Android and iOS practically control the entire smartphone market. A comparison between the two is obvious when Google or Apple release the latest iteration of their respective software. Google has released the first developer preview of Android P, and will likely unveil the OS at its I/O conference in May. What Google released Wednesday is not the consumer version of its newest OS, but it offers a glimpse into what is coming later this year with Android P. Let’s check out how the new features in Android P developer preview stack up against the iOS 11.
First things first: Android P borrows a lot of features from iOS 11. If you have downloaded the developer preview, you know which features I’m talking about. Google’s new OS natively supports the top cutout similar to the iPhone X. The rumor mill already knew that the notch support was coming to Android, and now Google has confirmed it. Google will allow developers to automatically adjust the status bar height to house the notch without hurting the user experience.
On the Android P developer preview, developers can simulate the notch on their notch-less Android phones to make sure that everything works fine when coding their apps. More than a dozen Android vendors have already unveiled phones with an iPhone X-like notch. Google has moved the clock from top-right to top-left corner to accommodate the notch, and the status icons to the top-right.
The Android P has also overhauled the aesthetics to give it a more bubbly look. The Notification Panel looks different from the one on Android Oreo. It has a card-like notification layout with rounded corners. When you drag down the notification tray, you see that the company has given it a spartan white treatment. Google seems to be adopting an Apple-like minimalist design for Bluetooth, WiFi, DND, and Airplane Mode toggles. The organization is pretty neat.
Google has also made the notifications better than ever before by adding support for more informative alerts from messaging apps. It will allow you to reply to messages from within notifications. You can also attach images and stickers in your replies right from the notification shade. Android P also gets the AI-powered smart replies. The iOS 11 allows you to scroll through whole conversations from the iMessage notification drop-down.
Another feature that Android P borrows from iOS 11 is the support for High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF). Apple popularized the HEIF by adding support for HEIC (a version of HEIF) in iOS 11. HEIC reduces the file size of images by as much as 50% compared to JPEG without losing any details. It frees up storage space and consumes less data when sharing or syncing media files. The iOS 11 also uses HEIC to supply 3D scene maps.
Android P also gets the screenshot editing feature, which has already been available on the iOS 11. Called Markup, Google’s screenshot editing tool lets you edit screenshots to your liking and share it directly from the Markup tool. Other features that Google borrowed (or took inspiration from) iOS 11 are the text effects and tools. In Android P, long-pressing on text will now give you the option to “Search the web.” There is also a text zoom function.
Google has added native support for dual cameras in Android P. The new Multi-camera API gives developers access to streams “simultaneously from two or more physical cameras.” Developers can also switch between the two lenses automatically. Though there are already many Android phones with dual cameras, you can take advantage of them only while using the pre-installed camera app. With Android P, you can use features like bokeh and zoom in the camera sections of third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram.
It seems like Google has taken a lot of inspiration from the iOS 11. So, how does Android P appear to be better than iOS 11? Google has only released the developer preview, and the final version of the OS could be a lot better. The primary reason Android P has forged ahead is artificial intelligence. Google is way ahead of Apple when it comes to AI and machine learning. Android P has advanced AI along with some of the best features of iOS 11.
Also, the Android P gets indoor navigation. We know that Google Maps is far better than Apple Maps, but indoor navigation is still a problem with these apps. Google is adding platform support for IEEE 802.11mc WiFi protocol, which is more commonly known as WiFi Round Trip Time (RTT). It will allow your Android device to help you navigate indoor locations where GPS can’t reach. WiFi RTT can pinpoint your location within 1-2 meters.
Google will talk about the Android P in great detail at its I/O conference in May. Meanwhile, Apple is preparing to unveil its next-gen iOS 12 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June this year.