5 Android N Features that Google Borrowed from Apple’s iOS

Android N

It is impossible to convince diehard Android users to change allegiance and move to iOS and vice versa is true.

Apple and Google have been in competition with respect to the mobile niche ever since the touch-based iPhone made its way to the world. Ever since then, the search engine giant has occasionally been accused of “copying” lots of its developments from Apple, with things like the Touch ID, Do Not Disturb and Siri receiving new names on the Android platform.

While a lot has been said about Google incorporating iOS-based features into its Android ecosystem, few have taken notice of the few additions that Apple has come in with courtesy of Android. Things like widgets, third-party keyboards and notifications weren’t part of the iOS niche, but they have found their way there.

To take this battle even further, Google recently released the latest version of Android dubbed N. At the moment, the OS is still in beta and it is only available in a developer preview mode. Even though Android N comes in with quite a number of new and quite interesting additions, surprisingly, most of them are already available on the latest version of iOS 9.3, which is an iteration of the initial iOS 9.0.

What Google has done is, as usual, reimagine these features and actually make them much more useful than what Apple offers. Here’s a list of five great iOS 9 features that Google will be adding to the upcoming Android N.


It is now possible to open more than one app on a device using Android N thanks to a feature known as split-screen. This is the same thing as Apple’s split-view mode that debuted with iOS 9. iPad users are able to be more productive with this feature, but Google wants this productivity on all of its devices running the latest OS. Maybe Apple will bring this functionality to the iPhone with the next version of iOS 10.

There is support for portrait mode in Android N where apps are arranged on top of the other, but Apple’s split view only offers landscape mode with apps arranged side by side.

Android N

Battery saving modes

Smartphone battery life is a huge concern for not just smartphone manufacturers, but also buyers as well. With major companies increasingly becoming aware of this, attention has begun shifting to this area. We’ve seen devices come in with huge battery units, but Apple and Google also have their ways of chipping in with their technologies.

Apple has Low Power Mode on iOS 9 which turns off things like Siri and auto-refreshing of background apps when activated. This helps a lot in saving power and it usually activates when the battery drops below 20%. Google came in with a similar feature of its own and called it Doze. This first appeared in Android Marshmallow, but Android N is taking it to the next level.

The Doze mode automatically turns on even if the battery is still full. All it needs is for the screen to be turned off and it activates itself. Cool huh!

Night Mode

iOS 9.3 came in with a feature known as Night Shift. The same feature is now available on Android N as Night Mode, although it showed up sometimes back in an Android M beta. With this feature, both iOS and Android users will have an easier time falling asleep as the feature will control the lighting system of their phones when night start falling in.

Apple has a simple way of doing things: a toggle will turn the Night Shift feature on and users can also preset the time the feature turns on and off. Android N’s Night Mode works in almost the same way, but there is room to adjust the brightness and tint. Night Mode brings in a dark theme that turns all white bits in Android into black the moment the feature turns on. The feature also works automatically depending on your location as well as the time of the day.

Picture in picture

iOS 9 debuted with the picture in picture feature for iPad users. With this feature, users can easily shrink one window while using another window and at the same time move the shrunk window to any point on the screen, just like with the case of PCs. This ability has made its way to Android N developer preview, but unlike the multitasking feature that was built into all Android devices; the picture in picture feature only applies to Android TV.

Android N

In short, users will be able to use any other app on the screen while at the same time watching a movie.

Recent Apps

Smartphone users find it hard to switch between apps by going directly back to the previous app. Apple has tried to change this by introducing a “back to” button in the status bar which users can use to take them back to the previous app. Upon realizing that its permanent button that appears just below the screen is not effective, Google has decided to borrow a leaf from Apple’s iOS.

As mentioned earlier, the company has made the feature more functional by integrating it into the multitasking button. Double tapping on this button will send you back to the last app you visited regardless of the current page you are on. This is a much easier way to navigate across your mobile device, which, of course, iPhone users are hoping that Apple will introduce with iOS 10.




One thought on “5 Android N Features that Google Borrowed from Apple’s iOS”

  1. (1) multitasking has been there way before iOS implemented, not in the original Android but in likes of Samsung. (2) Battery saving mode has already been there in 5.1 and 6.0. (3) Recent button – really? This is something iOS borrowed from Android in iOS7. (4) Picture in picture is also something iOS borrowed from Samsung anyway.

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