Other Gadgets

iOS 8 to take a bigger bite?

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on June 04, 2014

At WWDC 2014, Apple tries to draw more users into its ecosystem

Earlier this week, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple unveiled iOS 8. As usual, the new mobile operating system for iPhones showcased a long list of new features for users to get excited about. But looking at some of the features, the battle between iOS and Android seems to have intensified.

During the keynote address, CEO Tim Cook took a serious potshot at Google’s Android OS by stating that “They had bought an Android phone, by mistake, and then sought a better experience, and a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.” From a gadget critic’s point of view, that’s a wee bit low, considering the fact that many of iOS 8’s new features look like they’ve been borrowed from popular third-party apps and Android OS itself.

For instance, iMessage has received a massive upgrade which lets users share voice notes with ‘Tap to Talk’. Users can also do the same with photos and videos. With group messaging users can now add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed. All these features have already been around on WhatsApp. If that wasn’t enough, photo messages can now ‘disappear’ unless they have been saved by the user. Reminds you of Snapchat, doesn’t it? And of course, most of these features have been around on Google’s new Hangouts app, which integrates SMS, MMS and IMs.

But Apple has taken the lead with the HealthKit app, which pools data from third-party health apps. On the Android front, only Samsung has integrated health and fitness features comprehensively with its top-end smartphones.

Moreover, Apple is possibly looking at drawing more users into its ecosystem by introducing more cross-device features, such as a new iCloud Drive and continuity of document access and editing between OS X and iOS 8. There’s also a new Family Sharing feature that acts as a communication tool to share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household.

With these features and more, it seems like iOS has borrowed from the most popular features that users are accessing, and added a few of its own tricks to pull ahead of Google to dominate the personal gadget industry. We’re just waiting to see exactly when and how Google picks up this gauntlet.

Published on June 04, 2014

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