Deciding to buy an Android device instead of an iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re turning your back on the vast amount of music, movies, and other great media available in the iTunes ecosystem. Whether it’s music or movies, apps or the iTunes program itself, some Android users may want to use iTunes, or at least its content. But when it comes to iTunes and Android, what works and what doesn’t?
The following information should apply no matter who made your Android phone. Whether you have a phone from Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, or any of the many other Android manufacturers, these tips apply.
Playing iTunes Music on Android
Music downloaded from iTunes is compatible with Android phones in most cases. Music purchased from iTunes is in AAC format, which Android has native support for.
The exception is songs purchased from iTunes prior to the April 2009 introduction of the DRM-free iTunes Plus format. These files, called protected AAC, don’t work on Android because they don’t support iTunes DRM. However, you can upgrade these songs to Android compatible purchased AAC files.
Playing Apple Music on Android
The Apple Music streaming service is notable because it represents the company’s first major Android app. In the past, Apple has only created apps for iOS. Apple Music replaces the Beats Music service and app, which worked on Android. That is why Apple Music is also available for Android users. Download the app for a free trial. Subscriptions for Android users cost the same as for iPhone users.
Playing Podcasts from iTunes on Android
Podcasts are only MP3s and Android devices can play MP3s so compatibility is not an issue. But without the iTunes or Apple Podcasts app for Android, the question is: why would you even try to use iTunes to get podcasts for your Android? Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher, all apps that run on Android, have sizable podcast libraries. Technically, you could download podcasts from iTunes and sync them to your Android, or find a third-party podcast app that lets you subscribe to iTunes for downloads, but it’s easier to use one of those apps.
Playing iTunes Videos on Android
All movies and TV shows rented or purchased on iTunes have digital rights management restrictions. Since Android doesn’t support Apple’s iTunes DRM, videos purchased or rented from iTunes won’t work on Android. On the other hand, some other types of video stored in an iTunes library, such as that recorded with the camera on an iPhone, are compatible with Android.
If you get software to remove DRM or that removes it as part of converting an iTunes video file to another format, you should be able to create an Android-compatible file. However, the legality of these approaches is questionable.
Run iPhone Apps on Android
Unfortunately, iPhone apps don’t work on Android. With the huge library of cool apps and games on the App Store, some Android users might wish they could use iPhone apps, but just like the Mac version of a program doesn’t run on Windows, iOS apps can’t run on Windows. Android. However, the Google Play store for Android offers more than 1 million applications.
For more on this topic, including some amazing cross-platform capabilities, see Can You Run iPhone Apps on Android and Windows?
Reading Apple Books on Android
Reading e-books purchased from the Apple Books Store requires the Apple Books app (formerly iBooks) to be running. And because Android devices can’t run iPhone apps, Apple Books won’t work with Android (unless, like videos, you use software to remove the DRM from the Apple Books file, in which case the files of Apple Books are just EPUBs). Fortunately there are a number of other great e-book apps that work on Android, like Amazon’s Kindle.
iTunes and Android sync
Although iTunes doesn’t sync media and other files with Android devices by default, with a little work and a third-party app, both can talk to each other. Apps that can sync iTunes and Android include doubleTwist Sync by doubleTwist and iSyncr by JRT Studio.
AirPlay streaming from Android
Android devices can’t stream media via Apple’s AirPlay protocol out of the box, but with apps they can. If you’re already using DoubleTwist AirSync to sync your Android device and iTunes, an Android app adds AirPlay streaming.
It is not part of iTunes, but there is another interesting cross-platform option. Believe it or not, if you want to use Apple’s iMessage texting platform on Android, you can.