Jumping Ship From Android To iPhone: A Switcher’s Guide

Jumping Ship From Android To iPhone: A Switcher’s Guide

In the US, there’s finally a choice of iPhone carriers (something we’ve always enjoyed in Australia), so there’s going to be a rush of new iPhone buyers who didn’t want the slow AT&T network but are tempted by Verizon. Even in Australia, some people may have held off buying an iPhone because of supply difficulties. So let’s imagine you’ve ditched your stop-gap of an Android phone for what you really wanted all along. But wait — where are all your beloved Android features? Where’s your awesome, free turn-by-turn navigation? Your retro game emulators? Your freedom? Welcome to the iPhone. We’re here to help.

Note: We love Android. In fact, we’ve previously covered switching from iPhone to Android just like this. This post is here to help aid the reverse transition.

Before we get started, you should know that switching to an iPhone means there will be restrictions you’ll never get around. You are never going to have the same flexibility as you would on Android, but there are ways to gain back the functionality you miss. Some of this functionality can be regained through apps you can find in the iTunes App Store while other functionality will need to be acquired through jailbreaking your phone. First we’re going to take a look at the stuff you can do right now and then check out the jailbreak options you can explore.

Apps to Help You Make the Transition

Let’s take a look at stuff you can grab from the iTunes App Store — mostly for free — to get back some of the stuff you loved about your Android phone.

Google Apps

Google Mobile appGoogle Earth

Google Sync

biggest iPhone annoyanceavoid ever syncing with iTunes againMobileMeinevitably screw upset up Google sync

Also, if you’re a Chrome to Phone user, you can pretty much get that exact functionality on your iPhone with Chrome to iPhone. Chrome to iPhone now works with multiple browsers, so if you’re not an iPhone user you still have options. If you’re willing to pay, you may want to consider trying the more feature-rich MyPhoneDesktop.

Jailbreak Options

Jailbreaking is really what’s going to bring you most of the functionality you want — at least in terms of customisation and flexibility. You should know, however, that jailbreaking can void your warranty (if you’re caught) and potentially brick your shiny new iPhone. I’ve jailbroken more times than I can remember and have never come across an unfixable problem, but you’ve nonetheless been warned. When you’re able to jailbreak your iPhone, make sure you know what you’re doing before you dive in.


Theme ItMultifl0wcustom lock screens on deviantARTmake your own

Better Notifications

featured one beforeNotified
$2.99 Pro version



If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, an app called SmartScreen does something very similar. While Intelliscreen’s widgets integrate themselves very nicely with the lock screen (they almost look like they were designed to be there), SmartScreen’s are much more widget-like. They essentially grab information — data, graphics and all — from apps like calendar, weather, and stocks. It even has a flip clock similar to the one that comes with HTC Android phones. SmartScreen is only $US5, and also has a Lite version available which, among other things, limits the number of widgets you can use to three. Both are great additions to your iPhone if you miss the widgets feature of Android. Note that if you want to try SmartScreen, you’ll have to add their repository to Cydia first, as described on their home page.

Retro Game Emulation

add an SNES emulator to your iPad

Any features we missed that you love on Android and know how to get on the iPhone? Share ’em in the comments!


  • Haha, so in answer to any of your questions “where are all your beloved Android features?”:
    Either; You can’t, OR, jailbreak it.

    Man, I hate my iPhone – worst purchase choice I ever made!

  • “Where’s your awesome, free turn-by-turn navigation? Your retro game emulators? Your freedom?”

    This statement just grinds my damn gears!

    Android has all of this? wtf

    Google navigation
    Android is open source and supports the downloading of apps from any appstore or market? How does iphone = freedom?

    • I think that’s the point matey.. The question is “Where’s your awesome, free turn-by-turn navigation? Your retro game emulators? Your freedom?” AFTER moving to iphone..

    • Pretty sure you misinterpreted what the writer was sayings mate. Android is freedom, thus “Your Freedom” is referring to where is your freedom on an IPHONE. not an android. but anyway. continue to grind those gears

  • I gotta admit, since getting an Android phone; seeing everyone pulling out their iPhones and playing with them, and all the various iPhone apps out there makes me think I may have made the wrong choice.

    Then an article like this comes along, and I soon realise that if I had taken the iPhone route, I’d loose a lot of basic functionality which I take for granted on my phone.

    On another note, why didn’t installing Android on your iPhone make an appearance in this article?

  • While I find this article to me only strengthens the case to go Android (or stay in my case), the article still shows considerable bias in not covering the “Bad” or “Uncomfortable” like the iPhone to Android article. For the power user, just the lack of hardware buttons for basic functions (back and menu + trackpad) or options for a physical keyboard come to mind here as massive things that can’t be replaced by software no matter how hard you try. The lack of a Tasker like application is just the final straw IMO. each to their own I guess lol…

  • I really still can’t see why there is so much bullsh*t hype about the damn iPhone. Android and WP7 are as good if not better anyway!!
    stop being iClones everyone and think for yourself

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