Google publishes new guide for iPhone users who want to switch to Android

by: Gary SimsOctober 21, 2014


When Apple finally released devices with 4.7 and 5.5 inch screens, it thought that it should publish a guide for Android users who were tempted to eat the fruit of Cupertino. In a reciprocal move, Google has now published a guide for iPhone users who want to migrate over to Android.

The new guide, called “Get going on Android”, covers transferring your photo stored on an iPad or iPhone, how to move from iTunes to Google Play Music, copying your contacts from iCloud, and how to set up email and messaging.

Google lets you transfer up to 20,000 of your songs from your iTunes library to Google Play Music for free.

To transfer your photos you just need to install the Google+ app on your iPhone or iPad and then set up the “Auto Backup” option. This will ensure that all your photos are copied to the cloud. To see your photos you just need to open the Photos app on your Android device and voilà.

Migrating away from iTunes is also quite simple. Google lets you transfer up to 20,000 of your songs from your iTunes library to Google Play Music for free. Once in Google Play Music you can access your collection from any web browser, on any of your Android devices, or even from your iPhone or iPad.


Copying over your contacts isn’t as seamless as the transfer of photos and music, however it isn’t hard. Basically you need to export your contacts in vCard format and then import them into your Google contacts.

To get access to your emails you just need to install the relevant app on your Android device. If you are using Gmail then there is not much to do as the Gmail app should come installed by default. If you are using a service like Yahoo! then you just install the Yahoo! app on your device. For iCloud email, install an email app that supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange accounts.

Google’s final recommendation is to switch off iMessage before you move the SIM card from your iPhone to your new Android device. To do that go to “Settings”, then “Messages”, and set iMessage to “off”.

For full step-by-step instructions read Google’s Get going on Android guide. Have you made the switch? Please let us know in the comment section below.

  • Kevin Kuo

    Much more helpful compared to Apple’s version.

    • Kevin Ranara

      Definitely! :D

  • Leeroy Jenkins

    Shots fired.

  • Dike

    that picture seems legit

  • theemptyhead

    Switched from ios to android a year ago. Felt like i came out of jail after 4+ years. Love the freedom android gives to me.
    Just two complains i have with Google. After Updating to kitkat i cannot connect my phone to my tv via mhl adapter. And i can’t use third party apps to transfer/edit files to external memory card.

    • jsouthernindiana

      Root access allows both.

      • theemptyhead

        I know. My japanese note 3 is not rootable. Tried every possible way to root it but nothing works. :(

        • SContrerasMer

          Every Android Phone is Rootable, you must look for the right guide

        • jsouthernindiana

          Sorry. 8 months later. Did you ever get root?

          • theemptyhead

            Yes. Both of me and my wifes docomo note 3 is rooted.

    • Sunny

      what phone?
      I got no issues like that on kitkat.
      maybe Android L will fix it :p

      • theemptyhead

        It’s note3. I don’t think android L will fix it either because i don’t think it is a bug. Google did it on purpose.

        • Michael

          Just root your phone and / or go to the xda forums and they’ll help you.

    • Nathan Anderson

      Chromecast or Nexus TV son. Plugging shit in is so 2012.

      • theemptyhead

        I use my $80 android tv stick at my home. But sometime when i’m at my relative’s house i need to use it.

  • Allanitomwesh

    Lol,that is one thorough guide. Apple had it coming though.

  • nonchalont

    I will be making the switch. I’m looking at the note 4 or nexus 6. I’m thinking of getting the nexus 6 as I could get the updates quicker. I love the note 4 features though, but seems like Samsung doesn’t update their phones quick enough.

    I’m getting tired of jailbreaking my iphone only to come across bugs with the JB community that just causes issues with the handset. I’m paying for JB tweaks that has bugs and not polished. The resources on iphone are weak when placing tweaks. Apple specs are only for stock apple and is not meant for JB’ing. However, if Apple release 3GB of ram, I may come back lol ….guess I won’t be seeing apple anytime soon.

    Also, is there a “tweak store” or “Cydia” for Android? Can I tweak a particular area of the phone without having to change the whole theme? For instance, can I keep stock android or touch wiz but tweak the way I receive notification or make the notification bar smaller when it appears? Can I tweak the chrome browser at all once I root a phone? Such as adding features to the stock chrome browser?

    • Awab Naeem

      Xposed Allows That…

    • Bill Frasier

      Yes, its called the xposed framework. Once you’ve rooted the phone, and gotten xposed, you can then download xposed modules to customize any specific area. Since I’m on stock, I can’t say anything about xposed on touchwiz, but it works perfectly for me! In fact, I use it over a custom ROM for the most functuonality possible. :)
      Good luck!

    • Captain Obvious

      Welcome to the family!!!!!!
      Keep in mind that there will be a learning curve, as there is with any new tech, however once you get used to the open playground of Android you will never look back!!!!

      Xposed framework is great, and there is a huge support system at XDAforums.

  • Edge of Surreality

    This would have made more sense to release before apple released its larger screens, when its users had screen envy. Its gonna be a tougher sell for those who already upgraded to 6/6+ and are vested in the itunes model. Still, it is good to finally have all this information in one place…when I switched from iOS to android 3 years ago, this information had to be culled by searching forums and videos…hopefully the guide will lead more misguided Kool Aid drinkers like my former self to move to android- the real innovator of mobile tech.

  • Guest

    @Gary Sims, you posted a link to the apple larger screen products, you posted a link to apple’s site on how to transfer to apple, but no link to the google document, which is the subject of your article!!! Why is that???

  • Saeed Ashif Ahmed
    • You just cut and paste my article on to your blog… I think that might be illegal?

  • Ste

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the auto back up of the pictures doesn’t save them at full resolution, or am I mistaking with dropbox? Well in case I’m not, even if an easy way, isn’t really better than a manual transfer. For what is worth I keep missing a full back up and restore utility a la itunes.

    • Yes and no. Google offer you the option to save the pictures in 2048×2048, in which case you can backup and unlimited number of pictures. However there is also the option to backup pictures at their full resolution, however you will be limited to the amount of space you have with Google. You get 15GB for free.

    • Captain Obvious

      It will back them up at full resolution – however if over a certain size it will count against the 15 GB of free storage you get – you can also have it set up to reduce resolution for unlimited storage.

      From Google:
      “Full size is the default setting. This setting uploads your photos
      and videos with their original image resolutions (up to 100 MB for photos or
      1080p for videos) and counts against your Google Drive
      storage quota, which is shown under Full
      size when you touch this setting. If you start approaching the
      free storage limit, you’ll see a Google+ notification.
      If you run out of storage we’ll automatically switch to storing photos at
      standard size.

      size photos are great for sharing on the web.
      If you choose this setting, your photos will be resized so that the longest
      edge of the photo does not exceed 2048 pixels. You can store an unlimited
      number of standard size photos on Google+.”

      • Ste

        Thanks guys for making it clear. I had a vague remember of it, so I m partially wrong but I still would like to have a back up easy program that takes really everything

  • Praveenstein

    tit for tat

  • the human tripod

    Wow apple sells 32 million I phones in a week and 1 guy on here switches platforms. hardly seems fair. But let’s get real any droid defectors have their eye on the real prize…Apple watch! The designer bands…the changing mechinism… That OS…uuuugh…drool…spooge! its like watch porn!

  • Jhayson Galino

    Apple : “Join the Dark side . we have cookies”

  • Larry

    You need to switch iMessage days if not weeks in advance to make sure it goes through on Apple’s servers and filters out to all of your friends. I made the mistake of doing it the day off. Even calling Apple and them doing steps to disable it in their servers didn’t help. Had to make my friends turn it off on their phone. Stupid and should be investigated by the FCC.