Apple and Google both have major software updates releasing in 2021. iOS 15 should be amazing, but Android 12 will be even better. Here’s why.
Android 12 and iOS 15 are both slated to release later this year and, right now, the former is shaping up to be vastly more interesting. Google and Apple always bring a lot to the table with their yearly OS upgrades, but 2021 looks to be the year of Android.
While the debate of Android vs. iOS is mostly fruitless, that’s not to say the platforms don’t each have their ups and downs. There are some years where Google leads the way with Android, other years Apple dominates with iOS, and it’s this constant back and forth that keeps the innovation needle moving forward. Apple and Google are both poised to unveil their next big software releases in the coming weeks, with Google unveiling Android 12 at its Google I/O conference and Apple announcing iOS 15 at WWDC this June. While full details of the two updates won’t be revealed until then, all signs point to Google having the upper hand this time around.
Last year was absolutely huge for Apple. iOS 14 stands out as one of the most radical software releases there’s ever been for the iPhone, with it introducing home screen widgets, a proper app library, and more customization than ever before. Apple went all out with iOS 14 and, after making 2020 a year of revolution, 2021 will likely see it focus on refining all of these new features. Current rumors about iOS, as reported by Bloomberg, suggest that some of its biggest changes will include a refreshed lock screen, new tools for managing notifications, and expanded functionality for widgets. While there’s nothing wrong with Apple focusing on smaller changes for 2021, the expectations for iOS 15 pale in comparison to what’s been revealed of Android 12.
Android 12 Will Be One Of Google’s Biggest Updates In Years
Google has released three Developer Previews of Android 12 since February and, because of that, there’s already a good idea of what to expect with the new software. A lot has been revealed thanks to these previews, with the most exciting thing being Google’s new ‘Silky Home’ interface. This appears to be one of the biggest visual overhauls Android has seen in years, with some of the changes including easier one-handed use, more rounded icons, larger text throughout the UI, and vastly expanded theming options. All of this should come together to make Android more functional and customizable, with the visual tweaks being the icing on the cake.
Outside of Android’s new aesthetics, Google is also working on many new and updated features that should make a big difference in day-to-day use. For starters, Google appears to be giving widgets a much-needed overhaul. Widgets have felt like an afterthought on Android for years but, following their popularity in iOS 14, Google doesn’t want to be left in the dust. Android 12 will revamp the widget-selection menu, Google is developing a new ‘Conversations’ widget for managing messages across various apps, and it looks like there will be a new visual style for widgets to make them more cohesive across the board. Google’s inspiration from Apple doesn’t stop there. There are also sightings of a one-handed mode and permission indicators to alert a user when an app uses their microphone or camera. And that’s just to name a few of the things that have been discovered so far. There are countless other smaller tweaks, not to mention additional features that Google will reveal at I/O later this month.
It’s clear that Google is taking some inspiration from Apple with Android 12, but that’s far from a bad thing. iOS 14 is one of the best software products Apple has ever released. With Android 12, Google is integrating some of those things, adding all-new features, and presenting all of that with a completely new interface. It will come together in what will be one of the largest Android updates Google’s released since 2014. Compared against the backdrop of what Apple will be doing with iOS 15, it’s clear which company has the more interesting software plans for 2021.
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