The beauty of competition is innovation. But when a company tries to overtake its competitors, it's not always something new. Sometimes one party will be heavily inspired by the other – but hey, it's still good because consumers benefit in both directions.
Some of the best new iOS 12 apps seem to be almost in direct response to features Google has added Android. Two of these features were announced at WWDC, right after Google announced something surprisingly similar last month. However, we do not complain, both companies copy each other left and right. These are just the latest features in a running tit-for-tat.
iOS 12 has a number of new features that help you curb your smartphone dependency. Synchronize Digital Health, these features accomplish their goal by minimizing notification alerts, automatically enabling Do Not Disturb mode, and even showing you a graph of your app usage so you can see where your entire time has gone  sounds familiar, because Google announced almost exactly the same features for Android P last month. Google calls their Digital Wellbeing, and although the features in the current Android P-Beta are not available, they are expected to appear with the DP3 version this week.
There's almost no way the two companies can develop these features on their own. But that does not mean that Apple demolished Google – it could have happened in reverse order. These features have certainly taken months. So, if someone stole someone else's idea, it probably happened months ago.
. 2 Enhanced DND Mode
Both companies have improved the Do Not Disturb feature on their operating systems to make it easier to pick up from your phone.
With iOS 12, you can use Apple to set a sleep timer mode schedule to your lock screen to prevent a long list of tempting notifications from being displayed if you check your phone to see the time overnight. Similarly, Google's new "Shush" feature in Android P will prevent the phone from making sounds or visual interruptions when you put it face down.
With FaceTime, you can now chat with more than one person at a time in iOS 12. This is definitely a welcome addition given the overall quality of experience that FaceTime offers, but it's a bit overdue. On the Android side, Hangouts was the default video calling service, and there were always group video calls.
Ironically, Google fidgets while Apple zags. The new default video calling app for Android is Duo, which, as the name implies, is deliberately limited to only two parties to improve usability and compete better with Apple's FaceTime. We're betting that Google will eventually re-copy Apple to complete the circle.
In a way, iOS has stolen this feature from itself. Grouped notifications were added back to iOS 9, but then removed from iOS 10 and 11. After all, they are in iOS 12 (for good?) Back, so notifications from the same app are grouped together as one, where you can handle them as a group or individually.
The same feature has been around for some time in Android. The implementation is slightly different: on iOS, you tap a grouped notification to expand it and view the individual messages, while swiping down on Android to expand. The end result, however, is very similar. This is an important step in closing the gap in notification functionality between the two operating systems .
. 5 Siri Shortcuts
With iOS 12, Siri Shortcuts has been introduced so you can get things done faster. Put simply, you can now set up custom commands for third-party apps. For example, you could ask Siri, "What are my travel plans?" And the kayak app could provide your itinerary.
Google Assistant has a very similar feature called "shortcuts". In combination with the function "routines" it is practically identical.
Third-party integration is similar to Apple's expected version, but it's not the focus of the same feature in Google Assistant, which only calls third-party apps as needed. Nonetheless, Google's links work very much like this: Use a custom command to get your virtual assistant to call up relevant information from any source and / or trigger a chain reaction with routines.
. 6 New Parental Controls
The new Parental Controls settings in iOS 12 allow you to limit, and to do so to some extent, your child's screen time and app usage. The 2017 Google Family Family Link program does many of the same things for Android devices, including the ability to monitor app usage and screen time, as well as remotely lock the child away.
. 7 Use Waze & Google Maps in the Car
CarPlay has finally received support for third-party mapping apps in iOS 12. In other words, if you put your iPhone into a CarPlay-enabled vehicle, you can finally get directions with Google Maps or Waze.
Of course, Android Auto has this capability from the beginning. As with all Android devices, you were never forced to use a particular app. But to be honest, you still can not use Apple Maps with Android Auto (I do not know why you want that, but still).
As I said at the beginning, this is just the latest part of a long-standing pattern. One company is catching up on the features the other one has recently added. Google definitely has their share of Apple copying, especially with their own Pixel phones, which are rumored to to get an iPhone X-style Notch in the fall. What do you think about these new iOS 12 features? Let us know in the comments below.
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