While possible, running iOS apps on Android boils down to a paid app and service confirmed to work on newer Android versions. There are others too, but there is no guarantee that they will work on your Android device. You have to try out the apps and see what works and what doesn't. Here's how to run iOS apps on Android.
How do iOS and Android work together?
If you've owned a smartphone for a number of years, you probably know that iOS and AndroidOS are very different operating systems. In fact, the two are barely compatible. When we discuss running iOS apps on an Android device, we are not talking about downloading anything from the Apple App Store. What we need to do is use a workaround to run iPhone apps on Android device.
Luckily, there are a plethora of iOS emulators available for download. These emulators allow you to imitate iOS on your Android device. But be careful, you won't have all the features of an iPhone, for example, on your Android.
Installation from unknown sources
Suppose you have an older version of Android and you manage to find a Cycada/Cider or iEMU (mentioned below) .apk file to install. In this case, you need to enable permissions that allow app installs from sources other than Google. Instructions may vary depending on the version of Android you are using and your device manufacturer.
The easiest way to allow installation of third-party apps from unknown sources is to open the Parameters on your device and tap the search icon.
Then you can type Unknown Sources to go directly to the setting you need. But, you can also find the option by doing this:
- Open Parameters and press applications.
- Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner.
- Press Special access in the drop-down menu.
- Press Install unknown apps.
- Tap the browser or source you are using to install the .APK file.
- Toggle the switch next to Source to allow downloads.
Once you've enabled the setting to allow downloads from unknown sources, you're good to go.
iOS apps common to Android apps
Now is the time for the workarounds we mentioned above. As long as you can install downloads from unknown sources, you can use the following emulators to access iOS apps on your Android device.
1. Use appetize.io in your Android browser to run iOS apps
In a sea full of iOS simulator apps, it's interesting to see an online iOS app for Android like appetize.io. This configuration does not allow you to install iOS applications on an Android; it simulates an iOS device using the cloud, allowing you to use iOS apps in a web browser.
Appetize.io is only accessible for the first 100 minutes, after which you must pay to use it. Since this application is an online service, you can also use it on a PC or Mac. Another advantage of using appetize.io on Android is that you don't need to root your device.
2. Emulate iOS on Android using Cider
Cider is probably the most popular iOS emulator app. It's easy to use and completely free, without any in-app purchases. This program can also help you test iOS apps, which is why it was used by iOS developers back then. Like other apps, Cider may not work for you if you have one of the latest versions of Android, but it otherwise works on 2.3 and later.
Cider lets you use almost every feature of Apple devices, not just apps, so you might want to leave at least two gigabytes of storage space free on your device. Other than that, you need at least 512MB of RAM and additional storage for the app itself.
3. Emulate iOS with iEMU on your Android device
The iUEM app (also known as Padiod) comes closest to Cider as an iOS emulator with similar capabilities. It doesn't require you to root your Android device, but it can work on rooted devices just as well.
IEMU also has a friendly user interface, but it requires more robust hardware than Cider. It won't work very well if you have less than a gigabyte of RAM. Also, you should close all other apps running in the background. What also makes this emulator quite good is that it works with .zip and .ipas files.
Unfortunately, the only reputable iOS emulators for Android are Cider and iEMU. Appetize.io is an online alternative for those who don't want to install third-party apps. It should also be noted that Cider and iEMU are no longer supported. You can, however, try running iOS apps on some of these computer programs.
ipadien and Ripple are the most important options. iPadian is an iOS simulator, while Ripple is a Chrome extension.
Frequently Asked Questions
We've included answers to many of your frequently asked questions in this section.
How to get the full iOS experience on Android?
Unfortunately, there is no way to download or install iOS on your Android device. Popular Apple apps like Facetime and iMessage are exclusive to Apple devices, so you can't really use them on Android, even with an emulator.
Are .APK files safe to download?
.APK files are mostly safe. But before downloading anything to your Android device, it's a good idea to back up to a cloud service and beware of distributing personal information. Your operating system is designed to protect your privacy and security. When you install or download data from an unknown source, you bypass many security protocols.
For added security, it is best to only download content from trusted sources. Read reviews and research the source of your download before installing it.
Facing the truth about using iOS apps on Android
Since iOS and Android work differently, it's safe to say that there isn't a really convenient way to run iOS apps on Android. Cycada/Cider and iEMU were once available but are no longer supported. However, this scenario does not mean that running iOS apps on Android will not work for you. You just need to try both iOS emulators.
You can easily try to run any iOS app on Android or run a simulator on computer, but there is no guarantee that they will work. On the other hand, getting even the most basic functions could be a good way to get to know the iOS user interface better.