Best, most popular custom Android UIs that were inspired by Apple's iOS


Among the usual traits that we often attribute to iOS are its friendliness and straightforwardness. It's intuitive and easy to use straight out of the box, which is obviously very well accepted by consumers, given that Apple's among the largest smartphone makers out there. 

In the meantime, Android - the able-bodied iOS rival, has been evolving in a whole different direction, populating its feature and functionality lists with every major release. As such, Google's mobile OS also has it hordes of loyal enthusiasts. 

Today, we'll check out a ton of aftermarket Android UIs that aim to gather the best of both worlds in a single iteration, which comes with the uniformity of iOS. As usual, some have done a better job at this, while others have mostly failed to do so. Let's check them out.

MIUI


Xiaomi's own user interface is in fact the first product that the company came up with back in 2010, predating its first smartphone -- the Xiaomi Mi1 -- by roughly a year. Initially, the MIUI user interface was gracing an eponymous Android ROM that was available for a handful of the more popular Android smartphones at the time. MIUI is among the first custom Android UI that tried to combine the looks of iOS with the feature-rich aspects of Android. Among its most prominent features is the lack of an app drawer, which was quite uncommon for the Android scene at the time of its release. Fast forward a few years ahead and we have MIUI 6, the sixth and most polished iteration of Xiaomi's UI, which is now running on Lollipop. It is quite in line with the current trend of flat designs and clean visuals; it's also light and streamlined - all of these combined create one of the most popular interfaces around. Last, but definitely not least, it's worth mentioning that it's one of the most-frequently updated UIs out there - each and every week the team behind MIUI releases a new update to the UI.



ColorOS


Never heard of ColorOS? Well, if you've ever used an Oppo smartphone (or the Chinese version of the OnePlus One), you've most probably experienced this iOS-like UI. As such, it comes with no app drawer and employs mostly skeuomorphic looks. However, we've often criticized Oppo's ColorOS for being a bit bland and lacking character, but we've still commended for its mostly fluid and lightweight interface, which somewhat makes it up for the cons we listed. ColorOS is not as feature-packed as MIUI, but it still comes with tons of useful features like on-screen gestures and many others. The upcoming iteration of the UI, ColorOS 2.1.0i, will finally allow Oppo users to take a lick of Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as a host of significant improvements and UI refinements.



Vibe UI


Vibe UI is developed by Lenovo, one of the largest smartphone makers in terms of shipped units, and powers its Android smartphones. Certainly, users that are familiar with iOS, MIUI, or any other minimalist user interface solution that comes with no app drawer will pretty much feel at home with Vibe UI. 



EMUI


Powering most of Huawei's devices is EMUI (Emotion UI). As you can see in the gallery below, it's endowed with a uniform interface that has certainly gotten a hint or two straight from Apple's iOS. While it's straightforward and, frankly said, pretty beautiful, Emotion UI also offers a higher degree of personalization in tow with the experience because there are various themes to choose from that change the looks of the interface. Generally speaking though, in comparison to the other handful of customized Android experiences out there, this one favors simplicity over functionality. The newest version of Emotion UI has a cleaner look to the interface that manages to shed some of the dull, cartoonish looks of some of its previous versions. 


Flyme OS 


Although Meizu has been putting custom UIs on most of its Android smartphone, it was in mid-2012 that the company decided to name its software child "Flyme OS". The first version of Flyme was running on top of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and displayed simple, yet customizable interface. Naturally, as time progressed, Flyme OS evolved even further, scoring numerous handy features. One thing remained the same though - Flyme OS always came with no app drawer and a neatly-organized settings menu. Its latest version, Flyme OS 4.0, is powering Meizu's noteworthy MX4, MX4 Pro, and other phones.



IUNI OS


This relatively new Android distribution really aims to redefine both "ease of use" and "straightforwardness". It won't be too far-fetched to claim that if you put MIUI, Flyme, or any other UI of the type next to IUNI, they'll look a bit cluttered - it's that slimmed-down. The developer even has a dedicated section in its website which states that IUNI OS "rejects all third-party compulsory pre-installations", a fancy way to claim that it does not ship with any bloatware or potentially-unwanted apps. 

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35 Comments

1. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

COPYCATS!

2. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

And you're an Android hater BARKINGDOG!

5. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

So when Apple copies it's okay? Almost all the companies takes inspiration from each other nowadays.

8. CAMBODIANPATRIOT

Posts: 226; Member since: May 10, 2015

Ouch! You gonna make their fans cry.

13. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

Aww baby, you still talking mess? Be right back, I'm gonna go find you a life.

23. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

You won't find a life for this iSheep.

19. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Not as much as Pol Pot made Cambodians cry!

31. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Really? You need to read this article zdnet - Proof that Apple's main iPad and iPhone interface has barely changed in 20 years (Gallery) It shows that even after 20 years, the Apple Ui changed nothing. It's the same crap.with prettier colors and that's it. Nothing new at all. The article makes some very good points .trying reading it with a openin and not bias.

33. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Good artist copy, great artist steal - Steve Jobs xiaomi not plainly copying ios, they add some nice animation and i think it's more optimized for larger screen

3. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

There you go with the click-bait PA! *Gets popcorn and wait*

4. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

My favorite Chinese phone UI: 1. MIUI 2. Flyme 3. Emotion UI 4. Funtouch OS 5. IUNI OS 6. Vibe UI

6. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

They're all awful (including iOS). No app drawer? FTS.

9. carlemillward unregistered

PA fails to mention they are all Chinese UI's. Chinese are not good with animation, the Japanese are. Although HTC is an exception, even though Taiwan is geographically another country.

25. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

MIUI actually has pretty good animations.

11. CAMBODIANPATRIOT

Posts: 226; Member since: May 10, 2015

They shamelessly copy Apple iOS. RIP Android!

15. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Get stuffed, troll.

12. iosl0ver5eva

Posts: 119; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

Not gonna lie I don't think any of these look anything similar to iOS.. I don't see any copying

14. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

ColorOS dos not look like iOs in any of those screenshots. #2 reminds me of my HTC magic running cupcake

16. faha1

Posts: 56; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

Good Apple works wonderful. Thanks to all Team Apple.

17. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

iOS 7 was inspired by Jellybean.

26. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

by what exactly? Vanilla Android UI was always awful, Lollipop is a bit better, but then it looks a lot like iOS 7, that's why Google app that has been updated to Material design looks good in iOS 7/8.

29. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Really now? I think Vanilla Android is the best thing since sliced bread. Anything else looks aweful to me in terms of Android overlays on top of the default interface. iOS is just terrible, period. If anyone should be given credit for the material design it should be Microsoft, their windows phone "Metro" stuff was what started these flat themes on the mass scale and arguably they're doing it better than anyone else still.

30. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Ice cream sandwich is when Google started focusing on aesthetics. It was the first version of Android where I didn't feel compelled to install a custom launcher.

20. Legnaldo

Posts: 63; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

PhoneArena Team: How can we start a war and get lots of site visits at the same time? Oh, I know! Lets say Android phone makers copy Apple's OS design. That should get them worked up!!!

21. 27satz

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

FLYME OS 4 is best!

22. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

ColorOS has to be the ugliest UI I've ever seen.

24. singhkaran9830 unregistered

So Indirectly these are inspired by Android.

27. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I like MIUI but nothing beats Material Design!

28. Fire5

Posts: 315; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

If you are inspired by IOS then are just as boring and monotonous lots of pictures without life without a decent witger that t can give an answer without opening the App.

32. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What is funny is, all those UI's can be installed on one phone, all of the can be changed, neither cam be done on an iPhone. Since younaint change the iOS ui without a jaolbreak, them these can't be copies they are all better. Though i dont like TouchWiz, it's the best looking ui I've seen and it's not even that great.

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