At its annual IoT conference on Wednesday, Google unveiled a host of new products, features, and services that will roll out in the coming months. We take a look at a new Pixel tablet, watch, and phone, a new budget Pixel 6a, the first public beta of Android 13, and exciting search, AI, and app updates.
But here at Macworld, we couldn’t help but notice how familiar many of the ads sounded. More than a few features were unveiled in IO that were seemingly pulled straight from Apple’s playbook. Here are 5 features coming to Google and Android devices that Apple users have enjoyed for years:
One of the biggest app announcements at IO was the conversion of Google Pay to Google Wallet. Granted, Google Wallet predated Apple Card, but this latest version takes more than a few cues from the iPhone app. Launching soon, the new Google Wallet is your one-stop-shop for your digital life, storing digital IDs, boarding passes, concert tickets, vaccination cards, loyalty cards, car keys and of course credit cards . Speaking from experience, Android users will love it.
Best apps for tablets and multitasking
To put it mildly, Google’s tablets aren’t exactly in the same league as the iPad. With Android 13, Google is looking to change that by stealing a bit of Apple’s amazing tablet experience. Among the new features coming to Android tablets is easy multitasking that lets you use apps in parallel, and new interfaces “to make the most of the extra space, including YouTube Music, Google Maps, Messages and more.” We’re not sure if that will put a dent in Apple’s tablet dominance, but hey, better late than never.
Copy and paste from phones to tablets
Apple users have long had the ability to copy something on their iPhone and paste it on 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 Soon you will be able to copy a URL or image from your phone and paste it onto your tablet.” The system (seen below) looks a little clunkier than Apple’s Universal Copy and Paste, but hey, it’s 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 intriguing was the Pixel Buds Pro. While no one would mistake the Pixel Buds A-Series wireless earbuds for Like the AirPods, the Pixel Buds Pro have a very similar feature set to the AirPods Pro. You get noise cancellation, transparency mode, spatial audio and ‘find my’ tracking, and an in-ear design that looks awfully similar to the AirPods Pro. AirPods Pro 2 rumours. Call them rivals if you have to, but we’ll just do it. call them imitators.
Google paused a bit before launching its first wearable at Google IO, but finally confirmed the existence of the Pixel Watch. Like other Android Wear watches, it has a circular design with a fairly large bezel and a new “touch” crown that appears to be Google’s version of the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch. We don’t know if it will be as smooth as Apple’s or have a built-in ECG sensor, but the concept and look are virtually identical.