How to switch from iPhone to Android and keep all your stuff
Switching to a phone within the same ecosystem is a breeze, thanks to cloud synchronization and format compatibility, but what happens when you want to get a new handset that runs on a different operating system? This a very common case, and is encountered when people are trying to switch from iOS to Android.
This can become a convoluted process, so we thought we should give you some good tips. In this tutorial we will show you the best ways to transfer all your data from an iPhone to an Android device. Let’s jump right into the goods.
How to transfer contacts
This process’ simplicity will highly depend on your previous practices for syncing contacts. Are you synchronizing your contacts to your Gmail account? If so, getting your contacts on your brand new Android smartphone is a breeze! All you have to do is enter your Google account. All your saved numbers will be automatically downloaded.
If you don’t synchronize your contacts to Gmail, however, you will have to work a little harder. The easiest way would probably be to use iCloud to get a .vcf file and then import that to your Android phone (or Google Contacts).
- On your iPhone, go to your Settings app and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.
- Go to Settings > iCloud and turn on “Contacts”.
- Your contacts will upload to Apple’s cloud services shortly.
- Now use a browser to go to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID.
- Select “Contacts” and then click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner.
- Click on “Select all”.
- Click on the gear again and select “Export vCard…”.
- When the .vcf file downloads, you can either import that file to your Google Contacts or straight to your phone.
- If you want to use Google Contacts, just go to contacts.google.com and click on “Import” and then “Go to old contacts”. Click on the “More” button and select “Import”. Select the file and you are done.
- To import the .vcf file directly to your new smartphone, just get the file into your phone using any methods such as transferring via a microSD card or by hooking up your phone to your PC. Once the file is on your device, you simply open your Phone app and tap on the menu button. There should be an option to “Import/export”. Select the file and be on your way.
Full guide: how to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone
How to transfer calendar
Just as it was with Contacts, your calendar can also be synced to your Google account, but that will only be convenient if you did it from the beginning. You don’t want to manually change all your calendar entries, so we will show you how to transfer all your calendar events in a batch. Oh, and we will use iCloud once again.
- Go to your iPhone’s Settings app and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.
- Select “Add Account” and log into your iCloud account.
- Allow your iPhone to sync your local calendar files to iCloud.
- Use a browser to access and login with your iCloud account.
- Click the Calendar icon to open the Calendar interface.
- On the left pane, click the “Share Calendar” button beside the calendar that you want to export.
- In the popup balloon, tick “Public Calendar”. Copy the sharing URL that appears below it.
- On a new web browser tab or window, paste the copied URL.
- Change “
webcal"in the URL to “
http"and press the Enter key to open the address.
- Your Web browser will download a file with random characters as a file name. This file is actually a copy of your iCloud Calendar entries.
- Save the file to a convenient folder on your computer. For convenience, you may rename the file and add the
icsextension (e.g., ).
- Open and login to Google Calendar on your Web browser.
- On the left pane of the Google Calendar interface, click the menu arrow at the right of “Other Calendars”.
- Select “Import Calendar”.
- Select the exported calendar file that you downloaded from iCloud. You can also choose the destination Google calendar (if you have more than one) in the same dialog.
- Click the “Import” button to upload the file. Once importing is finished, you should be able to see the imported entries in the Google Calendar web interface. The new entries will also be synced to your Android device.
Transferring your photos
Oh, all those precious photos. It would be horrible to lose them in the process of switching to Android, right? You could probably do things the old way and manually transfer files… like a caveman. Or you can just take advantage of the awesome cloud storage services we now have access to.
You could just back up your photos to Drive, Drobbox or your service of choice, but I happen to prefer using Google’s new Photos app. This new service allows you to upload unlimited high quality images and sync them across smartphones. And yes, it’s available for both Android and iOS.
- Download the iOS Google Photos app.
- During set-up, the app will ask if you want to backup your photos. Go ahead and turn the feature on.
- Your photos will begin uploading. This will use a substantial amount of data, so be sure to connect to a WiFi network.
- When all images are uploaded to Google Photos, pull out your Android phone and download the Photos app from the Google Play Store.
- Go through the set-up process. Your images will be there.
Of course, you can also do it manually by using a PC.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC via USB cable. Do the same for your Android phone.
- On your Windows PC, open “My Computer”.
- You should be able to see two new drives or entries under “Portable Devices”. One is for your iPhone storage (usually labeled “Apple iPhone” or “Edgar’s iPhone” or something similar) and the other is for your Android. If you don’t see them, try installing the phone drivers.
- Open the iPhone’s storage in a new window.
- Open your Android’s storage in a new window.
- On the window for your iPhone’s storage, locate the folder named “DCIM”. You will find your photo folders inside the that folder.
- Simply select the photos that you want to transfer. Then, drag them from the iPhone images folder and drop them onto your Android images folder.
How to transfer music
You can always just transfer your music the old fashion way, as well – by manually moving files from phone to phone. It’s probably easier to simply upload your tunes to Google Play Music, though. Of course, this is given that you have all your music on your computer. We will assume you are using iTunes, for obvious reasons. Make sure to go to iTunes and download any music you may have purchased from your phone and isn’t saved locally.
After doing that, just use Google Music Manager to upload all your music to Google Play Music. This will sync across all Android devices, but the only main issue is that if the file is not downloaded, you will use up data while playing it. Make sure to pin or download songs you want to hear offline.
- Download Google Music Manager to your PC.
- Install the program and run it.
- During set-up, there will be an option to “Upload songs to Google Play”.
- Select “iTunes” and finish the initial set-up.
- Sit back and let the program upload all your songs to Google Play Music.
What about your apps?
Unfortunately, iOS and Android are very different ecosystems, and so are the apps that run on these operating systems. You can’t just push a button and automatically get your apps back. Many popular apps for social networks, games, and more, thankfully, will exist in the realm of Android though. Before buying your new Android, you’ll want to search Google Play online to ensure that there aren’t any missing apps that are absolutely crucial to your phone experience.
That said, even if you find one or two apps you wish existed but don’t, there are a ton of great replacements for some of iOS’ best exclusive apps, which you can find in our “Android alternatives to the best iOS apps” list.
You will have to struggle with some things
Moving to a new platform can be a bit tiring and complicated. We gave you some tools that will make your experience much smoother, but know there are some things you simply can’t avoid. Obviously, you’ll have to redownload your apps and even leave some behind for good. In addition, you’ll need to manually bring back your important documents and files. Thankfully, this is as easy uploading them to your cloud storage service of choice. From there, you can easily download these to your Android phone using the official app.
One last thing to remember is that you need to turn off iMessage before you leave iPhone behind, or you could run into some SMS delivery woes. If you do forget, however, you can go to Apple’s website and de-register even after you ditch the phone.
All set? Happy transferring! Also, we know everyone has a different way of doing things. What other methods for transferring all your goodies do you use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.