This story has been up to date. It was initially revealed on January 15, 2018.

Simply since you desire the curved aesthetics of the iPhone doesn’t imply you need to go all-in on the Apple software program ecosystem. In any case, Google and Microsoft make iOS apps which are simply nearly as good as Apple’s defaults.

Whereas some apps would require a couple of additional steps to interchange the built-in variations, you can also make the swap comparatively simply, particularly for those who already use Google or Microsoft on your e-mail and different cloud companies. And though you may all the time return to the Apple variations, it’s possible you’ll discover you merely don’t need to.

Find out how to swap to Microsoft apps

In case your pc runs Home windows, you personal a Floor laptop computer or pill, otherwise you merely like Microsoft merchandise, you’ll in all probability benefit from the firm’s iOS apps.

E-mail, calendar, and contacts

Begin together with your e-mail shopper by downloading Outlook for iOS. Along with e-mail, it will probably deal with your calendars and contacts, and works with each Microsoft and non-Microsoft (like, say, Apple) person accounts. To import any emails, calendars, or contacts into the app, enter your e-mail handle when the app prompts you. If you wish to add extra, faucet the menu button within the high left, then the settings button (the cog icon), select Add account, after which hit Add E-mail Account.

Calls and messaging

Skype for iOS can deal with all of your video calling, voice calling, and messaging wants. Nevertheless, Apple’s cellular platform doesn’t enable any app to take over SMS duties, so that you’re caught with its Messages app. Nonetheless, the Skype app has a clear look and a complete set of options that features group chats and group video calls. Your solely drawback is likely to be getting your folks to make use of it.

Cloud storage

You can even substitute Apple’s cloud storage program, iCloud, with Microsoft’s OneDrive. Whenever you set up the app for iOS, it would sync recordsdata between your cellphone and any pc—Home windows or macOS—that has the OneDrive desktop shopper put in. OneDrive additionally backs up all of the photographs and movies in your cellphone, although you’ll have to pay for cupboard space for those who’ve received a variety of recordsdata. Costs begin at $2 a month.

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Digital assistant

Whenever you press and maintain your iPhone’s House or aspect button, Siri is the digital assistant that can launch. You used to have the ability to set up Microsoft’s Cortana on iOS and launch it manually, however the firm has discontinued its AI’s cellular apps.

Workplace suite

On your work wants, you’ll have to create paperwork, spreadsheets, and shows. Swap Apple’s free Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote apps for, respectively, Microsoft’s free Phrase, Excel, and PowerPoint apps.

For those who’ve already created paperwork within the Apple apps, you’ll have to convert them to a format that Microsoft’s variations can perceive. To take action, open a file, then faucet the menu button (three dots within the high proper), select Export, and decide the suitable Microsoft format (Phrase, Excel, or PowerPoint). You can even select easy methods to export the file, both sending it by way of e-mail or saving it to your iPhone’s native storage.

Net browser

For those who set up the Microsoft Edge net browser in your iPhone, you’ll be capable to sync bookmarks, passwords, shopping historical past, and extra with an Edge browser you employ on a Home windows PC. To set Edge as your default browser, go to your Settings app, faucet Edge, select Default Browser App, and ensure the verify mark is subsequent to Edge, not Safari. So while you faucet on hyperlinks in different apps, corresponding to Fb, they’ll robotically open in Safari as a substitute of Edge.


Your iPhone needs to be pretty nicely Microsoft-ized by now, however for the of completion, set up Microsoft Bing Search, which acts as a stripped-down net browser. We desire Edge for navigating the web, however the Bing app features a primary map-search function. That’s as shut as you’ll get to changing Apple Maps with a Microsoft product, although, as a result of there’s no Bing Maps app for iOS.

Find out how to swap to Google apps

For those who’ve determined to take the Google route quite than the Microsoft one, begin with its signature function: the Google search app. Along with looking out the web and Google Maps, it offers a feed of stories and different info that Google curates primarily based in your earlier exercise, corresponding to your Chrome shopping historical past. For a extra pure, conversational strategy to Google search, set up the Google Assistant as nicely.

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E-mail and contacts

Subsequent, set up Gmail for iOS. You may decide up your Gmail exercise proper the place you left off on any of your different gadgets. Alternatively, join Gmail to your Apple e-mail handle: Faucet your avatar within the high proper, then Add one other account, and select iCloud from the listing.

Calls and messaging

Once more, Apple received’t allow you to substitute Messages because the default SMS app. However you may nonetheless manually use Google apps for a similar functions. Attempt Duo for video calling, and Google Chat for messaging, cellphone calls, and video chats. Whereas Google Chat stays essentially the most complete choice, Google continues so as to add new options to Duo, making it an important different to FaceTime.

Cloud storage

To again up your information, look no additional than Google Drive, which is able to sync all of your recordsdata with computer systems, different cellular gadgets, and your Google cloud locker. For bigger recordsdata, particularly your iPhone photographs and movies, Google Photographs makes backing up a breeze. Whenever you first set up the app, it’ll ask if you wish to again up photographs and movies. Needless to say the whole lot you save on Google Photographs additionally eats away on the free 15GB of cupboard space you get from the massive G while you join. For those who want extra room, you may pay Google for additional area within the cloud, which begins at costs of $3 a month.

Workplace suite

Google has its personal workplace apps for iOS, within the type of Docs, Sheets, and Slides. They interface seamlessly with the net variations, so you may preserve creating and modifying from wherever.

For those who’ve already created paperwork within the equal iOS apps, it’s possible you’ll have to reformat them to open them with Google’s apps. Launch the suitable Apple app—Pages, Numbers, or Keynote—after which open the file you need to switch. Subsequent, faucet the menu button (three dots within the high proper), select Export, and choose Phrase, Excel, or PowerPoint. When you’ve exported the file, the suitable Google app will be capable to open it up.

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Net browser

Google Chrome for iOS isn’t as full-featured as it’s on non-Apple merchandise, however you may obtain it and set it as your default browser: go to your Settings app, faucet Chrome, select Default Browser App, and ensure the verify mark is subsequent to Chrome, not Safari. Signal into the net browser together with your Google account (it ought to immediate you to take action while you first open the app), and Chrome will carry over your whole bookmarks, passwords, shopping historical past, and different information out of your pc. You can even be sure that Gmail hyperlinks open in Chrome: Open Gmail, faucet the menu button (three traces), choose Settings, hit Default apps, and verify below the Browser heading to make sure the verify mark is subsequent to Chrome (faucet Chrome’s icon if it’s not).


Google presents some varieties of iOS apps that Microsoft doesn’t. For instance, you may depend on Google Maps to get from A to B shortly and safely and discover locations of observe close by. For those who use the app on-line or on an Android gadget, you recognize you’ll additionally get options corresponding to reside visitors updates and an inventory of favourite “starred” areas. For those who want reside instructions, strive it in full-screen turn-by-turn navigation mode.

Music and video gamers

Lastly, there’s YouTube Music and Google Play Motion pictures & TV, which may successfully substitute the whole lot that iTunes and Apple Music often do on an iPhone. They allow you to stream music, movies, and tv reveals and even obtain content material for offline entry. What you may’t do is buy new content material proper from iOS, so for those who’re shopping for or renting one thing new, you’ll have to pay up on a pc or different gadget earlier than the content material reveals up in your iPhone.