How to Run iOS Apps on an Android Device

iPhone with various apps on the screen

Most of us are either an Android or iOS user. However, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to run an iOS application on an Android device. While not as easy as it may sound, you can run iOS apps on Android phones if you know what to do. This guide walks you through the available methods to run iOS apps on Android devices.

May Not Work as Planned

Before you get too excited to run iOS apps on Android, you should know that these apps don’t always work well. In fact, many iOS apps and emulators only allow you to upload apps you’ve developed yourself for testing purposes.

Also, these methods may not work on all Android devices, especially newer Android phones. For example, many iOS apps that emulate iOS on Android either didn’t work correctly or at all when I tested with Android 12, 13, and 14 devices.

Common issues you may encounter include:

  • Very few apps work in the emulator
  • Emulator works but doesn’t provide access to the App Store
  • Can’t install on newer Android devices
  • Requires root access
  • Requires complete formatting of Android device to run iOS instead of Android

I highly recommend backing up your Android device, including text messages, before trying any of these methods.

Method 1: Use a Browser-Based App

One of the easiest ways to run iOS apps on your Android device without installing any application is using Appetize.io on your phone’s browser. This online emulator launches an iOS-like device, complete with the look and feel of iOS. Follow the instructions below to use it.

Open your phone’s browser and visit Appetize.io. Select the iOS version and device you want to emulate, then tap Tap to Play to start the emulator.

Emulated iOS phone using an Android web browser.

This opens iOS. While you don’t have access to the App Store, you can upload any iOS app if you have the code for it. To run your iOS app, upload it to the website.

Emulated iOS screens in Appetize.io

One thing that sets this apart is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s compatible with your Android device version. However, the emulator won’t always have immediate support for newer iOS apps.

Appetize.io is also meant more for developers to test new apps on various systems. You also can’t simply download apps from the App Store.

Method 2: Download an iOS Emulator App for Android

There are a few iOS emulators for Android that make it possible to run iOS apps on Android. To run these emulators, you will need the following on your device:

  • At least 512MB of RAM available
  • Android version 2.3 or later
  • Available space, the iEMU emulator takes up to 60MB of space, and you’ll need space for the iOS apps as well.

The iEMU emulator is one of the best emulators to run iOS applications on Android. It can be easily downloaded, installed and used. Download it, and follow the steps below.

If you downloaded the apk file using your computer, you will need to transfer the file to your Android device. Tap to open the file on your device. A message will ask you to allow installation of apps from unknown sources.

This will take you to the Settings. If not, use the next few steps to do this manually. These steps apply to Android 11 and later. But we can also help if you need to enable installation from unknown sources in earlier versions.

Go to your Android device’s Settings, tap Application Manager or Apps, and select Special Access. Depending on your device, you may need to tap a three-dot menu near the top of the screen to view Special Access.

Enabling Special Access permission in Android.

Tap Install unknown apps.

Turn on Install Unknown Apps in Android.

Select iEMU to allow access. Navigate to where you have the iEMU apk file stored, and tap to install it.

After successfully installing the emulator, tap on AIO Downloader from the installed applications

This app will allow you to download iOS applications and run them using the emulator. In my case, I downloaded the iMusic application. Download the iOS application of your choice, and enjoy running and using it on your Android device.

Using AIO Downloader to download iOS apps on Android.

The only disadvantage associated with this emulator is that it only supports .zip and .ipas files.

While other emulators do exist, the process is pretty much the same. However, many emulators haven’t been updated in a while and don’t function on newer versions of Android.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a full iOS experience on Android?

No. Emulators won’t make your Android device function just like an iOS device. The only way to get a full iOS experience is with an iOS device.

2. Why don’t iOS apps function the same; why aren’t they compatible?

Android and iOS are extremely different. This is why developers have to create apps separately for each platform. Hardware and software differences make it impossible for every iOS app to function the same on Android devices and vice versa.

3. Are there any other options?

If you have certain iOS apps you love but only have an Android device, you may want to consider purchasing an older iOS device. Purchasing an older refurbished device is often hundreds of dollars cheaper. For instance, an iPhone 11 on Amazon starts at around $250 and will run iOS 17. If you buy an unlocked device, you won’t need a mobile carrier but can only use it on Wi-Fi.

Thanks to the above-mentioned applications, it is now easier to run iOS apps on an Android device. You can also make your Android device look like an iPhone and view iPhone emojis on Android. One thing to note is that not all iOS apps are supported, and you will have to use trial and error to see if the apps you want work on the phone. For most users, it’s easier, though, to just find the Android-equivalent apps versus trying to emulate iOS.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *