Switching from Android to iOS is usually a shock, however it would not have to be. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Making the soar from an Android phone to an iPhone may be thrilling, but in addition traumatic. On the one hand, you are lastly leaving the green-bubble membership and may discuss to mates on iMessage, reap the benefits of Apple Watch’s well being monitoring and use all of the nice new options in iOS 15. But you even have to be taught a wholly new working system that, at instances, appears to be like and works simply like Android, however at different instances can feel a world away from the controls you are used to. 

For instance, you possibly can’t set up apps from simply anyplace. 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 may’t place apps wherever you please? Annoying. 

If that is all beginning to sound acquainted, you is likely to be blissful to know that there are ways to make your iPhone feel more like dwelling — or, at the very least quite a bit 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 dwelling display screen, are a handy approach to maintain 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 may rotate by means of 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 dwelling 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 measurement on prime of each other. 

Just maintain stacking widgets till you are blissful. 

Animated picture by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You cannot set up themes or launchers, however you possibly can 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 possibly can as a substitute use the AOL Mail icon, or no matter photograph you need, to exchange 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 submit are nearly as good because it will get

Miss Google’s keyboard? You can obtain our favourite, and likewise be taught some iPhone keyboard ideas

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 possibly can set up third-party keyboards on the iPhone, though it’s possible you’ll discover they don’t seem to be as feature-packed because the Android equivalents. Android’s Gboard is accessible on the iPhone if you would like to give it a shot. 

However, when you discover that third-party keyboards simply do not lower it, listed below are a few of my private methods 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 submit with a elaborate animated picture that reveals you the way it works.
  • Create customized textual content substitute shortcuts by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. This makes it simpler to kind cuss phrases (sorry not sorry, Mom), or rapidly enter data like your e mail handle.
  • You can swipe-to-type on the iPhone’s keyboard, simply like you possibly can on nearly each Android keyboard. If it is not working, make positive it is turned on by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Slide to Type and ensuring the change is within the On place.

Psst. Google’s keyboard is on the market 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 great job of preserving the identical apps you have 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 you could find the entire apps which might be accessible 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 subsequent part for a fair 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 accessible on the iPhone that is value declaring is Google Assistant. I do know Siri has a nasty fame 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 possibly can obtain and set up the devoted app

But that does not resolve 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 may 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 discuss to Google Assistant, activate Siri (maintain within the facet button or say, “Hey, Siri”) after which use the title of your Shortcut. 

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

It’s clunky and never excellent, however when you actually do not like Siri, it’s going to get the job achieved. 


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 good. 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 would not at all times 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 provides you probably the most hassle. If that is simply off the bed with raveled hair and luggage below your eyes, so be it. This type of information 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 to be like and feels more like your old phone, take a while to get to know iOS a bit of higher. Check out these settings you want to change, and make positive you are maintaining on the newest iOS 14.6 options. Oh, and there are hidden options you need to learn about too.

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