So you bought an iPhone and you're stuck with it for the next couple years. That's fine. Maybe you were super excited for it at first, but the luster has worn off and you're now enviously eyeing your friends' Android phones with a bit of buyer's remorse.
Don't let your jealousy consume you. Though iOS is locked up pretty tight, there are still a few things you can do to make your iPhone more like Android.
Change your keyboard
Hallelujah! Apple has finally opened iOS up to third-party keyboards, and it's about damn time! I've always been annoyed with the iOS keyboard, most simply because there's no way to have the number row on all the time. I mean, come on. And even switching things up won't change that, but it's a step in the right direction.
Changing your keyboard is one of the simplest and perhaps least system-shocking ways you can make your iPhone more like Android. Google's Gboard is a great choice and perhaps the most like Apple's in that you can search for GIFs, but that might be where the similarities end. With Gboard, you can perform Google searches right in whichever app you happen to be using, and you can seamlessly share that information when you're in Messages.
Swiftkey is another excellent option and it might just be the best predictive keyboard around. Swiftkey learns how you type and the words you use and uses that to provide more intuitive predictions. You can also customize its theme to give your iPhone a bit of a different look, and you can slide your fingers to type, which is an excellent accessibility feature.
If you want a keyboard that simply does more, then change it up and see what works for you.
Use Google apps
This may seem kind of obvious, but if you want your iPhone to feel more like Android, then live in Google's ecosystem. The iOS Gmail app was completely overhauled earlier this year, and it definitely works more like its Android counterpart.
But Google apps don't begin and end with Gmail; there's Maps, Calendar, Drive, Photos, Docs, Sheets, Keep, and more. Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage options around, giving you 15GB of free space, and Photos gives you unlimited (4PB) photo backup. Docs and sheets let you create documents and take them with you wherever you go, and the best part of Google's suite is that you can you can access it from any device with an internet connection.
Wanna be more like Android? Live the Google life.
Get a widget launcher app
One awesome feature of Android is the notification shade, which is similar to Control Center in iOS but far more comprehensive. On some Android phones, you can even customize the buttons you see in your notification shade, which allow you to change all sorts of settings on the fly, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, blue light filter, power saving mode, location services, airplane mode, do not disturb, NFC, and lots more.
While Control Center in iOS 11 is going to be more comprehensive than ever, it still doesn't have the functionality that Android's notification shade does. And the Today View widgets will also never have that functionality (at least, you can't make it so right now).
You can, however, download launcher apps, which let you curate a widget of your most-used apps, as well as some settings, so you can access everything from one spot.
It'll never be the same as the Android notification shade/quick settings, but it'll have to do.
The only true way to manipulate your iOS is to jailbreak your iPhone. This is the process of removing the software restrictions put in place by Apple to prevent you from mucking around with it's glorious design.
Jailbreaking lets you do just about everything, from changing app icon shapes to adding functions, and it's been happening since the first iPhone came out in 2007. Jailbreaking will also let you add apps to your iPhone that don't appear in the iOS App Store. If you really want your iPhone to look more like Android, Jailbreaking is really the only way you'll be able to do it properly.
That being said, if you're willing to go to that length, then do it for this phone, but when it comes time to upgrade, just do yourself a favor and buy Android.
Do you have an iPhone you wish was more like Android?
Are you thinking of making the switch but want to try things out first? Or do you love your iPhone's hardware and would just prefer a more Android-like user experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.