Color me somewhat multi-dextrous when it comes to computer operating systems. I cut my teeth on CP/M back in the day, moved to DOS, the Mac OS, Unix and various flavors of Linux, iOS and Android. All have features and functions we’d like to have on our devices.
Windows works and functions much like macOS. Android is something of a clone of iOS but is based on Linux, and tends to have a long and growing list of features bolted on because Apple is more disciplined. Still, we find some features on Android we’d like to see on our iPhones, right?
Steal? Copy? Borrow?
Without getting into the whole Mac vs. Windows, or Android vs. iPhone thing– everyone borrows from everyone else; some are discreet, others more blatant in their thefts, there is a nifty feature I found in Android 8.1 (currently available for perhaps half a percent of the two billion Android smartphone users) that I would like on my iPhone.
Last week Jeffrey Mincey wrote about Google’s new Family Link application which gives owners more granular controls over the applications they use on Android smartphones. That much extra control would be useful to iPhone customers, too.
Google’s new Wi-Fi settings give you more information about nearby Wi-Fi networks so you can see how slow or how fast it is before you connect. Instead of displaying a typical Wi-Fi icon with a strength meter, Android 8.1 displays Slow, OK, Fast, and Very Fast. Does that mean the app is testing the network? Probably not, but signal strength is easily measured on smartphones these days.
The breakdown goes like this:
- Slow = 0 – 1Mbps
- OK = 1Mbps – 5Mbps
- Fast = 5Mbps – 20Mbps
- Very Fast = more than 20Mbps
If you don’t want the speed labels on Android 8.1 they can be turned off. For what it’s worth, Apple has something similar in the Network settings for iOS. But it’s the standard Wi-Fi icon with strength meter, and based upon experience with dozens of Wi-Fi networks showing up on my iPhone as I walk the streets of New York, that meter is hit or miss or misleading at best.
As to the ongoing battle of which is better, Android or iOS, Rohan Naravane has a list of five Android features iPhone does not have. iPhone and iOS also win at Tom’s Guide which lists 11 Reasons iPhone Beats Android but only 10 Reasons Android Still Beats iPhone.