Share this Story

New iOS 8 Features That Android Actually Needs to Adopt

ios 8

Apple is done with its WWDC keynote, where they introduced a bunch of new features for iOS 8, plus a new version of OS X called Yosemite. We poked fun at a handful of them already, but believe it or not, we are also capable of giving props when we see something cool or that we would like to see on Android at some point. I know, I know, you are probably wondering what I have been drinking over the last couple of hours, but hang with me for a second. You have to admit that Apple is really doing a great job at making all of the experiences seamless from iPhone to iPad to computer. They are also doing a pretty impressive job when it comes to making it easy to get in touch with or share things with the people you chat with the most.

So here we go – these are the iOS 8 features that were introduced today that we actually found to be pretty cool. Feel free to agree or disagree, of course.

ios action notifications

Interactive Notifications

With Interactive Notifications, Apple is giving you actionable items in a notification. These aren’t groundbreaking by any means, but something as simple as being able to quick-reply to someone in a message without leaving your current app, is pretty cool. We have something similar on Android (have had for a while), but these seem to take the idea one step further. With Android, when you tap a button in a notification, you are taken out of your current app and into the app attached to the notification. On iOS 8, a text notification lets you respond (with a keybaord) within the notification without leaving your current position.

Sure, there are 3rd party apps that do this on Android already, but building this functionality into the OS would be awesome, especially so developers from all sorts of apps could take advantage of it.

ios callsios hotspot

Automatic Hotspot and Phone calls

Apple introduced a way for an iPhone to automatically become a hotspot for your computer and then also give you the ability to answer or make calls through your computer. I know what you are going to say, “We have Google Voice and Hangouts and hotspot apps already on Android!” But see, that’s the thing – this is all seamless integration that doesn’t require launching an app or signing up for Google Voice. With Apple’s new voice call and hotspot integration, everything is just ready to work.

With the Hotspot idea, your computer recognizes that your iPhone is near and then lets you connect to it via hotspot to use your phone’s data connection. It just appears in your list of WiFi options to connect to without ever turning anything on on your iPhone. On Android, you could tap on a widget or icon to load up your hotspot, then activate it, but automatic is automatic, and something I think we would all prefer.

With voice calls on iOS 8, you can answer or place calls on your computer as long as your iPhone is attached (likely tethered) to your computer. Now, you can do this with Google Voice/Hangouts integration on Android, but that’s another app or service you have to sign-up for. Apple is allowing you to do all of this without signing up for something separate. Google seems to be moving this direction with Hangouts (or has at least promised that it’s coming), but here we are still waiting for it to arrive while Apple is rolling it out.

ios quick familyios quick family2

Quick Access to Favorite People

In iOS 8, a double tap on the iPhone’s home button not only brings up a list of your recently used apps, but it now shows you recently talked to people, along with a swipe that will quickly bring in your favorites. You can see how awesome this would be for those of us who talk to a number of people throughout a day. On Android, you would either need to load up Hangouts or the People app to call or start a conversation with someone (after you locate them), but wouldn’t it be nice to always have those people a quick gesture or shortcut away? It seems like Google could add a favorite/recently-talked-to people section to their multi-tasking screen. Again, there are apps on Android that can make accessing your favorite people pretty easy, but this is built right into iOS 8 and always available from any screen.

ios group messages

Messages, Group Messaging, etc.

Hangouts is a decent messaging app on Android, but iMessage or Messages on iOS is a much better, more well-rounded solution. Apple introduced all sorts of new group controls today, like a map that shows locations of participants in a group message, a list of attachments gathered together, easy DND, and even a way to add or remove contacts at any time. They added voice notes and video notes (that play natively), along with even more access through Messages on other Apple devices.

I mentioned this above, but a lot of this stuff could be coming to Hangouts, it just seems like Google is taking their sweet timing bringing it to us.

ios family share

Family Sharing

Apple introduced family sharing of a number of items today, but most importantly, is content purchased through iTunes. Your family now all (up to six devices) have access to items purchased with the same credit card on their iOS devices. So if you are all using a same credit card and if someone used that card to buy a new album or movie, you can grab it too, at any time without having to pay for it again. With Android devices, you would have to add the same Gmail account to multiple devices in order to experience something similar. I actually have a setup like this with my wife, and I can tell you right now that it is a pain in the ass.

ios app bundles

App Bundles

The final feature we saw from the lengthy WWDC keynote that we would love to see on Android, was the announcement that the Appstore will enable developers to sell app bundles. An app bundle is exactly what you think it is – a group of apps that can be purchased for a single price. That could be a game developer bundling all of their games together for a discounted rate for a period of time. Or maybe Google could grab a bunch of their favorite apps from top developers and bundle them together for a promotional deal on Google Play to celebrate a holiday. You get the point. Apple is there, Google is not, yet.

Anything else you saw from WWDC today that you were a fan of? Anything you would like to take a jab at? Share it below.

  • abhilashthakur

    Android already has most of the iOS 8 features

  • Матт Реякіпѕ

    It’s nice to finally see an Android person admit that iOS has some nice features Android doesn’t. Usually Android users laugh at the features iOS has that Android doesn’t. Remember Siri was a gimmick until Android made a clone then Android users acted like it was the best thing ever. Hell most Android users aren’t even aware that Android wouldn’t even have a touch screen if it wasn’t for the iPhone (Google flat out admitted to it). Nor would it’s apps work similar to iOS without the iPhone. Android was being developed to be like BlackBerry. And most of the new features Android has that iOS doesn’t, Android wasn’t first to have. Android’s look they claim iOS 7 copied was copied from Windows Phone 8. Themes and Widgets were taken from the iOS jailbreak community. So technically iOS had widgets and themes before Android, Android just made them default first. But iOS isn’t exactly first with everything either. There were tablets before iPad. There were touch screens before the iPhone (Pocket PC). mobile apps were around before iOS. Apple just made tablets and smartphone phones popular to the mainstream, and Google made Android for those who couldn’t afford an iPhone/iPad and on carriers that didn’t have the iPhone yet.

    • Larizard

      ^ delusional

  • drathos

    WiFi calling baked into the OS. Sure, there’s Android phones that do WiFi calling on T-Mobile, but they are customized for T-Mobile to do it. I would love to be able to get a Nexus or Moto X or whatever unlocked phone and be able to do it.

  • JY

    love or hate apple, with ios8 coming on the iPhone 6 with the bigger screen, apple has made it a damn good reason to join or continue in their ecosystem with the things they lacked before compared to android. Kitkat was just as fast as ios7 maybe not as beautiful but had more features, like 3rd party keyboards, better sharing, google now, but ios8 will change that whose going to take the fight with apple? android 4.5/5.0 needs to bring something special then htc, sony, lg, and Samsung needs build on that, only Samsung has that power with their brand and other things they make including home appliances but its locked down by google and touchwiz and galaxy range needs a complete refresh, I hope tizen becomes something big in the future! I want to see a fight!

  • Guest

    As a user of both Android & ios the fact that “there are apps on Android that can make…” makes android so lovable. having something not built in is practically meaningless with Android. But having the choice is great and its not impossible to use both.

  • Lykoz

    Search it didnt make up anything.

    Regulation means non function for some.

    Fact of the matter is I can teather with my android and cant with my sisters iphone

  • HYNK

    Some good points. Apple is good as seamlessly integrating things so
    users don’t have to do any figuring out how to make things work. I’m
    sure some Android devs will figure out how to add interactive
    notifications within a few days, so that’ll be cool.

  • Sony Fanboy

    All you Samsung owners need to get off of this discussion, unless you have rooted. Samsung UI is a disgrace to Android, and if you like it, then you are not a true Androidian and should hold your tongue.

  • roiji

    I should be able to opt out of those features right?
    I don’t want my Mac to automatically use my iPhone’s (capped) data connection.

  • itpromike

    @kellex:disqus I just wanted to point out a correction for the post about one of the features. The whole thing with being able to answer calls from your computer, there are a few bits of information that need to be updated/corrected about this feature:

    1.) This features doesn’t just work on your computer but your iPad as well. If a call comes in, you can answer on your computer OR on your iPad as long as your phone is ‘reasonably’ near by.
    2.) To make use of this feature your phone doesn’t have to be tethered in ANY way. This feature makes use of Bluetooth LE and iBeacons (introduced in iOS 7 last year) to automatically (behind the scenes) determine the proximity of your phone relative to your computer. So for example if I’m in my house and leave my phone in my office or on my nightstand while I’m sitting in the living room on my computer or iPad, then phone calls would ring on my computer or iPad.

    Just wanted to make these clarifications because it adds to the usefulness and utility of the feature and also bolsters the point about wanting to have this available on Android.

  • Synacks

    Your move Google (Hangouts). Keep me on Android because the grass is looking well taken care of on iOS now.

    • Larizard

      So, Google I/O has come and gone. What u say?

  • yeahh…just what my lady needs to see….a quick pop up of other girls i speak to frequently at a click of a button….smh where is the privacy anymore everything is all inyour face now

  • Brandon James Starcevic

    ugh, yuk.

  • Jason

    Which app will let you text directly from notification drop down? I’ve been looking for this for a while now.

    • CoreRooted

      None of them will allow you to accomplish this functionality the way that iOS is going to. Most third party SMS apps will allow you to open a quick reply window from the notification.

      • Android Developer

        What’s the difference? because IOS has an animation from the notification to the text area?

        the current app will pause on both OSs, and you will see the keyboard an a place to put the text in it.

        On IOS, as the video shows, the notification will take extra space while you play a game, even if you don’t want to use it currently.
        This looks annoying. look (at time 50:24) :

        It’s not taking just the space of the status bar, but a bit more, which might be annoying on some apps (especially considering you have buttons there).

        • CoreRooted

          I get what you are saying. What Android is lacking is the actual text box in the notification. That’s what I was getting at. I’m absolutely not saying that I agree with the design aesthetic as you are correct, both OSs will pause anyhow while you mess with the notification.

          • Android Developer

            It makes sense to pause the app, since you are currently typing something, and having the game (or anything else) continue will ruin what you’ve done so far there…

            The status bar on Android is quite tiny (and I think IOS’s too), and so I’m not sure how much text you could put there while also allowing the user to click and reply to someone.

    • Rysh
  • Jorge Guaman
    • Sony Fanboy

      That’s an Apple Support number

      • Android Developer

        So now you know his address and email address, and that he works at Apple-Support from now…

  • TimTheK

    I’m not at all interested in some of those “features” you mentioned.

    Interactive notifications: I’d like to be able to quick reply to a text or message. I guess that would be useful. I’m sure there’s a 3rd party app on Android that can do it, but I try to avoid 3rd party text apps.

    Hotspot and phone calls: Why would I want my phone’s hotspot to come on automatically? I don’t. If I need to tether to my phone I want to actively turn it on. I don’t need my battery draining itself when I don’t need to tether. As for phone calls from my PC….why on Earth would I want to talk to someone on my PC when my phone is sitting next to me? That I just don’t get.

    Messaging: I really don’t need any features that GroupMe or Hangouts doesn’t already offer….and in an open system that is platform agnostic.

    Family sharing: Well, Kit Kat offers multiple logins now which makes sharing a tablet in the house much better. I do wish they would allow some sort of “Family linking”. It’s so annoying that my wife and I share a large music collection but separate Google Play accounts…because if I buy a song from Google my wife can’t upload it to her Google Music account. I have to strip the meta tags out first. Or, more often I buy music from Amazon to avoid the hassle.

    App bundles? Ehh. I rarely download any apps let alone buy multiple apps, so bundles mean nothing to me.

  • mustbepbs

    “but a lot of this stuff could be coming to Hangouts, it just seems like Google is taking their sweet timing bringing it to us.”

    It took them most of Android’s life to bring emptying your trash from the Gmail app. I have zero hope for any cool features coming from Google for Hangouts. They’re like a jittery kid hyped up on candy and soda. They have a very short attention span and are constantly running around touching everything and messing things up along the way. I’m getting really sick of it, but I absolutely hate iOS. If only Windows Phone didn’t suck.

  • Acaa Aca

    Interactive Notifications – BB have it on BB10. you can reply directly in the notification on top of any app/games running. hope android gets this.

    • David Benson

      My LG G2 UI has this also. I love it.

      • Acaa Aca

        i haven’t used any lg phones lately. nice to know they have it.

      • Ed G

        Yeah. It is VERY nice for when calls come in. LG should get more credit for doing these things.

  • Benjamin Clay

    I agree with the article. We can do quite a bit of this, but we have to jump through a few hoops to do it. Can’t wait until we have some of this stuff that just works without several apps to make it work.

  • Simplej

    The only thing I’d care at all about from that list are family sharing.

  • Smeckle

    This is kind of a clichéd expression to use….but every time I see a picture of Tim Cook I think about how much I want to punch him in the face.

  • fufusppatritck

    my stepmum recently
    purchased an almost new silver Volkswagen Touareg just by some parttime
    working online with a lap-top… visit the website WWW.WORK­s­77.ℂ­OM

  • Lumia Nexus

    agree with all the points here but the fact of the matter is Android can naver match IOS’s optimisation and way of handling things. Android relies on hardware to perform simple task. the main trouble is the OEM’s in Android, why do they have to offer their own crap by force to people. it is not OEM’s fault either because they have learnt it from Google by forcing users to use Gmail, Music, Movies, Reading, etc from Google.

    Hangout app is crap from beginning and can never match IOS’ messaging. Yes it has group video calls but it is not for everyone. Normal consumers don’t even use video calls so forget group video calls.

  • Julio

    “this is all seamless integration that doesn’t require launching an app or signing up for Google Voice.”
    Right. You just have to buy an overpriced computer to go with it (disclaimer, I own one).

  • jay

    goog copies enough. Give it a rest.

  • Lykoz

    iPhone FINALLY GOT HOSPOT…. Android has been tethering for years

    • TroubleBaker

      1. iDevices have had internet tethering for years
      2. This is AUTOMATIC tethering, the computer sends a request to your phone to tether its internet and you don’t even have to touch the iPhone to start browsing.

      You should get the facts right before saying things like this, becuase it gets awkward at times

      • Lykoz

        iPhones need Internet tethering unlocked by service provider, and includes additional fees. The functionality is NOT just available.
        Android does not! You can tether independently and devoid of internet provider. Its free.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    All of this. And how about the ‘do not disturb’ mode from iOS6? STILL not built into stock Android. This should’ve been in v1.0. Oh, and I’ll also take notifications on the lock screen. kthx 😛

    • NBM

      Siri sure is INFINITELY more useful: (linking video for the first 20 seconds)
      most of this video is irrelevant since it was just something I recorded to show my uses of a very old sound dock I had using NFC and a 30pin-BT adapter

  • Allan

    I’m pretty sure that the quick reply for messages has been in place since CM9…but Google somehow neglected to implement it I think. Looks like Apple is taking a page out of CM’s book this time around.

    Or I just haven’t been paying enough attention, maybe it’s in Kitkat already?

    Good valid points.

  • patrick

    This may be a dumb question but i was reading an article on yahoo that was covering the Apple news from today’s conference. One statement that caught my eye was and i quote:

    ” — The iMessage chat service will now let you communicate with devices that aren’t running iOS, such as those running the rival Android system from Google. ”

    What exactly does this mean? iMessage for Android? Or am i totally understanding it wrong?

    Heres the link to the article and the quote can be found under ‘WORKING TOGETHER’


    • DC_Guy

      What they are referencing here is that you will now be able to get regular SMS text messages (from non-Apple device users) on your Mac and or iPad. Previously you could only receive iMessages on your Mac/iPad, so if you were “texting” with an Android user those messages only went to your phone. Whereas if you are an iPhone user who also uses a Mac/iPad “texting” another iPhone/iDevice user then those messages go to all of your devices. This is something that was very frustrating because you couldn’t continue all conversations across devices UNLESS you were communicating with a person using another Apple device and now you can. If I’m using my iPad and my iPhone is in another room, I will soon be able to get an Android user’s regular SMS text message on my iPad and not have to wait until I pickup my iPhone again.

      • patrick

        oh gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. Would have been nice to Imessage for android since a lot of my friends still use Iphones. Wishful thinking i guess. Apple would never do it

  • R2deetard

    too bad that if android did adopt some of these features, Apple would sue the pants off of anyone trying to integrate them into their own OS.

  • All quite nice features and I would love to have them on my android. One rebuttal – “quick access to favorite people” is already there in stock Android. “Direct dial” and “Direct text” widgets.


    Fingerprint passwords

  • StrattHacks

    While the notifications are cool, the calling from a computer is hardly new. I was doing that with a RAZR using I believe Motorola phone tools ages ago. In addition, you can dial out/message from your phone over Bluetooth in windows. Maybe not as elegant, but same thing. It is more driver Dependant, and I believe only broadcoms WIDCOMM drivers support it.

    Windows should add something like this, that is platform independent, since apple surely won’t allow non idevices to use this, and its been possible with Bluetooth for a while.

    A bit of info here:

    Either way, its a solid update for them. The keyboard changes are huge, and the siri updates are good as well. But I can’t wait to see what google does. We haven’t had a major upgrade in a while.

  • bibbyboi

    What ever happened to the interactive notifications? I had them before in hangouts but haven’t seen them in a while?

  • Shashwat Black

    I would rather have the ability to customize my phone the way I like, instead of it being permanently there as a part of the OS. Maybe I like interactive notifications, maybe I don’t.

  • deeshanizzle

    The automatic hot spot and phone calls on your computer is a bit hard for Android to do. Apple produces both the OS for their Macs and iPhone, while Android only does mobile devices. It would take a lot of integration support from Microsoft to make that available to Android devices.

    • NBM

      I would just put an NFC tag on my laptop, swiping turns hotspot on, laptop connects, another swipe turns it off… and that’s on an NFC/BT-less laptop. Gives more [streamlined/effortless] control for time AND place. I’m sure most people aren’t going to want to have their phone being used as a hotspot that much… or ever.

      edit: for the calls part I’ve had Google Voice for a while now.

  • Android already has 3rd party apps for most of this stuff. I’m almost sure of it!

  • Junior Youngman

    Apparently someone doesn’t know much about Android. Quick reply directly from the notification has been around for quite sometime in Android. The G2 and s5 both have it built into stock messaging for quick reply. And guess what? You still get to stay where you currently are!! Awesomeness. Samsung has offered for sometime that shows your phone screen on your laptop. You can control your entire phone from it. Not third party. And as for hangouts you can’t compare that because it’s a Google app. And every messaging app differs from manufactures.

    • wkwk

      Ok, a couple manufacturers offer some of these features. And? He’s saying these are good features that should be built into core Android, not features that are impossible on Android.

      • Junior Youngman

        They can’t be built into core android because andros is a completly free OS for manufactures to do as they please with. So with that being said apple handles one manufacturer. Themselves therfore it’s easier to keep everything to a core. I don’t get why people constantly compare them in the first place. Apple Vs. Android is like comparing apples and oranges.

  • tylerc23

    That Purple Mountain background suuuuure looks like that Nexus 5 Kit Kat background

  • enloquecido

    I still prefer most of these features on Android. Apple is forcing everyone to do it the same way, I like the choice. As for the app sharing, I suppose it’s awesome if you didn’t have any sharing but I prefer to choose what account I use to download an app rather than have it automatically shared. I like having the second shared account on my phone, plus I can share it with other extended family who wouldn’t have the same credit card but want to share a music library. Choice is always better and Apple is choice averse.

  • Richard Torres

    Its good to see competition and being able to see what is coming in the future. We need to put the apple vs android thing to the side and see the good that comes out of it for both sides.

  • j

    I love love apple, and android for my torrents on a phone – as for my daily computer it is OSX – FTW! You fan boys cn go wipe your ass with chrome os – for fags!!!!!!!!

    • Tomás De Bona


  • ts

    Family sharing is cool. Android definitely needs that.

  • Justin Strickland

    Why would I want quick contacts on my home button? I just put the hangouts widget on my main home screen. if I want to get to someone I frequently contact it already sorts it by recently messaged, so I tap their name… Done. Sounds like another feature we already had. Apple is just making it sound like a bigger deal than it is.

    • Ryan C

      What do you mean?! It is a big deal to people with iPhones! They’ve never seen something so revolutionary before! *sarcasm”

  • TheRobotCow

    I’m really stoked about the Osx and iOS integration and the interactive notification.

  • NexusMan

    Not impressed by any of this.

  • Kazahani

    I honestly would rather have android stay leaner on features and system resource usage. I can get all these “features” 3rd party if I want them, but if I don’t, then keep that crap off my phone please k thanks.

    • NexusMan


  • Mike Broder

    does anyone think that the carriers will allow a free hotspot to be used? hahahahahahahahahahaha