6 Free Apps to Make Your Android Phone Like an iPhone 4S

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The iPhone 4S and its new iOS 5 operating system offer a host of new features, including Siri voice control, a Cards app for sending paper greetings in the mail, Reminders that help keep you up-to-date, and Find my Friends for tracking people down. Fortunately, Android users don't have to feel left out, as there are a host of third-party apps that bring this functionality to Google's mobile OS.

Cards Alternative: Postagram

The Cards app from Apple, which comes with iOS 5, will let you create digital cards directly on your iPhone or iPod touch—and after they’re complete, Apple will drop the physical missives in the mail for you. It’ll cost $2.99 for domestic delivery and $4.99 for international delivery.

But Postagram, a free app that’s available in the Android Market, has been providing this very service for quite some time now—and at a cheaper rate, too. For 99 cents per Postagram sent, you choose a photo to mail and the service prints the image out on thick, glossy photo paper at a 300 dpi resolution, which pops out of the card as a 3 x 3 inch print. You can even add a custom 140-character message along with the photo if you wish.

Siri Alternative: Vlingo

Android users often opine that newer iterations of iOS simply play catch-up to a cache of features that already exist in their phones. Vlingo Virtual Assistant for Android is a testament to that ethos, and it's the closest thing to Apple’s new Siri voice control.

Tell Vlingo to “Text Chris; Where are you?” or “Find French restaurants,” then sit back and watch as it does exactly what you want. Get the app for free on the Android Market.

iMessage Alternative: Whatsapp Messenger

Ditch your carrier’s exorbitant SMS plans and send messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages over 3G or Wi-Fi with the free Whatsapp Messenger. Like BlackBerry Messenger (and iMessage), the app lets you know when your note has been sent and exactly when the person on the other end has seen it.

Whatsapp also sends push notifications for each individual message, so you never miss out on what your friends are saying. It also supports group chat.

Newstand Alternative: Zinio

Newsstand on iOS 5 supposedly organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions, but Zinio has been around for far longer and already aggregates many of your favorite digital publications in one place. You can purchase both single issues and full subscriptions of top titles in the app, plus watch videos, bookmark content, view interactive media, and even share articles with friends.

Best of all? Zinio gives you access to a sampling of the best pieces across top News, Science & Tech, Art, Lifestyle, and Entertainment magazines—for free—as soon as you download the app.

Reminders Alternative: Astrid Tasks

Astrid Tasks is the most popular to-do list for Android, and its best add-on feature is Astrid Locale. The app contains powerful organization tools to begin with—reminders, list organization, deadlines, sorting, and audio or vibration alerts—but Astrid Locale throws in the last essential—location-based tasks—into the mix. The only downside is having to shell out $1.49 for the upgrade.

Find My Friends Alternative: Google Latitude

Anyone who’s ever had to find their friends in a crowded venue will be familiar with the hassle of those extremely vague responses: “beside the speaker,” “next to the guy in the cowboy hat,” or “to the left of the stage.” Find my Friends from Apple, included in the upcoming iCloud, will let you share your location with friends and family and eliminate those messages.

But Google Latitude is an old tool that had already been implementing this. After signing into your Google account, the app lets you check into places, share your location with your friends, and even unlock offers where they’re available. You can find it in the Google Maps application on Android.

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Add a comment
  • Jay Krishnan B Says:

    Whatever you say, some iphone apps are great. Been trying to get a reminder app for my galaxy s3. The calendar and note are boring and tiring. Where's the Android app that offers the tight simplicity of iphone reminder. In 3 to 10 seconds I can set task. It gets automatically arranged date wise. Colour changes to red when past that time. Wow the genius is in simplicity not overwhelming like the about ten apps that are available in play store.

    Missing my 4s. But will miss s3's great screen if I go back.

  • Vlad Says:

    Apps are what is needed to make your smartphone smart and unique.Im fond of app creating and find it really helpful to use site like Snappii where i can build apps in minutes.

  • JS Says:

    This article needs to be renamed ASAP. It should read "6 Ways that Apple is Trying to Keep Pace With Android". Everyone of these options has been out for well longer than iOS 4 or 5. There is no self respecting Android user who wants their phone to look/act like an iPhone. If they did want a tightly locked os with great hardware and overrated software, they would buy an iPhone. Fortunately for iPhans, they have many options/apps to try and make their dead steer look like the broncing bull, Android.