Looking for a way to use an app that is only available for iOS devices on your Android phone or tablet? The Google Play Store and the Android app developers don’t want you to know that you CAN actually use iOS apps on Android devices, with the assistance of a simple (and free) piece of software called an emulator.
Can I run iOS Apps on Android?
Yes, with the assistance of an iOS emulator.
What is an emulator?
Just like it sounds, an emulator is made to imitate. Specifically, on an Android phone, it makes your android phone imitate an iOS phone, sufficient enough to confuse the app or game that would otherwise be exclusive to an iPhone to play on your Android device.
An “android emulator” is a software that causes the device to act like an android device, while an “iOS emulator” is one that causes the device to act like an iOS device. If you are looking to play an iOS game on your Android phone, then you’ll want to look for an iOS emulator app for your Android phone.
(Looking for more explanation about emulators? We’ve got a basics article about android emulators that should help, even though it is about android emulators, the concepts are the same): What is an Android Emulator?
How do I install an iOS emulator on my Android device?
Unfortunately, this can be a little bit technical. Google Play Store doesn’t want you to have the freedom to go and use iOS apps on your Android phone. They would rather that you just forget the fact that the iOS app is awesome and find something comparable in the Play Store.
In order to install an iOS emulator on your device, you are actually going to have to change some settings in your phone, and install the app yourself. Don’t worry, this sounds worse than it is. We recently described how to do this in an article about Using Facetime on Samsung Phones. There are Samsung specific directions at that article (easy, step-by-step). Before you get started, if all of this is completely unfamiliar to you , you should also consider reading another introductory article, called What is an APK File?
Once you feel ready and up to speed (having read about emulators, APK files, here are the basic directions for changing the settings in your Android phone to allow you to install apps from third parties that are NOT the Google Play Store:
- Go to Settings
- In Settings, you’ll want to find the area where the Security Settings are shown. This can be called many different things, from phone to phone, depending on how old your version of Android is. You might also find the security settings under “device administration” or find “device administration” under the Settings tab. In my phone, the tab is called “Lock Screen and Security.”
- Regardless, what you are looking for is one little switch to Flip from “off” to “on” that will “allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.”
Once you have done that, you are free to go and download the iOS emulator you want to use. Remember, however, that your phone will now install apps from third parties. If you are not careful as your browse the internet, you can download apps or other software that you do not intend to, so try not to flip this switch until you are sure that you are ready to download and install your chosen iOS emulator.
Once you have chosen your emulator (more below about our recommendations), all you need to do is click on the “download” link for the software, and when the download is complete, click on the download in your tray or in your files to start installation. The installation will not happen automatically as it does in Play Store.
How do I use the iOS emulator to play iOS games or use iOS apps on my android device?
It’s not terribly different from using any other game or app. The main difference is that before you start up the app or the game, you have to open up the iOS emulator before opening the iOS game or app, and you can only use that iOS app inside the emulator.
Which is the best iOS emulator?
Luckily, there are several options. First, if you are scared or overwhelmed by the idea of downloading an iOS emulator APK file and installing it yourself, there is an option where you can use an iOS app without doing the download and installation.
Appetize Emulator (no download solution)
This emulator is called Appetize Emulator (which can be found at https://appetize.io/). With Appetize, you can run the apps and games right in your browser. It is free, as discussed there is no installation, and it works on just about any device.
The main complaint about it though is that it can be slow, because everything is running through the browser and is dependent upon servers and the internet connection quality. That being said, this can be a good place for people to get started with iOS emulators.
Cycada Emulator (formerly known as Cider)
Cycada (also known as Cider, or Columbia Cycada) is a very popular iOS emulator. It was actually developed by a team from the Computer Science Department at Columbia (a top university in the United States). It is well reviewed for being free, simple to use, and operates smoothly.
However, one complaint I’ve heard about it is that it doesn’t always work on every device, and isn’t compatible with cameras, GPS, and other hardware you might be used to using.
I also hear others express concern about having to download the Cycada APK file from a third party website (and not directly from a website called “Cycada.com” or anything like that. With this emulator, you’ll have to take a careful look at the site where you decide to download it from.
You’ll find iEmu is another popular and well reviewed iOS emulator. It is free, compatible with most smartphones, and tends to look pretty good. But, like Cycada, there may be some issues with compatibility as far as hardware goes, and doesn’t work with ALL Android devices. Most, but not all. You also have to download the APK for iEmu on your own, as it is not on Google Play Store.
Other Alternatives to Check Out
There are still yet other iOS emulators out there for you to check out. iOSEMUS and All-in-One iOS Emulator are also frequently referenced, through we don’t have any experience using either of these emulators at this time.
However, one of the features you might get excited about with All-in-One iOS Emulator is that Siri is apparently a feature that comes along with this emulator, along with iOS Camera.
What about Android emulators? Can you make other devices imitate an Android device?
Absolutely! An Android emulator can be used on iOS phones and devices, and can also be used on Desktop computers and laptops which have a Windows or Mac Operating system. If you want to know more about the emulators we recommend:
What about iOS devices? Can you use Android apps on iOS devices with an emulator or something similar?
Yes, but it is slightly more complicated than with an Android device. We’ll look at covering this topic in a future article, so stay tuned.
Which iOS emulator sounds right for you? All of these emulators as well and frequently used by Android users, and there are few (if any) complaints that we’ve seen connecting this emulators to anything dangerous, such as viruses, malware, or any other attacks on personal information. But, as always, take care when downloading APKs from third-party sources.
Any thoughts or questions about iOS emulators? Let us know below in the comments.