With Androids and iPhones being the two most popular smartphones on the market today, there’s no question their userbases have strong opinions on which is better. But each has its pros and cons — and its exclusive apps. Is it possible, though, to download Android apps on your iPhone?
Despite the major differences in operating systems, it’s possible to use Android apps on an iPhone. It involves moving data between an Android and iPhone, and often means jailbreaking the iPhone. Jailbreaking is a simple (and reversible) process, but it will void any warranties you have.
Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to run Android apps on an iPhone and the differences between the systems that can make it a bit tricky.
Can You Run Android Apps on an iPhone?
Whether or not an app will run on an iPhone depends on the operating system it was built for, not just the store it’s available on. Android and iOS are the two biggest operating systems available to date, with most smart devices running one of them.
The reason why it’s so difficult to get Android apps on your iPhone is the fact that Apple is very particular about where its apps come from for security reasons.
Apple doesn’t want people downloading random internet programs because may contain viruses, so they limit users to apps from the Apple Store, which have been verified and are definitely safe.
However, this doesn’t mean that there are no workarounds. You should be careful when using this method though, ensuring you don’t install any apps from the internet from sketchy sources.
How Do You Get Google Play Apps on Your iPhone?
One of the easiest ways to get Google Play apps on your phone is to simply download the Google Play Store and get the apps from there.
There are also emulators you can use. Downloading and installing these on your iPhone means you can open up any Android apps through that.
Search online to find Android emulators, and you can download the files directly to a jailbroken iPhone, or do it on your computer and transfer the files.
You can also directly transfer APK files, which are the file type used by Android apps, to your iPhone and open them directly from there. To do this, you can hook both phones up to your computer and extract the files from the Android, dragging them onto the iPhone. Alternatively, you could use a system like DropBox.
There is a catch for any one of these methods though. You must have a jailbroken iPhone for them to work. Even downloading the Google Play Store requires a jailbroken iPhone because it doesn’t have an iOS file type.
Is It Easy to Jailbreak an iPhone?
Jailbreaking an iPhone might sound complicated because you’re modifying part of the core system, but it’s actually very easy. It allows you to then change the operating system, install files Apple wouldn’t let you — like the Android apps — and even change the appearance of your phone, giving you more customization options.
Before you go ahead with jailbreaking, make sure you back up your phone. You never know what might happen when messing around, so saving all of your data is crucial. You can do this through iCloud or by hooking your phone up to your computer and saving the data there.
Update your phone to the latest iOS and then install a program called checkra1n on your Mac (which is necessary to jailbreak your phone). Plug your phone in and then open the app.
You should then open the file you’ve downloaded on the Mac, and it should automatically detect your phone and begin to download the jailbreaking software to it. Let it run, and don’t disconnect your phone until it’s done.
Your phone will then ask to install Cydia. Do this, and the jailbreak is then complete and you can go ahead and download those Android apps now that you’re able to run and open APK files on your phone.
What Are the Risks of Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is not an Apple-certified feature and, in fact, they actively discourage users from doing it. It’s usually safe though, but you need to make sure you back up your data beforehand. It’s also important that your phone is upgraded to the latest version, as you won’t be able to update the software again without possibly ruining the jailbreak.
You should also be careful about which apps you’re downloading. While jailbreaking gives you the freedom to access everything Apple restricts, not all of it is secure.
Lastly, if you have a jailbroken iPhone and something goes wrong, an official Apple store may not be able to help you. It may also void the warranty if your phone still has one.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other repair shops that have experience with jailbroken phones and can usually help out if something goes wrong.
Can You Unjailbreak an iPhone?
If you decide later that you don’t want a jailbroken iPhone, it’s easy to undo it. Plug your iPhone into your computer and place it into recovery mode by quickly pressing and releasing the volume down button then holding the side button for ten seconds.
On older models, you can press and hold the home button and power button for 10 seconds, then the home button for a further five, for the same effect.
Open iTunes and navigate to your device, where you’ll see an option to restore it. Make sure before going ahead that there’s no data on your iPhone you’ll lose, as this will wipe everything. Frequent backups are always a good idea.
You can either restore it from a backup before jailbreaking or just restore it to factory settings. Either way, your phone’s jailbreak has now been undone and it’s back to normal.
Will All Android Apps Work on an iPhone?
Although most Android apps should work without issue on your iPhone, this may not be true for all of them. Android apps were designed with their own operating system in mind and haven’t accounted for coding differences that may be necessary to work on iOS software.
Fortunately, most coding is universal, so your app should run well enough, but you might find a couple that are full of bugs on an iPhone or, worse, just don’t work at all.
Android does have a few exclusive apps that iPhone users are unable to access. For those who used to have an Android and are missing these apps, or just want to try them out, this is the way to use them on an iPhone. Jailbreak your phone and then you can download and use those APK files.