(Update: no, it isn’t) Apple to make switching from iOS to Android easier

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 12, 2016


Update, January 12: An Apple spokesperson has officially told Buzzfeed News that the company is not making a switch to Android tool. “There is no truth to this rumor,” Trudy Muller stated, “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.” Well, I guess that puts this rumor to bed.

Original post: January 11: Apple has been pressured by several European telecommunications companies to make it easier to switch from iOS to Android, according to a senior industry source speaking with The Telegraph.  Apple has reportedly agreed to create a tool to make the transition from an iPhone to an Android device simpler and easier for customers.

The move comes following complaints by major European carriers that the difficulty of switching between platforms, primarily from Apple’s side, weakens the telco’s negotiating power with Apple. Due to the hassle of transferring data from iOS to Android, very few customers ever make the switch, making the carriers overly dependent on Apple.

nexus 6 vs iphone 6 plus aa (17 of 24)See also: How to switch from iPhone to Android and keep all your stuff30

The EU Commission has already tackled Google for antitrust violations, claiming the company unfairly squeezes out competition, so Apple agreeing to make the switching process simpler could be viewed as the lesser of two evils. There’s no telling if the EU Commission has been involved in this decision at all, but creating a simple switch tool would certainly head them off at the pass.

samsung galaxy note 5 vs iphone 6 plus aa (10 of 13)

Whether this data transfer tool will take the form of a Move to Android app (like Apple’s Move to iOS app in Google Play) or another tool is uncertain. There is also no timeline given for when it might appear and Apple has yet to confirm this agreement publicly.

While many tools exist to make it easier to transition from Android to iOS, including Apple’s first app in Google Play, Apple has never made it easier to switch in the opposite direction, preferring instead to keep customers locked into its own ecosystem.

While this could simply be considered good business, it could also be considered a nefarious attempt to exclude competition, something the EU doesn’t take very kindly to. Whether or not the creation of this tool will actually see more customers switching to Android we’ll just have to wait and see.

Do you think OS makers should be forced to make switching easier for customers?

  • saksham

    yeah it should be easy but i dont think how this is a major problem cant u just buy an android device and put the sim card in it ?

    • mjmdroid

      We’re talking about data transfer, imessage et sms migration etc

      • Diskus1

        Contacts, messages, app installs, purchased content etc… one day weäll get there. Companies love locking customers in, so they have to be forced.

    • Rob

      The sim card isn’t where all that data is stored.

  • Modman

    Apple was monopolising with their proprietary cables an I message and the Eu goes after Google?

    • jerry

      Monopolising? Do explain…
      Apple accounts for only 17% of the market in Europe, that is only about 1 in every 7 people.
      Google accounts for almost 75% of the market, that is 3 out of every 4.

      • Marcomatisch

        Don’t compare Android and iOS market shares! The hardware is not the software. Of course there are more phones running Android than iOS, but they are from different manufactrers and every manufacturer has to make switching platforms easy on their own. (To compare it like you did, every Android user would have to use Nexus devices)

    • Roby

      That has already been taken care of by the EU I believe.
      Apple will have to use standard USB cables on their phones by 2017 if I remember correctly.

      • Modman

        If that’s the case. Way to go EU. Wish they would do that in the US. Apple has way to much power here.

        • Scr-U-gle

          I I think you should look at who seed funded Google and how much Google pay all political parties, I believe Google now have no peers when it comes to buying political favours.

          • Modman

            Wish they had enough power to make apple disappear. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like anyone does or they would probably would have done it by now. No matter who they can manipulate if apple ever succeeds at destroying android with thermonuclear war. Smartphone prices for iPhone would be sky high. Vote with your wallet buy android.

          • Scr-U-gle

            And be mugged off by billionaires with phones that cost more, are based on stolen tech from Apple, Oracle and Microsoft/Nokia, and are built to last only 18 months at prices that are higher than Apple. All while still being three years behind Apple?!?

            You really are deluding yourself.

          • Modman

            It still can’t multitask besides apple apps.
            You are not a computer engineer.your comments have not merit.

          • Scr-U-gle

            And neither do android apps, even the Google apps don’t actually multitask, but you would know that wouldn’t you!?!

            As the editor of this very web site said regarding Apple technology:
            …a three year lead…
            It’s only taken nine years to go from five years behind to three, maybe next century androne will be on par with Apple.

            You can keep your out of date knock-off, it must be nice working helpdesk and think you know what you’re talking about.

          • Modman

            Multitasking means running two or more apps at the same time you retard. Windows Linux and Android all do this better than ios. Just quit while you are ahead and spare yourself the embarrassment.

      • Lindle

        With the advent of USB C, their lightning cable seems to have little advantage. Best thing I can think of is sturdiness but I have never seen a broken port on a good device. Lightning cables though often break

        • Scr-U-gle

          Lucky that Apple created the USB-C standard isn’t it!

      • s2weden2000

        A adapter is provided in the box…

  • Lance

    Let me convert my iBooks to a universal format and I’m happy.

  • griddark

    A lot of my friends feel trapped on iOS because that’s where they’ve bought all their apps/books/music.

    • Lindle

      Well, you’re trapped to Android as well. Android is a lot more diverse though

      • Rob

        Agreed. My brother has an iPhone and can’t bear to have to go through manually moving anything. I told him there are likely ways to do it that are much easier, but he’s not sure he wants to.

      • moew

        Google Play music and movies are available in the apple store

        • Lindle

          I usually get those elsewhere. It’s the apps that are important

          • moew

            Only other place to get Google Play music and movies (the apps), are in the Google Play Store.

          • Lindle

            I was saying that I get movies and music elsewhere.

          • moew

            Those google apps are in the apple store.

  • All they need to do is enable iCloud contacts, reminders, calendar and notes to sync with Google. Or at least provide Android apps for each service. Personally I won’t use any service that isn’t platform agnostic.

    • Diego

      But the android fanboys will complain if they do.

  • Mervyn Jordan

    Apple is just a wicked, selfish, and evil company. I have never owned an iPhone and never will.

    • Rob

      Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

      • Mervyn Jordan

        What are you referring to?

      • Scr-U-gle

        He is blind to streetcar gate that is still on going as Scr-U-Le are still trying to retain that stolen data, backing and seed funding by the CIA, DARPA & the CIA, Nazi speeches used in defence of privacy breaches, whole sale conning of people with no updates after 18 months by billionaires (supplied 12 months late, demands for private health records coz Page has a bit of a stutter.

        The list of his saintly Cult Google evils are endless, I guess he has never heard of checking his facts.

    • tiger

      Really? You think Google is all good? You need to OPEN your eyes!

      • Mervyn Jordan

        OPEN my eyes to what? If you care deeply about these companies, good for you. But, I don’t give a rat’s butt about any of them. IMO, Apple has a cult like following. They make phones with inferior internals, except the newest models, and people line up in the rain and snow to buy them. I will never understand that.

        • tiger

          So, when did iPhone can introduced that had inferior internals compared to its peers at the time?

          You think that iPhones running smooth as butter and being reliable with excellent customer service…a fluke? Or that iOS has the latest apps and developers pay attention to them…a fluke? You think that resale value of iPhones a fluke too?

          Here’s a thought…why do you think Google services do NOT have end-to-end encryption? If you don’t know what end-to-end encryption is, then GOOGLE it. And then ask yourself…why does Google not have it?

          Next GOOGLE this: “arstechnica Google’s iron grip on Android”

          Oh no, everyone is in it for the money…Apple focuses on hardware by getting people to pay for hardware but offers privacy. Google screws you what it can get out of you thru Android.

          • Mervyn Jordan

            Based on your last response to my last comment, it appeared that you did not understand anything that I said. So, let me say it again. I don’t give a rat’s butt about these companies. Especially, greedy ass hiding billions of dollars overseas, Apple. So, please find someone else to unload all that technical crap to, which didn’t impress me. I know enough to purchase a phone that I want. And, it’s never going to ever be an iPhone. Sorry, fan boy. HANE!!!

          • tiger

            Based on your last response, it appears that you are FULL of crap! Strange how you manage to blame Apple for the world’s evils despite you being neutral…not once did you blame Google!

            Sorry, fanboy, you’re an idiot.

          • Mervyn Jordan

            Well, in my opinion, we had a good exchange of opinion. Now, let’s get on with our lives. No hard feelings from my end. I enjoy passionate discussions, because they show character. Goodbye.

  • Kumaran

    switching to 16GB ibicycle?

    • tiger

      Still better than lag city and no proper encryption.

  • blanco112

    I think I’ll wait for Apple to confirm and describe just what they are willing to do before I believe this.

  • sjesudasan

    I have all my bookmarks and passwords in google chrome and now I’m not able to transfer these to any other browser. I want to try other browsers but stuck because of this. Would like to see some app for this from google or other browsers.

    • Rob

      Errr…export to xml?

    • Samuel Attard

      You can export bookmarks whenever you want, but think about passwords for a second…. If you could just “export” you passwords it would be incredibly insecure, you may aswell just tell every program on your computer your passwords……….

      • sjesudasan

        Yeah, I know the security complexity, Right now we have option to use google account and authenticate other sites login. The next step can be to export our stored passwords to other browsers through proper authentication from user without compromising security.

    • Mervyn Jordan

      Give Firefox a try. Besides being quick and lean, it allows you to import your bookmarks from Chrome.

      • sjesudasan

        Yes. I like Firefox and its extensions… Use it a lot in my desktop.

  • Rob

    Don’t understand why Apple has to do this at all. I’m no Apple fanboy, nor do I lie in anyone else’s camp (even though I have an Android phone). I just think it’s not their responsibility to make it easier to go to a competitor’s phone. Having said that, I do feel that it’s a great PR move to show that they don’t think people will want to do it, anyway.

    • Samuel Attard

      It’s not that Apple needs to make it “easier” to go to a competitor’s phone, rather that they need to stop making it “harder” to go to a competitors phone.

      For example I believe there is still a problem that if you switch from iPhone to android but previously used the iMessage service on your iPhone. You won’t receive any messages from iPhone users as it still tries to send the message via iMessage instead of SMS. This made a lot of people think Android didn’t work and switch back

      ^^ Just one example

      • mrochester

        That’s long since been resolved.

    • Kash Gummaraju

      It’s very much their responsibility to make it easier, they take fullblown advantage of Google’s lax play store rules to create a move-to-ios app, which is not only in bad taste when Apple themselves makes it harder for people to switch out, but straight up bad business

      • tiger

        Why doesn’t Google make an app on Apple store? Google makes plenty of apps on iOS store!

        Is it like asking Google to make Move to iOS app for Apple! STUPID.

  • Renascienza

    Just confirmed the lock in strategy from Apple. If you get a iThing and invest some of your life on it, you are trapped in.

  • JimAlaska

    There is a switch to ios app in the Google Play store, it is from Apple. I have never owned an Apple product, so I have no idea how difficult it is to switch, but I see no valid reason Apple should be required to supply it. Google, or some Android developer, should be capable of supplying it.

  • Kash Gummaraju

    Ask almost anyone with an iphone to move to Android, and they’ll give you the same couple reasons

    1. Apple is so much easier to use(none have ever actually bothered to try an Android phone)
    2. All my stuff is already on my iPhone
    3. I’m neck-deep in the ecosystem
    4. It’s so much easier to just not move away

    Every single reason that I stated has to do with moving their data. You can explain to them all the benefits of having an Android phone such as deep integration with their google account which makes things a lot easier where Google Now auto-schedules meetings and whatnot without effort from you, gives you travel times, recognizes your work and home locations making it easier to navigate and plan things, remember’s important events, creates really cool stuff from your photo gallery using Google photos. And in most cases you can talk about the better hardware, but at the end of the day it’s not the cost or benefits that help them decide, it’s the ease of moving all their data to their new phone on a different platform.

    • Scr-U-gle

      …and hands all that data to the US government.

      Some of us work in tech and are competing with Google, why would we want to hand over our data to them?

      The main reason people switch from roid to iOS is because of the lack of updates and terrible security, and the nonsense people like you spout that ends up costing them a fortune

  • Remy Cajallena