How to switch from iPhone to Android and keep all your stuff

by: Edgar CervantesAugust 3, 2015
3.8K
nexus 6 vs iphone 6 plus aa (17 of 24)

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? A very common case is 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).

  1. On your iPhone, go to your Settings app and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.
  2. Go to Settings > iCloud and turn on “Contacts”.
  3. Your contacts will upload to Apple’s cloud services shortly.
  4. Now use a browser to go to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID.
  5. Select “Contacts” and then click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner.
  6. Click on “Select all”.
  7. Click on the gear again and select “Export vCard…”.
  8. When the .vcf file downloads, you can either import that file to your Google Contacts or straight to your phone.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

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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 iCloud.com 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 ics extension (e.g., calendar.ics).
  • 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.

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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.

  1. Download the iOS Google Photos app.
  2. During set-up, the app will ask if you want to backup your photos. Go ahead and turn the feature on.
  3. Your photos will begin uploading. This will use a substantial amount of data, so be sure to connect to a WiFi network.
  4. When all images are uploaded to Google Photos, pull out your Android phone and download the Photos app from the Google Play Store.
  5. Go through the set-up process. Your images will be there.

google photos 2

Of course, you can also do it manually by using a PC.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC via USB cable. Do the same for your Android phone.
  2. On your Windows PC, open “My Computer”.
  3. 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.
  4. Open the iPhone’s storage in a new window.
  5. Open your Android’s storage in a new window.
  6. On the window for your iPhone’s storage, locate the folder named “DCIM”. You will find your photo folders inside the that folder.
  7. 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.

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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.

  1. Download Google Music Manager to your PC.
  2. Install the program and run it.
  3. During set-up, there will be an option to “Upload songs to Google Play”.
  4. Select “iTunes” and finish the initial set-up.
  5. Sit back and let the program upload all your songs to Google Play Music.

google play music 1

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. For one, you will need to manually find all your apps and install them. There’s no way to transfer applications from iOS to Android.

In addition, you should upload any documents and odd files to your cloud storage service of choice. You can easily download these from your Android phone using the official app.

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.

 

 

  • Pez Nospam

    How can you be tired of owning the same phone as a 70 yrs old granny? Be serious.

    • Sherpa

      The same way people cannot be tired of hearing ignorant comments from ignorant fools like you every time iPhone is mentioned in an article.

      • Pez Smith
        • mobilemann

          You’re incredibly dense.

          • Pez Smith

            Thanks. That’s what your mother said as she put it in her mouth.

          • mobilemann

            it’s always great when people respond like that; not understanding that a dense penis would actually be a small one. Again, you’re dense.

    • mobilemann

      i’ll bet there’s a ton of 70 year old grandmothers rocking android phones too. I’ll bet i do more with my iphone than you’ve ever done on your android. Be serious:D It’s more about the user than the OS.

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Google services are making life pretty easy…. Unless you own a WP device, then you’re out of luck.

    • C.P. Garcia

      Actually.. a Windows Phone does better at this.. You can ENTER your account info and your mail, contacts, and calendar from GMAIL and iCLOUD automatically sync.. no having to do all those steps.. so.. you would be wrong here.. Windows Phones actually makes the switch easier…

      • androidscales

        Win-dohs phones sucks not sure anyone wanna use that it keeps freezing, rebooting , lags …even BB is better no wonder only 2% users adopted it..which must be all m$ employee’s

        • mobilemann

          feel better? I have a 830 running wp10 beta, and 8.1 before that. On both of those OS’s, it’s nothing like you say and it runs on a 410 snapdragon.

          Android took some good design language from MS, although i think WP8.1 looks super dated now that i have 10 on that spare; although i guess so does jellybean and iOS 7 to me.

  • badc0de

    I’m switching my tablet to android and the only thing I would like to transfer are my payed apps, when applicable i. e. if they are multiplatform, but that’s very unlikely to happen :(

  • Sherpa

    You have forgotten one major thing in this article. iMessage! Before you make a switch, remember to turn off iMessage. If not, you will have problem getting text messages later on your Android phone.

    • patrik

      This, this and this.

    • Glenn

      good point! However, there is now a website on apple.com where you can turn off imessage after you have gotten rid of your iphone. Just google deregister imessage

      • mobilemann

        another good point, and all stuff that would have come up had this been researched (more)

  • mrjayviper

    does Google have a “restore backup” like what’s available on iOS?

    like backup device to iCloud/PC first and then when the new phone arrives (or perhaps a freshly restored device), restore it again

  • Jonathon Rios

    You should have added a section titled “Apps, what your really gonna miss on Android.”

  • iChebbi

    I know all of this, the real question can you transfer SMS from iOS to Android ?

  • Brice Medina

    Can someone tell me what is the phone on the fourth picture?

    • mobilemann

      looks like a galaxy nexus, but with a silver ring around it which mine didn’t have…

  • The fastest way to transfer contacts is what i tried about a month ago when i made the switch. On my android device i exported contacts to .vcf file. Mailed the file to my icloud account. As soon as i received the email on my iphone i just opened the vcf file and it automatically imported the contacts just as it does on any android device. It saves you the time in hooking up your phones to PC.

    • mobilemann

      i think they are talking for the other way around. You can migrate gmail contacts via gmail from a web browser. You don’t even need a phone for taking them to iOS. To be honest, icloud offers export to vcard from the website too, so for both ways!