Week 8

Heading reads ‘Meet you DJ’ with a screenshot of the new Spotify feature on iOS.

Apple Watch Glucose. Apple is reportedly closer to bringing glucose tracking to Apple Watch. According to a report by Bloomberg (pay wall), Apple has hit major milestones for its glucose monitoring feature. Although the company declined to officially comment, the speculation is that the Apple Watch will users a combination of technologies — including lasers — to determine levels. With no specific date given, we are likely to not see it roll out with the Series 9 later this year. But I’m most interested in seeing how they get around an actual finger prick.

Spotify… launched a new AI-powered ‘DJ’ (and it talks!). “This feature, first rolling out in beta, will deliver a curated lineup of music alongside commentary around the tracks and artists we think you’ll like in a stunningly realistic voice.” Using personalization technology, generative AI, and a dynamic voice platform, the music streaming service hopes to reimagine your listening experience on iOS and Android. We shall see… er, listen.

Magic Eraser. Google announced that Magic Eraser is coming to Google Photos. Ending its exclusivity to Pixel phones, all Android users — and iPhone users — will now be able to access this feature in Google Photos provided they are Google One subscribers. The search engine giant also stated that older Pixels will gain access, extending all the way back to the original Pixel released in 2016. And apparently I already had it on my Pixel 6a and didn’t even realize it… oops!

Uber App Redesign. Uber released an updated version of its mobile app. Aiming to streamline the overall experience, the refresh brings a simpler homescreen and better recommendations based on past use. In addition, iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max users will also be able to view ride or deliver status via Live Activities when the phone is unlocked. I’m admittedly not an active user of any of their services, but enjoy seeing another iOS app embrace the Dynamic Island.

Nothing OS 1.5… was announced and will be rolling out to Nothing Phone 1. Powered by Android 13, this is the largest update yet for the fledgling mobile OEM that currently has its second gen phone in the works. Nothing OS 1.5 brings with it a new weather app, increased app startup speeds, and various other improvements at the system, privacy, and experience layers. I know the Nothing Phone isn’t even a blip on anyone’s device analytics, but it’s such a fun phone, I like keeping tabs on it!

From the desk of…

Adding to the list of “articles I wish I had written,” I ran across this write-up of One UI 5.1 vs iOS 16. In it, you’ll find side-by-side comparisons — with screenshots — of some of the high level features of both mobile operating systems, pointing out where they’re similar and also where they’re different. I obviously won’t go over the whole thing here, just hitting on some of main points to pique your interests. As a friendly reminder, in the US and Canada, Samsung has the majority share of the Android market.

From the lock screen experience, to home screen widgets, and other features like routines and focus modes, it’s clear that there is some mutual influencing going on between both companies. What’s interesting is to see who does it better and who still needs a bit more work. Overall, I think it’s okay that companies borrow ideas from each other, be it in the name of feature parity or competitive advantage. In my experience, it’s the end user who ultimately comes out on top when you have companies the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google constantly pushing each other to provide a better experience.

It’s a reasonably quick read and the author definitely put in the work comparing features on actual devices, so I hope you’ll at least give it a skim. And if you also own both devices, what did they miss? What else do you think is worth calling out between One UI 5.1 and iOS 16?




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