I just left my iPhone 3G for a Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone. I am trying to recreate certain iPhone behaviors and am wondering if it's possible, and how.

  1. Android 2.3's default lock screen is just a giant picture tile that you have to tap-swipe out of the way. I don't like it, as the tap-swipe distance required is ~3/4 of the screen. Are there any better alternatives?

  2. On the iPhone, I could customize the bottom four "home row" icons. Is there a way to do this in Android? (I couldn't find one.)

  3. On the iPhone, I could achieve a speed-dialing of sorts by choosing Favorite phone numbers, then dial them by tapping on "Favorites", then the person's entry. The closest I've found in Android, navigating through the Phone icon, requires a ridiculous five or six clicks. Is there a better way? I tried making a folder and then populating that folder with "Direct Dial" shortcuts for each person in my favorites list. But it seems very manual. I would prefer to have this folder be in my home row of icons as well.

  4. On the iPhone, I could arrange the order of items in a folder. Is this possible on the Android?

  5. On the iPhone, when someone sent me a text message, the message would appear in a dialog window on my screen. On the Android, I just get a icon indicating I have a new text message. Is there a way to configure Android to just display the text message contents immediately?

  6. When I'm looking at someone's text message history, is there a way to call them directly? The iPhone had a button at the top for allowing this.

(Answer to #3: hit the left-menu button and then hit Call.)

  • This is a comment, so not complete answer, but if you favor how iPhone does some things, you can try alternative Launchers. Go Launcher has many things similar to iPhone in how folders are displayed and ability to uninstall apps from home screen.
    – Chance
    Dec 26, 2011 at 22:03

2 Answers 2


As you're using a Galaxy S2 which has Samsung's TouchWiz interface layered over the Android OS, some of your questions are specific to Touchwiz, so I'll answer them that way too, in a way that may not be helpful to people with a different interface:

  1. Yes, there are a number of Lockscreens built in, if you go into Settings -> Location and Security, then you should see a section labelled Screen Unlock Settings selecting Set screen lock gives you some options.

  2. This is TouchWiz specific. On the home screen press the Applications icon to get to the Apps list, then press the Menu button and select Edit. You should now be able to drag any icon off the "home row", and drag any other icon on (to maximum of four apps).

  3. There are a couple of other questions on this site about setting up quick dials (like this one) etc. But it sounds like you could do what you want by creating a Starred Contacts folder on your home screen. Firstly go through your Contacts and "Star" any contacts that you'd regard as favourites, then find an empty space on your home screen, long-press there, sleect Folders from the menu that pops up and then select Starred Contacts.

  4. Don't really use folders myself, so I'll leave that to someone else.

  5. That was the first annoyance I noticed when I got my first Android phone a few years ago, I use the SMS Popup app for that, couldn't use an Android for messaging without it.

  6. Never even tried doing that, but when you're in their text message conversation you can press Menu then More then Call.

  • Most home screen launchers allow you to long click on a blank space on the home screen. When you do this, it will give you an "Add to Screen" menu, or something like it. You can drag items into the folder. Depending on the messagingin app, you can click their contact icon (either their picture or a blank icon), and it will pull up a menu to call them.
    – Chance
    Jan 13, 2012 at 21:01
  • @chance i'm pretty sure the OP already said he tried that in point 3 and said that it was too much of a manual process? Unless you're talking about point 4s question on how to sort items in folders and i've mistaken you?
    – GAThrawn
    Jan 13, 2012 at 21:59
  • yes, I was actually talking about point 4, but upon rereading, I think I misunderstood. I thought OP was just asking how to create folders.
    – Chance
    Jan 16, 2012 at 15:38
  1. Yes, you can use an alternative lockscreen. Something like WidgetLocker, which happens to have an iPhone theme.

  2. Again yes, but you need an alternative launcher. For example, ADW Launcher, or Launcher Pro.

  3. You got it.

  4. I don't think so. It depends on what type of folders they are. Filesystem folders are usually sorted by date or name.

  5. Yes, but you need an app for that. Try something like Handcent SMS.

  6. Yes. Tap their picture, and tap the phone icon in the popup that appears below (or above) it.

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