Apple is the most influential manufacturer in the mobile device market. Their often controversial decisions and choices end up being accepted, integrated, or shaped to serve the interests of different Android manufacturers.
In 2020, the launch of the iPhone 12 generation brought significant innovations and changes to Apple smartphones, with the inspirations already visible in the Android segment. There are at least 5 vectors in which the iOS universe has changed the Android sphere.
1. Removing the USB charger and headset from the box
At environmental causes and ecological sustainability motivated Apple to make this radical decision in October 2020. Received with a lot of challenge and a laughing stock by several Android manufacturers, who months later would do the same.
For future record, both Samsung and Xiaomi satirized this decision. In the meantime, they would launch their top-of-the-range smartphones without the charger included in the box (nor the earphones), although this is optional in the case of Xiaomi.
The decision deprived consumers of these accessories, but according to the Cupertino giant, a significant part already had several chargers scattered around the home, some without ever being used.
A controversy aggravated by the simultaneous launch of solutions MagSafe Apple’s wireless charging options. In practice, a new set of accessories is particularly expensive and intended for iPhone users.
In December, we would see Xiaomi also introducing a fast wireless charger, while Samsung already has several of these accessories on the market, thus anticipating Apple.
I end this first point with due note to BQ, a formerly known Spanish manufacturer who also did not include the USB charger in its products for the same environmental reasons.
2. Small and compact but powerful smartphones!
O shape and size of mobile devices has been gradually increasing, especially in the high-end segment, those looking for the best, are limited to using “the biggest”. Something that does not please all users and visible in the “Ultra” models.
There is, however, the good example of Sony with the Compact line, despite the little expression in the market. Still, it would be Apple with the iPhone 12 mini to bring a small, compact flagship with sublime performance to the market.
It could be said that even the iPhone SE (2020) helped cement this new trend and, to some extent, did just that. However, it would be the iPhone 12 mini to crystallize this new option for those who do not want a small tablet in their hands, or in their pocket.
We believe that this example will inspire more Android manufacturers to put in store equally powerful options, but that do not challenge the limits of our fingers. In part, both the Xiaomi Mi 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 are examples of this.
Both examples cited have high-end processors, in not-so-large formats – they’re not small smartphones – but they’re also not small tablets – phablets – like the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
3. Greater robustness for the Gorilla Glass screen
One of the vectors of innovation in iOS smartphones are durability solutions, more specifically the glass used to protect the screen and the back of the device – in some cases. Apple currently uses the solution Ceramic Shield on iPhone 12.
This formula, developed by Corning and Apple, hardens the glass with ceramic crystals – according to Apple. It is more resistant to breakage, but appears to be more susceptible to small risks, Gorilla Glass Victus.
Victus is the best type of glass that we can find on an Android smartphone in 2021. It is the best shield and guarantee of durability of the mobile device, although most users also choose to use a protective cover.
In any case, it is likely that more Android manufacturers will join efforts with Corning to create their own solutions in order to guarantee the highest resistance of their smartphones. It is, therefore, a good influence of Apple in the Android universe.
4. Apple ProRAW and the influence on computer photography
Photography is one of the biggest vectors of innovation in the mobile device market, with Apple standing out in the iPhone 12 Pro models, and especially in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Both models have new computational photography features.
In particular, the ProRAW mode which helps to achieve the best possible photographic results from the sensors present on the iPhone 12. This mode adds more information, processing it without losing details and being able to produce better images.
Not only is digital noise reduced, but color, white balance, exposure and dynamic range are also benefited. This is a good example of computational photography – image processing – at the service of users.
There are, however, excellent examples in the Android field with their own merit, from Google with the Pixel, or Huawei. In summary, at this point we see different approaches, with equally promising results, both in the Android and iOS sphere.
5. LiDAR sensor and augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) has been developed by several manufacturers such as Google and also Apple. Specifically, in the iPhone 12 Pro Max we have the LiDAR system which allows you to quickly map a space, in addition to helping the camera.
This same system is applied to other equipment such as vacuum robots to quickly map a room. It is a relatively precise and recently miniaturized solution for smartphones like the case of Apple’s flagship.
The light radar system makes an accurate mapping, allowing the smartphone to understand the space and process it almost like a human. Allows you to measure distances accurately, assist with accessibility options for the iPhone, among other uses.
We believe that this system, or a derivation of it, will be implemented by the Android manufacturers. As Augmented Reality gains expression and practical applications, it may become more common on Android smartphones.
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