Back in 2007 when iOS was launched it sent the tech industry to go bonkers! It wasn’t because iOS was a perfect OS but it is because of the huge usable shift from the conventional smartphone OSes. An year later Google made its entry into the smartphone ecosystem with its Android OS, just like iOS even Android was half baked initially but it turned on the heat and proved to be a worthy competitor. Over the years Android evolved to an extent that it beat out iOS by volumes and created its own cult of followers. Accepted, iOS nor Android neither of them are perfect even now. Each one of the OSes can learn a lot from one another, in this post we sum up few features that iOS could borrow from Android and yet could retain the fluidity of iOS and yet add lot more functionality to its users.
SIRI providing more contextual services
Android started with their personal assistant, Google Now, that initially just mimicked SIRI but Google Now evolved rapidly to provide a huge chunk of contextual information to its users unlike SIRI.
One major advantage for Google Now is that it relies on users date like their emails, sms, search history, location data and what not! Google services being tightly integrated into Android OS provides a huge edge for Google as it already has most of the data needed to provided contextual information. A simple example includes Google Now popping up a car showing how much time it would take for the user to travel from his current location to his home or office in current traffic conditions.
The only way SIRI can do the same is to track all activity on the phone, which still might be limited but it can soon bring in loads of contextual information just like Android does.
More utility for notifications bar
Android is known for its customisation and one particular area of customisation that Android excels in is its notification bar. It is quite important to provide the best utility from a notification bar because that is the only part of the whole OS which can be accessed from any location, be it a game you are playing or be it a video you are watching on mobile youtube. Android has the capability add and edit direct settings options to notification bar like switching on and off WiFi, varying brightness etc. It would be nice to see such changes in iOS as well, it would be even better to open up APIs to developers and allow developers to add content or settings for their apps into notification bar.
Making the annoying autocorrect better
We have to admit, the autocorrect feature is really annoying in iOS. Even after setting really good Human Interface Guidelines for developers the problem exists in the core OS itself with very tiny autocorrect cancel bubble that pops up. Most of the times users end up with a wrong word as cancelling the auto correct becomes impossible and irritating. With apps like Swiftkey (Android) and Fleksy (iOS) that provide much better word prediction and autocorrect its time Apple does something about it, may be allow users to change the default keyboard like on Android?
Default Apps for various actions
Android will prompt its users when there are multiple apps that can do a particular action and the user can select which app to open to complete that particular action, users can also set default apps depending on their personal preference. Agreed, this can be annoying for some simple actions but it is more useful than it is annoying.
On iOS users are compelled to use Apple set default apps like Safari for web browsing and Apple maps for maps data. Whenever any link has to be opened in a browse it open up Safari by default even if you like browsing on Mobile Chrome or Dolphin browser. Wouldn’t it be nice to set default apps on iOS as well?
Home screen shortcuts for apps
All you see on iOS home screen are native apps, third party apps, shortcuts to web apps and shortcuts to websites directly. On Android users can create sub level shortcuts to be present on the home screen, say you constantly message someone or you constantly call a particular number, Android gives you an option to add a shortcut to these tasks on to home screen but you cannot do that on iOS yet.
Long press having better utility
In Android and Windows Mobile most OS actions are performed by long press and it is kind of becoming a norm across various smartphone OSes. True, iOS also has few long press functionality but it would be nice to see Apple providing better usage guidelines for developers to include long press based actions for certain tasks.