Why Apple Stealing from Android is Good

Earlier this week, Apple had their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC for short) and with it came the reveal of all the features that will release this fall in iOS 14 and let’s just say Android users noticed a lot of features they’ve been using for quite some time.

I was in that camp too and I’m sure I’ll be mocked endlessly on Twitter for this, but even though my everyday phone is the Google Pixel 3a XL and I love it to death, I kind of love how Apple has adapted home screen widgets and an app drawer.

You see, there’s a certain lack of organization on Android that widgets were supposed to fix. Needed a quick way to play music, send a Tweet, look at your calendar, check the weather? You could put a widget right on your home screen and you’d rarely ever have to open the app to perform those same functions. However, over the years, as digital assistants become more and more prevalent, those same widgets failed to update with them, forcing Android users like myself to turn to automation services like IFTTT so that I could essentially “set it and forget it”. With iOS 14’s widgets, Apple and their software engineers could finally change widgets into something I want to use again by making these widgets smarter via “Smart Stack”, which would no doubt lead to smarter widgets in Android 12.

Apple could also force Android software to finally move out of the folder organization game with their own version of an app drawer that automatically organizes apps into categories. Folders are nice, but when you have to spend an entire day organizing them into neat little categories and it still ends up being a mess, its kind of frustrating.

So, here’s hoping that by virtue of simply being smarter about how Apple adapts widgets and the app drawer from Android, that we’ll see Google listen and make the Android ecosystem even smarter.