iOSSnipe: How My Definition of the Future Was Codependent Upon Android (Until the GROUND SHIFTED Beneath Us) — Here’s How iOS 18 Is Bridging the Gap

The magic trick in Android applies to visions for the future in general. Those who create your future make sure you’re dependent on their devices or services. They hide these strings under a layer of ‘magic’ or ‘logic’, and make sure you believe the entire structure was designed on their terms. They make you see it their way, and they make sure you’ll never see it any other way.

iPhone users can now expect apps to suggest using them during specific moments during their trip to a new place, thanks to APPLE’s new iOS 18 update, revealed at the company’s annual developer conference. While your iPhone might be getting these features for the first time, Android users can think of them as ‘second-generation’ features; the tech rivals are inquiring into a new world together, where artificial intelligence promises to enhance the experience of users.

From Customization to AI: APPLE's New Playground

The Charm of Personalization

And the latest release of iOS 18 further empowers iPhone owners to use home screens – that is, the part of your phone that launches the apps you want to use – more freely, without the limitations of the rigid grid design APPLE introduced with iOS 14. Android designers have long made it easy to rearrange apps and widgets wherever you like, but for the longest time, APPLE designs have fixed the app grid in place. iOS 18 is the first sign that APPLE is going to allow iPhone users to rearrange things more freely, albeit with the characteristic APPLE polish that Android users have long enjoyed.

A Splash of Color with Material You

Google’s Material You – now in its third iteration, and almost four years old – set the bar for theming and personalisation on Android phones. Now, with iOS 18, APPLE has added a feature called ‘Tinted’, on top of the colour schemes. The feature appears to deliver a more polished look, as noted in a Wired story from 2022, but in substance it builds on the work of Material You. Just as Android pushed iOS for its widgets, so too has APPLE followed in designing app theming for its mobile platform.

Scheduled Send: A Nod to Convenience

Message scheduling, arriving in iOS 18, addresses that desire for flexibility – again, something Android users have enjoyed across native messaging apps and third-party services. Indeed, since the early 2010s, it’s become a hallmark of APPLE’s design philosophy: if a feature works well for users, they’ll want to use it, so copy it. Such tendencies, taken together, manifest a ‘better late than never’ philosophy when it comes to usability.

The AI Revolution in Photography

Beyond Editing: Generative AI

While the Magic Editor showed one avenue for this, with the ability to not only clean up photos but also to manipulate them, APPLE’s latest experiment with AI-assisted photo editing marks the start of an interesting race in the generative AI features of smartphones. We’re in a contest to let users more easily and creatively manipulate their digital memories.

Leveraging AI for Smarter Interaction

APPLE includes some ‘APPLE Intelligence’ features in iOS 18, all aimed at somewhat emulating the synchronicity of Gemini-equipped Android devices. For example, content can be summarised and messages drafted. The trend of having smarter, more intuitive experiences with a device is created by increasing degrees of assistance from AI. While APPLE’s Siri integration with ChatGPT previews your future personal assistant, Android features demonstrate a current approach to everyday tasks.

Safeguarding Privacy with Locks and Folders

In addition, with iOS 18, APPLE finally introduced locked apps and folders, fulfilling the long-awaiting demand from users seeking a way to protect themselves online. Although the new features for iOS 18 seem like they will finally take iPhone users’ digital security to the next level, Android already had Google Drive’s locked folders feature, known as Secure Folder, several years back, while Android 15 will introduce Private Space, a way to have protected folders on your phone. So, with APPLE finally adapting to its users’ demands for securing their data, it begs the question: what took them so long? The ruling class wants you to believe that security is a green-coloured, capital-letter acronym that you put behind encryption and focus on if you’re a government Information Assurance officer. With iOS 18, these folks seem determined to finally get it right when it comes to user security (about time, by the way), and the Android fan in me is excited to see how APPLE has learned from Google’s evolution and is pushing new boundaries with iPhone security.

The APPLE of Tomorrow: Embracing Change and Innovation

Understanding APPLE's Core

At the heart of APPLE’s offering is the cohesion of hardware and software; a beautiful ecosystem that works well, and respects your privacy, is constantly updated based on users’ needs, and will last for years. APPLE’s culture of innovation and its ability to watch and learn from its competitors will guarantee that iPhone owners have a device that won’t just keep up with their lifestyle, but anticipate it.

However, as the differences between iOS and Android begin to vanish, competition gives way to a shared vision: a world where technology enriches lives, enhances the human condition and protects financial and digital privacy. In a world of increasing connectedness, APPLE’s iOS 18 is an unavoidable — even inevitable — milestone in a technology path to positive human experiences, wherever its users might be found.

Jun 12, 2024
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