Tech Tip: Can You Run Android on an iPad?
Q. I prefer Android and PC applications, but want to run Android on an iPad. I have a Kindle Fire, but I want the true Android environment, and the 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 model is too expensive. However, I keep seeing reports that Google Drive, Photos, Docs and other Android apps work fine on iPads. Is that true? Or would I just be miserable?
A. By default, iPads run Apple’s iOS operating system, which is a different software platform from Google’s own Android operating system, and apps specifically written to run in Android do not work on iOS. Tech enthusiasts have experimented with ways to erase the iOS system from Apple’s hardware and manually install a version of Android themselves (and shared the knowledge around the web), but some methods can be tricky and risk damaging your device and voiding your warranty.
If you want to aim for true Android on Apple hardware (like the $329 entry-level iPad), you can find instructions for doing so with a few quick online searches. As another option, look for other companies that make less-expensive 10-inch Android tablets. Wirecutter, a product recommendation site owned by The New York Times, picks the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 ($290) as its top Android tablet for those who cannot afford the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, which costs from $500 to $600, depending on the seller.
If Google’s apps for its software services are really what you are after, the company makes iOS versions of its most popular programs, which run on an iPad without you having to hack around. The App Store has more than 50 iPad apps by Google that were written to run on iOS. The Chrome browser, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive (as well as Docs, Sheets and Slides), Google Earth, Google Keep, Google Maps, Google News & Weather, Google Photos, Google Play Music, Google Trips, Inbox by Gmail, YouTube and YouTube Kids are among those available, and many of them come as standard apps for an Android tablet.
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