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10 Android Lollipop features Apple should 'borrow' for iOS 9

Michael Simon | Nov. 20, 2014
It's OK to admit it: Each side influences the other at this point. Here's the influence we'd like to see next.

iOS and Android both have a very similar method of multitasking, with a swipeable card system that lets you quickly switch between apps. But Lollipop does it just a little better.

When you enter Overview, you'll get more than a menu of your recently used apps. Every task and tab that's running will be displayed, so if you're working on a draft of an email message, for example, you can choose to either jump back to the compose windows or to your inbox. And on your phone, you'll see all of your open tabs, too.

Print preview
iOS's print screen has never been much to write home about, offering only the most rudimentary of options. By comparison, Lollipop makes it seem like you're sitting in front of a PC, with a desktop-caliber preview screen that lets you see exactly how a picture or document is going to print.

And if no wireless printer is available, Lollipop users even get a save-as-PDF option, something I've been pining for since the days of iOS 4.

Tap screen to wake
Clicking the home button isn't exactly a difficult way to wake up an iPhones, but Lollipop brings a new way for supported Android phones to wake up: Just tap the display twice. That would certainly save me from some fumbling when I check my email on the iPhone 6 Plus before my first cup of coffee.

Search in settings
With each iOS revision, we expect Apple to finally add a way to search inside Settings, but it hasn't happened. Now Google has beaten Apple to the punch, adding an enormously handy magnifying glass to the top-right corner. Hope iOS fans don't have to wait much longer, because I'm tired of remembering where to go when I want to swap out my keyboard.

Ambient display
I know what you're thinking: iOS has had an ambient mode for years. It's true that Android's new ability to wake the display every time a notification comes in is old hat for iPhone and iPad users.

But in Lollipop it's an option, and quite frankly, I'd love to be able to temporarily turn off all lock-screen notifications with a single toggle.

Smart unlock
Touch ID has made it easier than ever to unlock an iPhone or iPad, but there are still times when we kind of wish we didn't have to use it. Google's found a middle ground between convenience and security that I'd love to see Apple adopt. When you get a new Bluetooth or NFC device, paired Lollipop phones and tablets will automatically unlock whenever they come within range of it. And I can think of something coming out early next year that would work really well with such a feature...


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