of Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2023 begins on Monday, and the company is expected to announce the next version of its iPhone software, iOS 17, at the event. WWDC is coming up about a month after that Google I/O 2023where Google unveiled its next smartphone software, Android 14.
IN USA, iPhones have recently been fighting for the crown away from Android as the most popular smartphone operating system, but that comes after more than a decade of Android dominance. And Android reigns supreme in the global market, often by large margins. In South America, for example, Android accounts for about 88 percent of all smartphones, with iPhones lagging behind at about 11 percent, according to IT site SOS Support.
But since Apple and Google have been battling like Godzilla and King Kong for supremacy in the smartphone market, they also seem to be stealing ideas from each other. For example, notification badges debuted on the iPhone, and Android had home screen widgets long before the iPhone, as Popular Science notes.
This back-and-forth continued with Android 14, as Android phones seemed to copy the iPhone again with an updated Find My Device feature and added unknown tracking alerts. We don’t know what Apple has in store for iOS 17, but we think the company should incorporate some of the new Android features into the software.
Here are the new Android features I think Apple should include in iOS 17.
More lock screen customization options
Lock screen customization was one of the most significant updates for the iPhone when iOS 16 was released in September 2022. With iOS 17, I want to see Apple give iPhone users more customization options like Google is doing with Android 14.
Android 14 will allow users to change the size and design of their lock screen clock – in addition to the font type and color – and the software allows users to add shortcuts to their lock screen. Changing the lock screen clock is nice – you can now change the font and color of the lock screen clock on your iPhone – but I really wish Apple would add the ability to edit or add to the lock screen shortcuts.
I regularly use the flashlight shortcut, but I tap back my iPhone to pull up the camera so the camera shortcut isn’t used as much. Being able to change that shortcut to my Wallet app or search shortcut would be great in iOS 17.
It would also be nice if Apple added more widget spaces to the iPhone lock screen. With iOS 16, your iPhone has four widget grids, and some widgets, like the weather widget, take up two of them. It would be great if iOS 17 gave you at least four more widget grids, giving you more ways to access your favorite apps.
AI generated wallpapers
Android 14 will use artificial intelligence to allow users to create custom wallpapers. People will prompt their phone, which will use AI to generate several wallpaper options. It would be great to see Apple release AI-generated wallpapers in iOS 17, but I’m not hopeful.
While other companies have begun developing their own AI tools, Apple has not made any public announcements about developing or partnering with another company to produce such tools.
“I really think it’s very important to be conscious and thoughtful in how you approach these things,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said when asked about generative AI during the company’s earnings call.
It’s possible that Apple will introduce more AI tools and features in iOS 17, such as AI-generated wallpapers, but I wouldn’t expect it. My bet is that Apple will first integrate AI tools into features that most people already use, like Siri.
More emoticon wallpaper customization options
Google announced at its I/O 2023 event that some Pixel phones will let you create custom wallpapers using emojis, but that’s not exclusive to Android 14. Users will be able to choose up to 14 emojis, the background color and layout, in which emoticons are set. But Apple has already provided this feature on iPhone.
To create a custom emoji wallpaper on your iPhone, go to Settings > Wallpaper > + Add new wallpaperand below Emoticons are some ready emoji wallpapers. Tap any of them and you can edit what emoticons are used, the layout, and the background color. However, you can only select up to six emoticons.
It would be fun if Apple let you use more emojis and gave you more than six layout options in iOS 17 to further customize those wallpapers.
Also not just for Android 14, some Pixel phones will allow Android users to create cinematic wallpapers. This feature will allow people to take a photo and give certain elements of the photo a depth effect. After applying the effect, you can move your Android device and the wallpaper elements will also move, making your wallpaper look three-dimensional.
Apple introduced a similar lock screen feature in the iOS 7, and this feature morphed into Perspective Zoom in some beta versions of iOS 16. However, the feature is no longer available in the latest iOS 16 updates. Apple allows you to apply a depth effect to your lock screen, but that just puts your watch behind certain wallpaper elements. Enabling this also disables executables on your lock screen.
Cinematic wallpapers on your iPhone would be nice to include in iOS 17 and would make some wallpapers on your home and lock screen really stand out. And if Apple doesn’t allow cinematic wallpapers in iOS 17, it would be great if the company at least allowed widgets to work on your lock screen when your depth effect is on.
For more information about Apple’s mobile software, see what CNET’s Patrick Holland hopes it will be included in iOS 17what might come to your iPhone iOS 16.6 and what new features you get iOS 16.5.