What iOS 16 and Android 13 Tell Us About the Future of Smartphones

This story is a part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s full protection from and about Apple’s annual builders convention.

What’s occurring

iOS 16 and Android 13 each include new options that goal to switch your bodily pockets and enhance connections with good residence devices and related automotive interfaces.

Why it issues

The updates underscore Apple’s and Google’s shared imaginative and prescient to make our telephones extra important in on a regular basis life.

Your iPhone or Android cellphone is about to develop into much more tightly woven into the nondigital points of your life. That is one of many fundamental takeaways from iOS 16 and Android 13, the newest cellular software program updates from Apple and Google, coming later this 12 months. Each tech giants need to flip your cellphone into an digital pockets for storing your authorized ID, pushing your cellphone nearer to your id than ever earlier than. The businesses additionally proceed to enhance the way in which telephones talk with vehicles, good residence devices and different on a regular basis units. 

Each iOS 16 and Android 13 are crammed with tweaks and new options, a few of that are extra necessary than digital wallets and speedier connections (like Apple’s Security Test instrument for safeguarding home abuse victims, and Google’s new privateness updates). However the overlap between the 2 working methods underscores the cellphone’s altering function in our lives. Based mostly on Apple’s and Google’s newest bulletins, what’s occurring round your cellphone might be simply as necessary as what’s occurring on your cellphone.

The extra intimately our telephones are tied to each day necessities like wallets, bank cards, vehicles and residential home equipment, the more durable it will be to maneuver away from them (or swap between iPhone and Android). The idea is not new; the trade has moved on this path for years. However the modifications in iOS 16 and Android 13 carry necessary refinements to Apple’s and Google’s respective approaches that can possible speed up such efforts.

Learn extra: iOS 16’s Lock Display Upgrades Make the iPhone Extra Like a Smartwatch

Changing the bodily pockets

Google is including digital driver’s licenses to Google Pockets. 

Google; screenshot by CNET

The digital pockets was an enormous focus throughout each Apple’s iOS 16 announcement and Google’s Android 13 preview. Probably the most vital change coming to Apple Pay is a brand new possibility known as Apple Pay Later, which splits the price of a purchase order into 4 equal installments over six weeks. With iOS 16, identification playing cards saved in Apple Pockets can be used to confirm your age inside apps. The addition comes after Apple first added assist for digital IDs final 12 months. 

Google, in the meantime, detailed a significant revamp to its Pockets app throughout its I/O convention final month that brings it on top of things with Apple. The brand new Google Pockets will retailer private paperwork like cost and transit playing cards, vaccination information, boarding passes and pupil IDs, very like Apple Pockets. Google can be working with authorities companies to assist digital IDs. 

Taken collectively, Apple’s and Google’s updates characterize one other step towards their widespread goal of creating bodily wallets out of date — a shift that’ll inevitably make us much more reliant on cellular units. 

Google reiterated this ambition simply earlier than detailing the brand new updates at Google I/O in Could. 

“In actual fact, lately there are solely two issues I do not go away residence with out: my cellphone and my pockets,” Sameer Samat, Android and Google Play’s vp of product administration, mentioned on stage. “So the query is, can my cellphone substitute my pockets?”

Corey Fugman, Apple’s senior director for Pockets and Apple Pay, made comparable remarks through the WWDC keynote on Monday.

“With Apple Pockets, we’re working onerous on our aim to switch your bodily pockets,” he mentioned.

Individuals have already embraced the thought of changing bodily bank cards with smartphone-based cost apps. Utilization of in-store cellular cost methods like Apple Pay is predicted to surpass 50% of all smartphone customers within the US by 2025, based on a 2021 report from eMarketer. Apple’s new Pay Later possibility and Google’s renewed focus by itself cellular pockets may make the notion of leaving your bodily pockets at residence much more interesting.

Learn extra: What WatchOS 9 Could Reveal In regards to the Subsequent Apple Watch

Your cellphone, in all places

Google Search Explorer

Google’s new visible search instrument particulars merchandise on a busy retailer shelf.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Changing the pockets is just one means Apple and Google hope to make our telephones extra helpful offline in on a regular basis life. Each corporations additionally launched camera-based smartphone instruments that would make navigating real-world factors of curiosity simpler. One other outstanding theme is the elevated interconnectivity between cellular units and residential home equipment, vehicles and audio system. 

Apple and Google each imagine the digicam will proceed to play an enormous function in how we work together with the world round us. In iOS 16, you’ll translate textual content into totally different languages utilizing a brand new digicam possibility in Apple’s Translate app. Throughout its WWDC keynote presentation, the corporate demonstrated how this may very well be used to translate a whole restaurant menu into a unique language. You will additionally be capable of monitor a flight or convert foreign money simply by tapping on textual content in a photograph. 

Google confirmed off an formidable growth of its Lens app known as “scene explorer” at Google I/O, which primarily applies its search prowess to the true world. You’d wave your cellphone’s digicam throughout a shelf of merchandise, and it might overlay data and rankings on display that can assist you discover the proper decide. Google search head Prabhakar Raghavan cited the power to search out nut-free snacks or scent-free lotion at a bodily retail retailer for instance. 

The execution could also be totally different, however the idea is analogous. We’re already accustomed to ordering meals, taxis and family necessities with the press of a button on our telephones. Now Apple and Google need to make our telephones a essential a part of undertaking these duties in the true world too, and the digicam might be a significant a part of that. 

Google and Apple have additionally refined their respective visions for turning our cellphone right into a connection hub for different home equipment round us. Google defined how Android 13 would make your cellphone higher at connecting to different units with assist for quick pairing, computerized audio switching between units, and the power to extra simply sync messages between your cellphone and laptop. It additionally revealed a brand new split-screen interface for Android Auto that ought to make multitasking simpler whenever you’re on the street.

Learn extra: A New Apple Watch SE Sounds Extra Thrilling Than the Collection 8. This is Why


Apple’s new iOS-inspired CarPlay interface.


Apple simplified the method of managing HomeKit units with a redesigned residence app for the iPhone. However maybe the largest space the place Apple plans to broaden the iPhone’s attain is within the automotive. The corporate teased a revamp of its CarPlay software program that appears like a whole working system for cars, full with app icons, widgets and different person interface parts which might be paying homage to the iPhone and Apple Watch

The good residence and related automotive aren’t new concepts. They’ve each been an integral a part of Apple and Google’s respective methods for years. However iOS 16 and Android 13 make clear how Apple’s and Google’s visions for these units ought to talk and work together. 

Because the smartphone turns into the hyperlink to every part out of your bank card to your thermostat and automotive, Apple and Google are making its aesthetic extra private. When iOS 16 launches this fall, your iPhone will get a brand-new lock display with assist for Apple Watch-esque widgets and new photograph results for background photographs. Google is increasing its Materials You with premade coloration units that may be utilized throughout the complete working system.

There’s much more to iOS 16 and Android 13 than new pockets performance, digicam instruments for scanning real-world objects and improved connectivity. These updates not solely sign how important the cellphone is turning into to each our on-line and offline lives, additionally they level to the place the trade is heading subsequent. 

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