Prefer Android? Make your iPhone more like it.

Posted by Jeff Schuler on Mar 8, 2011 in Uncategorized |

If you prefer using the features of an Android operating system but are stuck with an iPhone or any other iOS for that matter then you are not completely out of luck.  There are several things you can do to make the features on your iPhone work like Android features.  Here are some tips and tricks found on lifehacker that we will pass on and share.

Locking up your iPhone screen widgets

customizing your iPhone home screen is actually much simpler than it would appear.  Follow the directions in this article in order to customize your iPhone lockscreen features.  There you will find a nice set of instructions for setting up a custom lockscreen that is simple, sleek, and provides you with time and date and other simple things that you need when looking at your phone at a quick glance.

Unobtrusive Notifications

iOS seriously fails at handling notifications. No matter what kind of notification you get, iOS gives you the same annoying blue dialogue box that interrupts whatever you’re doing. Tired of  these?   MobileNotifier is an excellent solution.  This is a jailbreak hack, so you’re out of luck if you’re sticking with a jailed device. If you need a reason to jailbreak, this is a good one.

MobileNotifier handles notifications similarly to the way Android does—by keeping them in an always-accessible drawer and by notifying you without interruption so you can continue doing what you’re doing. When you receive a text message, for example, a little bar will pop up top to let you know that you’ve received a notification. You can leave it up there for as long as you need and dismiss it (or act on it) whenever you want. To see all of your notifications (or to clear them), you just need to double tap the home button and you’ll see your notifications drawer (as well as multi-tasking mode). If you’d like to set up MobileNotifier (and you should), follow these instructions on Lifehacker.

Getting Google Apps on your iPhone

Here are some Google Apps that you can get on your iPhone:

  • The official Google Mobile App
  • Google latitude
  • Google Earth
  • Google Voice
  • GoogleReader (use Google  docs?  Super useful and worth the $5 or so that it costs)

You may prefer to use the mobile webapps provided by Google over the original options, so make sure you put them on your iOS and bookmark them if you do.  Just make a bookmark on your homescreen that links to them.

Turn on Google Sync

So you’ve never been able to do this before, but now there is a way.  Google Sync for iOS will let you push your contacts, calendars, and mail to your iOS device and it’s really easy to set up. It’s almost identical to setting up MobileMe, except it uses the Microsoft Exchange protocol. Google Sync requires iOS 3.0 or higher, but iOS 4.0 or higher will let you add multiple Exchange accounts (so you’ll want to make sure you’ve upgraded if you need multiple Exchange accounts on your device). If you want to get Google Sync set up, Google has some instructions here: Setting up Google Sync. Once you have it up and running, you’ll have your Google data pushed and syncing over-the-air to your iOS device just like you would with Android.

Improving Voice Recognition

iOS’ VoiceOver is what it is. For some it’s helpful and for others (like myself) you just forget it even exists until you accidentally hold down the home button for too long. While there aren’t any great improvements to iOS’ voice recognition capabilities, there are two things that can help. First, if you haven’t already download the you should, if only for its voice search capabilities. Additionally, you want to get your hands on a copy of the Dragon Dictation app, which will let you create notes as well as send email and SMS text messages with your voice. Both apps are free in the iTunes App Store so you really have every reason to give them a shot.


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