While WWDC contained some truly blockbuster announcements this year, iOS still tends to be the biggest takeaway for consumers at Apple’s annual developer conference. And with iOS 14, we’re seeing Apple borrow more than ever from the biggest competitor to its mobile OS, Android. iOS 14 really does seem intent on reaching feature parity with Google’s platform, and while that’s no doubt driven by a desire to bring more features and functions to Apple’s smartphones—and keep people buying them—there’s also a real argument to be made that this is a good thing for Android, too. As the two platforms become more similar, Android will likely start to benefit from an increased awareness among ordinary consumers that their phones can do things like use homescreen widgets or set a different default browser. It may not sound like much, but I think these changes could lower the barrier to entry for customers looking to switch platforms down the road.
I’m not going to make a full list here of all of the iOS changes that came from Android — partly because it’s too much to discuss briefly in an editorial (you can find that list here), but primarily because Apple has already made it clear there are more numerous smaller changes it didn’t discuss during the WWDC keynote. Any list at this point would simply be incomplete, and I’ve already spotted a couple other features that were glossed over during the iPad segment. Apple is cramming more iOS features into other sections of the announcement as well, like a Digital Wellbeing-style Wind Down mode that was announced in the Apple Watch segment (and Apple even took the same name). Either way, lots of features familiar to Android users just got announced for iOS, though a few of them are particularly important.