iOSand Android have been the only competitors in the smartphone industry for a long time. There are times when Google takes so many inspiration in terms of privacy controls and just like that apple also takes inspiration from Google’s Android to implement in the iOS. At this stage of time, both the platforms are quite refined and have matured enough over years, especially Android. However, there is one area that makes iOS stand out and that is privacy controls. Every year with each iOS upgrade, Apple adds a new layer of privacy controls to iOS which craves Android users wanting for more. So iOS 14 was announced recently and it came with a bunch of new features especially the privacy controls. We will see most of the features of iOS 14 and I will share with you how you can use it in your Android device.
At the release of iOS 14 in WWDC 2020, Apple made some big announcements regarding privacy and control one of the features that stood out was camera and mic indicator. On iPhones running iOS 14, whenever an app uses the camera or mic, a dot indicator appears at the top of the screen. This is done to alert you that an app is using your camera and mic without your permission in the background. Further, you can find the name and details of the app which is using a camera and mic without your consent in the Control Center and you can uninstall such apps right away.
If you want this feature in your Android device, then you can install and use this app called Access Dots which is free on Play Store but offers some in-app purchases. The app allows you to get a similar indicator as iOS 14 for whenever any app accesses your mic and camera in the background or foreground. The best part of this app is that you can even customize the colours, change the size and position of the dot and more. Give it a try as it is a great feature in terms of privacy control and you can use it to know which app is using the mic and camera when you are using it or not using it.
Apple added a useful feature called SMS filtering to its native messaging app in the iOS 14. Due to this feature now the spammy texts, OTPs, and promotional messages will be filtered out and put in separate folders. This feature was not available in the native messaging apps in the Stock android which is Google messages. However, the custom Android skins such as MIUI, Color Os, Realme UI has this feature already working in their own messaging app which comes pre-installed and used by default in their devices since quite a time now. Even then, This completely changes the messaging experience in iPhones especially in India where you get so many junk texts every other day.
But if you are a pixel user or a Stock Android user which doesn’t have SMS filtering feature in the native Google messaging app then you can try out this third party app called SMS organizer from Microsoft which is free of cost on the Play store and does its job of filtering the messages pretty good. It organises the SMS into categories and it is a breeze to use.
Last year, Apple brought “Allow once” permission dialogue with iOS 13 and now we are hearing that Android 11 will also gain this feature and not only that, Android users might also get auto-revoke permission feature shortly. if you have not used an app for some time, sensitive permissions will be automatically revoked with this feature.
However, not all of the android users will get updated to the Android 11 when it will be released. So if you want to implement this amazing and helpful privacy feature, You can install the bouncer app which is let me tell you it is not free, it costs around [$1.99 ]and it is available on Play store. What this bouncer app does is that it allows you to grant temporary permission to an app and the second you exit from the app, all the permission that is given is automatically revoked. This is a great tool in terms of privacy in Android.
To make iPhones more accessible and easier to use, iOS 14 brings a feature named Back Tap that allows you to invoke an action by double-tapping on the back of the phone. You can just double-tap on the back and take a screenshot or ask Google assistant some questions, or whatever you have set it to.
To get this iOS 14 feature on Android, you might have to wait a bit longer as the tech giant Google is also developing a similar feature for their own Pixel phones which might get released with Android 11.
However, if you want it right now, Quinny899 from XDA has made the impossible possible. This man developed an app called Tap Tap that allows you to double-tap on the rear of your phone and invoke actions of your choice. Tap Tap gives a lot of options and features as to what action you want to take when tapped and also where we don’t want anything to happen at all, you can customise it all. Curious about its working nature?
This app is using gyroscope and accelerometer sensor readings and comparing them with machine learning models that Google has trained for Pixel devices. It works surprisingly well on my devices and if you want iOS 14’s Back Tap feature on Android then Tap, Tap is here for you. You can download the app from here. This app is also in early stages and it is in alpha build but I used it for a while and didn’t faced any issue so give it a try and let me tell you this, it actually looks pretty cool while using this feature to take screenshots or activating google assistant.
The latest addition in the iOS 14 brings a complete overhaul to the search menu. Now you can perform in-app searches basically which means that you can search for your libraries or songs in Apple music right from the search bar on the home screen which is why there is no need to open the app and search for that content from inside the app with the inbuilt app search.
Good news is Android already has an app called Sesame which is free on play store but offers some in-app purchases. This app lets your search in-depth from the home screen itself. You can search for your contacts, system settings, Instagram stories, favourite apps, music and more with just one tap without needing to open that app and search there instead. This feature saves a lot of time and ultimately improves productivity. Although this app search feature just like iOS was available for a long time in the Chinese custom Android skins like color Os, Funtouch Os etc but they were not so great in performing with such efficiency as ios but this app, in particular, offers more dexterity.
After years of bothering, Apple finally caved in and announced the arrival of an app drawer in iOS 14, can you believe it? It is similar to the app drawer in Android launchers and instead of accessible from any page on the home screen, it is in the separate pane in the home screen. But wait is that all? Actually no, there is another feature in it called the app library which organizes all your apps automatically into a folder depending on the category of app.
Android has supports for folders on the home screen in the native google launcher but doesn’t allow folders in the app drawer. So to attain this you will have to use the third party launchers which allow amazing functionality. Nova launcher is the best among the other apps, it is free but a prime version costs around ₹99 in India which is completely worth it. Another benefit of using this launcher is that the Sesame search shortcuts which we learner about earlier integrates perfectly with Nova launcher. Do keep in mind that the folders don’t automatically categorize the apps in the app drawer, You will have to add them manually. If you still insist on automatic categorisation then I would suggest you use Poco Launcher which automatically categorizes the apps according to their category but it doesn’t categorize them in folders instead it made several categories page. So it all comes down to your own personal preference.
Android does not have this feature natively but there is something else. You can install an app called Exodus which is also free on the play store. It scans all your installed apps and displays all the trackers that the app is using to track you. You can also find out all kinds of permissions that the app has been granted by default. This will allow you to understand how much data the app is seeking from you. Exodus will surely help you to strengthen your privacy in this cruel world where nothing is safe but we can do our part of strengthening our defences and protecting our privacy.
Apple discussed many new features of Safari and how it has been finetuned for a more privacy-friendly experience in the iOS 14. Among the many peculiarities of Safari, the important one to be noted was the Website Privacy Report. Basically, with this feature, you will be able to see what trackers and cookies the website is using and the cross-site trackers that Safari has blocked. It is a pretty handy feature which let us know what websites are tracking our data and how much cookies are we using.
Chrome on the other hand in Android does not offer such a report which is failing. Anyway, if you left chrome and shift to DuckDuckGo which is free or Firefox which is free on Play Store on Android then it shows you all the cookies and trackers that the browser has blocked. DuckDuckGo even gives a privacy rating to the websites you visit. In short, if you want iOS 14’s Website Privacy Report on Android then the DuckDuckGo browser would be a great and obvious choice.
There is another feature called the conversation mode which gives you a real-time translation of languages. It is already available in Android and it also works pretty well. To use this feature just open your google assistant and ask google to be your interpreter or simply say interpreter mode and the assistant will assist you in live translation etc. For eg:- You can say, “Be my Spanish interpreter”.
So this is it. These are all the ways I know about how to get iOS 14 privacy and Accessibility features on Android without having to root your Android. I hope this would help you. If you liked the article do share it on your social media and comment your thoughts below.
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