With the final release of Android 14 reported to be in August, and iOS 17 presumably in September this year, it’s only right to look at some of the features each operating system will bring to its users. Both operating systems have been in beta for a while now, with both slowly rolling out updates to already existing features, and some new ones. Their respective conferences (Google Keynote, and Apple WDC) were recently held in June where a slew of new features was announced.
iOS 17 launches in September supporting the iPhone XR to the 14 Series, SE 2020, and SE 2022. Beginning with the Phone app, users will be able to immediately notice personalized Contact Posters. A user can customize what people see when they call them such as adding a background image of themselves or even a Memoji. The font and color can be customized too. You can choose to share the Contact Poster with just your contacts or anyone who calls you.
Live Voicemail leaves a live transcription of what a person is saying on the other end of the phone on your lock screen. At that point, one can choose to either pick up the phone or hang up entirely. If a user enables Silence Unknown Callers in their Phone app, unsaved numbers will always directly go to Live Voicemail, and calls identified as spam will be immediately declined similar to Google’s Call Screening on the Pixel.
In the Messages app, the user interface gets a cleaner look. Check In, a new safety feature, lets friends and family know that you’re going somewhere and immediately notifies them when you reach your destination. If you stop making progress or are delayed along the way, the app checks in to see what’s happening. If there is no response, it will send helpful info like your battery and cellular status, and location to your friends and family. Other features coming to the app include swipe to reply, location sharing, voice note transcription, and much more.
In Facetime, the app now allows you to leave a video or audio message when someone misses your call. Facetime Reactions bring an added layer of goofiness to the app by allowing users to create effects with certain hand gestures. The Mail app can now autofill your one-time generated verification codes that are received in Mail in Safari without having to open the app. Apple Music will now include collaborative playlists which will allow your friends and family to add, reorder, and remove songs from a playlist. It will also come with crossfade, song credits, and an updated interface, among other features to various iOS applications.
Android 14 has been in beta since February and plans to roll out publicly as a final release in August to supported Pixel phones first. Prior to Android 10, Google used to name its Android versions after sweet treats. Nowadays, Google just sticks with the version number, but the dessert names are still used internally, ergo Android 14 is called Upside Down Cake.
Photo Picker is a new feature that lets you choose what specific images an app can have access to. Prior to this, an application would have access to your entire photo library even if all you wanted to do was upload a single image. This new feature helps reduce security risks. Unfortunately, since this feature is currently an Application Programming Interface or API, the onus is on the developers of said applications to utilize it. We can only hope Google enforces the use of it.
Notification Flashes aren’t necessarily a new technology, especially for iOS users, and the majority of Android users. But for Pixel users specifically, they’ll soon be able to turn on either camera or screen flashes whenever they receive notifications. A user will also be able to choose from a slew of colors too.
iOS 16 brought a new feature that allowed a user to customize their lockscreen with gorgeous augmented images, as well as adding widgets and clock designs. Android 14 will finally come with the ability to change one’s lockscreen, add shortcuts, and more.
With all the talk about generative AI during the Google I/O in June this year, the Messages app was brought up as being one of the first applications to harness this new technology. Magic Compose, will help a user write messages in different moods. After typing a message, rewrites will be generated that a user can choose from to either spice up the conversation or make it more exciting. We can only hope this feature will be baked into the Google Keyboard, and not be exclusive to the app entirely.
App Cloning will finally come to Android 14. A native App Cloning Utility in Android will let a user have two of the same applications. Yes, this feature already exists on other OEM Android smartphones, but it’s an added welcome to Android 14 natively. Predictive Back Gestures are an added welcome; Because Android apps use layers to remember app pages and keep the user interface sensible, this new feature will slowly reveal the layer underneath when a user slowly swipes to go back. This feature is very useful if you forget what page you are on, or if you are viewing something important and don’t want to lose its contents. Other features coming to the operating system include using the phone as a webcam, partial screen recording, drag and drop between apps, forced theme icons, generative wallpapers, and much more.