Did you ever see an iPhone/iPad powered by iOS 8 in your hands and went, “I wish I could have the same features on Android“? If your answer is yes, then you’d probably be pleased to know that you can actually take advantage of most such features without burning big holes in your pockets.
Although the name of the article announces a how-to, a good news is that you don’t really have to do much in order to get the same features on your Android device. Whether you’ve a tablet or a smartphone, you’ll discover that most great tools that iOS 8 has, have actually been borrowed from Android.
Next, get ready to dive into a list of all such features that you can find on your Android phone or tablet. They also include the name variations, where you can find these ones on Android and how to get the exact same results as you would with iOS.
Photo Library from iCloud
iOS 8 was unveiled in June 2014 as an improvement to the well-known iOS 7 that we all got used to. It will soon be available (from Sep 17th onwards) for all iPhone and iPad users, and it comes with a series of features that make it attractive. One of them is the iCloud Photo Library that automatically stores photos and videos.
Apart from not limiting your storage capacity to only 1,000 files, as its previous versions used to, this OS also lets you access the media documents from all other devices. You can sync them to the cloud and see them from your computer at a later time, as long as you don’t need more than 5GB.
The same feature can be found on Android devices – if you upgraded to the latest version of this operating system, it shouldn’t be too difficult to access it. Google+ Photos is the name of this tool in the case of Android, where you don’t even have a storage limit – you can save as many files as you wish!
Skillfully named Hey Siri, this new improvement from Apple is a voice assistant that is adapted to 22 different languages. What the tool does is that it lets users dictate what they want to write in a message or email while they can also use Shazam for song recognition and purchase iTunes content.
If this feature seems interesting to you, the good thing is that you will be able to do just that if you have a device running on Android v4.4. Using this OS or a later version of it, you will get OK Google feature that does the same. As long as the phone is turned on, by simply saying, “Okay, Google” to it, you will open the voice assistant.
Apart from letting you dictate whatever you want it to write for you, this tool also works in a similar way to Google Glass. For example, you can ask Google “how tall Mount Everest is” without having to type the question yourself.
iCloud DriveAnother improvement to take into consideration is when Apple announced its iCloud Drive. It works the same as Dropbox, allowing you to store all of your documents directly on the cloud. As we’ve seen before, Apple has a limit of 5GB when it comes to free storage.
The same system already exists on Android devices just that its name doesn’t start with an “I”. The renowned Google Drive offers pretty much the same, and its storage limit is a bit higher – 15GB are offered for free. You can also use Dropbox on both operating systems, and this one lets you save up to 2GB, but you’re able to earn a maximum of 20GB extra by referring some of your friends to the tool.
Therefore, if you want to take advantage of similar features to the ones coming with iCloud Drive, all you need to do is look for the Google Drive or Dropbox app on Google Play and install it for free.
What about QuickType or third-party keyboards?
Apple calls it QuickType because it lets its users type a lot faster when they’re on-the-go. It’s a keyboard equipped with predictive typing that learns what your typical typing habits are, and then gives you suggestions based on that.
Apart from this, iOS8 also lets you use third-party keyboards, by simply connecting them to the device you’re working on at the moment. Android lets its users have access to the same kind of feature by downloading one of the free apps available on Google Play.
A good example is Google Keyboard. It works on Android v4.0 or a newer version, gives you personalized suggestions, makes corrections for you, finishes your phrases (because that’s what Google generally does) and comes with voice typing and dictionaries. Another one you could install for free is SwiftKey, and you can discover more by taking a look at what Google Play has to offer.
If you have the latest version of iOS, you may have noticed that you don’t need to launch the app that you got a notification from in order to respond. Once you received the alert, all you have to do is swipe down, and you’ll switch to the necessary app. This way, you will be able to answer to a text message, comment on a Facebook post and plenty of other things.
These interactive notifications are already an old part of what Android has to offer to its users. For instance, without having to open the app itself, you will be able to archive/delete a notification from Gmail within the notifications menu.
If you want to take this to the next level, and make it even better than iOS 8, you can also use CyanogenMod – this is a third-party interface for Android. Thanks to it, you can respond to messages without going to your messages tool or even make quick phone calls within the same menu.
Since we’ve been talking about messages, it might be time to bring iMessage to the table, as well. This tool doesn’t just let you send text messages or pictures, but also allows users to include audio files and videos in their SMS.
This is something that you could already do using an app like WhatsApp on any of these two operating systems. However, you will need to be connected to the internet to do so. A similar tool that comes with the same features on Android is the well-known Snapchat.
Although they both need you to use WiFi or 3G data in order to send messages, the features they offer are just the same. The apps can be installed for free, and all that’s left to do is invite your friends to use the same app as you, so that you can send them the media files you wish.
If you ever saw an app and were uncertain whether or not it was the right one for you, iOS 8 has the solution. It’s called TestFlight, and it lets you beta test any of the applications available in the iTunes store. Once you’ve made a decision, you can purchase the tool or decide not to.
To make things more interesting for both users and programmers, Apple also lets you test an app before it’s released. This way, everyone gets to know how well it will perform and if it’s worth purchasing it. The same can also be done on Android smartphone or tablets, and it’s not complicated at all. You can set up an alpha or beta test for an app by using the Google Play Developer Console.
Create an account and sign in, go to the Applications tab and select your favorite app to test. On the menu that pops up on the left, you will need to click on APK and look for the Alpha / Beta Testing button. You can get more information about how this is actually done by going to the Support page on Google, right here.
Preview your Apps
Another cool thing you can do when it comes to apps is preview them. This will enable you to view a quick demo before downloading the application. It usually is a video that talks about all the details of the tool and shows you exactly how it works.
Although Google doesn’t really have a tab for previewing the way your tool works, developers have always allowed users to add their own video demos to Google Play. In case someone already used the app you’re looking to download, you can check if they posted a demo on the website or not.
In many cases, similar demos are also made public on Youtube. Many of the well-known tech lovers that have their own blog or website tend to test such apps and review them, also including in-depth demos in most cases.