How to bring the whole of Google on your Apple device

Want to let Google eat an Apple? Great. Lets get cooking.

Okay, so maybe you gave in to some of that peer pressure and finally bought some Apple hardware.

However, because you were never into it, you now want to make use of Google services and apps even though you on the iOS platform.

Or maybe it is just the fact that you think of Google as a less scary version of Big Brother on your iPhone device than Apple.

We won’t argue with that.

But what we will say is that both of these companies do enough with the user data to inspire more than a few concerns about online security and privacy.

Of course, the real question that you want us to answer is that to what extent can one user live with the likes of Google and Google alone on your iOS devices such as the iPhone.

In this guide, we will try our best to take users should a step by step process of the things that you need to do in order to take care while using Google on your iOs device.

More specifically, what you should understand is that there is more to Google on the iOS platform than the official Gmail application and/or setting up your Google account on iOS and then using it to sign in with your primary Google credentials.

However, what we will tell you right now is once you are done reading this guide you will know more about how to get Google on Apple and worry less about the information that you are giving up to Apple.

Though we will tell you right now that all you will be doing is shifting your data stream’s path from Apple to Google.

We are not exactly sure which one is better, but hey, everyone is entitled to live life as they want to.

Now, with the fact that Google will definitely not complain of getting more of your data, here is how you first install and then tweak various iOS apps from Google.

Install Google apps on iOS


No one should be surprised that we decided to start off with apps.

Google develops more apps for the iOS platform then a lot of Apple users realize.

The most popular app that Google offers to users on the iOS platform is the Gmail app.

But there are lots more available than just the Gmail app.

There is the Google Maps app along with the Chrome web browser app.

We feel that the majority of the users reading this would already make use of these apps on a regular basis.

But we want to move further.

We want you to start using the Google Drive app along with the Docs and Sheets app.

While you’re at it is also a good idea to get a hold of the Slides app.

All of these apps offer more than enough to users who want to replace other apps like Numbers, Pages, and Keynote.

For your notes, there is the Google Keep app.

And for even more Google in your life, there is the Google Play Movies and TV app for all of your movies and TV show needs.

Let’s not forget to talk about the YouTube Music app which you can use for more than just listening to useless audio files.

In other words, it can handle all types of tunes.

If you desperately want to ditch the official Apple News app and make use of the recently completely revamped (once again) Google News app then you can easily do that on the iOS platform.

Apart from there, there is the Google Voice app that has the ability to handle the user’s calls as well as messages.

And on the odd chance that you have also managed to sign up for the official YouTube TV service, then there is a separate app for that as well.

We would also like to mention here that you should not forget to install the official and main YouTube app on your iOS device as well if in a moment of weakness you uninstalled it some time ago.

If you thought that was enough then you thought wrong.

How can we not mention the Google Photos app which does more than a fine job of completely backing up each and every video and photo of the user directly to the company’s cloud service.

Moreover, if you agree to allow Photos to handle all of your photos and videos and reducing their size to less than 16 MP and all of your videos down to 1080p then you can use Google Photos forever without any kind of charge.

Again, that is not all.

You can go even deeper with Google apps on your iOS platform.

There is the Google Home app that Google developed just for people to like to have an app in order to manage their smart home devices.

And if you feel like it then you can also use the Google Pay app to, you know, pay for all of your stuff (most of which we do not think you really need).

We should, of course, mention here that Google Pay does not have the ability to act as the NFC payment method for you on your iPhone as Apple Pay does.

Some of our readers might have already realized that there is one somewhat gaping hole that we have not filled so far.

This hole is significant enough especially for those people who do not like to make use of Google Voice for their messaging needs.

Well, the good news is that Google Hangouts does offer enough to act as an app that a lot of people like.

However, we should tell you right now that within all the noise that Google is currently generating in the media, it is more than likely that Hangouts is actually in its definite death throes if its current form continues.

Moreover, no one is exactly sure what Google is going to through at us next or what the company intends to do with Google Hangouts.

At this point in time, it is better for any given user and not just an iOS device user to actually revert to the good old method of text messaging.


Of course, there is the more safe and secure app alternative in the form of Signal for those who care enough.

It is here that we would want you to not forget that there is another app called Google Duo that you can use in order to avoid the official Apple app called FaceTime.

We also want to let you know that there is also the Google Calendar app that helps you to plan things out in advance according to your own schedule.

And how can we ever forget the ever-more-useful app especially for travelers called Google Translate.

This app is currently the industry’s best effort to keep you out of some decent amount of trouble when you are abroad and do not speak English or Chinese.

We assume you are already making use of the Gboard offering from Google since the company has marketed it pretty heavily in the last two years or so.

Perhaps we should mention here that we have full confidence in Gboard as the complete replacement of any keyboard that Apple has to offer to you on the iOS platform.

In order to change your Keyboard, you first have to go under the General tab and then tap the Keyboard button in the Settings menu.

The other thing that some readers might have forgotten is that installing Gboard also gives them a one-tap and complete access to the official Google Search service pretty much as soon as they need to use it.

For those looking, we would like to inform you that currently there is no Google Fit app for the iOS platform.

So you are going to have to make it without it.

However, you can always move to Wear OS on the iOS platform if you feel like it.

After doing that you can take that Wear OS smartwatch and then install Google Fit on it.

If you are up to it then you can also get Google web services on it.

Now, the other thing we want you to know here is that Apple does not really allow anyone to modify any given apps that the company considers as the default iOS apps.

Hence, when you try to open up any kind of links on an iOS device, it would always open in Safari.

And the same thing holds true for many other services on the web as well.

However, it is also true that Google apps have the ability to form a bit of a small walled garden that they want to realize in Google’s vision.

If you go to the Settings menu of the official Gmail app from the main menu, you do have the option of selecting the option that says Default apps.

Apart from that, you can actually also make sure that various map links from the likes of Gmail apps and others only open up in the official Google Maps app.

Moreover, you can also set options which enable you to open up all of your web links from within the Google Gmail app via the official Google Chrome browser.

You probably do not need us to remind you that there are other similar settings that you can first find and then make use of on other official Google apps such as Google Photos as well as Google Calendar.

How to embrace Google Assistant


Users who want to complete their quest to let Google conquer their Apple device can do so by moving further into the Google’s ecosystem of apps.

All that such users have to do is to install the main official Google app.

Remember, that this is the official Google app for the iOS platform.

And while they are at it they should also install the Google Assistant app.

As we have alluded to in the beginning as well, the official Google app’s job is to first and foremost provide users access to the official Google search service.

However, with the official Google app, you also get to have access to the Discover feed on the Android platform.

The Discover tab will recommend different types of content from the web based on your search history and probably everything else that you do on the internet.

In fact, our research shows that the official Google app even comes with the feature of Google Lens image search that all users can access.

If you happen to have a need where you want to search with nothing but your voice and some commands then you can simply perform a tap on the shown microphone icon near the search box.

Not only that but Google even allows people to say out loud a term like OK, Google and use it as a hotword.

However, remember that this OK Google thing only works if you have opened up the official Google app first.

Once you do open the main app all you really need to do is to tap the official cog icon which appears in the top left corner of the screen and then make use of the Voice Search function.

After that, you should not have any problems in making use of the OK Google official hotword as a switch toggle.

Now, what we want you to do is that we want you to dig a little deeper into the notification settings that come with the official Google app.

Once you do so, you will realize that the official Google app would become smarter than ever.

What we really mean to say is that you have the option of enabling alerts for various sports games that you have an interest in.

It can also put out alerts for flights which are more or less referenced in your official Gmail account.

Not only that but the main Google app also offers users traffic condition information along with weather updates on their regular commutes to work.

If you set it up properly (which should not take anyone long) then you will have successfully reached the higher levels of pure Google-ness on your very own Apple iOS-enabled iPhone device.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention that the official Google Assistant application pretty much works the same way.

Or at least along similar lines.

In fact, we have this feeling that Google is eventually going to merge the two in the very near future.

However, Google Assistant can go a little further into the lives of the people who dare to make use of it (especially when we compare it to the official Google app).

So what iPhone users need to do here is that they need to tap the button that says Add to Siri when they see the opening screen.

From there they need to make sure that they properly add the command OK Google to Siri.

We would mention now that, for first-time users, this is not going to be quiet as comfortable or quick as making use of the Google Assistant feature on the Android platform.

Why do we say that?

We say that because here you still have no way to get around the obligation of saying Hey Siri before everything else.

At the very least, you will have to press the button on the side.

However, there is nothing more than you need to do here.

Now, if you look elsewhere in the official Google Assistant app, you should have no trouble noticing that in the top left corner of the screen, the Google Assistant app offers an icon.

For those who do not want to go this route, they can simply say the term Hey Google in order to ask the official Google Assistant app all of their questions.

We’re talking about questions such as asking Google Assistant about the weather and what it is going to be on a given day.

You can ask Google Assistant the year in which some writer like Confucius was born.

It can also answer questions related to the flights that you may or may not have coming up.

Of course, you do not need us to tell you that the Google Assistant app is going to have to mine your official Gmail account in order to get the information that you want.

But by this time, we surmise that you know what is the deal with Google.

You give it data.

And it gives you services.

In any case, you also have the option of tapping the icon on your keyboard in order to type out the request that you think Google Assistant should respond to.

We have already hinted the fact that even if you are on the iOS platform, Google Assistant has the ability to control all of your smart home devices that you feel are important to you.

Of course, we are assuming here that you have gone through the trouble of adding all of your smart home devices or at least the majority of them in the official Google Home application.

Remember, now you do not need to make use of an app called HomeKit.

Leave it somewhere where Google can’t see it.

Jokes aside, in a hypothetical scenario you would want to assign a decent bunch of smart home devices like lights to a given bedroom.

Once you do that then you can, for example, say something like Google, please turn off the lights that we have in the bedroom.

Needless to say, that if you have set things up right Google Assistant is going to obey all of your commands and do exactly as you tell it to.

How to add Google account to my Apple apps

Is that even possible?


And we get it.

You would rather make use of the official and default Apple apps for your calendar stuff and your contacts stuff and the stuff that is in your email account.

But you also want Google data to underpin all that you see in those apps.

Well, what do you know?

That is entirely possible on the iOS platform.

All that you have to do is to go to the Settings menu and tap the option that says Passwords & Accounts.

After that, you will need to use the option that says Add Account.

Then you need to select the option that says Google from the shown list.

And then you should sign in with your official Google credentials which belong to the account that you want to use with Apple apps.

Once you make your way to the final screen, it would allow you to select which notes, calendars, contacts, and email messages get officially synced across to Apple apps.

Now, remember that in the case of your notes, you would see a new folder coming up labeled the new Gmail Folder in your official Notes application.

Any kind of notes that you have inside that folder would automatically sync to the user’s official Gmail account.

These newly synced notes would come with the label of Notes.

After you have finished making all of your syncing choices, then you need to click on Save to be done with the whole thing.

If you have followed all the steps properly and accurately, then you should see all of your chosen data from apps such as Google Contacts along with Google Calendar and Gmail to show up inside Apple apps such as Mail, Contacts, and Calendar on your own iPhone device.

Moreover, you should also know that any kind of edits that you will make on your iPhone device would automatically sync right back to Google servers.

Not only that, the new changes would also automatically make their way to all the internet-enabled devices that you have logged in via Google services.

Hence, you can easily make use of Google data on Apple apps.


Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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