News: 101 Features Android Phones Had Before iPhones

101 Features Android Phones Had Before iPhones

When it's all said and done, it doesn't really matter who did it first — the more important question is who did it best. Still, it's nice to know who's really responsible for groundbreaking innovations in the smartphone space.

I always try to stay neutral and objective, but while I was researching important events in smartphone history recently, something stood out: The first phones to have a vast majority of the features we know and love today were running Android. This has happened time and time again, and I think it's worth highlighting.

When you're reading through the list, you can check the source dates next to each bullet to see which phone had it first. The first link shows you when the first Android phone added the feature, and the second link cites the first iPhone to have it. Enjoy the read, but remember — nobody likes a raving fanboy in the comments.

Software Features

  1. Copy and paste (September 2008 vs. March 2009)
  2. Push notifications (September 2008 vs. June 2009)
  3. Interactive notifications (September 2012 vs. September 2014)
  4. OTA updates (September 2008 vs. October 2011)
  5. Notification center (September 2008 vs. October 2011)
  6. Video recording (September 2008 vs. June 2009)
  7. Home screen widgets (September 2008 vs. September 2014)
  8. Third-party keyboards (September 2008 vs. September 2014)
  9. Predictive typing (September 2008 vs. September 2014)
  10. Gesture typing (June 2010 vs. September 2014)
  11. Sideloaded apps (September 2008 vs. September 2015)
  12. Disable built-in apps (September 2008 vs. September 2014)
  13. Automatic app updates (October 2012 vs. September 2013)
  14. Custom wallpapers (September 2008 vs. June 2010)
  15. Live wallpapers (January 2010 vs. September 2015)
  16. Multitasking capabilities (September 2008 vs. June 2010)
  17. Multitasking interface/task switcher (October 2012 vs. September 2013)
  18. Mobile payments (May 2011 vs. October 2014)
  19. Quick toggles (October 2012 vs. September 2013)
  20. Custom quick toggles (August 2016 vs. September 2017)
  21. Live photos (February 2013 vs. September 2015)
  22. Custom icons (May 2011 vs. May 2017)
  23. Turn-by-turn navigation (February 2009 vs. June 2009)
  24. Wireless syncing (September 2008 vs. October 2011)
  25. Lock screen shortcuts (March 2010 vs. October 2011)
  26. Tap to wake (September 2013 vs. September 2017)
  27. Lift to wake (August 2013 vs. September 2015)
  28. Proactive search (July 2012 vs. September 2015)
  29. Voice search (September 2008 vs. February 2010)
  30. Visual search (September 2008 vs. October 2010)
  31. Hotword detection (July 2013 vs. September 2014)
  32. Battery saver (November 2014 vs. September 2015)
  33. Blue light filter (February 2013 vs. September 2016)
  34. Dark theme (April 2015 vs. September 2017)
  35. NFC tag support (December 2010 vs. September 2017)
  36. Share items between apps (September 2008 vs. September 2013)
  37. Home screen auto-rotation (October 2012 vs. September 2014)

Hardware Features

  1. Multi-carrier support (July 2010 vs. January 2011)
  2. 4G support (June 2010 vs. October 2011)
  3. LTE support (January 2011 vs. September 2012)
  4. 5 GHz Wi-Fi (May 2011 vs. September 2012)
  5. Stereo speakers (April 2011 vs. September 2016)
  6. Bluetooth 5.0 (April 2017 vs. September 2017)
  7. Front-facing camera (June 4, 2010 vs. June 26, 2010)
  8. LED camera flash (January 2010 vs. June 2010)
  9. Dual-lens camera (February 2011 vs. September 2016)
  10. Portrait mode/bokeh (April 2014 vs. September 2016)
  11. Optical zoom (July 2013 vs. September 2016)
  12. Wide-angle lens (April 2016 vs. September 2016)
  13. Optical image stabilization (May 2014 vs. September 2015)
  14. Dual OIS (September 2017 vs. November 2017)
  15. HD video recording (September 2009 vs. June 2010)
  16. Full HD video recording (January 2011 vs. October 2011)
  17. 4K video recording (October 2013 vs. September 2015)
  18. 60 fps 1080p video recording (September 2013 vs. September 2014)
  19. Burst mode photography (November 2012 vs. September 2013)
  20. Phase detection autofocus (April 2014 vs. September 2014)
  21. Laser autofocus (May 2014 vs. September 2017)
  22. Fingerprint sensor (March 2011 vs. September 2013)
  23. Augmented reality (November 2016 vs. September 2017)
  24. Fast charging (February 2013 vs. September 2017)
  25. Wireless charging (November 2012 vs. September 2017)
  26. Secure facial recognition (August 2016 vs. September 2017)
  27. OLED screen (March 2010 vs. September 2017)
  28. HD screen (October 2011 vs. September 2014)
  29. Full HD screen (December 2012 vs. September 2014)
  30. HDR10-compliant screen (August 2016 vs. November 2017)
  31. Dolby Vision-compliant screen (February 2017 vs. November 2017)
  32. Water resistance IP67+ (November 2010 vs. September 2016)
  33. Multi-core processors (January 2011 vs. October 2011)
  34. NFC chip (December 2010 vs. September 2014)

Important Features iPhones Still Don't Have

  1. Ability to set default apps (September 2008)
  2. Expandable storage (September 2008)
  3. Dual SIM (September 2012)
  4. eSIM support (October 2017)
  5. VR headsets (November 2015)
  6. Quad HD screen (May 2014)
  7. 4K screen (November 2015)
  8. 120 Hz screen (November 2017)
  9. Always on display (March 2016)
  10. Split screen (April 2014)
  11. Hiding home screen apps (September 2008)
  12. Settings shortcuts in quick toggles (November 2014)
  13. Instant app refunds (August 2008)
  14. Customizable lock screen shortcuts (March 2010)
  15. Banner notifications for phone calls (November 2014)
  16. Custom icon packs (May 2011)
  17. Picture-in-picture for phones (August 2017)
  18. Always-on home screen widgets (September 2008)
  19. Native visual search (October 2017)
  20. Multi-user support (November 2014)
  21. Smart lock/unlock (November 2014)
  22. Data saver mode (August 2016)
  23. Search for businesses in the phone app (October 2014)
  24. Spam call detection (July 2016)
  25. RCS support (November 2016)
  26. Instant apps (May 2016)
  27. 600 MHz cellular support (September 2017)
  28. FM radio (June 2010)
  29. Heart rate monitor (April 2014)
  30. Blood pressure sensor (March 2018)

Let's not forget who made the first multi-touch smartphone. The first-gen iPhone wasn't the first smartphone, it wasn't the first touch screen phone, and it wasn't the first phone with apps. But it definitely was the first modern smartphone, and it was Apple's innovation with the iPhone that paved the way for these Android features.

Cover image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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