Five Apple Features Google Just Ripped at IO 2022

At its annual IO conference on Wednesday, Google unveiled a slew of new products, features and services that will debut over the next months. We got to see a new Pixel tablet, watch and phone, a new budget Pixel 6a, the first Android 13 public beta, and exciting search, AI, and app updates.

But here at Macworld, we couldn’t help but notice how many of the announcements seemed familiar. There were more than a few features unveiled in IO that seem to have been ripped straight from Apple’s playbook. Here are 5 features coming to Google and Android devices that Apple users have been enjoying for years:

Google Wallet

One of the biggest app announcements at IO was the conversion of Google Pay to Google Wallet. Granted, Google Wallet was a thing before Apple Card, but this latest iteration takes more than a few cues from the iPhone app. The soon-to-launch new Google Wallet is your one-stop place for your digital life, storing digital IDs, boarding passes, concert tickets, vaccination cards, loyalty cards, car keys, and of course, credit cards. Talking about the experience, Android users will like it.

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Better tablet apps and multitasking

To put it mildly, Google’s tablets are not in the same league as the iPad. With Android 13, Google wants to change that by stealing a bit from Apple’s awesome tablet experience. Among the new features coming to Android tablets are easier multitasking that lets you use apps side-by-side and a new interface “to take full advantage of extra space, including YouTube Music, Google Maps, Messages and more.” We’re not sure if it’s going to put much of a dent in Apple’s tablet dominance, but hey, better late than never.

Universal copy and paste

Apple users have long had the ability to copy something on their iPhone and paste it onto their Mac, thanks to the power of Handoff and iCloud, and now Google is bringing the same thing to Android phones and tablets. According to Google, “You’ll soon be able to copy and paste a URL or image from your phone and onto your tablet.” The system (seen below) seems a little more obvious than Apple’s completely seamless Universal Copy and Paste, but hey, it’s a start.


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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 will confuse the Pixel Buds A-series wireless earbuds with the AirPods, the Pixel Buds Pro have the same features as the AirPods Pro. You get noise cancellation, transparency mode, spatial audio and ‘Find My’ tracking, and an in-ear design that sounds very similar to the rumored AirPods Pro 2. Call them rivals if necessary, but we’ll just call ’em copycats.

digital crown

Google stopped short of releasing its first wearable on Google IO, but it did finally confirm the existence of the Pixel Watch. Like other Android Wear OS watches, it has a circular design with a significantly larger bezel and a new “tactile” 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 sleek as the Apple one or have a built-in ECG sensor, but the concept and looks are practically the same.


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