How to get the best of iOS5 on your Android phone

Tired of iPhone users having all the fun (and bragging rights)? Well, if it’s all the talk about the latest iOS5 update that is annoying you most at the moment, then fear not. If you are an Android user, some of the major features are actually within your grasp. has some nifty (and legal) workarounds to get you a piece of the iOS5 feature action – or at least very close – from iCloud to Wireless Sync, and even the revolution that is Siri.

Feature: iCloud; Solution: Google Apps/Dropbox

What it isiCloud offers iPhone users the ability to synchronize and store information in the cloud. It’s essentially a beefed up version of MobileMe, and synchronizes everything from documents created on a mobile device to photos taken, contacts, and calendar appointments. Plus, the service is completely free.

How you can get it: Much of what iCloud offers to iOS users is already handled by Android natively. Your contacts and much of your account preferences are already synchronized with Google’s servers (you can verify this by going to Settings > Accounts and tapping your Gmail or Google account to see what’s being synchronized.)

However, Android does fall a little short when it comes to documents, photos, and files. That’s where Dropbox comes in. Dropbox’s Android app integrates well, and because the files in your Dropbox account only take up space on your Android device when you specifically download them, it makes for a great way to see and have access to your data without worrying about the amount of storage you’re using. Dropbox also inserts itself into the “Share” menu of just about every Android application, including your photo gallery and favorite camera app, making it easy to upload files. It’s not quite as easy as the hands-off approach that iCloud promises, but it’s close.

The one drawback to this combination is that Dropbox is a little kludgy when it comes to photo uploads. You can create galleries by uploading to your Dropbox Photos folder, but if what attracts you to iCloud is its seamless photo uploads, consider the Google+ Android app, which instantly uploads your photos to Google+ as you take them.

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