facing changes — some of which have been long requested by seasoned Android users. Once you go through the feature list of Android N though, you will notice that some features in the OS have clearly been inspired by iOS 9.
Now, it is not bad that Google has taken some cues from Apple’s book for the next version of Android. After all, Apple also does the same, and the smartphone market has matured so much that it is not possible for both companies to come up with unique new features or implementation for every consumer demand. Nonetheless, let’s have a look at some of the features that Google has copied from iOS for Android N.
With iOS 9, Apple added split-view multitasking to iOS. The feature greatly helped in improving the productivity on the iPad, and paved the way for Apple to position the 12.9-inch iPad Pro as a MacBook alternative for some consumers.
Learning from Apple, Google is also adding split-view multitasking to Android N. Technically, the feature first made its debut on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but was only meant for developers and advanced users since it was hidden. With the release of Android N, this feature will finally be available to end consumers as well. Google’s split-view implementation is similar to iOS, though the method to trigger the feature is different. Most importantly, learning from Apple’s mistakes, Google will be making split-view feature available to Android smartphones as well.
Picture-in-Picture is another feature that Google is copying from iOS 9. As seen on iOS 9, picture-in-picture makes it possible to watch videos in a windowed mode that can run on top of other applications.
Google’s implementation is exactly the same as Android, though there is one major catch: For now, Google says that picture-in-picture will only be available on Android TV. The company does not say anything about bringing this feature to Android smartphones or tablets, though with the final release of Android N still more than six months away, it is entirely possible that Google might change its mind by then.
Improved Doze mode
Poor battery optimisation has long been one of the Achilles heels of Android. Google tried fixing this issue in Marshmallow by introducing App Standby and Doze. Both features were clearly inspired from iOS, and with Android N, Google is further improving the latter. The improved Doze mode in Android N will keep wakelocks to a minimum and regulate CPU usage and network activity to make sure that battery life is not affected even when your device is moving. On Marshmallow, Doze only kicked in when your device was lying idle on a table for some time.
Apple has also employed a similar feature in iOS, which is why the OS has been able to offer significantly superior battery life than Android all these years.
Do you think Google has copied or taken inspiration from any other feature in iOS 9? Or perhaps a feature that they should have copied from the OS? Drop in a comment and let us know about them.Like this post? Share it!