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How to turn your iPhone into a Google phone

google iphone
© nextpit

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There are many reasons why an iPhone user may want to replace all Apple applications with Google alternatives. For example, you might really like the hardware, speed and power of your iPhone but you are (like me) tied to a lot of Google apps and services for work or because you've been using Android smartphones for years. Perhaps you just think Big G's services are better than Apple's. Anyway, you can turn your iPhone into a 100% Google phone! Here's how to do it.

Install the necessary Google apps

To get started, you first need to install all the Google applications needed to replace the Apple ones. In the following chart you can find the Apple apps you'll need to replace with ones from Google.

Apple apps and Google alternatives

Apple Google
Safari Chrome
Facetime Duo
Calendar Calendar
Photos Photos
Mail Gmail
Music YouTube Music
Maps Maps
Weather Google
Notes Keep
Reminder Assistant
News and Events News and Events
Books Play Books
TVS Play Movies
Health Fit
Home Home
Files Drive
Pages Documents
Numbers Sheets
Keynote Presentations
Watch WearOS

As you can see almost every app pre-installed on iOS can be replaced with a Google alternative. Among the apps that I recommend you to install there are also some extras such as YouTube, which on a modern smartphone you should not go without for entertainment, Google Translate, to help you with foreign languages, Android TV, in case you need to control your television or your compatible box, and Snapseed, for editing photos.

googlify iphone 1
Apple applications (two left) and Google alternatives (two right). / © NextPit

Changing the default apps on iOS

Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the default applications on iOS. If you click on a link Safari will open automatically, if you tap a link to an address Apple Maps will open and so on. However, Google applications do a great job in creating their own small ecosystem within iOS. You can, in fact, make sure that clicking a link in Gmail opens Chrome, for example, and this applies to many of the Google apps. Here's how to do it:

  • Open Gmail.
  • In the side menu, enter the Settings.
  • Go to the Default apps item and select your favorites.
Googlify iphone 2
The small ecosystem of Google apps is supported autonomously. / © NextPit

Replacing the keyboard with Gboard

During the recent WWDC 2019, Apple announced iOS 13 and other news regarding its operating system. One of these was an update of the default keyboard that now supports text input by swiping the various keys with your finger without having to touch every single letter.

We, as good Google fans, know that Gboard has always supported this method of input on iOS and so we decided to rely on this third-party keyboard:

  • Open the App Store.
  • In the search section, type Gboard and install the app.
  • Go to Settings>General>Keyboards>Keyboards (it's not a duplicate, Apple doesn't like the ordered settings).
  • Select Add Keyboard and then Gboard.
googlify iphone 3
Gboard on iOS is exactly as you remember it from Android. / © NextPit

Goodbye Siri, welcome Google Assistant

The last hurdle to overcome is the presence of Siri, Apple's voice assistant. Can you replace Siri with Google Assistant? Yes, thanks to Shortcuts! It is, in fact, possible to make sure that when talking to Siri, just saying the hot word "Hey Google", will open the voice assistant of the Mountain View giant.

Just download the Google Assistant app from the App Store and the first time you open it, it will be suggested to add this shortcut to Siri. You can even customize the activation phrase within the Apple Shortcuts app.

Googlify iphone 4
Hey Siri, goodbye! / © NextPit

Remove Apple apps that you no longer need

Not all iPhone owners may know this, but you can remove most pre-installed Apple apps. Unlike many Android manufacturers, Apple does not oblige users to keep all their applications on their phones if they are not used.

With the exception of a few apps that are necessary for the system to work (such as the App Store, Settings, and Photos), the others can be freely deleted without causing any problems.

googlify iphone 5
Apple allows you to uninstall many stock apps! / © NextPit

Have you turned your iPhone into a Google phone? Tell us how it went in the comments!

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  • 1
    Max Max Aug 10, 2021 Link to comment

    How do I turn my iPad in google phone?

  • 11
    Chris Laarman Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    Thank you, Luca, especially for the "translation table".

    I have not turned my iPhones into Google phones, but I had to keep up my links to Google's environment. So I tend to use Google's apps on both my Apple and Android devices.