Did you transfer a video file from your iPhone to an Android phone, but it doesn’t play on the Android phone? Sometimes, it also happens that the iPhone video stutters on the Android phone or plays with a significant lag. Other times, when you watch a video on an Android phone that was shot with an iPhone, you only hear the sound but don’t see any video as the media player screen is black.
If you’re facing any of the above problems, let me tell you why this happens and how to fix it.
Why can’t some Android phones play iPhone videos?
Out of the box, your iPhone captures photos and videos in HEIF/HEVC format. Now, all recent Android smartphones support this format. So, if an Android phone doesn’t play an iPhone video, it’s mostly due to the resolution of the video, frame rate (frames per second – fps), and the inability of the Android phone’s native Gallery or File Explorer app causing it to struggle with large video files.
How to know if an iPhone video is 4K or 1080p?
1) Open the iOS Photos app and go to that video.
2) Swipe up on the screen to see the file information:
- If it’s a 4K video, you will see 4K – 2160 x 3840.
- For 1080p video, you will see 1080p – 1080 x 1920.
- And for 720p videos, it will say 720p – 720 x 1280.
3) Besides the resolution, you can also see the frame rate (60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps, etc.), video file size, and codec (HEVC, H.264).
Make Android phones play videos taken on iPhone
1. Check if the full video file has transferred or not
Since Apple’s AirDrop and Android’s Nearby Share don’t work cross-platform, there is no native way to share video files between iPhone and Android. But you can use other easy methods to move the files, like Android File Transfer, OpenMTP, AirDroid, etc.
Once the video is sent to the Android phone, make sure the full file has been transferred. Sometimes, the video file may be partially transferred, resulting in a corrupt unplayable file.
The easiest way to check this is by seeing the video file details in the Files app, Gallery app, or the File Explorer app of your Android phone and noting the file size. Next, open the Photos app on your iPhone, go to that video, and swipe up to see the file size. If the size on the Android phone and iPhone are the same (ignore the difference if it’s less than ~0.5 MB), that means the full video has been transferred successfully. If not, transfer the file over again.
2. Use VLC player on Android
The iOS Photos app is your default, standard destination for viewing pictures and watching recorded videos on all iPhones. The same isn’t true for Android phones, as different manufacturers set their own gallery or file management apps as the default for photos & videos.
Now, if the iPhone video doesn’t play in the built-in media player or gallery app on your Android phone, get the evergreen VLC Media Player from the Google Play Store.
Once VLC is downloaded, launch it and allow it to access your media files. Now, open the iPhone video here, and in many cases, VLC should be able to play the unplayable video successfully. If not, please move to the remaining solutions.
3. Restart your Android phone
Turn off your Android phone and turn it back on after a minute. Once that’s done, see if it can play iPhone videos.
4. Convert the iPhone video before sending it to Android
Now, we come to the most effective solution that worked for me. It is slightly time-consuming, but I can almost guarantee it will work for you as well.
So, if the videos you took on your iPhone aren’t playing on an Android phone, convert them to a lower resolution, decrease their frame rate, or reduce the file size before transferring them. After that, they will likely play on the Android phone.
Use the Compress Videos & Resize Video app
iDB developed this simple app that is fantastic at compressing your videos, resizing them, changing the frame rate (fps), and reducing the video file size.
Follow these steps to make your iPhone videos playable on an Android phone:
- Download the Compress Videos & Resize Video app for free on your iPhone or iPad.
- Open the app and Select Videos to Compress. Now, choose the 4K 60 fps video file (or any other video of any resolution) that doesn’t play on the Android phone.
- Use the Frame Rate slider to lower it to 30 or 24.
- For the best video quality, you can keep the video dimensions to their original numbers. However, if it still doesn’t play, you can lower it.
- Finally, tap Compress. The app will convert the video and automatically save it to your iPhone’s Photos app. Optionally, you may delete the original video file.
- Now transfer the converted video to your Android phone, and it will play like a charm there.
Use an iOS shortcut
The Compress video app is the easiest way to convert iPhone videos and make them compatible with your Android phone. Besides the app, if you’re comfortable with iOS shortcuts, I have built a simple shortcut that will convert your 4K videos to 1080p and make them playable on Android. Here’s how to use it:
- Add Convert Video To 1080p shortcut to your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the shortcut tile and pick a 4K video. The shortcut will convert it to 1080p and save it to the Photos app. (left image below)
- You can also open the 4K video inside your iPhone Photos app, tap the share button and choose Convert Video To 1080p from the Share Sheet. The shortcut will work its magic and save the converted file (right image below).
- Now, send this converted video to the Android phone to watch it there.
Finally, if you have a Mac, QuickTime can easily convert large 4K video files to 1080p. Check out this guide that shows you five ways to reduce video size on Mac and iOS.
Set your iPhone to record videos in a lower resolution
So, I hope by now you know why some videos taken on your iPhone cannot play on an Android phone.
If you frequently transfer videos from your iPhone to your or family members’ Android phones, I recommend setting your iPhone to record video at 1080p or 4K 24/30 fps. This will make them compatible with almost all Android phones by default, and you won’t have to go through the process of converting videos before they can be watched on Android. Here’s how to do that:
- Open iPhone Settings and tap Camera.
- Tap Record Video and choose 1080p HD at 60 or 30 fps.
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