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Android alternatives to some of the best iOS apps

iOS has a range of great apps. Android can usually keep up. Here are some great Android alternatives to the best iOS apps.

Published onDecember 7, 2021

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max 2
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
iOS has a lot of great apps, and many of them are exclusive to the platform. It’s one of the reasons people enjoy Apple phones over Android devices. However, Android is no slouch either. It competes in basically the same ecosystems as Apple, and you can get a lot done with both operating systems. Plus, over the years, a lot of products have made it to Android from iOS. Apple Music and Spark Mail are just two prominent examples.

Additionally, Android users have their own version of Airdrop called Nearby Share. Most Android OEMs also include things like time-lapse video capture and slow-motion into their stock camera apps so you don’t need a third party for most of those things. We’ve also omitted obvious transitions like moving from iCloud to Google Drive. So, it’s not as difficult to switch between Android and iOS as you might think. Here are other Android alternatives to some of the best iOS apps.

Android alternatives to some of the best iOS apps

  1. Adobe Lightroom (instead of Enlight)
  2. Cubasis 3 (instead of GarageBand)
  3. Google Duo (instead of FaceTime)
  4. KineMaster (instead of iMovie)
  5. LectureNotes (replaces most note-taking apps)
  1. Messages by Google (instead of iMessage)
  2. MyRadar (instead of Dark Sky)
  3. Pocket Casts (instead of Overcast)
  4. TickTick (instead of Things 3)

Adobe Lightroom (instead of Enlight)

Price: Free / Up to $52.99 per month

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular and powerful photo editors on any platform. It’s technically available on both Android and iOS, but it makes for a good substitute for the popular iOS photo editor Enlight. Lightroom lets you make simple adjustments, use presets for faster editing, and color correct (to an extent). Additionally, you can view all of your edits on a step-by-step basis. You can also do things like remove objects from photos, edit RAW images, and a lot more. Lightroom has a built-in camera with manual controls, HDR, and other features. It doesn’t have all of the effects of Enlight, but it makes up for it by being better in other ways.

Cubasis 3 (instead of GarageBand)

Price: Free trial / $38.99

Cubasis 3 is Steinberg’s Cubase but for mobile. It’s a full DAW with unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, over 550 audio loops to play with, a virtual keyboard, and a whole lot more. This is easily the most powerful DAW on mobile, although FL Studio, BandLab, Audio Evolution Mobile Studio, and Caustic 3 are also quite good. The only downside of this one is the price. There is a free trial, but the full price is a single $38.99 payment. That’s a lot more than your free GarageBand, but at least there’s a replacement available. For what it’s worth, you can restart the trial infinitely until you’re sure you want to buy it. Just be warned, it doesn’t work all that well on lower-end devices.

Google Duo (instead of FaceTime)

Price: Free

FaceTime is one of the big apps people use on iPhones. Years ago this was a difficult swap, but that’s not the case anymore. Google Duo does very nearly all of the same things. You get one on one video chats, group video calls, and additional bling like filters and effects. Duo lets you send text messages, voice messages, and video messages as well. It’s cross-platform so your friends don’t need to give up their iPhone to take advantage of it, and Duo actually really easy to use. This one is an easier replacement than most.

Google Duo screenshot 2020

KineMaster (instead of iMovie)

Price: Free / $4.99 per month

KineMaster is a serviceable replacement for iMovie. It includes multiple video and audio tracks, various effects and filters, and even advanced stuff like green screen chroma keying. The controls and effects are fairly easy to use. Plus, it can export in up to 4K at 30FPS so it can work with the stuff you shot on your phone for the most part. There are other options here too, including Adobe Premiere Rush and PowerDirector. Unfortunately, they all cost money unlike iMovie, but they’re all excellent video editors.


Price: Free trial / $6.99

LectureNotes can replace basically any note-taking app on iOS. You can take notes in a variety of ways, and the app even has stylus support in case you want to handwrite or draw something. LectureNotes can export your notebooks as compressed PDFs for easy viewing later, and you can backup and restore your notes from the cloud. It can even record audio and video directly to the app if needed, but that requires extra plugins. Those that don’t need anything this intense can easily use Google Keep. If you like markdown, you can also try Markor.

Messages by Google (instead of iMessage)

Price: Free

iMessage is a lot like Dark Sky. There is no one-to-one replacement on Android but you can come close. Messages, Google’s SMS app, is about as close as it gets. It has both desktop and mobile support along with a wide range of extras like RCS messaging (over Wi-Fi or mobile data), stickers, GIF support, audio messages, and more. Google also intends to support message reactions as you see in iMessage that will be compatible with iMessage messages. It still has a ways to go, but it’s slowly and surely getting there.

Messages by Google screenshot 2021

MyRadar (instead of Dark Sky)

Price: Free / $3.99 / Varies

Okay, so there is no replacing Dark Sky on Android. Dark Sky was simply one of the best and most unique weather apps on mobile until Apple bought it and removed it from Google Play. However, there are some apps that come close. MyRadar is a radar app with basic weather functionality. You can see snow, rain, and other precipitation, along with various layers you can enable and disable. It sends alerts for severe weather as push notifications. You can remove ads for $3.99, track hurricanes for an additional $2.99, or even get aviation charts for $24.99 per year. Pair this with Today Weather and that should cover everything Dark Sky offered almost as well as Dark Sky itself.

Pocket Casts (instead of Overcast)

Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $9.99 per year

Pocket Casts is a competent competitor to the popular Overcasts on iOS. You can listen to all of your favorite podcasts, discover new ones, and manage things like playlists quite easily. It also has playback control features like variable speeds, volume-boosting, and even video podcasts. Pocket Casts also works with Android Auto and Wear OS. It even costs the same as Overcast, so you’re not paying any extra money out of pocket. Additionally, the subscription gives you access to a desktop app so you can listen anywhere. Doggcatcher and Podcast Addict are other great options if you want to pay less money.

Pocket Casts screenshot 2020


TickTick (instead of Things 3)

Price: Free / $27.99 per year

Things 3 is a popular to-do list app on iOS and, luckily, Android has a ton of really good replacements for it. Our favorite is TickTick. It’s a to-do list app with a calendar. You can create tasks, add reminders and notes, and even have those tasks recur as often as you want. Additionally, TickTick offers widgets, the ability to share and organize tasks with other people (great for households), and some other niche features. The best part is that you get two reminders per task for free. With that, there’s no real reason to get the premium version of the app unless you want more themes or have a metric ton of tasks to add. Todoist is also quite good if you want a more colorful, flashier option.

TickTick screenshot 2021

Thank you for reading! Check these out too:

There are, of course, many other iOS apps with good Android replacements. Tell us about your favorites in the comments below. Also, click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.

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