This story is part of, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.
Apple touted a number of firsts at its iPhone 14 occasion final week, however these “breakthroughs” will look very acquainted to many individuals who use Android telephones.
The iPhone devoted who’re absolutely invested in Apple’s ecosystem could also be unaware that most of the options the corporate revealed with bated breath have existed on Android gadgets for years.
Chalk it as much as Apple’s much-touted “reality-distortion subject.” It is also a reminder to not take each declare at face worth. Whereas hands-on interactions with the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro do counsel that each will probably be strong gadgets, it is best to have a look at any upcoming huge buy resolution — the Professional begins at $999 — with correct context.
Here is a breakdown of all of the options coming to the iPhone 14 that had been first on Android.
Android did it earlier than iPhone 14: Pixel binning
The iPhone 14 Professional would be the first iPhone to get a 48-megapixel digital camera. The pixel depend is 4 instances better than for the usual iPhone 14 and final yr’s iPhone 13 Professional. However with extra pixels packed on a small smartphone digital camera sensor, it is tough for every pixel to get sufficient mild to provide a pleasant picture.
To counteract this, telephones such because the Samsung Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9 and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, in addition to price range Android telephones, will group bunches of pixels collectively to make them act as one giant pixel. This workaround, referred to as pixel binning, permits for sensors to course of incoming mild whereas additionally sustaining a excessive decision.
Throughout Apple’s “Far Out” presentation, product supervisor Vitor Silva was cautious to say that Apple is bringing a “model new class of digital camera to iPhone” and never that the corporate was first to ever use this method.
Android did it earlier than iPhone 14: Video stabilization
Shaky video had lengthy been an issue in smartphone videography. Whereas cellphone makers have gotten higher at lowering shaky video through the years, it hasn’t been at that GoPro-style motion cam stage. Because of advances in stabilization strategies and post-processing, telephones comparable to 2020’s Google Pixel 5 and Samsung Galaxy S20 have had Energetic Stability and Tremendous Regular modes that helped individuals take easy GoPro-like video whereas in movement.
All iPhone 14 fashions will get Apple’s new Motion Mode, which ought to make for fascinating photographs when filming whereas operating. It does look as if the mode will punch the picture in for a tighter crop, as is widespread with different stabilization strategies. Both manner, Apple is late to the sport on this.
Android did it earlier than iPhone 14: At all times-on show
Some model of always-on show tech has existed on Android for years. The function was commonplace on the defunct line of Lumia Home windows Telephones when it was launched in 2013. LG pioneered the function in its smartwatches even earlier than Samsung. At all times-on permits for important data, comparable to time or calendar occasions, to all the time be seen, with out having to faucet or contact the gadget.
Greg “Joz” Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice chairman of selling, mentioned the iPhone 14 Professional’s Tremendous Retina XDR show’s LTPO expertise permits the display screen to run at a slower 1Hz refresh charge and take up much less energy, though it is not the primary to take action. That honor goes to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely from earlier this yr, which featured the identical show tech.
Android did it earlier than iPhone 14: Capsule-shaped selfie digital camera cutout
A defining trait of the previous few generations of iPhones has been the big notch that sits on the prime of the show. With the iPhone 14 Professional, Apple is following Android in transferring past the notch for a pill-shaped cutout as an alternative.
When Apple launched the notch with the iPhone X in 2017, Samsung was fast to make fun of the odd design resolution. Shortly, Android makers had been on the lookout for methods to restrict their very own selfie-camera notches by making a lot smaller incisions into the show or choosing hole-punch cutouts as an alternative. The OnePlus 7 Pro went as far as so as to add a mechanism that allowed the selfie digital camera to pop-out of the body, letting the display screen be solely unobstructed. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 opts for an under-display selfie digital camera, making the inside show virtually obstructionless.
Both manner, Apple is years behind in transferring away from the notch. The brand new pill-shaped cutout can be noticeably broad. At the least, with the addition of the Dynamic Island, a software program function that higher integrates the cutout into the cellphone’s UI with distinctive animations, it makes the black trough palatable.
Apple deserves some credit score
Not the whole lot Apple confirmed off with the iPhone 14 aped prior Android concepts. The A16 Bionic chip on the iPhone 14 Professional appears to be a beast of a cell processor and can seemingly stay king within the smartphone world, until Google upends it with the Pixel 7 later this yr. The Tremendous Retina XDR show gives a peak brightness of two,000 nits, surpassing the Galaxy S22 Extremely at 1,750 nits. The Emergency SOS satellite tv for pc service function is one thing that is reserved for chunky satellite tv for pc telephones, however provides iPhone 14 customers a technique to name for assist if ever in a harmful state of affairs in distant US or Canada. And the TrueDepth front-facing digital camera will give selfies a extra pure bokeh impact.
All that mentioned, every time a tech firm flaunts its wares, it is all the time good to have some extent of skepticism.