7 ways to modify your iPhone with Android

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The move from Android to iOS may come as a shock, but it doesn’t have to be.

Andrew Lanxon / topwatchbest

So you’ve made a big step from Android phone to iPhone. Maybe iPhone 13 you’ve finally convinced you, or maybe you pre-ordered 2022 iPhone SE. Whichever Apple handheld you wear, it’s certainly a customization to navigate iOS after getting used to Android. On the one hand, it’s exciting: you are now part of blue bubble cluband you can explore all the useful features in the newly released iOS 15.4.

But you also need to learn a new operating system that has some similarities with Android but feels completely different. For example, you can’t install an app from anywhere. You need to download them from the Apple App Store and only from the App Store. How about the fact that you are still forced to use a rigid app grid and can’t place your app anywhere? You also can’t see information like time and notifications even when the display is off, as is the case with many Android phones. Annoying.

If this is all starting to sound familiar, you might be happy to know that there are ways to make your iPhone feel more like your old Android phone. For example, do you know yourself they can add widgets, create custom app icons, or use a third-party keyboard that’s more like the one you’re used to? I’ll walk you through a few changes that can make your new iPhone more like Android the way you want it.

Create your own home screen with widgets and Smart Stack

Widgets, as well as a custom home screen, are a convenient way to keep information at your fingertips, but more importantly, you can create a completely personalized experience.

Good news. your iPhone supports widgets on your home screen and they’re pretty awesome. You can add a single widget or create a so-called smart stack that will rotate through a series of widgets depending on what widgets you are using and the time of day.

Place the widget on the iPhone screen by holding it in an empty space. I usually do this right above the apps in the dock (where a row of dots are on each home screen). Tap the plus sign in the upper left corner, then drag and drop widgets onto the screen.

Create a Smart Stack your own by dragging widgets of the same size onto each other.

Just arrange the widgets until you’re happy.

Animated picture by Jason Cipriani / topwatchbest

You can’t install themes or launchers, but you can still customize the look of your iPhone

If you’re used to creating custom app icons, you’ll be glad to know it Your iPhone may support custom icons, also. To get your own look, you’ll need to use the Shortcuts app and invest some time in each new creation – you’ll need to do this separately for each app. So, instead of having the standard icons for the Mail, Safari, or Messages apps, you can use the AOL Mail icon or any photo to replace the default icons instead.

Hopefully Apple will add support for theme or icon packs in the future, but from now on the steps in this post are as good as it gets.

Use FaceTime to chat with your Android friends

Yes, you read that right. In iOS 15, you can FaceTime with friends and family who: you don’t have an Apple device. It might not make your iPhone look any more like your old Android phone in the same way it does the other tips on this list. However, it can help with the transition as it allows you to easily video chat with your Android friends without having to install a new app.

FaceTime calling works a bit differently when you communicate with users of non-Apple devices. You’ll need to generate a link that you can click or tap to join the conversation from your web browser. Just open the FaceTime app and tap the Create Link button to get started. From there, you can just copy the link or tap an app like Messages or Mail to share the invitation with a friend or family member.


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Missing the Google Keyboard? You can download our favorites as well as learn some iPhone keyboard tips

Small things may be what we miss most about our old devices. Let’s take the keyboard as an example. The Google keyboard, Gboard, is loved by many Android users. But don’t worry, you can install third-party keyboards on your iPhone, although you may find that they aren’t quite as feature-rich as the Android counterparts. Android’s Gboard is available on iPhone if you want to try.

However, if you find that third-party keyboards just don’t cut it, here are some of my personal tricks to get the most out of your iPhone keyboard.

  • Move the cursor by long pressing the spacebar until the keys disappear, turning it into a kind of trackpad. Here it is post with a fancy animated image this shows how it works.
  • Create custom text replacement shortcuts by going to Settings> General> Keyboard> Text Replacement. This makes it easy to type swear words (sorry no sorry mom) or quickly enter information such as an email address.
  • You can swipe to type on an iPhone keyboard just like you would on almost any Android keyboard. If it doesn’t work, make sure it’s turned on by going to Settings> General> Keyboard> Swipe to type and making sure the switch is in On position.
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Ps. Google Keyboard is available on iPhone.

Jason Cipriani / topwatchbest

You are not locked out of Apple’s default apps. Use the Google app instead

You are lucky. Google does a good job of updating the same apps on your iPhone that you know and love on Android. Instead of linking you to every google app, I will instead will direct you to the Google developer page in the App Store where you can find all the apps available for your iPhone (or iPad).

You may be surprised at how many apps Google has built for iPhone. Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Keep are just the tip of the iceberg. In the next section, you’ll find an even more ubiquitous Google app.

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You can use the Google Assistant instead of Siri for your search needs.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / topwatchbest

You don’t like Siri? Use the Google Assistant

One of the apps shared by Google for iPhone that is worth paying attention to is the Google Assistant. I know Siri has a bad reputation in some respects, and I won’t get into this debate here, but for those looking to use Google’s virtual assistant instead of Apple, you can download and install a dedicated application.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of not being able to say “Hey Google” and answer to the iPhone. To do this, you’ll need to create a shortcut in the Shortcuts app that will use Siri to launch the Google Assistant.

After installing the Google Assistant on your phone, open the Shortcuts app and tap on the plus sign to create a new shortcut. Obtain Add an action > Apps > Assistant > Ask Google and turn it off Show on startup. Name the shortcut “Hey Google” or “OK ​​Google”.

The next time you want to talk to the Google Assistant, activate Siri (hold down the side button or say “Hey Siri”), then use the shortcut name.

For example, you can say “Hey Siri OK Google, what’s the weather like?” And Siri will forward your request to the Google Assistant app.

It’s clunky and not perfect, but if really I don’t like Siri, that will do the trick.

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Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

The face ID is not perfect. Here’s how to make it better

If you’re switching from an Android phone with fingerprint unlocking, Face ID can be frustrating if it doesn’t always recognize your face (e.g. when your head is half buried in a pillow) and unlocks your iPhone in a timely manner. Here’s what I suggest: Add an alternate look that looks like face rescanning; this is the equivalent of scanning four fingerprints on an old Android phone instead of just one.

But instead of wearing sunglasses or any other accessory to change your look, go through the registration process with the “typical” look that causes you the most trouble. If it’s just getting out of bed, with disheveled hair and bags under eyes, so be it. This kind of data is only stored on your phone and it’s not a beauty contest, it’s face unlocking.

To rescan the face, open it Settings > Face ID and access code and tap Configure an alternate appearance.

Now that your iPhone looks and feels more like your old phone, take the time to get to know iOS a little better. Check out you need to change these settingsand make sure you follow the latest features of iOS 15. Oh, and they are hidden features you should know about also.

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