UPDATE Sept. 27, 9:47 p.m. ET: We added another feature that spans across both phone lines, adding up to a total six
If you’re cringing at the very thought of owning a Pixel phone, I’m right there with you. However, I can’t help but wonder if the better-looking phone line – the brand spankin’ new iPhone 15 series – may have taken some notes from the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
I have no intentions of reigniting yet another Android vs. iPhone debate. After all, the Android world has borrowed plenty of features from Apple’s playbook. (Nearby Share, for example, is Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop.) But after watching Apple’s “Wonderlust” event, it’s time to spotlight the ways Apple seemingly stole from Google. I must’ve said, “Wait a minute! The Pixel series already has that” more times than I can count on two hands.
That being said, let’s delve into six features revealed during the iPhone 15 event that the Pixel series already offers.
Apple’s Deniz Teoman boasted that the iPhone 15 now offers crisper, clearer phone calls, thanks to a “more advanced machine-learning model.” In other words, iPhone 15 uses AI (why is Apple so hesitant to say this word?) to filter your phone calls, isolating your voice from noisy, unwanted sounds that leak into your conversations.
However, Google already showed off a similar feature during the 2022 Made for Google event when it officially debuted its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones. It’s called “Clear Calling.” Similar to the new iPhone 15 series, the Pixel 7 line is capable of suppressing background noises to eliminate distracting sounds like wind and traffic. Plus, it enhances your voice during the process, too.
Let’s say you’ve taken a selfie with your friend hanging out in the foreground. With the new iPhone 15, you can choose to add a bokeh effect to your buddy, ensuring that you’re the focus in the image. You can also do the opposite (i.e., blur yourself while making your friend the center of attention.)
Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro users are not strangers to this feature. Using the Unblur editing tool, they, too, can pick and choose which subjects to blur and keep in focus.
The Pixel 7 sports 8GB of RAM while the pricier Pixel 7 Pro packs 12GB of RAM. This means that the Pixel 7 series should be capable of juggling multiple apps and tasks like a talented court jester.
Apple never publicly reveals the amount of RAM inside iPhones, but according to MacRumors, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max finally upgraded to 8GB of RAM. However, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus still have 6GB of RAM, which matches the entire iPhone 14 line. To be fair, 6GB of RAM should be sufficient to handle most processes, but phones packed with 8GB of RAM or more should deliver better, zippier system performance, especially if you want to swap between several different apps simultaneously.
If you have one of those friends or family members who just love to use voice memos, you’ll appreciate iOS 17’s audio message transcription feature, which was announced at WWDC 2023 in early June. Like the name suggests, this cool perk transcribes voice memos for you. As such, if you don’t have the ability to listen to a voice memo for whatever reason, you can simply read the transcript instead.
Google announced a similar feature for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro last October. “You can stay in the loop without distracting your peers or plugging your ears to hear over the crowd,” Jonathan Eccles, Google’s Group Product Manager, boasted. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro supports audio message transcription for four languages: English, Japanese, German, French and Spanish.
Apple gushed about the new periscope lens inside the iPhone 15 Pro Max, or as the Cupertino-based tech giant calls it, a “tetraprism.” What’s a tetraprism? To put it succinctly, it’s a folded design that allowed engineers to stuff a 120mm lens into the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
This new camera delivers 5x optical zoom, up from the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 3x zoom. The Google Pixel 7 Pro already has a telephoto lens that offers 5X optical zoom. On top of that, similar to Apple, Google also uses a tetraprism-like design for its telephoto camera.
You saw this comin’, didn’t you? Come on, it’s about time that Apple hopped aboard the USB-C bandwagon. The Cupertino-based tech giant never had any intentions of ditching its proprietary Lightning port (likely because it made a killing from its Made for iPhone program that lets accessory makers license it). However, as a result of an EU mandate requiring device manufacturers to uphold USB-C as the standard of connectivity, Apple had no choice but to swap Lightning for USB-C.
The Pixel series, on the other hand, offered USB-C since its inception in 2016. In other words, the iPhone is seven years late to the USB-C party, but I’m relieved that Apple finally got with the program.