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 from your Android with the right apps.
1. Accessing iCloud Email on Android
Every Android device comes with the Gmail app, and you can configure this to access your iCloud email account.
Here’s how to generate an app password for your iCloud email:
- Head to the Apple ID page and sign in.
- On the Manage page, look for Security. Under App-specific passwords, click Generate 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 select the Menu button at the top-left.
- Tap the account selection arrow and choose Add account.
- Enter your iCloud email address and the password you just created, then Next.
Gmail will do the rest. Moments later, you’ll see your iCloud email account in the Gmail app.
2. Syncing iCloud Contacts to Android
Syncing your contacts between iCloud and Android is relatively straightforward. It’s only a bit more of a hurdle than syncing your iPhone and Mac contacts.
Open iCloud.com in your computer’s browser and log in. Open Contacts and select the contacts you want to export. Then click the gear icon, choose Export vCard, and save the VCF file to your computer.
Next, transfer this data to your Android phone, either via USB or using cloud storage. On Android, open Contacts, tap the Menu, and go to Settings > Import. Here, browse for the VCF file and import the contacts.
Note that you can also import this VCF file into Google Contacts in your desktop web browser.
Syncing contacts with this method is the most reliable option. However, several developers have created apps for syncing iCloud contacts with Android. If you prefer to automate contact syncing, try one of these apps. Just note that they haven’t seen updates in a while.
3. Viewing iCloud Calendar on Android
CalDAV Sync, from the same developer as SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts, is an app that allows you to sync any CalDAV or Webcal calendar to your Android device.
While not free, it’s well worth the price tag if you want to sync up iCloud and Android.
To use it:
- Start by opening icloud.com and signing in.
- Click Calendar, then select the calendar you wish to sync from the left-hand menu.
- Check the box labeled Public Calendar, then click Email Link when the WebCal URL appears.
- Send the URL to an email address you can access from your Android device.
- On Android, install the CalDAV Sync app.
- Collect the email message on your Android device and copy the calendar URL.
- Open CalDAV Sync and select Add Account > WebCal.
- Paste in the URL, click Next, and adjust the settings as required. Click Done when finished.
Your iCloud calendar will now appear in your phone’s calendar app!
Download: CalDAV-Sync ($3)
4. Viewing Apple Notes on Android
Syncing your notes from Apple’s very useful Notes app to your Android device is simple, though it does come with some limitations.
To sync your notes, open System Preferences on your Mac and click internet Accounts. Select the Google account that’s associated with your Android device.
Here, you’ll see several items that you can sync with your phone. By selecting Notes, everything that you add to the Notes app will be sent to your phone. It shows up in your Gmail app, under a new label called Notes.
This has a disadvantage: when you sync your notes with your phone, they won’t sync with iCloud. In your desktop Apple Notes app, you’ll see that you have notes under the Google heading and notes under the iCloud heading—they don’t get pushed to both.
This is annoying, but if you have certain notes that you only need your phone, you can push them there. The others can back up to iCloud.
The main limitation of this method is that you can’t edit your notes from your phone. Of course, you can always switch to Evernote or Google Keep and have your notes available wherever you are, on any device, to read and edit.
5. Syncing Apple Reminders on Android
Use Apple’s Reminders app to keep track of your tasks? If you’re using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you can sync them to your Android phone easily by downloading OpenTasks from the same developer.
Because CalDAV provides support for task sync, OpenTasks simply piggybacks on the CalDAV connection set up by the other app to get your reminders. However, OpenTasks is very simple. It doesn’t provide a lot of extra functionality, giving it a similar feel to the Reminders app on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
If you’re not planning on using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you’re unfortunately out of luck. An app that once offered this is no longer available. We recommend switching to another to-do app that syncs across all platforms.
Download: OpenTasks (Free)
Connecting to Apple iCloud From 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. We’ve shown how to work in iCloud Drive on any platform.
Image Credit: GaudiLab/Depositphotos