Home Technology 6 features that Apple has taken from Android with iOS 16

6 features that Apple has taken from Android with iOS 16

Apple iOS 16 official screens

Apple had several announcements to make this week at its annual WWDC event, with iOS 16 being one of the more prominent reveals. The latest version of the iPhone operating system brings a number of useful features, such as image segmentation for lock screen wallpapers, the ability to crop subjects in images using machine learning, and real-time notifications on the lock screen.

However, there are a few iOS 16 additions that Android users may be familiar with. We take a look at some of the features Apple has stolen from Android and Android OEMs for its own mobile platform.

1. Live Captions

pixel 6 live caption

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Perhaps Android’s most prominent iOS 16 feature is Live Captions, with Apple announcing real-time transcripts for conversations, audio, and videos. This is identical to Google’s Live Caption functionality (debuting in 2019), which uses on-device machine learning to transcribe all audio played on the device.

explained: How Live Caption works on Android

Apple has also announced that iOS 16 supports Live Captions for FaceTime calls. For what it’s worth, Google’s solution already supports phone calls, video calls, and audio messaging in general. Anyway, we’re glad that both platforms now offer this handy accessibility feature.

2. Lock screen widgets

Samsung Galaxy S22 lock screen widgets

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

One of the big iOS 16 features touted by Apple was the addition of widgets on the lock screen, which let you see information such as weather, events, time zones, and alarms from your locked screen. You can even associate multiple lock screens with different Focus profiles. It sounds pretty useful, but it’s another feature that technically arrived on Android first.

In fact, lock screen widgets debuted on Android way back in 2012 with the arrival of Android 4.2. This indeed allowed you to add a clock, calendar and other elements to the lock screen. Unfortunately, Android 5.0 has almost completely removed this feature. However, Samsung’s One UI still offers a pre-determined selection of widgets, as seen above.

3. Shared Photo Library

Google Photos has long provided shared photo functionality, allowing you to share albums with loved ones and let them add their own photos to the collection. Google’s service also lets you add face-by-face photos to an album, so you can automatically add all of your grandmother’s snaps to an album if you want. It even suggests contacts to share based on who is in the photo.

Guide: Share photos on Google Photos

This is another concept that Apple grabbed from Google with iOS 16, albeit with a few tweaks of its own. With iCloud’s shared photo library feature, you can now share your photo and video library with up to five other people. But it also follows Google Photos by letting these users add their own content to the library. You can also choose what to add to a library based on a start date or the people in the snaps – pretty cool.

4. Translate camera

Phone in hand with Google Translate with camera

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Apple has embraced machine learning in several ways, and iOS 16 showcases another beautiful use of the technology. Apple devices now have access to the translation camera functionality in the first-party Translate app, so you can point your camera at text to get translations.

Android devices have had this feature for years through the Google Translate app, allowing you to point your phone’s camera at text to get a translation overlaid in the live viewfinder. Apple’s approach is a little more limited, as it essentially takes a photo and then overlays a translation over the text in the captured image.

5. Customizable App Windows

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus DeX home screen

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

This is actually not an iOS 16 feature, but rather an iPad OS 16 feature. Still, the iPad’s newfound ability to resize app windows is a copy of what many Samsung tablets have offered for a few years now.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Samsung Dex

Samsung has long offered customizable, overlapping app windows on its tablets, especially when using Dex mode on the tablet itself or through an external display. Saying this, this feature was hidden under the Dex Labs settings for a while after its release, while some apps are not resizable.

6. Undo/schedule sending emails

undo send gmail

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Apple also announced the ability to unsend emails in the Mail app, along with the ability to schedule email sending. The first is especially helpful if you realize you made a typo or sent the email to the wrong person.

Both features appeared in Gmail a while ago. In fact, unsend was first announced as an experimental feature in 2009. Anyway, these features are available in Gmail for Android, PCs, and iOS.

Next one: 9 things Apple announced at WWDC that we want on Android


These aren’t the only iOS 16 features we’ve seen on Google-powered devices before. Features like haptic feedback for the pre-installed keyboard and multi-stop navigation have been around for a while on Android and associated Google apps. Are there any other iOS 16 features that were previously on Android or Google platforms? Let us know in the comments.

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