Android 13 and iOS 16 Bring Smartphone Upgrades This Fall

New Android and iPhone operating system updates for smartphones will be made available free this fall. Both Google and Apple have announced improvements to text messaging apps. Notably, Apple’s iMessage will allow iPhone users to edit or recall text messages after they’ve been sent, a much-requested feature over the years. The iPhone’s iOS 16 will also debut a redesigned lock screen. Meanwhile, Google’s Android 13 will have among its upgrades a new and improved wallet app that can store important documents like credit cards and medical records.

An article in The New York Times positions many of Google’s Android improvements as catch-ups with Apple, writing that “blue bubble messages sent between iPhone users go through iMessage, Apple’s proprietary messaging service, which maintains a high-quality look for photos and videos. With Android 13, Google is trying to create a blue bubble experience of its own.”

“The company is building into its messaging app a technology called Rich Communication Services, which can send high-resolution images and large files,” notes NYT.

User privacy has become a heightened priority for both platforms, as Big Tech labors to make users “feel safe sharing personal data, especially as European regulators and others have cracked down on them over the issue.”

Apple, which previously permitted iPhone users to allow family members and significant others ongoing, permanent access to their location data — says it is adding more nuanced controls to location sharing with Safety Check, enabling quick review and changes.

Google is providing deeper control over what data users choose to share with third-party apps. “In the next version of Android, people will also be able to give apps access to just certain photos instead of their entire camera roll — a measure of protection against malicious apps that disguise themselves as photo-editing software,” NYT writes. Other noteworthy updates include the iPhone’s lock screen overhaul and Google’s Wallet app upgrade.

Previously iPhone users could modify only their lock screen wallpaper. With iOS 16, they can choose fonts and colors for the clock, and pin widgets to the lock screen page (providing shortcuts to apps like calendar or fitness data tracker).

During COVID-19, smartphones became an essential tool for contactless digital payments. Apple has for the past five years had Wallet software for iPhones that “lets people make credit card purchases and carry important documents like boarding passes and health data,” according to NYT, which says during that time Google “has struggled to market” its Google Pay mobile app.

Now Android 13 renames its digital payments app Google Wallet and embeds it on the Android lock screen. “It also plans to expand the software beyond credit cards, to include documents like boarding passes, movie tickets and COVID-19 vaccination proof,” NYT writes.

iOS 16’s Lock Screen Upgrades Make the iPhone More Like a Smartwatch, CNET, 6/8/22
Google Thinks the Time Is Right to Bring Back Wallet, The Verge, 5/11/22
Apple Pay Later Is the Company’s Take on a Buy Now, Pay Later Service, The Verge, 6/6/22
Android 13: Every New Feature Revealed at Google I/O, CNET, 5/15/22
Here Are the Biggest Changes Coming to Your iPhone in Apple’s New Update, CNBC, 6/7/22

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