Sync with iTunes, interact with Siri and more
While it’s true that Android devices dominate the smartphone market, the users of iPhones seem to have a much more fervent love affair going with iOS than do the users of the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
A primary reason that Android sales prevail is that Apple’s hardware costs so much more than most of the machines designed to run Google’s OS. (But that’s not to say, of course, that there aren’t several premium-priced Androids out there, but that’s another story.)
The good news is that, with the numerous Android-based iOS launchers available, you can turn even the simplest, lowest-cost Android smartphone into a reasonable iPhone facsimile.
The more practical among us choose Android not only to save money on hardware, but also because, as the predominant operating system, it has the most convenience and productivity apps available.
Besides, unlike Apple, with its highly restrictive, steel-trap-like closed proprietary operating system, Android is, on the other hand, open source, and therefore much easier for software companies and independent programmers to develop apps for. We’ve already written about the 10 best Android launchers here.
With an iOS launcher, by simply downloading a small app, installing it, and making a tweak or two, you can literally make your Android smartphone dance and sing like an iPhone, complete with its own Control Center, the ability to sync with iTunes and the rest of the Apple ecosystem, interact with Siri, keep track of families and friends with Find My Friends, and so much more.
Google Play Store offers about 100 iOS launchers for download—some free, some with a nominal fee. Like most Android apps, all download and install in a minute or two, and they’re all just as easy to either switch back to your previous launcher or uninstall altogether. What follows is my educated attempt at choosing the 10 “best” among them.
That in no way suggests that I downloaded, installed, and put them all through their paces—not at all. Instead, I narrowed the field to the top 20 or so by choosing those with the highest user ratings and the most downloads at Google’s Play Store (as well as relying on some other less-than-empirical criteria), then I installed and evaluated the remaining candidates.
3D iLauncher X & Control Center IOS 12
User Rating: 4.2
Number of ratings: 182
While 3D iLauncher is loaded with 3D effects, such as video live wallpaper, over 1,000 themes and over 10,000 wallpapers, it also brings many of the 3D effects available in the more recent versions of iOS to Android.
3D iLauncher is powered by a 3D animation graphic engine that enables support for 3D theme and widget effects, Lock Screen 3D transitions, and more, bringing you a highly attractive 3D transition effects experience.
3D iLauncher also supports the Edge Screen feature available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Note 9, allowing you to assign specific content, including apps, contacts, Quick Tools, notifications, weather and other widgets, S Planner—you name it—to Edge Panels.
You can then, depending on which edge you assigned what content, swipe specific panels into view. Other Edge effects include Edge Lighting animations and glow effects, Edge Ruler, and Gold Compass.
Another feature popular on Note devices is their edgeless, or borderless, content, also available (although not quite as dramatically) on the iPhone X.
3D iLauncher utilizes edgeless content attractively, mimicking the iPhone X, and, in my opinion, in this case making for a better-looking iPhone than the real thing. While 3D iLauncher brings a lot of iPhone features to your Android, its real claim to fame is its highly attractive interface.
Control Center iOS 12
User Rating: 4.7
Number of ratings: 551,510
One of the more popular iOS features is its Control Center. Granted, Android has its own set of control panels, but frankly they’re laid out in a drill-down menu style and therefore somewhat hit-and-miss when looking for specific settings. If you want to make your device settings work more like they do on iOS, a handy way to do that is with LinnTinh Developers Control Center iOS 12.
By default, Control Center is accessible by dragging inward from any direction, but you can change how you access it as desired. and then you are presented with access and modification options galore, such as…
- Airplane Mode: Instantly turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular connections on your android device.
- Wi-Fi: Toggle your Wi-Fi network connection on and off.
- Bluetooth: Toggle your Bluetooth peer-to-peer network connection on and off.
- Do Not Disturb: Set the phone to leave you alone and take messages.
- Portrait Orientation Lock: Keep your screen from rotating when you rotate your device.
- Flashlight: The LED flash on your camera doubles as a flashlight, so you can get extra light when you need it.
- Alarms and Timer: Set alarms, timers, or stopwatches, or check the time in another country or region—all from Control Center.
And this list barely scratches the surface. To set many of these options in Android you must wade through menus, download apps, swipe downward—the point being is that they’re not all in the same, easily accessed place, but with Control Center iOS 12 you can easily put them there.
If you’re an iPhone user recently converted to Android, you should especially find this launcher handy.
Launcher iOS 12
User Rating: 4.8
Number of ratings: 135,096
LinnTinh Developers, the makers of the previous skin, Control Center iOS 12, also makes a few other launchers for Android, including Launcher iOS 12. Both are, as I pointed out in a recent roundup of all-purpose Android launchers, quite well done and the quintessential poor man’s iPhone, especially this one.
Both, to some degree, make your Android act like an iPhone, which, according to the publisher is “… the most powerful, personal, and intelligent device… …ever been.”
LnnTinh is obviously partial to iPhones, but…
Launcher iOS 12 makes your Android device mimic iOS 12. Your settings and functions are arranged into an iOS-like Control Center, and popular gestures and other features act much like iOS’s Assistive Touch. The default theme is classic iOS, and like iOS (and most other operating systems) customization options abound.
Other iOS features include rounded-corner icons, animations instead of transitions, and so on. This Launcher integrates well with Android and lets you easily switch back and forth when needed. It also has, according to its reviews at Play Store, a very happy and loyal set of users.
Launcher iOS 13
User Rating: 4.5
Number of ratings: 46
I can hear you thinking, iOS 13; there’s no iOS 13! What the publisher, MH Apps Studio, has done is blended an iOS 12 design with what’s known about the upcoming iOS 13 to come up with an interesting iOS launcher. As you can see, it has had very few ratings, which means that it has made it on to this list primarily due mostly to my favorable impression of this fairly new app.
In addition to both the iOS 12 and 13 designs, you get the 12 and 13 style desktops with built-in File Explore and File Manager support, allowing desktop computer-like designed folders with features such as search, explore, copy, paste, zip/unzip, RAR, delete, share, and more.
Nearly all aspects of the interface, including the clock, weather, and RAM widgets, drag and drop, customizable desktop folders, live wallpapers, customizable photo tiles, multitasking, lock screen, and a lot more, have been updated to reflect the latest iOS look and feel.
Weather, calendar, and photo tiles, as well as taskbar transparency, multi-color task-bars and menus, widgets in desktop mode, have all been added.
And if that’s not enough, this is one of the fastest iOS launchers I encountered during my testing—very impressive overall.
NEW Theme for Phone X
User Rating: 4.6
Number of ratings: 16,817
While the publisher, The Best Android Themes, as you can tell by both the company name and the name of this launcher, isn’t, when it comes to naming, all that imaginative, New Theme for Phone X is part of a collection of highly stylish and attractive themes in numerous motifs designed for the young at heart, including automobiles, comics, sci-fi, photography, and many others.
While you won’t find a lot of new functionality here, your smartphone can, with a couple gestures, change from one set of eye-popping graphics to another. It’s all very attractive and fun.
Also included are numerous HD wallpapers and icon collections, the default iPhone X OS 11 theme, 3D themes, 3D special effects, a 3D weather widget with 3D special effects, Rose Galaxy live wallpapers, the Wolf Spike Blood King theme and, of course, the supporting 3D launcher to make it all work.
Though not necessarily part of the NEW Theme for Phone 10, you also get access to several unique themes, such as Horror Black and Horror Wolf wallpaper from the publisher’s collection.
Installing the launcher provides access to The Best Android Themes’ entire collection of themes, which includes Galaxy Unicorn Shinny Glitter, Hell Devil Death Skull Theme, 3D Wild Neon Wolf Theme, and several others.
OS 11 Lockscreen
User Rating: 4.5
Number of ratings: 12,995
Often, rather than replacing the entire Android interface, some users want to add or replace just specific aspects of one interface with another. Many users, for example, prefer the iOS lock screen to Android’s. That’s where launchers like OS 11 Losckscreen come. It’s feature list is simple:
- Lock Screen Notifications: Granted, Android’s lock screen tells you when you have unread emails or texts, and most other notifications, and they’re highly customizable, but if you prefer iPhones notifications style, this simple app is for you.
- Keypad Lock Screen: Also known as PINs (Personal Identification Numbers), much like your bank (and now Windows computers), PINs allow you to lock down your phone with four easy-to-remember digits.
- Lock Screen Wallpaper: This simply allows you to set and/or rotate images and backgrounds displayed on your locked screens.
Sometimes less is more, or at least it’s enough.
OS 12 iLauncher Phone 8 & Control Center OS 12
User Rating: 4.1
Number of ratings: 4,818
With over a million downloads, OS 12 iLauncher zeros in on and combines what many users consider the best iOS and iPhone developments over the years, in this case iOS 12 and Control Center iOS 12 running on an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.
iOS 12, for instance, brings Quad HD resolution to the iPhone, and now, through this launcher, to Android. In addition, given all that it does, this launcher ran faster, cooler, and gobbled up less battery life than most of the others in this roundup.
The highlights are iOS 12’s iNotify, lock screen notifications, iOS 12 Control Center, Smart Search for fast searches of the control center, apps, and the home screen.
Phone 8 Plus features include swiping down to display a Phone-8-like notifications bar, easier manipulation of apps, and swipe up home screen to access the setting shortcuts to key features such as apps, widgets, wallpapers, icons, and system themes to customize your launcher easily.
As with the previous OS 11 Lockscreen launcher above, this one allows you to pick and choose the best of both platforms, blending them to become more conducive to your needs. The popularity of OS 12 iLauncher Phone 8 & Control Center OS 12 speaks for itself.
Phone X Launcher
User Rating: 4.2
Number of ratings: 80,166
Here’s another skin that zeroes in on a specific iPhone running a specific version of iOS, in this case an iPhone X running iOS 11. There’s also an iOS 12 skin available. The purpose, of course, is to make your Android look and feel like the iPhone X.
The iOS 12 highlights are:
- Smart Search: Smart Swipe down search screen, swiping in other directions to search elsewhere
- Elegant Wallpaper iPhone style backgrounds and foregrounds
- Support Lock screen display with Passcode, Pattern Lock, Notifications, and other iOS 12 features
- iOS Search: Search for everything from everywhere, including last used app, contacts, news feeds, the internet—everywhere
- Consume less memory and battery, simple and clean, fast and elegant design
- Control Center iOS 12 for managing all aspects of your phone and the operating system from a single screen
- Smart Toggle for Wi-Fi type, Silent mode, Airplane mode, Data Connection type, Bluetooth, Touch Vibration. Used in conjunction with Control Center app, you can customize nearly everything and more extensively.
Note that most of these features are available from the latest versions of Android, too, though they are accessed and behave differently. Note also that if your smartphone isn’t capable of running the latest Android operating systems, often installing a launcher will provide you with features that might not otherwise be available.
Theme for iOS 11
User Rating: 4.9
Number of ratings: 13
Here’s another app that’s relatively new and therefore hasn’t had many raters. It’s really not much of a launcher, per se, either. Instead, it’s a collection of stunning themes and wallpapers bundled with a generic HD launcher. Basically, then, all it really does is make the backgrounds, wallpapers, and the other screens on your phone beautiful in an iPhone way.
It’s short list of features include:
- A collection of eye-popping iOS 11 themes
- An iOS 11 HD launcher
- Apps, themes, and wallpaper added regularly
- Fast and uses limited resources
- Go Launcher
- HD wallpaper downloads
- Holo Launcher
- Incredible ease of deployment and use
- Next Launcher
- The default iOS 11 home screen
If all you want to do is make your Android screen as stunning as an iOS 11 display, shortlist Theme for iOS 11.
X Launcher Pro: PhoneX Theme, OS11 Control Center
User Rating: 4.7
Number of ratings: 2,389
Installs: 3.1 Million
Something I learned while writing this that I didn’t know was just how popular the iPhone X running iOS 11 really is. Many of the hundred or so iOS launchers’ goals are to render Android much closer to the Phone X. Some of them, like X Launcher Pro, do a good job of remaking lower-cost Android smartphones into expensive iPhone X facsimiles.
Unlike many launchers, this one places no ads anywhere in the system (Though there is a non-Pro version that does deploy adds; $1.99 seems like a small price to pay to nix them.). While X Launcher Pro is not a complete makeover, it concentrates on the theme and the Control Center, which covers a large portion of the action.
Features, then, start with an iOS 11 style Control Center—you know, swipe up to get a page that covers nearly all settings and features changes in one spot. A Theme Center provides access to numerous iOS 11 style themes, including Adaptive Touch themes and others that emulate the iOS 11 experience.
You get eight built-in 3D animation effects, including Breeze, Carousel, Cube, Fan, Rotation, Tune Out, and Waves. iOS 11-style weather and time widgets, an App Manager, wallpaper, Phone X style icons and icon packs, and much more make this launcher look and feel like the real deal.
And it wouldn’t be iOS 11 without the ability to hide apps and secure them from prying eyes, as well as have your apps notify you when something has changed, such as, say, money from PayPal, a message from Facebook or twitter, an email from your bank. In addition, according to the publisher, Launcher Developer, this launcher is currently undergoing an upgrade to bring it even closer to the beloved Phone X running OS11.
Whether you just want your Android to look like an iPhone, or you want it to look and feel like one from top to bottom, there’s an iOS Launcher for you—even if you want only certain aspects of your Android to emulate iOS, such as the Control Center or perhaps lock screen notifications.
And the good news is, if you decide that Android ain’t so bad after all, switching back is as easy as installing another launcher or returning to the original.