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Many of us use different devices from different manufacturers and ecosystems, including macOS and iOS (no review here). Whether we are editing a MacBook Pro or the latest iPhone that we are comparing to one of the best Android phones, we also use those devices. If you are also gaining ground in all ecosystems, you may be wondering how to access your iCloud data from your Android phone. Actually, it is simple, if clumsy. Do not worry; We’ll show you what to do to get the best of both worlds. Here’s how to access your iCloud data from an Android phone.
Access iCloud Mail on Android
Every Android device comes with the Gmail app, and you can configure it to access your iCloud email account. Here’s how to generate an app password for your iCloud email:
- Head over to the Apple ID page and sign in.
- On the Manage page, find Security. Under Application-specific passwords, click Generate password.
- You will be prompted to enter a description for the password, then click Create.
- Make a note of the password, as you will need it in a moment.
Then on your Android phone:
- Open Gmail and select the Menu button in the upper left.
- Touch the account selection arrow and choose Add account.
- Enter your iCloud email address and the password you just created, then Next.
Synchronize iCloud Contacts with Android
Syncing your contacts between iCloud and Android is relatively easy. It’s just a slightly more complicated hurdle than syncing your iPhone and Mac contacts. Open iCloud.com on your computer’s browser and log in. Open Contacts and select the contacts you want to export. Then click on the gear icon, choose Export vCard, and save the VCF file to your computer.
Then transfer this data to your Android phone, either via USB or via cloud storage. On Android, open Contacts, touch Menu and go to Settings> Import. Here, find the VCF file and import the contacts. Note that you can also import this VCF file into Google Contacts on your desktop web browser.
Synchronizing contacts with this method is the most reliable option. However, various developers have created applications to sync iCloud contacts with Android. If you’d rather automate contact syncing, try one of these apps. Just keep in mind that they haven’t seen updates in a while.
View iCloud calendar on Android
CalDAV Sync, from the same developer as SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts, is an application that allows you to sync any CalDAV or Webcal calendar with your Android device. While it’s not free, it’s worth the price if you want to sync iCloud and Android. To use it:
- Get started by opening icloud.com and logging in.
- Click Calendar, then select the calendar you want to sync from the menu on the left.
- Check the box labeled Public Calendar, and then click Email Link when the WebCal URL appears.
- Send the URL to an email address that 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 the URL, click Next, and adjust the settings as necessary. Click Done when done.
View Apple Notes on Android
Syncing your notes from Apple’s useful Notes app to your Android device is simple, although it does have some limitations.
To sync your notes, open System Preferences on your Mac and click Internet Accounts. Select the Google account that is associated with your Android device. Here you will see various items that you can sync with your phone. When you select Notes, everything you add to the Notes application will be sent to your phone. It appears in your Gmail app, under a new label called Notes.
This has a downside: when you sync your notes to your phone, they won’t sync to iCloud. In the Apple Notes application on your desktop, you will see that you have Notes under the Google heading and Notes under the iCloud heading; they are not sent to both.
This is annoying, but if you have certain notes that you only need your phone, you can send them there. The others can then be backed up to iCloud. The main limitation of this method is that you cannot 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.
Synchronize Apple Reminders on Android
Do you use Apple’s Reminders app to keep track of your tasks? If you are using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you can sync them with your Android phone easily by downloading OpenTasks from the same developer.
Because CalDAV provides support for task synchronization, OpenTasks simply joins the CalDAV connection configured by the other application to receive your reminders. However, OpenTasks is simple. It doesn’t provide many additional features, giving it a similar feel to the Reminders app on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
If you don’t plan on using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you are sadly 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.
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