At its annual IO conference on Wednesday, Google announced a number of new products, features, and services that will be rolled out over the next few months. Check out new Pixel tablets, watches, phones, new budget Pixel 6a, first Android 13 public beta, exciting search, AI, and app updates.
But here at Macworld, I couldn’t help but realize how familiar many of the announcements were. Some of the features announced at IO seemed to be pulled directly from Apple’s playbook. Here are five features that Apple users have enjoyed over the years on Google and Android devices:
One of the biggest app announcements at IO was the conversion from Google Pay to Google Wallet. Sure, Google Wallet was before the Apple Card, but this latest iteration takes some clues from the iPhone app. Coming soon, the new Google Wallet is a one-stop place for digital life to store digital IDs, boarding passes, concert tickets, vaccine cards, loyalty cards, car keys and, of course, credit cards. From experience, Android users will love it.
Better tablet apps and multitasking
To say the least, Google tablets aren’t exactly in the same league as the iPad. With Android 13, Google aims to change that by stealing a bit from Apple’s amazing tablet experience. Among the new features of Android tablets are simple multitasking that allows you to use apps side by side and a new interface “to make the most of extra space such as YouTube Music, Google Maps, messages, etc.” It’s unclear if that will hit Apple’s tablet advantage, but hey, it’s slower than ever.
Copy and paste from phone to tablet
Thanks to the power of Handoff and iCloud, Apple users were able to copy something to their iPhone and paste it to their Mac. Today, Google is bringing the same to Android 13 phones and tablets. Soon, you will be able to copy the URL or image from your iPhone and paste it on your tablet. This system (see below) looks a bit clunky than Apple’s completely seamless universal copy and paste, but it’s the beginning.
Pixel Buds Pro
At the IO keynote, Google announced a number of hardware announcements, including the new budget Pixel 6a, and made fun of it, but the most intriguing was the Pixel Buds Pro. You shouldn’t confuse the Pixel Buds A-series wireless earphones with the AirPods, but the Pixel Buds Pro has features very similar to the AirPods Pro. You can take advantage of noise cancellation, transparency mode, 3D audio, “Find my” tracking, and an in-ear design that closely resembles the rumors of AirPods Pro 2. Call it a rival if necessary. ‘Call emcopycats.
Google was a little short of releasing its first wearable on Google IO, but it finally confirmed the existence of the Pixel Watch. Like other Android Wear OS watches, it looks like a Google version of the Apple Watch’s digital crown, with a circular design with a fairly large bezel and a new “tactile” crown. I don’t know if it’s as smooth as Apple or has a built-in ECG sensor, but the concept and appearance are virtually the same.
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