If you use an iOS device, replacing Apple's default apps with Google alternatives is now a seamless experience, especially compared to the painful past. It's very easy to do, and if done properly, you'll probably never need to open the default Apple apps ever again. Begin by downloading the Google apps you'll need to begin the 'Google-fication' of your iOS device. Here's a list of some of the most popular ones.
|The Google Hangouts setting here shows a list of existing Google apps that links will direct to.|
Google's apps weren't always the best on iOS as they weren't as polished as Apple's were, but in our experience, this has changed and they now far outstrip Apple's default offerings. Google Maps and the Drive suite of apps (Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides) are both great examples of how far Google has come on the iOS platform. Google Maps offers better driving directions than Apple Maps, as well as cycling and transit directions, and navigation inside buildings where supported. Furthermore, Drive is much easier to use for storage than iCloud and offers you access to all of your files without configuring and searching through unnecessary settings. And as you'd expect, Drive automatically opens any files in the appropriate Google app, ignoring Apple's defaults entirely.
With all these Google Apps taking over iOS defaults, there are still a few small drawbacks. Google tends to update its iOS apps more slowly than its Android counterparts. Unless you really need to have the latest updates, this isn't really problematic, but it does mean they won't integrate with the latest iOS features immediately. For example, many Google apps don't have Notification Center support, and none of them have Force Touch support yet. If these aren't of concern to you, then your Google experience on iOS can be near-perfect.
If you're faithful to iOS, but still want or need to indulge in Google's apps for personal or work reasons, hopefully you now see that Google and iOS can harmoniously coexist. Sometimes, you can have the best of both worlds! Check out this article from LifeHacker to learn about more Google apps and their integration to iOS.