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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.

More control

Now that Apple has allowed third-party keyboard support and a Touch ID API, iOS is more open than it's ever been--but the Control Center remains limited to what Apple thinks we need. The Android solutions all over the Google Play store might not be quite as elegant as the translucent, slide-up utility panel in iOS, but they all have one main advantage: the ability to customize every single button. We're cool with Control Center's music controls, but we can't wait till Apple lets us swap out the rest of the shortcuts for ones more suited to our tastes.

Side view

Before WWDC, we got our hopes up reading rumors about split-screen multitasking, but it just wasn't in the cards. We haven't forgotten, though, and we're still holding out hope for it to emerge as a surprise feature during the iPad launch event typically held each October. We're not head over heels for the implementations we've tried on Windows 8 and Android, but we think Apple can come up with a killer solution that actually makes us twice as productive.

Let's hang

In KitKat, Google takes communication seriously. Hangouts merges all of our conversations into a seamless, continuous stream. The streamlined Phone app has improved search and caller ID for unknown businesses. And the smart contacts manager puts your favorite people front and center.

The shortcuts to our favorite contacts built into the iOS 8 multitasking screen is a start, but we would like Apple to think a little harder about the myriad ways we communicate on our phones. Steve Jobs once said that the iPhone's killer app is making calls, but these days, but it might take a little inspiration from Android to get there again.

Wi-Fi Sense

Windows Phone 8.1 has a lot of great features, but one that really caught our eye is Wi-Fi Sense. Actually, it kind of seems like an Apple feature already: an easy, intelligent, and secure way to share your Wi-Fi and join hotspots without bring prompted or fiddling with passwords. Smart and seamless Wi-Fi switching would save precious megabytes on our data plans and we could stop having to hand out our passwords when friends and family visit. We can practically hear Federighi calling it fantastic.

 

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