iCloud is a great way to keep your email, contacts, calendar, tasks, and photos synced across your Apple devices. But what if you decide to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone?
Apple doesn't always play nice with other ecosystems, but you can access iCloud on Android with the right apps.
Switching From iPhone to Android Is Easier Than You Think
If you're reluctant about switching to Android from iPhone, this is completely understandable. After all, they are completely different platforms, with zero cross compatibility.
Quite a bit of iCloud is actually available on Android through your web browser. You probably use Chrome, but any of the current browsers should work for this. Simply go to www.icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
Here, you’ll be able to access Apple Mail, reminders, notes, and stripped-down versions of Pages and Numbers. This basic level of functionality is useful particularly if you are jumping between iPhone and Android (perhaps due to having one for home nd one for work).
But if that doesn’t work out for you, thanks to various apps and services, you can access iCloud from Android without using a browser. This lets you:
- Access iCloud mail on Android
- Sync iCloud contacts
- View your iCloud calendar
- View Apple Notes
- Access iCloud photos
- Sync reminders
- Enjoy your Apple Music collection
Keep reading to find out how you can make these iCloud to Android connections.
1. How to Access iCloud Emails on Android
Want to know how to get iCloud email on Android?
Every Android device comes with the Gmail app, and you can configure this to access your iCloud email account. (Other email apps will also let you get iCloud mail on Android.)
Start by generating an app password for your iCloud email:
- Head to the Apple ID page and sign in
- On the Manage page, look for Sign-in and Security
- Click App-specific passwords, then Generate an app-specific password
- You'll be prompted to enter a description for the password, then click Create
- Make a note of the password as you'll need it in a moment
Next, on your Android phone:
- Open Gmail and tap your email profile icon (usually a profile picture, or company logo)
- Scroll to Add another account
- Choose Other then enter your iCloud email address and tap Next
- Add the password you just created, then Next
Gmail will do the rest. Moments later, you'll see your iCloud mail account in the Gmail app. You can now check iCloud emails on Android, as well as reply to any messages.
2. Syncing iCloud Contacts to Android
Syncing your contacts between iCloud and Android is relatively straightforward.
- Open the iCloud website in your browser and click Contacts.
- Click the gear button
- Select all of your contacts (or a specific group by holding CTRL as you left-click)
- Click the gear button again and select Export vCard
- Save the file to your computer
- In your computer browser open contacts.google.com and sign in with the Google account you use for your Android phone
- On the left, click Import and browse to the vCard file
- Click Import and the contacts will be added and begin syncing to your device
If you don’t use the Google contacts (e.g. you use the Samsung alternative), copy the vCard file to your Android phone or tablet (perhaps using a USB cable, or cloud sync) then import it into your contacts app.
3. Viewing iCloud Calendar on Android
You can publish your iCloud calendar contents to Google Calendar, but note that this is a one-way sync. Any changes made in Google Calendar will not be reflected in iCloud. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re switching completely to Android, however.
Note also that the two systems aren’t fully compatible, so Google Calendar will not display all of the information that iCloud stores.
- Start by opening the iCloud website in your browser
- Select the calendar
- Where the calendar names are listed on the left, click the Wi-Fi style icon
- In the share box, check Public calendar and copy the link to your clipboard
- Open Google Calendar in your browser (calendar.google.com)
- On the left, find Other calendars and click the + symbol
- Select From URL
- Paste the calendar link from your iCloud calendar
- OPTIONAL: if anyone else needs to view the calendar, check the Make the calendar publicly accessible box
- When done, click Add calendar
Your iCloud calendar should now appear in your phone's calendar app, but give it up to 24 hours for complete syncronization.
4. Viewing Apple Notes on Android
Before proceeding, you should know that it is possible to use the Notes app in your browser via the iCloud website. While this may not be perfect, it’s a useful option to have.
Syncing your notes from Apple's useful Notes app to your Android device is simple, though it comes with some limitations.
- On your iPhone, open Settings > Passwords and accounts
- Click Add Account to add your Google account
- Authenticate your account, then return to the Passwords and accounts screen
- Select the Google account and tap the Notes slider
- In the Notes app, look for the Gmail header
- All notes under this header will sync to the Gmail app, so move notes as necessary
- In Android, open Gmail and find the Notes label on the left
- Your Apple Notes should be synced to here
This isn’t the smoothest way of doing things, but it gets your notes onto Android quickly. Of course, you cannot edit the notes, as they now appear as emails. You also cannot sync them them using this method.
Of course, you can always switch to an alternative note taking app and have your notes available wherever you are, on any device, to read and edit.
5. View iCloud Photos on Android
While there is no iCloud for Android app, all the photos you’ve snapped on your old iPhone can be accessed on Android via the iCloud website.
As before, simply open the site in your favorite Android browser and view them in the web app. Here, you can view the photos and even download them.
- In the Photos view, tap Select
- Now, tap Select All
- Tap the three-dot button
- Choose Download
The images in your iCloud will then be downloaded to your Android device as a compressed ZIP file. You’ll need to unzip this to view them on your phone.
6. Viewing Apple Reminders on Android
Accessing iPhone-based reminders on Android isn’t as seamless as some of the other options.
One option is to use a third party syncing app, but these can prove to be both expensive and unreliable. The best option you have is to access the Reminders app in the iCloud website via your phone’s browser.
While this won’t send notifications from iPhone to Android, you’ll be able to check the reminders and even copy them into the Google Calendar app.
7. Apple Music for Android
Don’t want to lose your Apple Music when you switch to Android? Don’t worry, you won’t.
The Apple Music app is available on Android phones, giving you all your playlists and purchased music.
Download: Apple Music for Android (Free)
To use it, launch the app, enter your Apple ID to login on Android, and the tunes will be ready to play.
Connecting to Apple iCloud on Android Is Simple
Syncing iCloud and your Android device can take some time to get set up. But it's well worth the effort if you have email, contacts, calendars, and other data that you want to sync across your various devices.
These aren't your only options for accessing iCloud on non-Apple devices.
iCloud Drive is a handy tool, but accessing your files can be a little confusing since Apple's cloud storage experience really differs depending on your platform or device.