Go Launcher EX allows Android users to modify the phone's home screen.

***Warning: Install software at your own risk. To see whether your smartphone is compatible with any of this software, visit the Google Play store.

There are many reasons to choose an Android smartphone over the Apple iPhone -- price, variety of devices and variety of carriers -- but no reason is more alluring to technologists than the immense customization features made available by the Android operating system.

Android smartphone owners who wish they were running Apple iOS 5.1, the operating system of the iPhone 4S, no longer have to be so envious of those that are carrying around shiny new iPhones. Apps in the Google Play store enable Android phones to run iOS-mimicking features without much tinkering.

The key to creating an Android phone that appears to be running Apple iOS 5.1 is installing a bundle of apps that allow you customize the look of the phone's launcher. Apps within the personalization section of Google Play will let Android owners customize their phone's lock screen, contacts, SMS, widgets and even the home screen. By modifying each section of your phone, you can make it appear to be a one-of-a-kind Apple device. For those that are interested in creating an Apple iPhone-Google Android hybrid smartphone, we've created an easy guide on how to install the appropriate apps.

Step One: Install a launcher

Themes such as this one from Urtegata mimic the home screen of an Apple iPhone.

To start, you'll need to download a launcher, which will allow you to customize the home screen of your phone. One of the most popular launchers in Google Play market is Go Launcher EX. The app has between 10 million and 50 million installs. An alternative launcher program is ADW Launcher, which has 5 million to 10 million installs. For this specific tutorial, we'll be working with Go Launcher EX.

Download Go Launcher EX, then click on the app to open it. Go Launcher EX will boot and bring you through a series of introduction screens. Swipe through the slides, and you'll eventually get to your phone's brand new home screen.

Go Launcher Ex allows you to customize every detail of your phone's home screen, such as how many pages are available, how large widgets are, and much more. The possibilities are seemingly endless. For this particular tutorial, we'll be showing you how to customize these features to make the phone look as though it's running Apple iOS 5.1.

Step Two: Install a theme

Now that you've installed a launcher, you'll need to download a theme that will make the launcher look like the Apple iPhone's operating system, iOS.

There are several themes that mimic the Apple iPhone such as iPhone iOS Extreme - Theme from Droid4fun, iPhone Go launcher theme from DG Themes, iPhone Go Launcher EX Theme from Urtegata and iOS iPhone Theme Go Launcher from AVillardoArts. Read through the reviews briefly in order to determine whether the theme will work well with your specific phone. There are several themes out there, so just keep looking until you find one that will work well with your phone.

Once you've downloaded a theme that mimics Apple iOS, go to the Go Launcher EX home screen, click the menu button on your phone. Then, click themes and choose one of the themes that you've downloaded. Click apply. The phone should automatically back out of the settings and show you the brand new theme. Now your home screen should look as though it's running Apple iOS 5.1.

The lock screen of an Android phone can be customized to mimic the look of an Apple iPhone.

Step Three: Install a lock screen

Now that our phone appears to be running Apple iOS 5.1 from the home screen, it needs to look like it's running iOS from the lock screen. To do this, you'll need to install a new lock screen from the Google Play store. We recommend Go Locker in this particular tutorial because it works well with the launcher.

Step Four: Install a lock screen theme

After you install Go Locker, you'll need to install a theme that makes it appear as though the lock screen is running Apple iOS. One of the most popular themes that mimics Apple iOS is iPhone Go Launcher EX Locker. You can also try IPhone Lockscreen - Magic Locker, which is free.

To choose the theme you just downloaded, go the the Go Launcher EX home screen, select the menu button on your phone. Then, select plugins. Choose Go Locker. Now choose the theme you want: in this case, you'll select iPhone Go Launcher EX Locker.

Step Five: Download iPhone Themed Apps

Now that you've installed a launcher and a lock screen, you'll need to get other applications that will help make your phone look like an Apple iPhone. There are several on the market, and many more are sure to roll out over the next few months.

Go Contacts iPhone Theme will pair well with Go Contacts, an app that replaces the default application that organizes your contacts list. Go SMS iPhone (iOS) Theme pairs well with Go SMS Pro in order to make your text messages appear in talking bubbles like it does on the iPhone. IPhone Keyboard Emulator FREE from Sixgreen Labs Inc. will make your phone's keyboard look like the iPhone. There are several other apps you can find in the Google Play store that will help you create an iPhone-like experience on your Android phone.

Step Six: Enjoy!

Now that your phone looks exactly like an Apple iPhone, you can sit back for a couple of hours a finish the customization process. Go Launcher EX allows users to customize several details of the phone's main screen. Widgets and apps can be sized to fit any height or width by holding a finger down on any home screen page. Different animations can be set for scrolling through apps and home screen pages by selecting the menu button on your phone and then preferences. Fonts and much more can also be customized in the preferences menu.

Take time to setup your phone exactly as you'd like it, and most importantly, create a layout for your phone that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. Ultimately, Android's customization features are what set it apart from Apple's iOS, so use it to your benefit. You don't have to use everything that the iPhone has because you have something much better -- Android -- which allows you to customize every detail of your phone's appearance and operation.