How to Access iCloud Services on Android
Apple users are able to store their notes, pictures, contacts, and settings in their iCloud storage and sync them across multiple Apple devices. Accessing your iCloud data on Android is a trickier process, but it is possible. Here’s how.
First, you’ll need to be aware of the limitations. Apple, by design, doesn’t generally play well with other non-Apple devices. You can easily use iCloud on Mac, iPhone, or iPad, but you won’t see an official Android app for iCloud appearing anytime soon.
Using iCloud Online on Android
The only supported way to access your iCloud services on Android is to use the iCloud website. Your access is still quite limited initially, you will have access only to your saved photos and notes, as well as the “Find iPhone” service.
To start, head to the iCloud website on your Android device and sign in using your Apple ID and password.
If you’ve set up two-factor authentication on your iCloud account, you might need a macOS, iOS, or iPadOS device attached to your account to receive a code that allows you to sign in.
Type in the code that appears on your Apple device during the sign-in process on Android, if this is the case.
The iCloud website will ask you if you trust the browser you’re using to sign in. If the device is yours, press the “Trust” button you won’t need to provide a six-digit code from another iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device to sign in again.
Otherwise, tap “Don’t Trust” or “Not Now” to proceed without trusting the device.
Using iCloud Photos, Notes, and Find iPhone on Android
If your sign-in details are correct, you should see the (fairly limited) iCloud dashboard on Android.
You can tap “Account Settings” to access your Apple account settings or select one of the three icons listed to access the Notes, Photos, or Find iPhone services.
These are the only services that Apple allows you to easily view on your Android device using a mobile browser.
Accessing iCloud Photos
Pressing the “Photos” icon will bring up your saved iCloud photos.
You can tap the “Upload” button to upload new photos. Select any of the items to view or delete them from your iCloud storage or to download them as local files onto your Android device.
Accessing iCloud Notes
Pressing the “Notes” icon will show your saved iCloud notes.
As with iCloud Photos, this section has been optimized for mobile viewing. You can view, edit, and delete your existing notes, or tap the “Add” button in the top-left corner to create a new note.
Using Find iPhone on Android
The last service you can easily access on Android using the iCloud website is the Find iPhone service. Tap the “Find iPhone” icon on the main iCloud dashboard to begin.
You might need to re-enter your Apple account password and provide a six-digit authentication code at this stage.
Once confirmed, a list of Apple devices (including iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices) attached to your account will be displayed. Tap any of the devices listed to see where they were last seen and if they’re currently active.
Press the “Play Sound” button to locate the device or “Erase iPhone,” “Erase iPad,” or “Erase Mac” to remotely wipe the device. You can also use the Lost Mode feature to display a message on your Apple device’s screen if you’ve lost the device.
Press the “Lost Mode” button to do this.
Using Other iCloud Services on Android
Although you can access some iCloud services in third-party apps, these apps aren’t official and their quality and success in accessing iCloud will vary.
The easiest service to access is your iCloud email account. You can set up iCloud email access on Android using Gmail or another email app. This will allow you to send and receive emails from your iCloud email account using your Android device.
Other services can be accessed through the iCloud website, but you’ll need to switch to your browser’s desktop mode feature to view them. We won’t sugarcoat it, this isn’t the easiest way to view your iCloud calendar or contacts, even if you have a large mobile display. It should still work, but don’t expect the same user experience that you’ll find on an iOS or iPadOS device.
To use these iCloud services on Android, sign in to the iCloud website using Chrome for Android. Once you’ve signed in, tap the hamburger menu icon in the top-right corner and then select the “Desktop Site” checkbox.
This will cancel the mobile page and load the equivalent desktop version of the iCloud website.
The full range of iCloud services will appear, although the page will be harder to read. You might want to switch to landscape mode on your Android device for better navigation at this point.
From here, tap any of the services to access them. Tapping “Reminders” will load a list of your saved iCloud reminders, for instance.
Because this isn’t a supported view mode, the functionality of these services on Android might vary. Navigating these services will be tricky, but you should be able to use this view mode to access your saved contacts, calendar, and iCloud Drive file storage.
Other services like Pages and Numbers should technically load and allow you to view files, but they won’t be useable in any meaningful way.
Installing iCloud as a Progressive Web App on Android
If you want to use your iCloud services on Android regularly, it might be worth adding it to your home screen as a progressive web app (PWA). This allows you to open the iCloud page like a “real” app, without needing to open Chrome first.
To do this, head to the iCloud website in your Android Chrome browser. Tap the hamburger menu icon in the top-right corner and then select the “Add to Home Screen” option.
You’ll need to give your iCloud PWA a suitable name. Use the default “iCloud” name or rename it and then tap the “Add” button to confirm.
You’ll then need to long-press and drag the icon that appears to your home screen, placing it wherever fits best for you. Your onscreen instructions might vary, depending on your version of Android.
Alternatively, tap the “Add” button for the app to be placed on your home screen automatically.
This will add the iCloud icon to your Android home screen. Tapping this icon will load iCloud in an entirely isolated app-like environment.
You won’t be able to switch to desktop mode using a PWA, so you’ll be limited to accessing your iCloud photos, notes, and Find iPhone services.
We’ve covered the list of possible iCloud services you can access on Android, but some are beyond reach. You can’t use iMessage on Android at all, nor is it possible to use Apple AirDrop on Android.
You’ll need to use cross-platform alternatives like WhatsApp and Snapdrop as a replacement for these services.