Thank you so much, Google, for giving us the iPhone 11’s most incredible new feature

Zach Epstein

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Hardcore Android fans will deny it until they’re blue in the face for some reason, but Android exists as it does today because of Apple. It’s true — after acquiring Android, Google was building out the mobile operating system as a terrible copy of BlackBerry’s mobile OS. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of Sergey Brin introducing Android to the world for the first time back in 2007. It was absolutely terrible and had it continued along that path, it would have been bulldozed along with Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and all the other mobile platforms that failed to pivot after the iPhone was released. But the higher-ups at Google weren’t as shortsighted as those at companies like Nokia, Microsoft, and RIM, which used to be the name of the company behind BlackBerry phones. Google saw that the iPhone was simple, powerful, and far more intuitive than anything else that was available at the time. So the company went back to the drawing board and retooled Android so that it would be much more like iOS, or “iPhone OS,” as it was called back then. The rest, as they say, is history.

Android and the companies that make Android phones have a long history of copying just about every major move that Apple makes with the iPhone. Samsung is obviously the most notorious Apple copycat out there, but other companies including Google have also regularly taken pages out of Apple’s playbook over the years on the software side of things as well as on the hardware side. Remember the first-generation Pixel phones? They were literally just clones of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with a little glass panel slapped on the back. So why doesn’t Apple sue all of these companies into oblivion? Simple: this isn’t a one-way street. Apple takes features from Android and from Android phones all the time, and its iPhone lineup has continuously improved over the years as a result. At no point has that been more apparent than it is in 2019 though, because we have none other than Google to thank for the most incredible new feature on Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphones.

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Apple’s just-released iPhone 11 series smartphone lineup was shaping up to be a pretty boring update according to all the leaks we were seeing a few months ago. Of course, leaks only tell a small part of the story. Now that the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are here, we know that they represent a pretty huge upgrade compared to last year’s models. The screens might look the same, but these new iPhones have been redesigned inside and out to improve upon just about everything that can be improved upon. They’re faster, they’re more powerful, and they have better battery life than any of their predecessors. But there’s one new feature that stands out from the rest and we actually have Google, not Apple to thank for it.

Just a few short years ago, Apple was the global leader by a landslide when it comes to mobile photography. No other phones came close to matching the iPhone’s camera. So several companies set out to catch up to Apple in this crucial area, and they ended up surpassing the iPhone. In fact, companies like Huawei and Google didn’t just beat the iPhone when it comes to mobile photography, they crushed the iPhone.

Apple has failed to catch up with its previous two iPhone generations, but that changes with the iPhone 11 series. The phones’ new cameras are definitely the star of the show in 2019, and they’ve been upgraded in every conceivable way. But the biggest news is the new “Night mode” feature on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. We’ve covered this new low-light photo feature a few times here on the site, but you’ll continue to hear about it because it’s so incredible. And guess what: It exists solely because of Google.

Night mode is a feature that Apple stole from Google and its Pixel phone lineup, and we couldn’t be happier that it finally did. Dubbed “Night Sight,” the feature was introduced last year on Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It uses a complicated process in low-light conditions to capture multiple images at different exposures, and then it stitches them together to create a single photo that is far better lit than it appears even to the naked eye. It’s almost like magic… and it’s even better on the iPhone 11 series than it is on Google’s Pixel phones.

You’ll see tons of examples of the iPhone 11’s Night mode in the coming days and weeks, and you’ll capture plenty yourself if you bought a new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro. We’ve included a couple of particularly impressive samples below. Every time you use this brilliant new feature though, remember that it simply wouldn’t exist if Apple hadn’t stolen it from Google. So once again, thank you, Google, for inventing the most impressive feature on this year’s new iPhones.



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