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