Maybe you have Apple hardware, but you prefer Google's apps and services or maybe you find Google in your iPhone less scary than Apple (though both) companies should be concerned about the Raise Privacy) – How can you live Google life on your iPhone? We'll walk you through the steps you need to take here, as it's not just about installing the Gmail app and signing in with your Google credentials. But once you're done, Apple will have a little less information about your everyday life, while Google may have a lot more.
Install and optimize Google's iOS apps
Let's start with the apps because Google does more of it for iOS than you might have thought. We have Gmail and Google Maps and Chrome you may already have, then there are Google Drive and Docs, Sheets and Slides that can replace pages, numbers and Keynote.
Get Google Keep for your notes, Google Play Movies & TV for your movies and shows, and YouTube Music for your music. Post Apple News using the recently redesigned Google News instead. Google Voice can handle your calls and messaging. If you have signed in to YouTube TV, there is also an app. You should also install the main YouTube application if you have not already done so.
Google Photos can back up all your photos and videos in the cloud and will do so for free if you can downsize your photos to 16MP and encode your videos to 1080p. If you want to go further, you can use Google Home to manage smart home devices and Google Pay to pay something, even though it can not replace Apple Pay as an NFC payment method on your iPhone.
There's a gaping hole here and that's messaging (especially if you do not use Google Voice). Hangouts is an app we like very much, but with the sounds that Google makes, it's in mortal combat in its current form – and we're not exactly sure what's coming next. For the moment you may need to resort to old text messages (or to a safer alternative like signal).
Do not forget Google Duo so FaceTime and Google Calendar can help you plan your phone schedule and Google Translate so you do not have problems abroad. Finally, use Gboard as a replacement for iOS keyboards ( General and then Keyboard in Settings (Preferences)), which allows you to access Google Search with one click when you click this need. There is no Google Fit for iOS, but you can use Wear OS for iOS and then Google Fit for a Wear OS smartwatch (and the web).
Apple does not let you change any of the default apps for iOS, so the web links are always open in Safari, and so on – but the Google apps can form their own little garden. Go to Settings from the Gmail app menu and then select Default Apps . You can make sure Gmail map links in Google Maps and Gmail web links in the Chrome browser open. Similar settings can be found in Google Calendar and Google Photos.
Include the Google Assistant
If you'd like to go further with taking over your Apple device from Google, install the Google main application for iOS and Google Assistant. Above all, the Google app gives you access to Google Search, but you'll also get the Discover feed on Android (with recommended content from the web) and access to Google Lens image search.
Should you search with a voice command you can tap the microphone icon in the search box. You can even use the hotword "OK Google," but only if the Google app is open. Touch the gear icon (top left), then Voice Search and activate the hotword . toggle switch.
Browse the notification settings for the Google app and it gets even smarter: You can enable alerts for sports games that you're interested in, flights referenced in your Gmail account, Weather updates and traffic on your normal commute. It's another layer of Google expertise on your iPhone.
The Google Assistant works in a similar way (it could merge in the future) but goes further. In the opening screen, tap the Add to Siri button to add an "OK Google" command to Siri. This is not as easy as using Google Assistant on Android because you still have to say "Hey Siri" or press the side button, but it's about the same.
Elsewhere in the Assistant app, you can tap the top left wizard icon or just say "Hey Google" to ask the usual wizard Questions: What the weather will look like when Shakespeare was born was, the flights you start (from your Gmail account dismantled) and so on. Also tap the keyboard icon to enter your requirements.
The Google Assistant on iOS can also control your smart home devices, provided you've added them to the Google Home app. You do not need to use HomeKit. For example, assign a series of smart lights to a bedroom, and you can say that lighting in the bedroom must be turned off to do just that.
Add Your Google Account to Apple Apps
If You'd Prefer Apple's standard apps for emails, contacts, and calendars are underpinned by Google data. This is also possible on iOS. Under Settings, tap Passwords and Accounts and then Add Account . Select Google from the list and sign in with your Google Account credentials.
The last screen lets you choose which emails, contacts, calendars, and notes to sync. For notes, a new Gmail folder is added to the Notes app. Any notes in it will then be synced to your Gmail account with a Notes label. If you selected your sync options, tap Save .
All data from Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Contacts are then displayed in Mail, Calendar and Contacts on your iPhone. Any changes you make will be synced to Google's servers and sent to all other devices registered with Google, so you can use Apple's apps with your Google data as normal.
There's another way to add some extra Google on your iPhone, and that's through widgets. For example, if you've already added a set of Google apps to your iPhone, swipe to Today view, scroll down, and tap Edit under the widgets. Options like Chrome, Google Assistant, Google Calendar and Google Directions are displayed.
For each widget you want to add, tap the green icon Plus next to the Google apps you use. If you have widgets, position them in the Main list above by dragging and dropping the handles to the right. If you want to remove widgets, tap the red minus symbol and then Remove .
In the case of the Google Assistant widget For example, you can tap the microphone key to ask a question or perform a search. For the Chrome Quick Actions widget, you can start a search, a voice search, or a search in an incognito window and open links that have been copied to the iOS clipboard in Chrome.