Déjà vu in the TECH WORLD: APPLE's Analysis of Competing Updates

The unveiling of iOS 18 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this June has heralded a climactic event across Tweets, YouTube and forums, placing Apple against Android, the perceived mortal enemies of the digital realm. This war of the tactical titans has always been more of a close fight than a one-sided battle. Ironically, the blending of ideas has ensured that, when Apple reveals the latest iOS 18 features during this conference, many Android users will think: ‘We’ve had this for years.’ But perhaps that trade of ideas is why technology is evolving as it does, tearing at the seams that define the two, improving features from both and making life easier and better around the world.

HOME SCREEN ADAPTABILITY: APPLE's Leap Toward Personalization

Icon Arrangement and Customization

Arguably, the most discussed feature in iOS 18 is the freedom to move and customise home screen icons. But if you’re an Android user, you might have been fighting a yawn. It has certainly been possible to do exactly that for well more than 10 years now on Android. Apple’s embrace of being able to rearrange icons is its belated nod towards user-centric design, something that Android has always been about. Likewise, the ability to change the colour of icons or remove labels are personalisation features that have long existed on Android – albeit with a decidedly Apple twist.


Control Center Innovations

iOS 18 also brings customisation to the Control Center – something Android diehards have long enjoyed. While Android’s Quick Settings tiles are – and always have been – customisable at the granular level, it took an iOS update to bring iPhone users anywhere near that level of control.

Enhancements in Gaming Mode

Meanwhile, iOS 18’s new Game Mode is designed to reduce latency and distractions for gaming. However, Android was already ahead of the curve in improving gaming: the Game Dashboard and various OEMs’ add-ons to Android promise to boost mobile gaming.

PRIVACY AND ACCESSIBILITY: Securing User Preferences with APPLE

App Privacy Upgrades

iOS 18 supports this vision with a private app storage folder, protected by PIN, password or Face ID, akin to Android’s lengthy commitment to app privacy via Samsung’s Secure Folder, or the newer Private Space.

Smart Charging for Battery Health

Apple’s subtle charging strategy – which favours low charging currents, and will now allow consumers a choice of maximum charge capacity – has also shown signs of converging on this goal. Historically, Android’s diversity has given its OEMs like ASUS and other third-party applications a meaningful advantage in this area.


Unifying Messaging with RCS Support

The most radical new feature will be that iOS 18 implements Rich Communication Services, filling in the last glaring gap in messaging between iPhones and Android phones, although of course the news that Apple has decided to join the 21st century by implementing RCS owes a hefty intellectual debt to the fact that Android has had it for years.

Innovations in Scheduling and Searching

Scheduling messages – a feature that Android veterans will find amusing – and T9 dialling for searching contacts are the signs of Apple, more and more, embracing the world of basic, usability.

EMBRACING AI: The Smart Behind the Smartphone with APPLE

enhancing iOS 18’s AI twist, particularly a smarter Siri, raises the stakes a little, but Android’s AI functions – Gemini and the image-editing side of Google Photos, for example – show that the road to smarter, more aware machines is one we’re on together.

BEYOND iOS 18: Reflecting on APPLE's Journey

Looking at these updates also illustrates a larger trend of technological evolution: in a world where there is not a huge difference between iOS and Android anymore – it’s not just about who did it first, but how these innovations are pushing us towards an integrated experience of what all smartphones can be – the mutual mimicry of features is less about copycatting and more about the industry’s collective progress toward finding a better user experience.


Sure, iOS 18 sounds a whole lot like a lot of stuff that Android already has, but who cares? Apple has a rich history of using ‘first’ to drive but a single version of the story of technology, in which the company introduces the modern smartphone (original iPhone), sets design standards (original iPhone), and continually produces the best technology on Earth. Apple has shifted the way that we think about privacy, security and user-centred design, in a way that no other company can claim to have done. An Apple gadget is an aspect of its users’ personal lives.

Behind the reveal of iOS 18 lay the spidery web of action and activity that is the tech world in action, our world, ideas and technologies moving from one part to another, mashing, mixing and moving, consuming and producing, growing and not growing, but always changing. And this world of cut and paste competition, of trying out new things because we can, even if we can’t market them tomorrow, or next year – this ethos is here to stay. Mac users will remain Mac users and Android users will remain Android users, and that’s good, because most of all, this competition inevitably leads to better consumer experiences.

Jun 17, 2024
<< Go Back