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3 min read 20 comments

Android is becoming more like iOS and it's a good thing

Android N has landed and it brings the platform another little step closer to iOS. Now, I love Android. I love that Android is not iOS. But I believe that it will ultimately benefit from a few facets of the iOS design. Here's why.

Android is heading in Apple's direction, and it's a good thing. / © ANDROIDPIT

Reply from notifications

The ability to reply from within notifications has been around since iOS 8 and now Android is probably going to adopt it in the next version of Android. Remember, however, that the Android N Developer Preview is a work in progress: things can change.

This addition is sensible, because it shortcuts the process of diving into specific apps. Shortcuts are tasty. Shortcuts save us time. Time is precious. Irrespective of whether or not this was invented by Apple (it wasn't), iOS has put it to effective use, and I'm glad we can now enjoy it on Android.   

Split view / multi-window

iOS 9 got to split view before stock Android, too, though Samsung’s TouchWiz has had these capabilities for years. There should be few complaints about the addition of this feature to the Android functionality roster as it's a feature which has been crying out to be implemented for years.

This has become even more necessary as Android tries to bridge the gap between mobile and desktop. 

True multi-window added to Android N. / © ANDROIDPIT

Night mode 

Android almost got to this one first. It was primed for integration with Android M but it was removed for the final build. Night mode looks set to make a comeback in the next major Android version, but iOS introduced a similar feature known as night shift in version 9.3.

Night mode and night shift can help us get better sleep in a similar way to how Twilight Pro works. You can download an app for a similar effect, but for those who aren't aware of it, the feature should come as a nice inclusion in Android N.

The app drawer removal?

Some manufacturers have already ventured into this territory (LG and Xiaomi being two of the major players to remove the app drawer) and it’s not certain whether it will be removed from the next Android OS – rumors have suggested it will be, but in the first build, it remains. 

If we can fit all of our apps onto home screens, is the app draw still relevant? Or is it just a hanger-on from a previous generation? The jury's still out.

androidpit lg g5 19 w782
No app drawer on the LG G5. / © ANDROIDPIT

Final thoughts

I’m not saying that everything in Android N is geared towards iOS, nor that iOS itself was first to any of these ideas. In many ways, it’s not about the “who was first” game: that's boring. What’s more interesting is who makes the best use of it.

At the minute, for the above features, it's iOS, but perhaps not for long. Soon Android is going to benefit from the adoption of these features and that's a good thing.  

Give me your take below.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Paolo Mar 13, 2016

    Saying "Android is becoming more like iOS and it's a good thing" is like saying "Sports cars are becoming like the Toyota Corolla and it's a good thing." It's RIDICULOUS.

  • Bill Carter Mar 12, 2016

    The app drawer is one of the major advantages that Android has over iOS. If it goes, you might as well take away the 'back' button and everything else that makes Android superior to iOS.


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  • Android trying to be similar with IOS is extremely bad. And many producers will lose their market share as a result. The reason why many appreciated Android was exactly because it did not have the stupid limitations ios has.

  • Looks like I'm keeping my rooted LG G Stylo

  • First thing I did when I bought my Note 4 was to put NOVA Launcher on it. Brilliant launcher- full of customization ability.
    I hated the first and only iphone I ever bought (iphone 4)- about 3 months into a two year contract. I would not want all my apps spread out all over the phone like ios---keep apps in app drawer. Even with Windows phones you can choose what YOU WANT on YOUR phone home screen.
    Why don't the likes of Google, Samsung , Apple etc ASK the customers what THEY want, for a change??
    And why do they make it so bloody hard to contact them to tell them what WE want ??

  • I want Android will be like Android..Customization, App Drawer,Back Key,Home Key,Menu Key,And All Android Taste..I Never want it looks like iOS👎

  • And what happens if you download hundreds of Apps then wouldn't u run out of Homescreens in question itself?

  • Paolo Mar 13, 2016 Link to comment

    Saying "Android is becoming more like iOS and it's a good thing" is like saying "Sports cars are becoming like the Toyota Corolla and it's a good thing." It's RIDICULOUS.

  • I wish they also implement notification count on top of app icons. I know there is a way to do that using Zooper and Tasker, but that should not be the case. It should be built in.

  • The problem isn't that taking away the app drawer is an insurmountable decision. The problem is that we love android and having the most recognizable feature of android removed just sucks.

  • The app drawer is one of the major advantages that Android has over iOS. If it goes, you might as well take away the 'back' button and everything else that makes Android superior to iOS.

  • Updates and upgrades from google over the internet instead of telecom or OEM providers would be great too.
    And for that google would have to receive if not open source drivers, at least public drivers, in order to test the updates and upgrades, even in emulation.

    Each device must have the opportunity to one upgrade, and then migrate to the next one, that way techier and richer people would be using the same version of the OS but one as upgrade and others as the first OS at their new device.

    In other words, every Android device should be as a nexus device that can pe upgraded a lot.

  • When you are talking about split view you are never mentioning LG

  • I think in iOS we don't have freedom at all.

  • I really hope they keep the app drawer. I love having just one home screen and then using the app drawer to find little used apps.

    • Lots of people seem to be ranting about the loss - or potential loss - of the app drawer as if its an insurmountable problem. All you need to do is download a launcher like Nova etc. that will give you your app drawer back. Problem solved within seconds. It's really not a big deal. That's the beauty of Android right there, the ability to change things if you don't like them. Try doing that on iOS!!!

  • I agree, it doesn't matter who was first iOS or Android. The onky thing that matters is who implements it the best. As a long time iOS user now having switched to Android, the new features in Android N will definitely make Android more polished and give iOS users another reason to take a serious look at Android. I think they'll be surprised just like I was.

    • The problem with Android is that the always add new futures but the always seem to lack something. I really like my android phones but everytime when the introduce a new option I just have the feeling that it misses something

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