How to make your Android phone look and feel more like an iPhone

For years, Google has provided Android phones with unmatched customization. Every major update brings a new opportunity to tweak how your phone looks and works. The Android 12 update lets you change every feature, right down to the app icon colors on your homescreen. While customizable functionalities are important, they can be overkill sometimes.

With Apple, simplicity is key, and most features appear the same on iPhones even if you upgrade to the latest iOS version. But iPhones are expensive, and no one wants to break the bank to switch from Android to iOS. If you don’t want to make the change, here are five easy ways to recreate the iPhone’s iconic homescreen on your device. You can also transform your iPhone to an Android in minutes.


Can you make your Android look like an iPhone?

You can make your Android look like an iPhone with third-party launchers, icon packs, and themes from the Google Play Store. Currently, it’s the only way to transform your Android into an iOS device. Apple software is specially designed for its products, and the company has a closed ecosystem where it retains complete rights to the software. Hence, they don’t allow its redistribution to other manufacturers. You also can’t download the software from websites or illegally install it via jailbreaking.

However, iPhone launchers can change the appearance of your Android phone but not how it works. Your default browser’s icon may switch to Safari, but that doesn’t mean you now have Apple’s browser on your phone. If Chrome is your default browser app, then that’s what you will still see.

Third-party launchers, apps, and themes from the Google Play Store don’t require rooting or jailbreaking. However, they contain annoying ads that can interrupt your experience. Disabling their permission to draw over other apps is one way to block them on your Android device.

Some apps may require you to make a payment or donation to remove ads or access premium content. Additionally, launchers are limited to your homescreen and lock screen and don’t affect anything beyond that. Your settings and file manager menus remain the same. To completely change your Android’s look, download a theme. Use the following tips to give your phone an iPhone makeover.

1. Use iPhone launchers

Launchers allow you to personalize your phone’s app gallery screen and homescreen. You can change icons, add widgets, and rearrange the layout, among other functionalities. Most launchers come with lock screen personalization settings and the Control Center, and the Dynamic Island if you’re lucky. You don’t need to download a separate app. If you need recommendations on which apps to use, Nova and Apex Launcher Pro are among the best Android launchers on the market.

Making third-party launchers your default homescreen app is necessary for them to work properly. If you refuse, your phone continuously prompts you to choose your primary homescreen or revert to the default settings. Also, you may need to disable the Digital Wellbeing app on your phone as it resets your phone to the original homescreen on some phones. Most launchers ask you to grant them permissions and accept the Terms and Conditions after installation. The apps then automatically open the Default Home App Page for you to select them as your primary homescreen.

2. Download themes and icon packs

Themes are styles or designs that transform your phone’s User Interface (UI), from the icons and wallpaper to the menus. The transformation may not be noticeable if your phone is in Dark mode, so you need to disable it. On the other hand, launchers are apps that host your homescreen and lock screen while having in-built themes. They allow you to configure page transitions, the layout, and quick settings. Plus, you can add widgets to customize the screen performance.

If you don’t want a complete overhaul of your homescreen or UI, take things slow with icon packs. Icon packs allow you to change only your default icons to different styles, shapes, and colors. If you own one of the latest Samsung phones, download and change app icons from the Galaxy Themes app. Other devices may need to use their native theme apps or the Google Play Store to download icon packs, themes, and wallpapers. Still, no theme can change your main and quick settings menus to look like an iPhone.

4. Install iOS app lookalikes

Apple’s closed ecosystem makes it impossible to install iOS apps without jumping through some hoops. Although many websites claim to have official iOS apps for download, we don’t recommend installing them as they contain malware that can damage your device. But all hope isn’t lost. Apple app alternatives exist on Play Store to help you create the illusion of using an iPhone, and you can make them your default apps.

AirMessage is a good alternative to iMessage and has most of iMessage’s features. As for utility apps, dozens of calculators and clocks on the Play Store closely emulate the iOS versions. Apple Music is also officially available on the Play Store, and it comes with a cool pink widget for your homescreen. However, you need an Apple ID to use the streaming platform.

5. Get a lock screen app

The iOS 16 update introduced features that closely rival Google’s Android 13, one of which is the lock screen widgets. You can now add widgets to your lock screen for quicker access and control, which you can’t do on an Android. Google apps are available as iPhone lock screen widgets, but not for Android.

To get widgets on your Android’s lock screen, download an app from the Play Store. These apps won’t alter your homescreen or icons as they’re designed for lock screens. Depending on the app you download, you may be able to change your password or pattern style, date and time format, text size, lock sound, and more to resemble an iPhone’s features.

6. Use Control Center and assistive touch apps

By default, Android phones have a Quick settings panel, and swiping down from the top of your screen accesses it. Although you can’t completely replace it with a Control Center app, you can configure the app to open similarly. For example, some apps allow you to swipe from the bottom, left, right, or upper-right corner of your screen. Some Control Centers may include the iPhone assistive touch button, and you can move it to any position.

Although most Control Centers have provisions for screenshots and recording, the feature doesn’t always work, and your recordings can become corrupted. Some Control Centers may require you to download an in-app screen recorder or set an existing one as your default app within the Center.

Enjoy free iOS-style customization on your Android

Icon packs, themes, and launchers are free alternatives to enjoying iOS features without buying a new iPhone. However, using them comes with limitations. Even though you could fool other people into thinking you’re holding an iPhone, the illusion doesn’t last long as your phone’s design remains the same — unless you have the Xiaomi 13 series or a similar smartphone. Also, you can’t use Siri, Apple Pay, and other features as Apple hasn’t opened its App Store to the world.

If the Android ecosystem is all you’ve ever known, transferring your data and getting accustomed to the iOS layout can be confusing. If the complete iPhone experience is important to you, it’s worth considering getting an iPhone. Then, switch from Android to iPhone with Google services. Also, there are online iPhone emulators to help you familiarize yourself with the new interface before you switch.

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