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8 more features we want Apple to 'borrow' for iOS

Michael Simon | June 9, 2014
Whether you're an Android lover or a staunch iPhone devotee, it's hard to overlook the fact that iOS 8 has taken more than its share of inspiration from Apple's biggest competitor, from interactive notifications to third-party keyboard support. Heck, Google might as well hang a "Cupertino, start your photocopiers" sign at this year's I/O conference.

Whether you're an Android lover or a staunch iPhone devotee, it's hard to overlook the fact that iOS 8 has taken more than its share of inspiration from Apple's biggest competitor, from interactive notifications to third-party keyboard support. Heck, Google might as well hang a "Cupertino, start your photocopiers" sign at this year's I/O conference.

Not that we're complaining--while iOS 8's fall release is sure to set off another round of mudslinging and legal wrangling, iPhone users will reap the benefits of some pretty awesome features, some of which we'd all but given up on. But now that Apple has embraced its plundering side, we'd like it to go just a little further and nab a few more Android features we've had our eye on--and maybe even a few from (gasp!) Windows Phone.

Take your pick

Safari, Mail, and Messages may have gotten a whole lot better in iOS 8, but we still kind of hate being all but forced to use them. Sure, you could install another browser, but when you click a link in an text message, it'll still open in Safari, every darn time. Android users can freely change the default apps that open when they click links or open attachments, and we'd love to be able to do the same on our iPhones.

Personal touch

We kind of swooned when Craig Federighi showed off the sexy new dark mode in OS X Yosemite, and quite frankly, we were a bit bummed when it didn't resurface during the iOS 8 portion of the keynote. Over on Android, users can download all sorts of mods, skins, and launchers to change their home and lock screens to pretty much any design they desire; hell will probably have to freeze over before that happens, but we'd like some kind of happy medium on iOS.

Hide and seek

We understand that the home screen grid has become as recognizable as the iPhone and iPad themselves, but we think it might be time for a change. We've always liked how the app drawer on Android hides all of those games and utilities we don't need on a daily basis, and it would be just dandy if Apple offered something similar in iOS. After all, it sure would be nice to see our background pictures for once.

Unique screens

Speaking of the home screen, there's an awful lot of untapped potential being left on the table by sticking to the app grid. Windows has live tiles, and Android has widgets, and we can't help but fantasize about some kind of Apple-esque combination of the two, not unlike Jay Machalani's awesome concept. With third-party widgets finally being allowed in the Notification Center, we're only a step away from a home screen that's more than just a bunch of unrelated icons.

 

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