Google's 2022 Product Roadmap Includes Apple-Style Integration Across Devices

Google today announced its 2022 product plans for the Android operating system, and several of the upcoming additions clearly mirror existing Apple features. The new functionality will allow Android smartphones and Google products to match capabilities already available with the Apple devices.

google android ios like features feature
Fast Pair, a Google feature that enables Bluetooth accessories to instantly pair to an Android smartphone, is expanding to wearables, speakers, TVs, and smart home devices, so earbuds will be able to quick pair with Android TVs and Chromebooks, similar to how the AirPods work with the Apple TV and the Mac.

Automatic device switching, a feature that Apple built into the AirPods, is also coming to Google devices. Google says that it is working on technology that will allow Bluetooth headphones to automatically switch audio to whatever device you're using at the time, plus Google has plans to implement head tracking for spatial audio, adapting sound based on head position.

In addition to bringing AirPods-like features to more Google devices, Google is also adding iCloud-style messaging. Chromebook users will be able to access chat apps from their smartphones without installing them, and photos and videos on Android smartphones will be automatically available on connected Chromebooks.

For setting up Google devices, Google is introducing a feature that will allow Android users to set up their Windows PCs by bringing an Android smartphone close to the PC, which will sync text messages and files in addition to allowing for the quick setup of Bluetooth accessories. This is similar to Apple's feature that allows new devices to copy settings and content from an existing device over-the-air.

WearOS smart watches will soon be able to unlock Chromebooks, similar to how an Apple Watch can be used to unlock a Mac. Google already offers this feature to allow Android smartphones to unlock Chromebooks, but the new feature will more closely mirror what's possible with the Apple Watch.

Google is also adopting an Ultra Wideband car key feature that's similar to Apple's Car Keys. It will let a Samsung or Pixel phone unlock, lock, and start supported BMW vehicles, functionality that's already available with the iPhone.

Fast Pair and quick sharing for photos are coming in the next few weeks, while the other features are set to launch later in 2022.

Top Rated Comments

aesc80 Avatar
2 weeks ago
You mean they're only starting this now??!?! Apple has the most criticism of "Oh, they're late to market on everything and make their stuff look innovative". We've had AirDrop/AirPlay/Handover/Share Password/Device Initialization for what feels like a decade now! Oh, but I'm sure Google will get the kudos for it. It sure is quiet and lonely at the top.

EDIT: As I keep editing and adding more "AirDrop" style features, the more I realize how Google were asleep on features but had such the attraction for camera lenses.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
2 weeks ago

Please, AirPlay and AirDrop are the most buggy and least reliable features I’ve ever seen.
Not for me
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsplusmacs Avatar
2 weeks ago
Umm.. OK, Google...

I'm sure it will have the same "polish" as the rest of their devices.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jaro65 Avatar
2 weeks ago
Keep this in mind, those of you who keep saying that Apple doesn't invent and only copies from others.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
2 weeks ago

You mean they're only starting this now??!?! Apple has the most criticism of "Oh, they're late to market on everything and make their stuff look innovative". We've had AirDrop/AirPlay/Handover/Share Password/Device Initialization for what feels like a decade now! Oh, but I'm sure Google will get the kudos for it. It sure is quiet and lonely at the top.

EDIT: As I keep editing and adding more "AirDrop" style features, the more I realize how Google were asleep on features but had such the attraction for camera lenses.
You’re right. But it’s not like Apple made these features reliable. Airdrop and Handover are hit or miss, AirPlay is slow and unreliable. And just this morning it took me 10 min to get my AirPods Pro and iPad Pro to connect (as my iPhone was also nearby).

I love these features but because they’re unreliable they’re not my first choice.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MayaUser Avatar
2 weeks ago

You’re right. But it’s not like Apple made these features reliable. Airdrop and Handover are hit or miss, AirPlay is slow and unreliable. And just this morning it took me 10 min to get my AirPods Pro and iPad Pro to connect (as my iPhone was also nearby).

I love these features but because they’re unreliable they’re not my first choice.
For me both airdrop and handover are always there...almost never missed...airdrop works flawless even with a mac just connected to the same wifi server, with "everyone" selected
there are too many features, from handover the mails, messages, pages etc to instant connect to my iphone 4G when the wifi has low signal where i am...and a lot more...you just feel them when you go, like i am to the Windows side
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

gmail calls

Google Rolls Out Voice and Video Call Features to Gmail App

Tuesday December 7, 2021 4:20 am PST by
Google has added the ability to join one-on-one Google Chat voice and video calls from within the Gmail app, the company has announced. Before now, it was possible to make calls from within the Gmail app on iOS and Android, but users had to send an invite to a Google Meet video conferencing call, which was more convoluted and limiting. In future, however, users will be able to tap new...
Android 12 vs iOS 14 Feature

Google Previews Android 12 With Deeper Customization and iOS 14-Inspired Privacy Protections

Tuesday May 18, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
During its Google I/O developers conference today, Google previewed Android 12, the next version of Android that will ship to millions of Android devices around the world later this year. Google is mainly targeting customization as the theme for this year's new release and a new design language that it's calling "Material You." Google says this new design language brings a "humanistic...
google iphone home screen

Google Basically Wants Your iPhone 13 Home Screen to Look Like Android

Tuesday September 28, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
In a new blog post titled "Bring the best of Google to your iPhone," Google is on an endeavor to convince new iPhone 13 users to transform their ‌device’s home screen to look like Android. The blog post, written by Google's director for the iOS platform, features screenshots of an iPhone 13 home screen filled with Google apps and widgets. The post implies that customers should possibly...
General Apps Messages

Google Exec Pushing RCS Adoption Says He's 'Not Asking Apple to Make iMessage Available on Android'

Monday January 10, 2022 3:24 pm PST by
Google for the last several years has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS, which is designed to replace the current SMS standard. RCS offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file size, improved encryption, and more. For the last few months, Google's senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer,...
play store google

Google Criticizes EU Regulators for Ignoring Apple in Bid to Get $5.1 Billion Antitrust Fine Annulled

Monday September 27, 2021 1:32 pm PDT by
Google today lambasted European Union regulators for ignoring Apple and the rivalry between Apple and Android in the antitrust accusations that have been levied against Google, reports Reuters. Apple was brought up as part of Google's attempt to get a massive 4.34 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fine annulled. The European Commission first levied the fine against Google in 2018 because Google...
google logo

Google's 'Pixel Watch' Planned for 2022 Launch to Compete With Apple Watch

Friday December 3, 2021 6:59 am PST by
Google is planning to launch its first smartwatch next year, according to a new report from Business Insider, signaling Google's expansion into creating smartwatch hardware rather than just software. Google has so far only developed wearOS, an operating system that the company has partnered with Samsung and others to implement into smartwatch offerings. Next year, however, Google is planning ...
Google apps isolated

Google Apps for iOS to Switch to UIKit After Decade of Material Design

Monday October 11, 2021 7:20 am PDT by
Google is winding down its Material Design custom UI for iOS apps to switch to pure UIKit, according to Google's design chief for Apple platforms Jeff Verkoeyen. Google's suite of apps for iOS and iPadOS, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Drive, and YouTube, have used custom user interfaces that mirror the experience on Android for almost a decade. The purpose of these...
Google maps feaure purple

Google Maps Warns You About Crowded Areas With Updated 'Busyness' Feature

Tuesday November 16, 2021 4:40 pm PST by
Google today announced the launch of new iOS Google Maps features aimed at helping holiday shoppers, including Area Busyness and Directories. With Area Busyness, Google combines the busyness trends of businesses and locations that are near each other to let you know when a neighborhood or a part of town is at its busiest. Google says that this feature can help you identify busy areas to...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...