Switching from Android to iOS generally is a shock, nevertheless it does not have to be. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Making the soar from an Android phone to an iPhone may be thrilling, but additionally annoying. On the one hand, you are lastly leaving the green-bubble membership and might speak to buddies on iMessage, benefit from Apple Watch’s well being monitoring and use all of the nice new options in iOS 15. But you even have to study a completely new working system that, at occasions, appears and works simply like Android, however at different occasions can feel a world away from the controls you are used to. 

For instance, you may’t set up apps from simply wherever. You’ll want to get them from the Apple App Store and solely the App Store. Or what about the truth that you are still pressured to use a inflexible app grid, and might’t place apps wherever you please? Annoying. 

If that is all beginning to sound acquainted, you may be glad to know that there are ways to make your iPhone feel more like residence — or, not less than rather a lot more like your old Android phone. For occasion, do you know you can add widgets, create customized app icons or use a third-party keyboard that is more like what you are used to? I’ll stroll you thru a number of adjustments that may make your new iPhone more Android-like in simply the ways you need.


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What’s new in iOS 14.5?


Create a customized homescreen with widgets and Smart Stack

Widgets, and for that matter, a customized residence display screen, are a handy means to hold data at your fingertips, however maybe more importantly you get to create a very personalised expertise. 

Good information. Your iPhone helps widgets on the house display screen as effectively, and so they’re fairly superior. You can add a single widget, or create what’s referred to as a Smart Stack that can rotate by a collection of widgets based mostly on which widgets you work together with and the time of day. 

Place a widget on your iPhone’s display screen by long-pressing in a clean spot. I normally do it simply above the apps within the dock (the place the row of dots are for every residence display screen). Tap on the plus signal within the top-left nook, after which drag and drop widgets to your display screen. 

Create a Smart Stack of your personal by dragging widgets of the identical dimension on prime of each other. 

Just hold stacking widgets till you are glad. 

Animated picture by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You cannot set up themes or launchers, however you may nonetheless customise the iPhone’s look

If you are used to creating customized app icons, you will be happy to know that your iPhone can help customized icons, too. You’ll want to use the Shortcuts app so as to obtain your customized look, and be prepared to make investments a while with every new creation — you’ve to do it on an app-by-app foundation. So as a substitute of getting the inventory Mail, Safari or Messages app icons, you may as a substitute use the AOL Mail icon, or no matter photograph you need, to change the default icons. 

Hopefully Apple will add help for theme or icon packs sooner or later, however as of proper now, the steps outlined on this publish are nearly as good because it will get

Miss Google’s keyboard? You can obtain our favourite, and likewise study some iPhone keyboard suggestions

The little issues may be what we find yourself lacking probably the most about our old units. Take the keyboard for instance. Google’s keyboard, Gboard, is beloved by many Android customers. But do not fret, you may set up third-party keyboards on the iPhone, though chances are you’ll discover they don’t seem to be as feature-packed because the Android equivalents. Android’s Gboard is obtainable on the iPhone if you need to give it a shot. 

However, if you happen to discover that third-party keyboards simply do not minimize it, listed here are a few of my private tips for getting probably the most out of the iPhone’s keyboard. 

  • Move the cursor by long-pressing on the spacebar till the keys disappear, turning it right into a trackpad of types. Here’s a publish with a flowery animated picture that exhibits you the way it works.
  • Create customized textual content alternative shortcuts by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. This makes it simpler to kind cuss phrases (sorry not sorry, Mom), or shortly enter data like your electronic mail deal with.
  • You can swipe-to-type on the iPhone’s keyboard, simply like you may on nearly each Android keyboard. If it is not working, make certain it is turned on by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Slide to Type and ensuring the swap is within the On place.

Psst. Google’s keyboard is accessible on the iPhone. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

You’re not locked into Apple’s default apps. Use Google’s apps as a substitute

You’re in luck. Google does a very good job of conserving the identical apps you’ve got come to know and love on Android up to date on the iPhone. Instead of linking you to each single Google app, I’ll as a substitute level you to Google’s developer web page within the App Store the place yow will discover the entire apps which can be obtainable for the iPhone (or iPad). 

You could also be shocked at simply what number of apps Google has constructed for the iPhone. Google Maps, Gmail, the Chrome browser, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Keep are simply the tip of the iceberg. See the following part for an excellent more pervasive Google app.


You can use Google Assistant as a substitute of Siri for your search wants.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Don’t like Siri? Use Google Assistant

One of the apps Google has made obtainable on the iPhone that is price mentioning is Google Assistant. I do know Siri has a nasty popularity in some ways, and I will not get into that debate right here, however for individuals who want to use Google’s digital assistant over Apple’s you may obtain and set up the devoted app

But that does not clear up the issue of not having the ability to say, “Hey, Google” and have your iPhone reply. In order to try this, you will want to create a Shortcut within the Shortcuts app that can use Siri to launch Google Assistant. 

With Google Assistant put in on your phone, open the Shortcuts app and faucet on the plus signal to create a brand new shortcut. Tap Add Action > Apps > Assistant > Ask Google and switch off Show When Run. Name the Shortcut both “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google.”

The subsequent time you need to speak to Google Assistant, activate Siri (maintain within the facet button or say, “Hey, Siri”) after which use the identify of your Shortcut. 

For instance, you may say “Hey, Siri, OK, Google, what’s the weather?” And Siri will go your request to the Google Assistant app. 

It’s clunky and never ultimate, however if you happen to actually do not like Siri, it’s going to get the job executed. 


Don’t feel like there’s an excessive amount of to study your iPhone. That’s why we’re right here. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Face ID is not excellent. Here’s how to make it higher

If you are switching from an Android phone with fingerprint unlock, Face ID can feel irritating if it does not all the time acknowledge your face (like if your head is half-buried in a pillow) and unlock your iPhone in a correct period of time. Here’s what I recommend: Add an alternate look, which is simply like scanning your face a second time (that is the equal of scanning 4 fingerprints in your old Android phone, as a substitute of only one). 

But as a substitute of placing on sun shades or another accent to change your look, undergo the registration course of with the “typical” look that offers you probably the most bother. If that is simply away from bed with matted hair and luggage underneath your eyes, so be it. This form of knowledge is saved solely on your phone, and that is face unlock, not a magnificence contest.

To scan your face once more, open Settings > Face ID & Passcode and faucet Set Up an Alternate Appearance

Now that your iPhone appears and feels more like your old phone, take a while to get to know iOS just a little higher. Check out these settings you want to change, and make certain you are maintaining on the newest iOS 14.6 options. Oh, and there are hidden options you need to find out about too.

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