Today at Apple’s annual developer conference, the company unveiled a new feature in iOS 12 that lets you group notifications together with a swipe and gives you the ability to manage notifications from the lock screen. These are features that Android has had for a long time, which have made receiving notifications on Android less hectic and stressful. Apple is also getting a feature called instant-tuning, which lets you send notifications directly into the Notification Center.
Now, you can press in and bypass your lock screen to look at notifications and you can swipe and group all the notifications as one, grouping them by app. “These great features help you limit your distraction,” says VP of software Craig Federighi. There’s also a new Screen Time app that lets you limit how much time you spend on certain apps and send yourself notifications on when your time is up, similar to the new Android P features Google announced at its I/O conference a few weeks ago.
It’s not the first time that iOS has copied features from Android: back when Apple released iOS 10 in 2016, it changed notifications to look more like cards; it was a feature seen in Android Lollipop 5.0. iOS 10 also incorporated Rise to Wake, which had come to certain Android phones first.
The cribbing goes both ways. Last year, we noted that Google’s Android Oreo drew from iOS’s notification scheme by adding a small dot on the side of each app’s icon to indicate notifications. But Google didn’t add the number of notifications, so it’s just a non-specific dot. Innovation comes full circle.