At its annual IoT conference on Wednesday, Google unveiled a number of new products, features and services that will roll out in the coming months. We’ve seen a new Pixel tablet, watch and phone, a new budget Pixel 6a, the first Android 13 public beta, and exciting search, AI, and app updates.
But here at McWorld, we couldn’t help but notice how familiar many of the announcements sounded. There were more than a few features unveiled in IoT that apparently broke directly from Apple’s Playbook. Here are 5 features coming to Google and Android devices that Apple users have been enjoying year after year:
One of the biggest app announcements in IO was to convert Google Pay to Google Wallet. Granted, Google Wallet was a thing before Apple Card, but this latest iteration takes more than a few hints from the iPhone app. The new Google Wallet, coming soon, is your one stop place for your digital life, digital ID, boarding pass, concert ticket, vaccination card, loyalty card, car key and of course credit card. From experience, Android users will love it.
Better tablet apps and multitasking
To put it mildly, Google’s tablets are not in the same league as the iPad. With Android 13, Google wants to change that by stealing something from Apple’s great tablet experience. New features on the Android tablet include simple multitasking that lets you use apps as well as new interfaces “to take full advantage of extra space, including YouTube music, Google Maps, Messages and more.” We’re not sure if this will hurt Apple’s tablet dominance much, but hey, it’s too late.
Copy and paste from phone to tablet
Apple users have long had the ability to copy something to their iPhone and paste it into their Mac, thanks to the power of Handoff and iCloud, and now Google is bringing the same thing to phones and tablets in Android 13. According to Google, “you’ll soon be able to copy a URL or image from your phone and paste it into your tablet.” A start.
Pixel Buds Pro
Google unveiled and teased a bunch of hardware announcements during its IO Keynote, including the new budget Pixel 6A, but the most interesting was the Pixel Buds Pro. While no one will confuse Pixel Buds A-Series wireless earbuds with AirPods, the Pixel Buds Pro bears a striking resemblance to the AirPods Pro. You’ll find sound-cancellation, clarity mode, spatial audio and ‘find my’ tracking and an in-ear design that is strikingly similar to the rumors of the AirPods Pro 2. Tell their rivals if you need to, but we’ll just call their copycats.
Google stopped short of releasing its first wearable in Google IO, but it did confirm the existence of the Pixel Watch. Like other Android Wire OS watches, it has a rounded design with a fairly sized bezel and a new “touch” crown that resembles Google’s digital crown version of the Apple Watch. We don’t know if it will be as smooth as Apple or if it will have a built-in ECG sensor, but the concept and appearance are virtually identical.