The appeal of iPhones lies in their simple and sleek user interface, which contributes to the value proposition of iPhones. Along with other factors, such as iMessage, some Android users switch to iPhones as well. Despite Google’s growing use of RCS on high-end Android phones like the Google Pixel 7 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, switching to an iPhone may make sense if everyone you know uses iMessage. As an experienced Android user, you may want your iPhone to feel and function like your Android phone. Here are some ways to make your iPhone resemble an Android phone.
Replace Apple’s apps with Google’s
An effective way to make your phone more familiar is to use the apps you are used to. Although not all of Google’s apps are available on the App Store, most used apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Photos are available. You can go to Google’s developer page on the App Store to check which apps are available. Apple allows you to change a few of the default apps on your iPhone, which makes it easier to use these apps. Follow these steps to change your default browser from Safari to Chrome:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Scroll down and select Chrome.
3. Tap the Default Browser App option.
4. Change Safari to Chrome from the dropdown default menu.
Once you complete these steps, Chrome will be your default browser on your iPhone. If you prefer to use Gmail instead of Apple’s Mail app, follow these same steps. However, note that Apple does not let you change some of the default apps, such as the Calendar app or Photos app.
Replace Apple’s default keyboard with a better one
Although Apple has not fully opened up default app customization, they have allowed default keyboard customization for a long time. Some of the best Android keyboard apps like Gboard and SwiftKey are also available on the App Store. Setting the default keyboard on an iPhone is easy, which makes it a no-brainer. To begin, download your preferred keyboard from the App Store, and follow the instructions below:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Tap the General option.
3. Tap Keyboard.
4. Tap Keyboards.
5. Tap Add New Keyboard and select your desired keyboard from the list.
6. To enjoy the full features, give the app full access, which Apple warns may permit developers to log your keystrokes. Consequently, enable it at your own risk.
7. Once you allow the full access, open your keyboard in any app.
8. Select the globe icon in the lower-left corner to switch your current keyboard with the third-party keyboard enabled.
Use Google Assistant instead of Siri
Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, is the default assistant on iPhones. However, this can be frustrating for many iPhone users because it can be activated accidentally and does not have as much functionality as Google Assistant. If you were previously an Android user, you may likely be already accustomed to Google Assistant, regarded as the best overall virtual assistant. You can download the Google Assistant app from the App Store, but the app does not allow you to use a trigger phrase to activate the assistant. Nevertheless, a workaround will help you achieve this. Follow the instructions below to make it happen:
1. Download the Google Assistant and Apple Shortcuts apps from the App Store.
2. Open the Shortcuts app, select the plus icon in the upper-right corner to create a new shortcut.
3. Tap the Add Action option.
4. Choose Hey Google from the list.
5. Turn on the Show When Run toggle.
6. Name your shortcut “Hey Google,” and click Done.
Now that you have created this shortcut, you can ask Siri to open Google Assistant. Say, “Hey Siri,” wait for it to open, and say, “Hey Google,” along with what you want the Google Assistant to do. Alternatively, hold the button on the side of your iPhone to launch Siri and use the same method to launch Google Assistant. Note that using Google Assistant in this way will not be as functional as on an Android phone, and you won’t be able to turn on the flashlight or send a text. For such actions, you will have to use Siri.
Use Apple versions of Android features
Some features are fundamental to any phone’s functionality, and you may miss some on an iPhone if you were previously an Android user. Apple has added widgets to iPhones in 2020, finally catching up with Android phones. Widgets on Apple devices generally look more polished than Android widgets, but they are not as interactive and customizable. You can create a stack of widgets and place widgets on top of each other in a scrollable pile to conserve space on your homescreen while still having convenient information. Apple also allows you to add widgets to three different parts of your iPhone, the homescreen, lock screen, and today view.
The today view is Apple’s version of Google’s Discover feature, and both can be found by swiping left on your homescreen. Nevertheless, Apple’s widgets do not have as many customization options as Android widgets. Unfortunately, you cannot place widgets wherever you like, but Apple allows you to put them above or below a row of app or folder icons. Despite this, there are many great-looking widgets on the App Store from Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, and more that can make your iPhone experience more similar to Android.
Clean up your homescreen with Apple’s app drawer feature
Before iOS 14, the only way to organize your iPhone’s homescreen was to have every app you have installed on a homescreen or in a folder on your homescreen. This made organizing your homescreens messy and cluttered. With iOS 14, Apple introduced an app drawer feature called the App Library. Although not a fully-fledged app drawer that shows all of your apps listed alphabetically like most Android phones, the App Library is an improvement. When you swipe to the right of your homescreen, you’ll find the App Library. It categorizes your apps based on their functionality, making it easier to find the app you need. Using Android phones, you can download launchers that allow you to organize your app drawer and homescreen in different ways. However, with Apple, you cannot have an app launcher, arrange apps in circles, or customize how your apps are sorted. Despite this, the App Library on iPhones is an improvement that makes your iPhone seem a bit more like an Android.