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How to use iCloud for Android smartphones

  Apple iCloud for android on google pixel 4 xl

Apple is known for keeping Android users active from the "walled garden". The only Apple-developed app available on the Android platform is Apple Music. Although this is still the case, Android users can now enjoy various iCloud services with nothing more than a mobile browser. It's not a flawless experience, but here's how you can use iCloud for Android smartphones.

How to use iCloud for Android

Using iCloud on your Android device is fairly easy. All you have to do is navigate to iCloud.com, either enter your existing Apple ID credentials or create a new account, and voila, you now have access to iCloud on your Android smartphone.

From here you can see shortcuts to the available iCloud web apps, including Photos, Notes, Reminders and even Find iPhone. You can also manage your iCloud account and see how much storage you have available in one easy-to-navigate website.

Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately it was not that easy in my testing.

Also read: Apple in 2020: Can't stay in the ivory tower forever

Pro-tip: If your browser of choice supports it, you can even make iCloud a kind of citizen feel on your Android device by adding the web apps to your home screen. You can do this in Google Chrome by navigating to iCloud.com or one of the following apps, tapping the three dots at the top right of your browser and then selecting Add to home screen.

What can and cannot do iCloud on Android

In my tests, the iCloud functionality on Android was a bit sloppy. In theory, you should have access to all of the aforementioned web apps, just as you would from any desktop browser. Unfortunately that was not the case for me.

I did not have access to reminders on my account and Notes was unusable. In the Notes app, the keyboard would disappear immediately after it popped up, so I couldn't type anything and reminders wouldn't even appear as an option. I'm not sure if this was due to something that I did with the settings when I owned an iPad years ago, but either way, both functions are useless to me.

Read also: Apple can be a folding that does not crease like Android folding

On the other hand, I was able to view, upload, download and share excellent photos via iCloud. Grouping photos into albums also worked seamlessly and I was able to easily hide and show photos just like normal. The Find iPhone function is thought to work as expected, but I don't currently have access to Apple products to test this.

All in all, there is still plenty to discuss, but it is a good start. If you use an Android device alongside your Mac, iPad or iPhone and want to take advantage of Apple's iCloud services, this is your best chance for the near future. I don't see Apple developing a native Android app quickly, but hopefully it will extend this iCloud mobile web experience to create a more rounded – and less buggy – user experience.

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